Celebrate Santa Barbara Wine Harvest This Weekend

COH15 - Logo

Miss out on the recent Sunset Savor the Central Coast during the last weekend of California Wine Month? Then definitely don’t miss this weekend’s Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest!

Before I get to posting about Sunset Savor (including notes from two sessions I attended “Three Styles of Sparkling Wine” and “Central Coast Wine and Cheese Pairing”),  I want to make sure that you know about this weekend’s  Celebration of Harvest Weekend October 9-12, 2015.

During the weekend you can: Continue reading

California Wine Month and Sunset Savor



What better way to celebrate the final weekend of California Wine Month than to attend Sunset Savor in the heart of California’s central coast wine region to taste local food and wine?

Today I am driving up to Santa Margarita to attend  The Main Event where I will experience an “epicurean and adventure playground”! Sounds perfect for a Wine Predator like me Continue reading

Ventura County Ag Summit Includes Water Solutions, Area Wineries

Cal State University Channel Islands will be home to a two day Ventura County Agricultural Summit featuring panels, speakers, and food on Friday Sept. 11 from 8:30am-6:30pm and food and wine tasting on Saturday Sept. 12 from noon to 4:30pm. Continue reading

#CabernetDay at #BurningMan 2015


Burning Man is home to a winery, wine cellars, and plenty of wine!

Is there wine in Black Rock City, home to Burning Man? Or is it only a town of tequila shots and beers in cans and blasters and absinthe and other cocktails?

I’m here to tell you that there is more to drink in Black Rock City than cheap bottom shelf liquor prettied-up with mixers and sweet cheeks served on a mutant vehicle rolling across the desert!

Every year at Burning Man (my first Burn was in 1992 and I’ve been 15x), I have had amazing wine, including my first Barolo in 2009, thanks to Puma who always brings out some pretty special stuff to celebrate the occasion (that’s his dusty pile from 2011 pictured).


Puma and a pile of vino he brought to Burning Man to share

Many wine makers, from professional to garagiste to home brewer, attend Burning Man and bring wine to share.

In fact, Black Rock City boasts a winery, a cellar to store wine, a Champagne Lounge, and a wine tasting room–with glasses!

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So five years ago when Rick Bakas started up Cabernet Day on the last Thursday before Labor Day, I decided to host a Cabernet Day event in Black Rock City–and I’ve done so in 2011, 2013, 2014 and this year too.

While Cabernet Day is really all about sharing Cabernet via social media, Black Rock City is not known for its connectivity and we were unable to get online in order to post anything in previous years but that did not stop the merriment!



This year for Cabernet Day I will be at Puma’s camp, Harmonic Convergence where he has promised to uncork at least one bottle of VERY NICE cabernet!


I haven’t decided what I will be bringing but you know it will be something good. What will be different in 2015 is that we should be able to post pics and notes online as there seems to be decent cell service on the playa this year –and Puma’s camp has wifi (and satellite tv too!)

How will you be celebrating #CabernetDay this Thursday September 3, 2015?

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