Congratulations to the 2016 Glorious Bites Challenge Grand Prize Winner Chera Little

View Winning Recipe



  • Diane WilliamsTriple "B" Won Tons Beef, Blue Cheese, & Bacon

  • View Recipe



  • Chera LittleMiso-Maple Glazed Cod Wonton-Cho's
    with Crispy Bok Choy Slaw

  • View Recipe

Thank you

Thank you for your interest in the Gloria Ferrer Glorious Bites Challenge. Our 2016 competition garnered so many delicious appetizer recipes from across the country!

After three Regional Semi-Final Cook-Offs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Austin, followed by the National Finals at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma, Chera Little's Miso-Maple Glazed Cod Wonton-Cho's with Crispy Bok Choy Slaw was crowned the Grand-Prize Winner!

If you have a signature recipe for the perfect bite to pair with Gloria Ferrer's Sonoma Brut, please check back in the Spring of 2017 for details on how to enter next year's competition.

For inspiration, please explore the Glorious Bites Challenge website to download the top recipes, and view pictures from this year's events.


This years events were so much fun! Here are a few memorable moments.

LOS ANGELES, CA Friday, September 16, 2016 View
WASHINGTON, DC Thursday, September 22, 2016 View
AUSTIN, TX Saturday, September 24, 2016 View
Sonoma, CA Saturday, October 15, 2016 View

About the Challenge

Gloria Ferrer is on a mission to find the most glorious appetizer in the country. With the help of four expert foodies, we’re coming to a city near you in search of an appetizer that pairs perfectly with our Sonoma Brut. So channel your inner-foodie and submit your signature appetizer recipe!

All recipes will be reviewed by a panel of experts to select the top three in each region based on:

  • 1. Originality
  • 2. Perceived taste appeal
  • 3. Perceived wine paring with Sonoma Brut

Regional finalists will participate in a series of live cook-offs that will culminate at the National Finals at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma, CA on October 15, 2016.

One Grand prize winner will win the 2016 Glorious Bites Challenge and go home with $5,000.


Regional Events

608 Mateo Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Friday, September 16, 2016 Buy Tickets
1369 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Thursday, September 22, 2016 Buy Tickets
2921 E 17th St
Austin, TX 78702

Saturday, September 24, 2016 Buy Tickets

Finals Event

Sonoma, CA October 2016 GLORIA FERRER CAVES & VINEYARDS Saturday, October 15, 2016 Buy Tickets


Nycci Nellis is a mother of five; a foodie born and bred; founder and publisher of (The List), referred to by the Washington Post as "one of the DC area's premier resources for information about all things food and wine in DC and beyond" for more than 36,000 subscribers. Nycci is also the co-host of Foodie and the Beast (along with her husband, David), DC's only food and wine variety radio show featuring the who's who of today's culinary landscape. Additionally, you can hear Nycci regularly weekly on WTOP radio (103.5 FM), America's top revenue grossing FM station, among many other regular, TV guest spot appearances during the year. Nycci previously spent more than a year as the local, "Fox 5 Foodie" and has appeared on the Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie with James Beard Award-winning chef Michel Richard.

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Sara Deseran

Sara Deseran is a longtime San Francisco-based food writer and the editor-at-large for San Francisco magazine. Her work is regularly selected for the annual Best Food Writing anthology and she's worked as a James Beard Foundation cookbook judge. While contributing to magazines such as Saveur, Women's Health, and C magazine, Sara has published four cookbooks, most recently Tacolicious (Ten Speed Press). The latter is no coincidence. Today, on top of writing, Sara works as the Director of Marketing and Branding for Tacolicious, the growing, SF-based restaurant group she co-owns with her husband Joe Hargrave.

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Linda Nguyen is addicted to travel and delicious bites and sips. She shares her adventures in travel and cuisine on her food blog Girl Eats World and has been doing so since 2009. Her favorite social media platform is instagram. Currently she serves on the board of Austin Food Bloggers Alliance as their social chair. She has been living in Austin since 2001 and enjoys watching her city grow and mature. 

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Stuart is an Irish celebrity chef, food writer and TV personality best known for his appearances on Food Network’s Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Talk and his AOL series Kitchen Daily 101. His recent cookbook "The Quick Six Fix,” which focuses recipes that consist of 6 Ingredients, 6 Minute Prep and 6 Minute Cleanup published by Harper Collins, went to an Amazon #1 best seller in the first week.

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Wine Pairing Tips

Sonoma Brut conveys all of the characteristics of an exceptional sparkling wine: scores of miniscule bubbles, aromatic complexity, and more importantly – elegance. It pairs perfectly with an infinite number of flavor combinations and textures, from salty to smoky to rich and spicy. Some suggested flavor profiles include:

  • Pan-pacific
  • Spicy
  • Deep-fried
  • Seafood
  • Rich textures
  • Salty
  • Acid/tart
  • White meats

Click “wine pairing tips” below for straightforward pairing suggestion tips and sparkling wine pairing rationale.

2015 Glorious Bites
Grand prize winner

Donna Wolfe, a reference librarian from Hamilton, New Jersey, won Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards 2015 Glorious Bites Competition and earned bragging rights, a custom glass trophy and a check for $5,000. Her Fried Lobster & Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Sweet Thai Chili Dipping Sauce was deemed 2015’s most glorious appetizer recipe in the country to pair with Gloria Ferrer’s sparkling wine: Sonoma Brut. After the announcement that she was the winner, Wolfe exclaimed, “I am so amazed. There was some incredible competition.”

Wolfe’s recipe rose to the forefront, bringing her to the semi-finals and ultimately to the winner’s circle. “Donna’s appetizer was not only the perfect pairing for the Sonoma Brut, but a perfect bite of food in general. It was crisp and flavorful, yet delicate. She so impressed me with her talent, composure and attention to detail,” said Top Chef Season Ten Star Brooke Williamson. “As a sommelier, I felt the vibrant flavors and delicate nature of this tasty bite really complemented the crisp texture and creamy bubbles in the Sonoma Brut,” said Sommelier and Judge Christopher Sawyer. “Overall, an elegant, sexy, and rewarding creation!” Judges Michelle Heston, Regional Director of PR and Marketing Communications for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and Sondra Bernstein, Proprietor of the girl & the fig and ESTATE in Sonoma & the fig cafe & winebar, echoed these sentiments.

Wolfe’s inspiration for the dish, in part, came during a trip to Washington, D.C. “I had immediately thought of using lobster in my recipe submission, because it is so luxurious and would go with the sparkling wine. But while dining out during this trip, I tasted the most delicate and delicious fried squash blossoms and that’s when I realized I wanted to combine those flavors and textures to create something original.”

View and download Donna’s 2015 winning recipe and the others here.

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Your recipe has been received and submitted into a review process to ensure that it complies with the Official Rules.

You will receive a confirmation email at the email address you supplied on the registration form.  If your recipe complies with the Official Rules, this confirmation email will state that your submission has been accepted as an approved entry into the contest. If your recipe is not accepted as an approved entry, the email will detail the reasons why your recipe was declined and you will be given the opportunity to resubmit your recipe before entry period closes on 8/31/16.