All Public Events

2019 bASH Food Pairing & Wine Tasting Competition Results

Saturday March 30, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Culinary Institute of America
2555 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574

Appellation St. Helena (ASH) will host bASH, our annual wine and food pairing competition on Saturday, March 30th from 6:00 to 8:30pm.

The event will be held again in the historic barrel room at  the Culinary Institute of America. You will visit tasting stations where  the wines from over 30 ASH wineries will be paired with savory bites  prepared by ‘Rising Star’ students, as well as by esteemed winery chefs and St. Helena restaurants. Attendees serve as judges, tasting each combination and voting on their favorites throughout the evening.  

We have assembled a team of judges who are industry professionals to taste through all of the pairings, and rate them on three criteria –  Pairing, Taste, and Creativity – and they will be selecting recipients  for the CRITIC'S CHOICE - BEST PAIRING awards. This year's professional panel is composed of:

Susie Heller

Originally the owner of a restaurant and catering company, Susie Heller’s career took a turn into food media after meeting Jacques Pépin, Thomas Keller and Julia Child in the 1980s. She has produced and co-authored over a dozen cookbooks, including The French Laundry Cookbook and four others with Thomas Keller, as well as some works with Jacques Pépin, Tony Gemignani, Mourad Lahlou, Michel Richard, Scharffenberger Chocolate and a Short Stack Books. Her work across publishing and television has garnered her recognition by the James Beard Awards, International Association of Culinary Professionals, Emmy Awards and New York Times: Best Seller List.

 Leslie Sbrocco

An award-­winning author, speaker, consultant, and television host, Leslie Sbrocco is known for her entertaining approach to wine and food, as well as inspiring others to live a life of passion. Voted as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the American wine business, Sbrocco’s engaging personality, humor, and ability to connect with the audience – whether on screen or on stage – are her trademarks. As host of the PBS restaurant review series Check Please! Sbrocco has won a coveted James Beard award, three Taste Awards, and three Emmy awards in the span of 10 seasons on air.  She appears frequently on national television and in print outlets, has worked with a long list of corporate clients, and founded the multi-media company, Thirsty Girl LLC.

 Virginie Boone

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone has been with Wine Enthusiast since 2010, where she reviews and reports on the wines of Napa and Sonoma. Sonoma-based Boone began her writing career in 1997 with Lonely Planet travel guidebooks, contributing to titles on South America, Northern California, France and America's Deep South. Travel assignments led her to California-focused wine coverage, including regular features for the New York Times regional newspaper Santa Rosa Press Democrat, for which Boone has been a contributing wine writer for several years. She is also the author of Napa Valley and Sonoma: Heart of California Wine Country, and a regular panelist and speaker on wine topics in California and beyond.

Christopher Sawyer, MS

Christopher Sawyer is an internationally-renowned sommelier, wine educator, journalist, consultant, critic and public speaker. He travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a VIP judge in the world’s top wine competitions, and has been featured in a wide range of national media, including USAToday, MSN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Redbook, The Hollywood Reporter, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, CNN and Esquire. Known for his encyclopedic wine knowledge and rich wine industry relationships around the globe, Sawyer has been a personal sommelier for an array of luminaries and aficionados, from the Getty Family to the Gorbachevs, as well as for Oscar-winning director and chief creative officer of Pixar-Disney Animation Studios, John Lasseter.

 Soleil Ho

A nationally recognized food journalist and trained chef, Soleil Ho, recently joined the San Francisco Chronicle as their restaurant critic. Ho is known for her insightful, thought-provoking commentary and deep culinary knowledge. Her influential writing has appeared in national publications such as The New Yorker, GQ and Eater, and she has gained a following with her podcast, Racist Sandwich, that explores the lines between race, class and gender. Additionally, she is the co-writer of Meal, a graphic novel, and has received a Southern Foodways Alliance Smith Symposium Fellowship and a UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship.

You, as an attendee, will also vote with your tokens, and we will  be awarding the top three student teams, plus a professional team the  PEOPLE'S CHOICE BEST PAIRING. Sip, Savor and VOTE!

Attendance is limited to 300 people and all guests must be 21 or  older. Buy your tickets now before they sell out and we look forward to  seeing you there!

Below are the professional and student team winners for 2018.

Professional Team Winners

First Place: Beringer Vineyards, 2012 St. Helena Home Cabernet Sauvignon, with Acacia House by Chris Cosentino (Oxtail Toast, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Wild Fennel)

Second Place: Ehlers Estate 2015 “1886” Cabernet Sauvignon, with Goose & Gander (Braised Lamb Neck and Candy Cap Mole, Steamed bun, Benne salad, Lemon Crema)

Third Place – Charles Krug Winery 2016 Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc, with Estate Chef Daryl Muromoto (Braised Pork Ciccioli Crostini, Estate Citrus Marmellata)

Student Team Winners

First Place: Del Dotto Vineyards, St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon, students David Ju and Chase Evans (Steamed Bao Buns with Braised Beef Cheeks, Shallot Aioli and Spring Vegetables)  

Second Place: Parry Cellars, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, students Sean Smith and Reilly Brown (Ancho Beef Taco with Charred Salsa and Escabeche)  

Third Place: Rombauer Vineyards, 2014 Stice Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, students Allison Komara and Nina Widjaja (Korean Beef Short Ribs "Galbi Jjim")

Fourth Place: Pellet Estate, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard, students Brandon Matthews and Carlos Ramires (Cornet of Red Wine Braised Kobe Beef, Creamy Polenta, with Morel and Black Truffle)

Fifth Place: Ballentine Vineyards, 2016 Maple Station White Blend, students Cameron Hassell and Nicolas Stogsdill ("Wanna Wonton")

CIA Director’s award for Excellence in Creativity and Innovation:  Chase Cellars (2017 Zinfandel Rose, Hayne Vineyard), students Charles Fulbright and Conner Black ("Saturday Special")


Saturday March 30, 2019

6:00pm - 8:30pm


Culinary Institute of America
2555 Main Street, St. Helena

(707) 976-1100