by: Delayna Fitzgerald

Four regions, five chefs, fresh food and a fiery open flame. Put a cork in your calendar for the much anticipated Amador Four Fires Festival on May 6th, because you’ll never experience wine quite like this. With nearly 200 wines from over 40 wineries ranging from your fruitier zinfandels down to the earthier Syrah’s, this unique event is serving up some of Amador’s most sought after wine varieties. It’s more than likely the tasting of your wine loving dreams.

But hold onto your stems, because this is more than just your run of the mill tasting. Amador’s Four Fires is switching it up by pouring featured varietals in a unique and fiery way.  Event Coordinator Deirdre Mueller was more than ecstatic to explain what makes this event one of a kind.


“We have divided up the wine by varietal regions, that way you’re not just tasting everything from one winery. Instead you taste  varietal next to varietal: Italian, Spanish, Southern France, and what we call Heritage California. That’s partly how the event got the name ‘Amador Four Fires,’” explained Mueller.

So when you attend this distinctive event you can compare  Syrahs to  Syrahs and  Barberas next to  Barberas. If only you could compare everything in one setting to tell which you like best like houses, or boyfriends…


Nonetheless, it’s one thing to be able to taste and appreciate the different varietals a winery may have to offer but it’s certainly an amazing opportunity to have this clever set up so one can truly compare and understand the unique flavors on a deeper level.  And if that wasn’t enough to get all of you wine enthusiasts pretty darn enthused, this event takes it one step further by pairing their tastings with open flame cooking from top-shelf chefs in the area. Talk about fresh!


“We also provide numerous panels and seminars where attendees can hear from and ask questions of the experts and talk to people in the industry from both beer and wine. They can actually walk up and talk to the chefs,” said Mueller.

In fact they’re going to have a panel of experts discussing just food and wine and what exactly to look for. The panels will feature some of the finest food and drink experts in the industry including Sara Schneider from Sunset Magazine, Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast, Robert Bath of the Culinary Institute of America, and even Rick Kushman of “BottleTalk”. Needless to say, a true foodie or wine devotee would be drooling at the opportunity to learn about a proper pairing from these experts.

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As much as this event is a great way for wine aficionados to expand their knowledge of the craft, it’s also a great place to get started. It offers attendees the opportunity to dive in and understand wine styles on a more intimate level especially because winemakers will be  on site to offer knowledge, advice, and information about every zinfandel or barbera that swirls at the bottom of your glass.

“You can meet and greet with the winemakers; the people who are actually growing the grapes and making the wine, so it kind of covers the gamut,” Mueller explained.


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More of a beer drinker? Worry not! New this this year, there will be craft brews poured from Amador Brewing Company and even a beer vs. wine panel. Certainly a conversation starter amongst different palates.

So what’s the hold up? Call your friends, pick your DD’s (ps. Pregnant friends are typically a good choice) and get your tickets! Amador’s Four Fires is bound to be an unforgettable experience with such a unique concept, stimulating information, and certainly some fresh flavors. It’s a very approachable way to get involved and learn about the world of food and wine. See you there!