Amgen Tour of CA: Ventura Hosts Stage 2, Lodi Wines Sponsor

On Monday May 14, 2018, the 2018 Amgen Tour of California came right by my doorstep as the world-renowned cyclists made their way from the Ventura pier and up San Jon Road (exit 69 on the 101) and roared through Ventura’s historic downtown.

me on my bike in felted wool by Borbala Arvai

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Sparkling Toast to Moms on Mother’s Day with Balletto and Stella Rosa

Fourteen years ago, this little boy arrived and made me a mom.

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States, and so the perfect time to raise a toast to all the Mothers and Others who serve as MOMS and who mother and nurture small and large humans, plants, and other beings on this planet!

To all the moms out there:

thank you for all the love and compassion you show and you shower on this world.

Thank you for being a strong, beautiful person who stands up for what’s right.

And when times get tough, remember there are millions of powerful and creative women standing with you, ready to help.

Cheers! And I’ve got two lovely wines to toast you with! Continue reading

M is for Manchego Mac N Cheese and Malbec: 8 Wines, 4 Countries, 3 Continents for #WinePW

Eight bottles of wine and eight of my favorite friends gathered at Drummer Diane’s to celebrate Malbec on Malbec Day last month — and what a celebration we had! What else would I expect when the gathering included many of my chosen family of friends from high school and/or Burning Man?

As I had a number of different Malbec in my sample collection, I thought it would be fun to choose two from each country: Argentina, Chile, France, and the United States (California and Washington) .

This also meant we had wine from three continents — North and South America plus Europe — and we had a range of price points: do you really get what you pay for? Then we could compare and contrast them to see if we could make any general observations.  Continue reading

You Need To Know Vermentino: Paired with Carbonara #ItalianFWT

For this month’s Italian Food Wine and Travel investigation into Vermentino, a crisp, acidic, white wine commonly found in the Italian regions of Liguria, Sardinia and Tuscany, we focused on two from Tuscany and discovered that while the same grape and region they had two equally pleasant and completely different flavor profiles yet both paired wonderfully with our meal of oysters, lemony caesar salad  chockfull of salty anchovies and parmesan, fried calamari, and pasta carbonara. And they offer a great value!  Scroll on down to see what others drank and ate! Continue reading

May the Fourth Be with You! Happy Star Wars AND Sauvignon Blanc Day!

Today is Star Wars Day AND Sauvignon Blanc Day! Two of my favorite things!

To make it extra special, I’m in Lake County staying in a cabin in a hillside vineyard (more photos below) where I’m attending the Sauvignon Blanc Experience Continue reading