Sue and I creekside in San Luis Obispo NOT drinking wine but a signature whiskey cocktail from SLO Brew using their own whiskey which you can get in a drink OR you can buy if you stay in the Loft!
When Sue and I drove north on the 101 through a smoky Santa Barbara for our summer San Luis Obispo County getaway, we had appointments at wineries and a cheese shop plus one place to stay lined up for our three nights away. Little did we know what adventures awaited — including BEER and whiskey! In fact, we had a bit of a BEER-CATION!
Because it just so happened that SLO Brew Lofts had space for us to stay there our first night on the road!
We had visited SLO Brew when they first opened in their new creek side location and we knew we had to come back when it was more established– and to check out the Lofts which opened a few months later, and the Distillery which has its grand opening tomorrow, Sat. July 22.
A year later, the new SLO Brew location is a rockin’ spacious, hip, happening, and happy spot along the creek pedestrian path with live music most evenings until 2am. The new luxurious Lofts located above will make you feel like a rock star! And the Distillery? Well it literally ROCKS as you will see as you keep reading! And, being creekside, it’s a little bit country too! Continue reading
map of southwest France from Wikipedia
This month’s French #Winophiles challenge is to find, taste, and write about wine from the Southwest region of France — or in French, Sud-Ouest. Like the name suggests, the region is located in the southwest of France: south of the more famous Bordeaux and west of the lesser known Languedoc.
We found several yummy cheeses from South West France at Fromagerie Sophie! Pictured: owners, educators, cheesemongers Paul and Sophie
According to Wikipedia, Romans cultivated wine grapes there long before Bordeaux!
Who doesn’t love summer time suppers spent outdoors in the backyard with family and friends and a glass of fine wine?? Continue reading
As we wrote about on Lambrusco Day June 21, Lambrusco has gotten a bad rap. Just like any other varietal, there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.
(Although technically Lambrusco isn’t so much a specific varietal as it is a family of 60 some wines that gather under the banner of Lambrusco must like moscato has a number of distinct wines all called moscato.)
Unfortunately for Lambrusco, there’s been too much ugly. Fortunately for us all, there’s a movement afoot to help us discover REAL Lambrusco — a delightful, fizzy fun beverage that — and this really surprised us– pairs really well with Italian food!
When people think of wine, they think Napa, or California, Washington, Oregon or New York because these are the regions of the US that make the most wine that is the most readily available in retail markets.
But wine is actually made in all 50 states! And some of it is actually very good! In January, we wrote about a wine from New Jersey, and I really like the wines I’ve tasted from Colorado.
And when I was at the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla, there were a few wines from Idaho so when we traveled to Yellowstone in 2011, we bought and enjoyed Idaho wines with our meals, and I made a point of visiting a few wineries along the Snake River as well. I was very impressed with the quality and the prices were amazing.
Surprised there is great wine in Idaho? One former potato farmer now vinter told me in 2011 that if the weather is right to grow potatoes, you can grow grapes — the most important element each needs is significant diurnal variation — hot during the day and cold at night.
Idaho’s cold winters allow vines to go dormant, rid plants of bugs, and discourages disease. Summer time’s cold nights cool the grapes which balances the acids with the sugars that come as the grapes ripen during the long, hot, sunny days: in a 24 hours period, temperatures can fluctuate between 30-40 degrees! Along the Snake River, the days are HOT but at night they cool down to very pleasant temperatures in the 50s.
Another factor is DIRT: Idaho’s rich, volcanic soils have attracted grape growers for over 150 years. Because southern Idaho offers ideal growing conditions, it was one of the first places in the west to have a thriving wine industry — that is until Prohibition snuffed it out and other crops took its place. Continue reading
This past weekend I attended a barrel tasting organized by the Ventura County Winery Association which “promotes the production and appreciation of fine wines grown or produced in Ventura County. Member wineries produce more than 250 different white, rosé, and red wines using grapes grown in Ventura County and throughout California. They range in size producing less than 500 cases annually to more than 200,000, with most members producing between 1,000 to 5,000 cases. Located less than an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, Ventura County is short drive for visitors to enjoy an easy getaway to enjoy the region’s urban wineries, beautiful beaches, and fine dining.”
And while I only made it to three wineries, I had an absolutely awesome educational experience!
The story goes that Mike Brown, winemaker at Cantara Cellars, Continue reading