Gold Country Cookout: Amador Four Fires

Enjoy flame-savory vittles and local vinos on a pleasant Plymouth Saturday.

ONCE SPRING... is a month or so along, or even close to halfway over, one can start to ask this specific question, at first internally, and then aloud, to all within earshot: Who is hosting the first cookout? For once the crocuses are doing their crocus-y bloom thing, and the baby birds brim with chirp, one rather expects to be invited over to someone's backyard, the better to sip something chilled and butter-hued while awaiting a plate full of saucy, hearty grub. But if your friend with the socializing-ready patio has not seen fit to throw a cookout yet, and it is already well into May, hmm... Time to go further afield. It just so happens that Amador Four Fires has your back, and your cookout-theme interests at heart, too. The wine + culinary to-do will stoke the flavor-smoky wood on...

SATURDAY, MAY 7... at the Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth. This is just a pinch north of Amador City, which is famously (and charmingly) California's smallest incorporated city, at least in terms of area. That right there should lend the lark in Plymouth some cozy, small-town-o-sity, so even if you only know the people you arrive with, you should sense the laid-back spirit of the affair. The "Four Fires" are representative of a quartet of regions -- Heritage California, the Iberian Peninsula, Southern France, and Italy -- and "(n)early 200 wines" will be on the pour, with plenty from the many surrounding vineyards that the region has become known for in recent years. It's the "anti-thesis of a hoity-toity event," says a rep, which is a relief, since no cookout ever should get the hoity-toity label. Cost? Eighty five dollars at the door, and your designated driver is $70. Do you know your Gold Country vinos? And eats? Is it time you brushed up, with the added benefit of finally getting that spring cookout you've craved? Oh, it's on.

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