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Sommeliers get ready to rumble

February 5, 2012 | 10:00 am

SommYou love "Iron Chef," but are you ready for "Iron Sommelier"? Don't laugh; it's actually a pretty cool idea. The Farmhouse restaurant in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley just outside Forestville is running a series of wine dinners in which noted sommeliers will compete at pairing wines with a set menu.

The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant is one of the great inn/restaurant combinations in Northern California. Chef Steve Litke has earned a Michelin star for his cooking, which falls somewhere between Alice Waters' straight-from-the-garden respect for perfect ingredients and Thomas Keller's sophisticated combinations and presentations.

He'll be designing the menus and at each dinner four sommeliers will come up with wine pairings to complement the meal. Diners will then vote for their favorite.

The sommeliers competing are Shelly Lindgren from A16, Yoon Ha from Benu, Eric Railsback from RN74, Desmond Echavarre from the French Laundry, Ian Cauble from the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, Kevin Reilly from Cyrus, Michael Ireland from Meadowood, Emily Wines from the Kimpton Group, and Sur Lucero from Oenotri. The somms will be overseen by Farmhouse wine director Geoff Kruth, himself a master sommelier.

Dinners are scheduled for Feb. 27, March 12, March 26 and April 9. Tickets, including food and wine, are $160 each or $600 for all four dinners.

Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, 7871 River Road, Forestville, (707) 887-3300.

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Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times.

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