Wydown Hotel
St. Helena Shops and Stops
March 8, 2018

bASH Food & Wine Pairing Event

bASH Wines Lineup

Wine Math

(Wine + Food) x 30 = bASH.

Saywhatnow? Bear with me as I explain this equation…

The bASH Food Pairing & Wine Tasting Competition is “a celebration of St. Helena and its tradition of fine wine and great food.” It’s an annual event hosted by Appellation St. Helena (the ASH in bASH) and held in the barrel room at the Culinary Institute of America. And I’m pretty sure you’ll want this on your radar as well as your calendar.

bASH Charles Krug Team

I’ll get into more details below, but if you’re the “TL;DR” type, here’s the gist of it:

  • There are 30 teams.
  • Each team consists of a winery/wine from the St. Helena appellation, and either a professional local chef OR a student chef team from the Culinary Institute.
  • You visit each team to taste and consider each pairing and, as each guest is a judge, you cast your vote for your favorite pairings. At the end of the event, the winners of each category are announced.
  • Finally, cross your fingers to win the wine raffle for yourself.

Really, you can’t go wrong with any of that, can you?

bASH Raymond Wine Team

Yes, I’ve simplified it, but know that it really is a unique Napa Valley event — one that people travel from far and wide to attend. For good reason too, because the venue is the historic and majestic Greystone building, and each participating winery is showcasing a wine that will pair perfectly with the food crafted by their teammates.

bASH Prager Team
Photo courtesy of bASH

About that food, I’d suggest fasting for a few hours beforehand. There are 30 paired dishes and you certainly don’t want to be too full to taste them all. Not often do you get the opportunity to sample creations from talented and renowned chefs. The student chefs in particular demonstrate their passion, creativity and skills delivering interesting and delicious bites in hopes of garnering your vote.

Flora Springs bASH
Photo courtesy of bASH  

2018 bASH winners

So who won this year? Though competition was fierce, these two teams won the blue ribbons:

Student Team Winners: Del Dotto Vineyards, St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon; Student Chefs David Ju and Chase Evans
(Steamed Bao Buns with Braised Beef Cheeks, Shallot Aioli and Spring Vegetables)

Professional team winners: Beringer Vineyards, 2012 St. Helena Home Cabernet Sauvignon; Professional Chef Chris Cosentino from Acacia House
(Oxtail Toast, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Wild Fennel)

Del Dotto bASH Team Winners
Photo courtesy of bASH  

Not only is bASH an outstanding experience on it’s own, but the cost of a ticket to this sell-out event is what you might pay for about 2 or 3 single winery tastings — yet this experience comes with gourmet food and a lively atmosphere as well as the wine.

Does my math make sense now?

(Wine + Food) x 30 = bASH

Thank you to Appellation St. Helena for inviting me to experience bASH 2018. While my tickets were complimentary, all opinions here and on social media are my own. 


Ice Cube Says:

Chickity-check yo’ self
before you wreck yo’ self.
With this.



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