By Stephen Langsam
Once again Napa provides the ultimate start to summer with BottleRock. The festival that fuses together local culinary masters, vibrant sounds of music and the never ending flow of beverages is just the top of the iceberg in what happens at BottleRock year in and year at the Napa Expo.
The acts that graced the Jam Cellars Stage and the Firefox Stage this year were tuned perfectly from spring to summer. With lyrical heavyweight Logic, and crowd pleasers Imagine Dragons Friday night was a great first day to the festival. On Saturday Neil Young laid down the rock’n’roll while every got “happy” when Pharrell took the stage on Saturday. Closing out the headliners on Sunday was local legend Santana and another huge draw in Mumford & Sons. But BottleRock wasn’t just about the headliners, there were so many other amazing acts out there like a silent disco set from Paul Oakenfold, a late afternoon jam with Sylvan Esso, a smoke session with Cypress Hill and a nice relaxing set for the people with Michael Franti & Spearhead, who made their annual appearance at the festival.
But what the festival is all about comes together on the William Sonoma Culinary Stage. Music and food intertwined. This year Iron Chef Morimoto chopped up and plated out an over 200 lb. tuna with help from some of the worlds best sumo wrestlers to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Local favorite from Green Day, Tre Cool, hit the stage with culinary magician Richard Blais, later San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice teamed up with Trisha Yearwood. But the fun wasn’t done there, Sunday comedian and Jazz musician Jeff Goldblum rapped with Adam Richman and Bay Area artist Too $hort before the another Guinness Book of World Records attempt was made by Andrew Zimmen and Alice Cooper as the final act at this stage for the weekend. Those rubber chickens flew, thanks Alice.
The selection of drinks and food this year were second to none. It truly wouldn’t be Bottle Rock in Napa if the festival didn’t give you more than 25 choices of vintners who were all pouring some select favorites from Chardonnay to Rose slushies to Zinfandels. The Culinary Garden once again has food selections that were as different as the music from the three days. kobe feef corndogs, crab roll sandwiches, paella, ribs, tri tip and sushi just to name a few. The variety of food was amazing and it was one of my personal favorite things to see.
BottleRock will be back again next year and the tickets are sure to sell out like they have every year. Make sure to watch for the presale that will happen on the BottleRock website.
Until next year Napa.