SIMI Wines Take Center Stage with Pairings Created by Executive Chef Kolin Vazzoler at Austin Food & Wine Festival 2013

This was a splendid weekend for the crowd-pleasing Austin Food and Wine Festival 2013. A devout following of foodies,wine lovers and culinary aficionados from far and near gathered at Butler Park in Austin to enjoy some of the best cuisine prepared by world-renowned chefs and some of the best wines around!

We were lucky to enjoy two fabulous pairings and elegant SIMI Wines from Sonoma County in Healdsburg, California which were expertly paired with the culinary creations by Executive Chef Kolin Vazzoler of the SIMI Winery Kitchen.
SIMI Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County were the two featured wines that were paired with the culinary creations by Chef Kolin from the Kitchen at SIMI Winery.


..Chef Kolin is the Executive Chef for the SIMI Winery Kitchen located at the SIMI Winery and beginning this Spring you will be able to sip on a glass of sensational Simi wine and enjoy the culinary creations from the kitchen by Chef Kolin Vazzoler.

Simi Winery Visitor Center
16275 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448


Chef Kolin was inspired by his Italian heritage to pursue his passion for a career in the culinary field.
After receiving his culinary diploma from Vancouver Community College, he landed his first job in the industry at a prestigious restaurant in San Francisco. In 2012, he became the Executive Chef at SIMI Winery which has become a perfect match of his culinary brilliance and wine pairings stemming from his deep Italian roots which pairs perfectly with SIMI’s Italian legacy.

SIMI Winery’s Italian heritage dates all the way back to 1876 when two brothers from Italy produced the first wines in Sonoma under the family name which is still growing strong after 135 years. SIMI wines have been producing exquisite wines for a life time of palate pleasures.


Chef Kolin believes the wine should be the star of the pairings!

He is passionate about his job at SIMI Winery and is able to enjoy his life while doing what he loves to do!
This passion is expressed through his amazing pairings. His philosophy on wine pairings is the wine should be front and center while matching the food to wine.

In a restaurant setting, Chef Kolin said that the food is usually considered first when pairing with with wine. At SIMI Kitchen, he is able to let SIMI wines shine by first understanding the wine’s characteristics and then choosing the food that would best complement the wine!
Chef Kolin also believes in the farm to table food movement and knows that starting with the freshest local ingredients is the key to unlocking the freshest flavors of the food to pair with the wines.

The first pairing was the Crispy Chicken Skin,Mushroom Puree,Dried Cherry,Micro Celery and Ginger Salt with Simi Pinot Noir, Sonoma. The Pinot Noir has notes of fresh, concentrated cherry and cranberry fruit ,exotic spice,firm structure and balanced acidity with a touch of earthiness and perfect for a meal of crispy fried chicken or mushroom risotto. You can taste that with this pairing, he matched the wine’s components and characteristics perfectly with the mushroom puree, house-made ginger salt and dried cherries.

I was so impressed by his philosophy of pairing, I am now adopting this method of pairing  too!



The next pairing is SIMI Sauvignon Blanc with Pickled Beets with Rice Wine Vinegar,Shaved Radish,Sunflower Crema and Rye Crumble.
SIMI Sauvignon Blanc is delightfully mouthwatering with bright acidity of freshly zested lemons and grapefruit with juicy tropical and stone fruits flavors and aromas. This wine is clean and crisp and will certainly be my go-to summer wine! Again, Chef Kolin creates a perfect pairing by matching the acidity and fruitiness of the vinegar and earthy freshness of the local produce. And, he balances it all with a creamy Sunflower hummus (crema).



SIMI Representative Tanya Beers and the volunteers are gearing up for a busy day of wine tastings in the SIMI tent!

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Festival attendees were lined up throughout the day to sample SIMI wines and sample Chef Kolin’s creations while learning a bit about wine pairings. There were many happy faces and smiles at the SIMI Wine Tent!



The other SIMI wines to sample were the distinctive and elegant Landslide Cabernet from Alexander Valley and
Russian River  Reserve Chardonnay.
My goal is to drink more SIMI wine and create and share my  pairing creations with other SIMI Wine gems. The wines will shine with my pairings too!
I want to THANK SIMI Winery for choosing me to be included in the amazing wine pairing event and being able to taste some of the finest and most distinguished wines available while interviewing the talented Chef Kolin. SIMI Winery and Wine with Lisa-What a wonderful pairing!



There is no time like the present to plan a visit to SIMI Winery in Sonoma. This summer, the food program will include Friday and Saturday tastings at the Visitors Center. Click here to get details!


2 thoughts on “SIMI Wines Take Center Stage with Pairings Created by Executive Chef Kolin Vazzoler at Austin Food & Wine Festival 2013

  • Hi Lisa,
    Was great pleasure to talk with you at the Austin Food and Wine event! Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to feature Simi on your blog. Great article!!

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