2011 Big House Birdman at the Beach with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 2012

If it’s the first week of August, it’s time for the Ventura County Fair.

And that means Fair food and Fair entertainment including fireworks every night and music too! Last night we were on the Ferris Wheel when the fireworks went off; another highlight was a deep fried hot dog with a spiral of potato chips which my son and I were going to share but he polished off by himself!

This year, like most,

don’t tell anyone but

my family, friends and I ride our bikes down to the beach to enjoy the fair’s concert from the “cheap seats” –our bike seats or a bench on the beach!

That’s what I did on Saturday to see Joan Jett and that’s what a bunch of us did tonight for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Out there by the beach the sound isn’t too loud–a bonus as we’re not blowing out our eardrums and we can visit with each other. There’s also plenty of room to dance with views of the seashore!

Another bonus is we can bring our own food and drink. This year a group of us gathered for an informal light dinner along the bike path featuring local fresh olive bread, cheeses, humous, vegies, an arugula portabella feta salad, a couscous salad, and, the star of the show, raw oysters from the Jolly Oyster.

To pair with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the oysters and other light beachy fare, I selected Big House’s 2011 The Birdman Pinot Grigio which comes in a almost clear bottle with an easy open screw top or in a bag in box. It’s the same wine either way; the main difference is you can get four bottles in the box of wine for about $20 or get one bottle for around $10 so you save money and you save the planet too by having a smaller carbon footprint. Another advantage of bag in box wine is that it will keep for a month or more in the fridge. If you’re camping or just out in nature, take it out of the box to fit better in your ice chest and you can even use it as a pillow! This wine would be a great selection for Burning Man or camping trips where it’s hot and you want something simple and refreshing.

Nose: floral, honeysuckle, apricot
Color: very very pale light yellow
Palate: light, bright, stone fruit, pear, kiwi, with a nice fruit finish
Pairs well with: light appetizers, asian cuisine, raw oysters, salad
Screw top, 13% alcohol, widely available
Note: I received this wine as a sample.

The Birdman didn’t stay a jailbird–we let it fly out and about. Zanna had never had raw oysters before and she marveled at how the oysters brought out more peach and kiwi in the wine and more salt in the oysters. She was an instant fan of both wine and Jolly Oyster. Tomorrow I am going to try this with a stone fruit and smoked trout salad…

PS Congrats to the Jolly Oyster, Vino V, and Rio Gozo Farm for winning this year’s Bounty of the County food (oysters) and wine (chenin blanc) food and wine pairing contest! I heard they prepared and gave out 200 oysters today!

The Ventura County Fair continues through Sunday August 12. Tomorrow is $3 day!

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