World Premiere of “SOMM” & More

One of the featured sommelier candidates from "SOMM.'' (Still courtesy of the filmmakers)

An Insider’s Look at the Rigorous Master Sommelier Exam

Anyone who’s a fan of wine will be drawn to the new documentary, “SOMM,” which will hold its world premiere Nov. 7 at the 2nd annual Napa Valley Film Festival at the Napa Valley Opera House.

The Master Sommelier exam is one of the most grueling around. Fewer than 200 people around the world have passed it. The film by Jason Wise follows four people as they prepare for the examination.

Bay Area folks will recognize some familiar faces in the film, including Chef Michael Mina, Sommelier Rajat Parr, Winemaker Bo Barrett, wine legend Fred Dame and Master Sommelier Reggie Narito.

Another candidate opening a bottle of Beaujolais. (Still courtesy of the filmmakers)

The filmmaker will be on hand at the fest, as well as the featured sommeliers. They also will be guests at the gala at Robert Mondavi Winery on Nov. 8.

Single-day passes are $50 to $60; a festival pass for five days of access, Nov. 7-11, is $250. A $500 Pass Plus gets you five days of screenings, plus access to the gala and wrap parties.

For a taste of what the film is all about, take a peek at the trailer: SOMM

Forget the Popcorn, Enjoy Italian Food Instead at Redd Wood

To tie in with the Napa Valley Film Festival, Redd Wood in Yountville will be featuring its rendition of the famous timpano from the classic film, “Big Night.”

The timpano di macceroni, a huge domed pie of baked pasta, meatballs, sausages and tomato sauce, will be available during the entire run of the festival, Nov. 6-11.

If you miss out on that, you can still enjoy “Spaghetti and Meatballs Mondays,” which will be held every Monday through December.

For $25 per person, enjoy a glass of wine, a chopped salad, oven-roasted, veal-pork-beef meatballs over spaghetti, and cannoli for dessert.

New PopChips Tortilla Chips (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Winner of the PopChips Contest

In last week’s Food Gal contest, I asked you to tell me a place or setting you’d most want to “pop” into — and why. Best answer wins 12 coupons for 12 free bags of PopChips or PopChips Tortilla Chips.

Congrats to:

Anna S., who wrote, “I LOVE Pop Chips!! I would pop back about a year and spend so much more time with my Nana, who passed away this summer. She was such an incredible woman and I moved far away and didn’t get to see her much and didn’t get to go to her funeral.”

Update: After repeated attempts over several weeks to reach Anna S. with no luck, I will be awarding the 12 PopChips coupons to the runner-up instead. Congrats to Amy Tong, who wrote, “The place I most wanted to “pop” into would be Maldives, where my hubby and I spent a week on our honeymoon. In Maldives, we only see the most beautiful white sand beaches, feel the breeze blow into our hair, indulge in gourmet dining, basically, do absolutely nothing all day long except enjoying life and each other’s company. Oh well, we hardly even get a date night after we have kids. LOL…We definitely need some time off or a vacation soon. Especially with our wedding anniversary coming up this week.”

More: My Lunch at Redd Wood

And: Learning About Wine From a Master Sommelier

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  • Hello Carolyn,
    I stumbled upon your website by accident but I am so glad that I landed here. I have heard a lot of about you in the blogging world and I am so glad to have connected with you through your space. I will back often to check your articles.

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