Pig Out: Pigs and Pinot Festival in Healdsburg, March 20 to 21

Looks like SFoodies will find lots to choose from in Sonoma the weekend of March 20, between the Artisanal Cheese Festival that we wrote about in Petaluma, and Charlie Palmer's Fourth Annual Celebration of Pigs and Pinot, a series of dining and educational events hosted by Palmer at the Hotel Healdsburg. (Proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength and the Healdsburg School.)

Friday night from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., at Taste of Pigs and Pinot, you can sample over 50 Pinot Noirs from Sonoma County, accompanied by a dazzling array of pork dishes from such international chefs as Michael Mina of San Francisco, Graham Brown of New Zealond, and Philippe Rispoli of France.

The winner and runner-up of the Pinot Cup tasting judged by an illustrious panel will be announced at the event.

On Saturday, devoted to the "Swine and Wine" seminars, Palmer leads a "Piggy Back" workshop from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., demonstrating how adding a bit of bacon (or prosciutto, or pancetta) can "bump up" the flavor of lean meats.

From 1:00 to 3 p.m., there's a seminar entitled "Ultimate Pinot Smackdown: 16 Pinots, 4 Sommeliers, Only 1 Winner." Each of the four Master Sommeliers (Drew Hendricks, Keith Goldston, William Sherer, and Fred Dame) will present four of their favorite pinots from four different wine regions of the world. You get to taste, spit (or swallow! It's the weekend!) and choose your favorite.

The Saturday night Gala Dinner, alas, is sold out, so we won't tantalize you with the details (but check with the hotel to see if there are cancellations, or any Pigs and Pinot packages held back for Visa Signature cardholders). 

Here's an event where you can do good while eating and drinking to your heart's content -- if not exactly good FOR your heart's content! (Well, the pig part, anyway. The jury's still out on the red wine.)

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