Tie Dye, Zinfandel, Burgers: Summer of Love 50th Anniversary BBQ

What comes to mind when you think Summer of Love? How about long-haired hippies wearing tie dye and drinking wine?

we tie dyed this shirt for Lucy in the Sky

In 1967, 75,000-100,000 young people converged onto San Francisco in what became known as the “Summer of Love.”

That makes this summer the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. And to mark this date, San Francisco and other communities including Ventura are holding events and exhibitions in commemoration. Ventura’s Museum has a special exhibition up through August and events include the Grateful Tribute Band Cubensis.. Read more about how the Summer of Love began in this Vanity Fair article.

the wine that inspired the party… which I thought was a Lodi zin…

And what can you do? Well, how about hosting a tie dye party? That’s what Sue and John did! With plenty of zinfandel and burgers too!

Because anyone can throw a backyard BBQ but why not mix it up by offering a craft or organizing a tasting? And make it easy by offering a burger bar with sides prepared in advance and shared potluck style!

We invited a bunch of people and we gathered a case or so of different bottles of Zinfandel– and one Tie Dye red blend. One person supplied the tasting note sheets, and we opened the bottles around a big table with some appetizers in the center. While the corn and turkey and beef burgers were cooking, we tasted the wines and wrote down our notes and votes. We encouraged folks to taste the white zin first but other than that, people tasted the wine that was closest to them and in general worked their way clockwise around the table. Then we converged on the burger bar, loaded up our plates, and tasted the wines with food. And at one point or another, people did some tie-dying!

Barry and Edie getting their tie dye on!

And this is what we came up with!

Note: We had everyone vote for their favorite #1, #2 and #3 by placing a raffle ticket in a jar with the number on it. We assigned first place votes 3 points, second place votes 2 points, and third place votes 1 point. If a wine received a #1 vote, I wrote the score down. Read on to see which one won!

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Taco Tuesday: 3 Fresh White Viura Wines from Spain

July! You have slipped by so fast we almost missed out on our monthly edition of Taco Tuesday!

This month we are inspired by a fresh strawberries, lime, and shrimp recipe from the current issue of Edible Ventura County paired with three crisp, bright white Viura wines from Spain.

This simple menu let the wines shine– and brought out all of the various flavors in the food! MAGIC!

The crunch of the jicama with the bit of strawberry makes this taco a unique combination of flavor explosions. I loved the strawberry notes with these wines. This wine and food pairing for this evening was over the top, the food the wine, it all went perfectly. Bright acidity in wine, and bright acidity in the food.

Mexican shrimp cocktail with chips
Oysters from the Baja’s Jolly Oyster and Vons

Main course
Strawberry shrimp tacos with strawberry jicama salsa

WINES from Spain

All three wines wowed us — so good with the food! So refreshing for the price! All three $12 or under.

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How To Taste, Pair Wine and Cheese for National Wine and Cheese Day

  1. Wine.
  2. Cheese.
  3. Wine.

That is the secret to tasting wine and cheese! It may seem ridiculously obvious but it works!

Sue and I learned the secret of “wine, cheese, wine” and more during a tasting of three wines from Niven Family along with a selection of cheese and pâté from Fromagerie Sophie, a lovely little cheese shop nestled in delightful downtown San Luis Obispo on tiny Garden Street that carries cheeses, meats, pâté, and other incredible imported goodies from around the globe. We love our cheese and wines so what a perfect stop on our recent SLO county adventure!

Because July 25 is National Wine and Cheese Day, it’s perfect for a primer on how to taste wine with cheese– and some ideas of what cheeses to try with three different wines. (Here’s what we did last year: vegetarian Italian cheesy cuisine paired with Italian wine!)

How to taste cheese with wine or food according to Paul at Fromagerie Sophie:

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SLO Brew, Rock, Lofts: Little Bit Country, Little Bit Rock n Roll

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

Finding and Pairing Wine, Cheese, and Spirits from SouthWest France for French #Winophiles

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!

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Getting to know Napa: Bison BBQ, Rombauer Atlas and Stice Cabs + Conn Creek Atlas Rose! #WinePW

Who doesn’t love summer time suppers spent outdoors in the backyard with family and friends and a glass of fine wine?? Continue reading

Our New Favorite Summer Wine: Lambrusco! #ItalianFWT

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 much 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!

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