By Gretchen Giles
Normally, we're not so much about promotional nattering but shucks, it's July, and sometimes one just needs to go with the flow. Speaking of all things shucks-like, B.R. Cohn (1500 Hwy. 12, Glen Ellen; 800.330.4064) hosts an oyster and Chardonnay afternoon on Saturday, July 24, from 11am to 3pm with raw and barbecued bivalves sliding luxuriously down with their newly released 2009 Char. Oysters are $2 each; the wine, $24; a single golden July afternoon, priceless. . . .
C. Donatiello (4035 Westside Road, Healdsburg; 800.433.8296) is once again a weekend go-to spot with the roll-out of its third annual "Live from the Middle Reach" concert series, a set of free Sunday-afternoon concerts by up-and-coming artists you will someday hear of getting their early career sea legs on the winery's charming guest house deck. Bring a picnic, buy a bottle, the rest is free. From 1pm to 4pm on Sundays through Oct. 10. Donatiello also has a new daily wine and cheese pairing featuring the work of three Sonoma County cheesemakers matched up to flights of single-vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs for $20. . . .
While in Healdsburg, please know that Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen (317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg; 707.431.0330) hosts a monthly interactive Wine Pioneers seminar that's also a great deal. On select Saturdays through November—July 17 being the next of them—guests are invited to meet winemakers, learn the intricacies of their craft and enjoy a three-course prix fixe meal all for $65. The seminar's featured wines are available for purchase with dinner at retail price, also known as about 200 percent less than restaurant price. This next seminar focuses on the deceptively simple flavors of sparkling wines with David Munksgard of Iron Horse Vineyards, George Bursick of J and Bob Iantosca of Gloria Ferrer holding forth. . . .
Over in Napa, the natives are hardly restless, choosing instead to recline rather limpidly on the terrace at Silverado Vineyards (6121 Silverado Trail, Napa; 707.257.1700), which offers a chance to end the work week with a small bite and sips pairing each Friday from 5:30pm to 8pm for just $25. They ask that you reserve ahead all polite-like, and we think you can do that. Even in July.
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