4 August Food + Wine Events Feature Ventura, Santa Barbara County Wines


I don’t know about you, but I enjoy wine the most when it is paired with food –and when the pairing works.

I love how a food can bring something special out in a wine and vice versa.

One of the questions I get asked most (after what is my favorite wine!) is how do you know what wine to pair with food.

The best way is to experiment. But I get it — that can be scary and pricey. Not everyone is willing to open up a couple of $15-50 bottles to see what works!

11781865_710750235695717_1513011249069577063_nA great way to experience great wine and food pairs is by attending winemaker dinners, and in Ventura County, there are three great ones coming up this month. Details follow.

And if you can’t attend a dinner like this, you CAN learn a lot by studying the menu! What do the experts pair with what? You’ll notice trends, for example, duck with Pinot noir; however, I’ve found that I generally prefer duck with syrah, so you still need to experiment!

For something completely different, head to the Ventura County Fair on Tuesday August 11 from 5-7pm Continue reading

Cheers to Finger Lakes Month May 2015 with Fox Run Blanc de Blancs!


May is the annual Finger Lakes Month, and so  with my spring semester grades turned in, it seemed like time to celebrate!  We opened a 2011 Blanc de Blancs from Fox Run Vineyards that I received as a sample.

Established in 1990 in a former dairy, Fox Run is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.  Continue reading

Drink with a purpose with Baron Cooper for Chardonnay Day May 21

Did you know that May 21 is Chardonnay Day? If you read this blog regularly, you probably do; here’s last year’s post where Helen and I traveled to various wineries in Ventura County.

Did you know that May is National Pet Month? And do you have any idea how many pets are waiting at shelters for HOMES?


Our rescue kitty, Ginger, with a number of bottles of Chardonnay May 2014.

I do! Since I was in second grade, I have been rescuing cats Continue reading

Happy Sauvignon Blanc Day! A toast with wine from SB County!


Happy International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2015!

Because this is a weekend to celebrate all wines Santa Barbara County, what with the 33rd annual Vintners Fest in Buellton tomorrow and all, it seemed most appropriate I opened a Sauvignon Blanc made from grapes grown in Santa Barbara County, specifically a 2010 from The Ojai Vineyard from the Santa Ynez Valley’s McGinley Vineyard located in the far eastern end of the valley, east of Los Olivos almost to Lake Cachuma. Continue reading

Happy Earth Day! France Comes to LA: Bordeaux 4/23 + Loire 4/30


Happy Earth Day!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I think wine is one of the best ways for people to come to care about climate and the planet. As global warming effects become more and more apparent around the globe, it starts to impact vineyards–what grows where and when is going to change.

This may mean that some regions will no longer be able to grow grapes or make wine. And that other areas previously too cold or lacking in one way or another may become the next century’s great grape growing region.

As people discover the magic of terroir –how a particular place is expressed in a wine– they will see how climate has an impact on the wine production in the region.

One of the best ways to get to know the wines of a region, short of traveling there personally, is to attend a tasting where you can bombard your taste buds with wine grown in a particular place and with a specific style.

For Los Angelenos, two such opportunities are coming up on the next two consecutive Thursdays in April: the first, tomorrow April 23, features wine from Bordeaux while the second, April 30, specializes in wine from Loire Valley.

Continue reading

Is Garnacha the next “great grape”? Find out Tuesdays in April 6pm PST

beso de vino
Tonight, Tuesday April 21 from 6-7pm PST, is the third night of four focused on “The Next Great Grape: Garnacha” on Wine Studio hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer, WSET Instructor, and public speaker Lyn Farmer aka @FizzFan visited the Cariñena region last June and brings his insights into the history, sights, sounds and tastes to the weekly discussion:

“I believe Cariñena is positioned to take a vibrant place on the world wine stage. It is not (yet) so well known as regions slightly to the north like Ribera del Duero and Rioja, nor is it (yet) so trendy as Priorat and Toro, but Cariñena’s day is coming.”  @FizzFan

Continue reading

Spring Sparkles in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties with fun events

As the weather warms, wine predators everywhere are headed to outdoor wine festivals, tastings, and activities as well as picnics in the park on the beach.

As luck would have it, today is a Saturday and my 12th wedding anniversary –which means silk, linens, and pearls! Oysters anyone? Plus it’s Earth and Poetry month. So how should a wine predator poet celebrate?

Fortunately, I have several wonderful wine options! Continue reading