January 16, 2021

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Simply The Best Food

Virtual wine courses, pop-up Good Food shop and 2021 food trends

NAPA

Robinson launches new virtual wine courses

Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson has launched two virtual wine courses, which she’ll teach and curate, that take deep dives into the world’s iconic wine regions and styles.

The eight-session Great Wines Made Simple covers everything from the “big six” wine grapes and winemaking to tasting technique and food and wine pairing. Each one-hour class precedes a Q&A period with Robinson. The class is at 5 p.m. every Wednesday, starting on Jan. 27. It costs $350 for all eight sessions or $50 for one session.

The second course, Great Wines of the World, will run at 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month starting on Feb. 20. The class has been designed with virtual travel in mind and brings students to Champagne, Napa Valley and Bordeaux in the first three sessions. Classes are $65 each. Students also can buy a three-class bundle for $150.

For more information and to reserve, go to andreawine.com/virtualwinecourses

SAN FRANCISCO

Good Food Awards pop-up shop open

A new online marketplace for products that won Good Food Awards will go live on Jan. 25, taking the place of the former Good Food Awards Marketplace at the Fort Mason Center.

You can shop for award-winning sweet and savory pickles and preserves, elixirs and spirits and cheese and charcuterie at shop.goodfoodfnc.org.

If you purchase a view-only ticket for the Good Food Awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 22, you also will get $5 toward your purchase at the pop-up shop through Jan. 31.

Tickets cost $25. To reserve, go to goodfoodfdn.org.

CALIFORNIA

BevMo lists popular beers, wines, spirits of 2020

BevMo, the East Bay-based corporation that sells alcoholic beverages, has looked back over 2020 at the beverage choices people made while sheltering in place.

Sales data for the year reveal that tequila was the top category in spirits (Don Julio was the pacesetter), hard seltzer continued to fly off the shelves (paced by White Claw) and the perennial wine favorite, cabernet sauvignon, was the most popular varietal sold last year.

In the beer aisle, craft beer was the top-selling category, with Petaluma’s Lagunitas IPA leading the way. Margarita mixes were the leading sellers in the “& More” department at BevMo stores in California, Arizona and Washington state.

U.S.

Whole Foods predicts food trends of 2021

From mushroom broth to chickpea bites, here’s a sneak peek at the top 10 flavors and products in food innovation, according to the Trends Council of Whole Foods grocery stores.

“Our annual trends list is a way to pull back the curtain and share our insights on what’s next in the grocery business,” said Dan Epley, vice president of grocery. “I’m particularly excited about the Basics on Fire trend as families stay at home and reinvent how they feed each other.”

1 – Superfoods: The lines will continue to blur between supplement and grocery aisles, with probiotics and broths trending, along with functional ingredients like mushrooms and vitamin C.

2 – Epic breakfast: There are lots of new products tailored to people paying more attention to what they eat in the morning, like sous vide egg bites and even “eggs” made from mung beans.

3 – Basics on fire: Home chefs are looking for hot, new takes on pantry staples like pasta, sauces and spices. Look for re-imagined classics like hearts of palm pasta, applewood-smoked salt and “meaty” vegan soup.

4 – Coffee is everywhere: The love affair between humans and coffee is burning beyond that mug of joe. Java is giving a jolt to all kinds of food, from bars and granola to smoothie boosters and yogurt.

5 – Baby food grows up: There is a wide range of big flavors for little eaters, including on-the-go squeeze pouches full of rhubarb, rosemary, purple carrots and omega-3-rich flax seeds.

6 – Upcycled foods: Chips, chocolates and other snacks made from ingredients that would otherwise have been food waste help to maximize the energy used to produce, transport and prepare that ingredient.

7 – Oil changes: Olive oil is slipping in the skillet and salad dressing. Home cooks are branching out with alternative oils that add their own unique flavor and properties, such as walnut, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed oils.

8 – Boozed-up booch: Hard seltzer burst on the scene in 2018, and now alcoholic kombucha is making a strong flex on the beverage aisle. It’s gluten-free, super-bubbly and can be filled with live probiotic cultures.

9 – Chickpeas are the new cauliflower: The time has come to think beyond hummus and falafel and even chickpea pasta. Rich in fiber and plant-based protein, chickpeas are popping up in products like chickpea tofu, chickpea flour and even chickpea cereal.

10 – Jerky made from fruits and veggies: Jerky isn’t just for meat lovers anymore. Now all kinds of produce, from mushrooms to jackfruit, are being served jerky-style, providing a new, shelf-stable way to enjoy fruits and veggies. ​

For more information, go to bit.ly/2K0YQp6

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or [email protected] On Twitter @dianepete56