August 6, 2012
Wine and food will star at two tasting events on Aug. 18

Two wine-and-food extravaganzas are approaching fast, both of them Aug. 18, but it will be easy to catch one and then drive to the other.

We're talking about the 17th annual Grape & Gourmet, and the 14th annual Off to the Races.

Grape & Gourmet will feature pours (and sales) from the 200 wineries that won medals in the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. They include Wise Villa, Ciotti Cellars and Secret Ravine.

Plus, look for award-winning beers from the fair's Commercial Craft Brew Competition, and award-winning cheeses from the fair's cheese competition. Also, nosh on samples from 20 area restaurants, among them Paul Martin's American Bistro, the Porch and Pizza Rock.

The results of the fair's wine competition are in California Wine magazine, which will be available at the event and in SaveMart stores soon.

Grape & Gourmet will be 3 to 6 p.m. in Buildings A and B at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Online group sales of 10 or more are $35 per person. To buy tickets and get more information: (916) 263-3636,

Proceeds will benefit the Friends of the California State Fair's scholarship program.

After Grape & Gourmet, set your sights on Off to the Races, a fund-raising food- and wine-tasting.

Line up for hors d'oeuvres from nine area restaurants, including Ruth's Chris, Roxy and Fabian's Italian Bistro. Then enjoy pours of red, white and rose from seven wineries, among them Napa Cellars, St. Supéry and the Hess Collection.

Off to the Races will be emceed by KCRA news anchor Edie Lambert. Accompanying will be live entertainment from Suzuki Music Association, six-time Ellly Award-winning El Dorado Musical Theatre, and guitarist Sean O'Conner.

The event will be 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the courtyard at Pavilions center on Fair Oaks Boulevard (east of Howe Avenue), Sacramento. Tickets are $40 at the door or in advance at (916) 933-4056.

Off to the Races is the kickoff event for the 14th annual Race for the Arts. Race registration starts at 7 a.m., with the first run-walk at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 25 at William Land Park. Both "Race" events benefit arts groups and arts programs throughout California.

For more information:

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