COMEDIAN CHEF Food-loving actor and comedian Mario Cantone at the annual Pigs & Pinot event at Hotel Healdsburg. (Photo by Damion Hamilton)

The essential Healdsburg event to see and be seen at this season was undoubtedly the 16th

annual celebration of Pigs & Pinot, which feted hundreds with its unique porcine pairings. 

Hosted by chef and Healdsburg local Charlie Palmer at the Hotel Healdsburg and Dry Creek Kitchen, the event kicked off on Friday evening with an epic scale of pinot noir and pork pairings provided by dozens of wineries and local eateries. 

Among the standouts was Sweet T’s Restaurant & Bar (located in Windsor), which re-imagined traditional nachos with southern flair—pulled pork smothered in a piquant sauce and jalapenos. It paired well with the pinot noirs on offer (though the understandably short pours did little to extinguish the flames emanating from many mouths thanks to the nachos).

The celebratory weekend also offered a series of intimate dining and educational events hosted by chef Palmer himself, as well as the Pinot Cup—an eagerly anticipated blind wine tasting competition. 

This year’s Pinot Cup winner was Papapietro Perry Winery 2020 Peters Vineyard (Russian River Valley, CA). The runner up was Baldassari Family Wines 2019 (Russian River Valley, CA). 

In the event’s more whimsically Ultimate Pinot Smackdown, the Lucia Vineyards 2021 Soberanes Vineyard (Santa Lucia Highlands, CA) wrestled runner up Blue Farm Wines 2019 Anne Katherina Vineyard (Carneros, CA) to victory. Both were represented by master sommelier Michael Jordan.

All net proceeds from Pigs & Pinot benefit Farm to Pantry—an organization that rescues produce on farms and backyards in Sonoma County and shares it with marginalized families—as well as myriad other educational and civic programs, including Healdsburg’s Tuesdays in the Plaza.

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