If it’s Memorial Day weekend in the Napa Valley, then it’s time for BottleRock, the three-day music, food, wine, and brew festival. The first taste of the summer festival season begins with BottleRock presented by JaM Cellars and taking place at the Napa fairgrounds.
Move over Muse, Snoop Dog, and The Killers; there’s more to BottleRock than the all-star lineup of musicians who graced four of the five stages which began at noon on the Friday before Memorial Day and ended on Sunday at 10 pm with Bruno Mars bringing down the house with a two-hour set.
It’s not just millennials who attend BottleRock. As experiences are becoming the new luxury, many 40-65-year-olds arrived channeling their stadium concert past following mainstays like Earth Wind & Fire while discovering new headliners such as the likes of Halsey, The Struts, and The Chainsmokers while further discovering lesser known acts rocker Tommy Odetto and country crooner Matt Maeson.
What separates BottleRock from the other summer music galas that take place from June through September is that you’re in epicurean Disneyland for refined adults in the Napa Valley, and this concert weekend includes the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage.
The culinary lineup brings together celebrity chefs with musicians, athletes, and other celebrities. Where else but at Napa Valley’s BottleRock might you find unusual and entertaining pairings like Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto providing tutelage to rapper Snoop Dog on the art of rolling sushi? That happened at BottleRock in 2017.
Some of the highlights from BottleRock 2018’s star-studded chef lineup included: Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network along with singer and songwriter Halsey who left the culinary stage for her set on the main JaM Cellars Stage.
Once again athletes were prominently featured with clever acts like Chef Morimoto, himself an ex-minor league baseball player in Japan teaming up with baseball legends Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. Hilarious comedian George Lopez mingled alongside celebrated Chef Charlie Palmer who brought along NFL Hall of Famers Ronnie Lott and Charles Woodson. “Corn tortillas for tacos, flour for burritos,” mentioned Lopez when asked about his favorite tortilla.
Three of the Harlem Globetrotters joined country singer and southern cook Tricia Yearwood on stage. Duff Goldman, Food Network’s star of “Ace of Cakes paired with three-time Olympic Gold Medalist snowboarder Shaun White who mentioned, “I look forward to the food as much as I look forward to the music!”
The highlight of the culinary stage was the collaboration of “Top Chef” winner Michael Voltaggio with west coast rappers Snoop Dog and Warren G while setting a new Guinness World Record by creating the world’s largest “paradise cocktail.” The concoction was named “Gin and Juice” after Snoop Dog’s hit from his chart-topping debut album “Doggystlye.”
A Guinness representative was on hand to first taste the concoction for authenticity then hand out the award. According to Guinness, the 132-gallon “gin and juice” creation included 180 bottles of gin; 154 bottles of apricot brandy, just for a tropical vibe; and 38 pitchers of orange juice – all poured into a specially made glass larger than Snoop and the gang. To make sure that the remedy indeed had a Hawaiian or Caribbean feel an umbrella alongside a giant straw added to the drink for good measure.
Another highlight of the music and food lovers’ event was the Samsung Chef Collection Experience where local James Beard Foundation Award-Winner and Executive Chef Christopher Kostow of Charter Oak Restaurant in St. Helena dazzled guests with his cooking demonstrations. Samsung’s new Chef Collection was on display for an exclusive viewing.
Rest assured that no one went hungry or thirsty while enjoying all of the festivities at BottleRock 2018. There was every food and drink option imaginable around every corner to nosh between music acts and cooking displays.
More than 70 restaurants and food trucks were onsite serving everything from crab fries to grilled cheese to smokin’ BBQ, and just about everything in between, along with wine and beer poured by dozens of vintners and nearby breweries.
Some of the famous Napa Valley eateries dishing up great grub included: Mustards Grill, Bouchon Bakery, Bounty Hunter, Farm at Carneros, Brix Restaurant, Kara’s Cupcakes, Cole’s Chop House, Oenotri, Torq, Tarla, and of course Morimoto.
There were simply too many “Only at BottleRock” moments to count. See you in the Napa Valley over Memorial Day Weekend for BottleRock 2019.