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Archive for the category “Just The Facts Ma’am”

It’s all about the Chardonnay baybee!

Chardonnay Symposium

 

The Chardonnay Symposium is the sister event to the Cabs of Distinction, and is equally awesome. The 2016 event yet again did not disappoint. We were able to pick from a list of several different great seminars, thankfully some were similar to those I went to last year, so I was able to attend other ones that also interested me. The 2 seminars I chose were the Wente Clone Comparative Tasting, and the Hone Your Chardonnay Blind-Tasting Skills but I also got to attend the Pét-Nat Sparkling Wine & Oysters Gala, La Paulée Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony (thanks to my date Glenn from Adelaida), and of course the Saturday Grand Tasting. Read more…

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Wine and Fire, Ha-cha-cha-cha…

Wine and Fire Santa Rita Hills

Sometimes one needs to step away from the familiar of one’s immediate surroundings and spend some time exploring areas that are close but oft forgotten. So when the opportunity came up to go to Wine and Fire put on by the Santa Rita Hills Wine Alliance and region, located about an hour south of us, in Lompoc, it was a no brainer. First it helped get my bearings as I was always confusing Santa Lucia Highlands (north in Monterey County) and Santa Rita Hills (south in Santa Barbara County) with each other. Aside from the directional confusion, I realized that the Highlands focus more on Bordeaux and Southern Rhone with some Burgundian varietals thrown in, where as the Hills focus on Burgundian and Northern Rhone varietals with a little Bordeaux thrown into the mix. Read more…

The Cabs are Back in Town

Cab Collective 2016

It’s that time of year again and one of my favorite educational red wine events is back. Every year I think the Paso Robles Cab Collective (PRCC) Cabs of Distinction, can’t get better and every year I’m wrong! This year actually blew my mind. This year though it was a smaller, more intimate event and held at the new and stunningly beautiful Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles. Aside from the En Primeur & Current Vintage Tasting there were 3 separate seminars. The first “The other Cabernet” a discussion on Cab Franc was hosted by CIA instructor and Master Sommelier Bob Bath, the second “Know Your Cab Clones” about the clonal varieties and the third and final which was the real mind blower was the “Judgement of Paso” a play on the 1976 Judgement of Paris wine tasting. Read more…

Wine Touring 101

 

The 101 Wine Tours, Media Tour

This is going to be one of my longer posts because the tour I went on was so choc-o-bloc full of incredible tastings and things to do! My day started by meeting up with Laura of 101 Wine Tours for an invitation only Media Tour at their office in Arroyo Grande. Scott was our driver and Laura our tour guide/Sommelier. Other members of the media Kathy and Photographers Amy and Donny from Tolosa Press also met up with us, and we all climbed aboard the 11-passenger Mercedes Sprinter Van. We headed over to the Madonna Plaza and picked up the rest of our group Haley of New Times and Edible SLO, Sally from The Tribune, and winemaker Adam from Center of Effort Winery and then, we were off. Traveling up the coast toward Paso Robles, the landscape after rain bursts with emerald vine-covered hills, rolling down to meet the smokey sapphire colored ocean, providing views almost too spectacular to describe.  Read more…

Nougatine is a NO GO!!

Nougatine

Doug and I have had some wonderful dining experiences at some amazing restaurants around the world; this however was not one of them. It takes a lot for me to write a negative review, I mean…A LOT! Since we started this blog we’ve never written what I would call a “bad review”. We might’ve said this or that could have been done differently or something to that affect, or this may not be for everyone; but we have never said…our experience was bad or disappointing. We tend to be very lenient because we know how things can sometimes just not go as expected and often will try a place 2 or 3 times before writing about it, just to make sure we’ve been fair.  However when one is going to a restaurant owned by a 3 Michelin Star Chef and is on it’s way to it’s first Michelin Star, one doesn’t expect to have to write something negative about the experience, or feel like crying as a result. Read more…

Just Breakaway and Distill!

Distillery Tour

Pismo Beach

Aside from the stunning beauty, incredible wineries and breweries on the Central Coast, now we have a distillery trail! Our distillery trail is made up of 5 different distilleries: WineShine, Krobar, Red Soles Stillhouse, Re:Find, and Pendray’s Distillery, and it’s growing. Until recently I’d only been to WineShine, but a few weeks ago I went on a media distillery tour with BreakAway Tours to there and 2 other great distilleries, Re:find and Krobar. Read more…

New Year…New Brew!

SLO Brew luncheon

Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope yours started well.  Mine started with a lovely luncheon in the old SLO Brew building to introduce us to the new plans and a tour of the new SLO Brew space in the historic Carissa Building. The SLO Brew has been a staple on the Central Coast since 1988, and was one of the very first micro breweries in the U.S., it’s been a restaurant, brewery and concert venue ever since. At its peak it produced 30,000 barrels of various beers and was distributed to 39 states. As with all things in life the Brew has to grow and evolve, so now it has new owners and is in the middle of a re-brand and expansion. Read more…

A Heavenly Emporium Experience

Heavenly Emporium

I had the good fortune of attending an awesome brownie and wine pairing evening at the Grape Emporium owned by David and Annie Wilson in Atascadero and Heavenly Squared Brownie Company. You may remember I’ve written about David before as he was my Greek Ambassador counterpart, and I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed on his radio program on several occasions. The thing about doing a tasting event like this at the Grape Emporium, is that David is a brilliant mad scientist when it comes to blending various wines and creating something all together new, which is an unusual experience in any wine shop. Read more…

Shine ON!

I had the privilege and honor to go up to WineShine winery (distillery), with 101winetours and the Corkdorks while they taped their radio show. It’s located in an industrial area called “Tin City” where a bunch of boutique wineries, breweries, and a distillery-WineShine got together and created an artisan community for those of us who lean toward the spirituous persuasion. Read more…

My Greek Odyssey- Beta

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

Restaurant at Sounion (with the blue roof)

After leaving Lantides winery and Peloponnese; we went back to Athens and had an amazing day with Michael’s uncle who took us to Cape Sounion where the Temple of Poseidon is. Going to the Temple was probably one of the most spectacular and spiritual places I’ve ever been. Because it takes a bit of a drive to get there since it is about 40 miles east of Athens, at the southernmost point of Attica, the temple isn’t overrun with tourists like the Parthenon and Acropolis were. Read more…

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