winery

Wine On-The-Go: Canned Wine and Wine Accessories

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Our (semi-secret) love affair with canned wines began about 5 years ago. It was probably some mid-summer weekend when we were shopping at our local Safeway and came across a cute little pink hexagonal shaped box in the sparkling wine section. Intrigued, we picked up the box and found it was a four pack of cans of Sofia sparkling wine. Perfect for poolside sipping, and with straws attached like they are on kids juice boxes, we were instantly hooked. Ever since we have been on the lookout for new canned wines to try and in the past year, canned wines have really stepped up their game! Here is a list of some of our favorites. We promise there's a canned wine for everyone!

xxx Ivy & Eve

 

For the eternal wanderer: Nomadica Wines

This California company was created for the nomads, a place to sip wine before resuming their travels. We totally love that! Nomadica cans are also special because each label is different with art designed by various artists. The pink river rosé is bright and crisp. The sparkling white (our favorite) is fresh, citrusy, with a hint of green apple.  The chenin blanc smells and tastes of white peaches is light and refreshing. The red wine blend tastes of chokecherry, plum and slight tannins with a long smooth finish. The Oregon white blend (love the label) is lightly bubbly, dry, and minerally. Pop the top, start the playlist, sit back, and sip...you'll feel like you're away on an adventure even from your couch.

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For the anti-canned wine friend: Alloy Wine Works

Alloy canned wines will impress and most likely change the views of all canned wine haters. These wines taste the most like a wine that is produced/bottled in a glass bottle. Honestly, if someone brought us a glass without the can we probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. This Paso Robles winery has a variety of high-quality canned wines and also does a canned wine club! Their wine club #yeswecan is $30 a month and includes 4 shipments a year, 6 wines per shipment.  We tried their 12 oz tallboy rosé it was delicious. Strawberry, citrus on the nose followed by a crisp, dry rosé that tastes like strawberries, sour patch kids, guava, grapefruit, and rose petals. Their chardonnay smells like it's out of a bottle (none of that tin can smell) tastes of vanilla, citrus, and pears and pie crust (nom). The pinot noir is also delicious with hints of cherry and vanilla, and tastes of those and some earthy mushroom, tree bark, and cola. Our local indie cinema Osio Theater carries them as well which makes us SO happy!

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For the health conscious drinker: Social Sparkling Sake Wine

Social is slightly different in that it is a sparkling sake wine (wine made from rice). There are four versatile flavors to choose from toasted coconut almond, pink grapefruit ginger, hibiscus cucumber, and elderflower apple. The great thing about SOCIAL is that they are organic, superfood infused, gluten and sulfite free, have 1 gram of sugar, and ONLY 88 calories!! These cans are ALL about fun without the guilt! 

We teamed up with them to create a cocktail with one of their flavors so stay tuned for that recipe coming soon!

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For the party girl: Fiesta Winery

Fiesta Winery located in Texas just recently started dipping their toes in the canned industry. We loved trying this wine since we rarely venture from California wines and the can design is super cute! The Tex Way Rosé is perfect for any summer activity. It smells of pink starburst, rose, and raspberry and tastes of raspberry and rose with a light creaminess to the finish. We recommend it served very chilled with a side of bright sunshine!

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For all the bubbly babes: Wine House Rosé Bubbles

House Wines' Rosé Bubbles is a party in a can. Crisp, with notes of citrus, tastes of strawberries and is lightly carbonated, this is an upgrade from the Sofia bubbles in flavor and size! ;) It's perfect to pack for a picnic or a day at the beach. The size is large enough to share (or not) and we LOVE the millennial pink can design.  

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For the serious sipper: West Side Wine Co.

The West Side Wine Co. from California is another great option for real wine lovers. The chardonnay had a slightly carbonated taste with hints of toasted vanilla, grapefruit, and green apple. The cabernet sauvignon is jammy with hints of boysenberry, fig, and has light tannins. 

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For the cocktail enthusiast: Pampelonne Sparkling Wine Cocktails

One look at these insta-worthy cans and you're transported to the striped umbrella dotted beaches of the French Riviera! These three newly released flavors are perfect for your casual backyard, beach bonfire setting. Since they are "wine cocktails" they taste less of wine and more like a cocktail. We thought they were great straight out of the can but add a little fruit and a tall glass with ice - sangria style - and you've instantly got a vacation in a glass! The Black Cherry Bicicletta is the most flavorful with a nice citrus kick while the Negroni Sbagliato is perfect for the classic cocktail lover (Eve's pick). The Watermelon Americano is the lightest and driest in flavor and tastes the most like wine (Ivy's pick).

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For the instafamous (or almost): Ramona Ruby Grapefruit Wine Spritz

We've been seeing these cans all over Instagram lately so when we found them stocked at our local Whole Foods, we decided to test them out. This sparkling wine spritzer is dangerously delicious and perfect for a hot summer day. We wouldn't say it tastes like wine, more like a grapefruit sanpellegrino, but who doesn't love those! We will definitely be stocking up on these all summer long.

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For the wine adventurer: Goverre Modern To-Go Cups

We discovered these gems recently and are obsessed. They are perfect for all types of on-the-go wine activities. These glasses are spill-proof with their locking drink-through-lid (also great for keeping sand out of your wine - yuck). These glasses are made of glass (yay!) but have a protective silicon sleeve. They have tons of trendy colors to choose from as well so you won't get confused with what glass is yours!

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For the beach babe: Porto Vino Wine Bag

We saw these bags on Instagram a few months back and HAD to test it out. Porto Vino Wine Bags come in a variety of colors and styles. Inside is roomy with an insulated zipper compartment and a wine bladder attached to a spout that discreetly pops out the side for easy pouring. You just chill your favorite wine (or not if its red) fill the bladder, and go! This is the classy way to carry around wine to sporting events, BBQs and beach parties. We love how much room there is for your beach towel, glasses, and snacks while filled up with your favorite rosé.

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For the party hostess with the mostest: Wine Glass Writer

We ran a fabulous giveaway with Wine Glass Writer a few months ago and have used these markers for all sorts of parties. Simply pick a color and write on your glass, let it dry for a minute before touching (or filling it with cold wine) and your design will stay on till you wash it off with soap and water. These have been a great addition to our parties, we ask our friends to write their name (or draw something fun) so they know which glass is theirs. It has cut down the number of glasses we have to wash by a dozen or so! These pens are also great for writing on mirrors (wedding seat assignment) and serving plates.

Use our discount code everyonewins10 for a 10% discount on your order!!

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10 Things We Learned At The 2018 Pebble Beach Food & Wine

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The 2018 Pebble Beach Food and Wine has come and gone and we are SO sad. We had so much fun tasting and nibbling on all the food and wine sent from heaven under one giant white tent.  If you are a lover of food, or wine, or both like us, we highly recommend attending. It is seriously so amazing! 

We learned so many new things during the weekend, we wanted to put together a list of 10 things we learned at this year's event.

Here they are:

1. The Year of Foie Gras - We are calling this years event "The Year of Foie Gras" because so many of the chefs under the big tent on Saturday and Sunday were serving up delicious bites of foie gras. Eve has always adored Foie gras but Ivy, on the other hand, tends to steer away from these dishes because of the earthy liver taste. This year Ivy couldnt help but fall in love with Foie gras though. This year's chefs foie gras dishes all had such distinct tastes- some were fresh like Hudson Valley's brown butter foie gras crumble & strawberry...or the English pea panna cotta with spring vegetables, Meyer lemon and foie gras by Chef Blom. Foie gras can be made in so many ways it really can be delightful to all pallets!

Hudson Valley's brown butter crumble & strawberry foie gras

Hudson Valley's brown butter crumble & strawberry foie gras

English pea panna cotta with spring vegetables, meyer lemon and foie gras by Chef Blom

English pea panna cotta with spring vegetables, meyer lemon and foie gras by Chef Blom

2. Eat Your Invasives - Chef Lofaro had one of our favorite dishes of the weekend. Why? Because it was delicious, the presentation was beautiful, and the concept behind it was so awesome. Lafaro had made his dish out of kiawe bean flour and strawberry and guava plants which are all invasive plants in his home state of Hawaii. He decided to use these invasives for good - eating! As he removes the plants from the landscape, he uses it to create this delicious dish. No waste for the bettering of the ecosystem. SO COOL!

Eat Your Invasives! kiawe, walawf, and white bread poke by Chef Lofaro

Eat Your Invasives! kiawe, walawf, and white bread poke by Chef Lofaro

3. Time For Vegas - We were invited to the Venetian Hotel happy hour on Saturday evening. This event was held at the fire pits at the Inn at Spanish Bay. The happy hour included a few signature cocktails that were tasty and unique and Chef Lorena Garcia was serving up delicious tacos! Ivy has only been to Vegas overnight on her way back from college and Eve has NEVER been! From what The Venetian did with this event, we know where we're headed next! Vegas Baby! We're planning to go to Vegas in the next several months to get the FULL Vegas experience!

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4. There really is no substitute for bubbles - This year we were lucky to catch up with our "spirit sommelier" Kim Beto and attend his Sunday Bubbles Seminar, which is similar to the Big Bottle Bubbles seminar we attended in 2016. If you love champagne like us, you MUST attend this seminar. At 10 am on a Sunday you are greeted with a tasting flight of 9 different champagnes/sparkling wines to taste along with your new best friends (the five champagne experts on the panel).  

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This year our favorite quotes from the seminar were:

  • Magnums are the perfect size for two if only one is drinking.
  • Drink Champagne right out of the bottle! "great on buses when you don't have glasses" - Kim Beto
  • Sabering party "If you haven't had one you're not living" - Kim Beto
  • England is the new "up and coming" producer of sparkling wines. Two of the nine wines we tasted were from Jolly Old England and we were shocked at how delicious they were! We honestly didn't think good wine could come from such a wet, mild climate. Boy, were we wrong!
Us with "spirit sommelier" Kim Beto at Sunday Bubbles

Us with "spirit sommelier" Kim Beto at Sunday Bubbles

5. Good bread and butter is one of life's greatest simple pleasures - We are always down to eat fresh bread and homemade butter, but it's not something you are expecting to eat at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine. A day full of foie gras and delectable cheeses is more the norm. However, this year we stumbled upon the Kerrygold butter booth and were pleasantly surprised and instantly comforted by the simplicity of quality bread and butter. After hours of trying new wines and rich bites, the bread and butter was a welcomed change! Such a simple food really can be delicious.

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6. Lanson Champagne is still our favorite! - We are always looking for new champagnes to try but we honestly still adore Lanson Champagne the most. #sorrynotsorry

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8.  Berries by themselves - Driscoll always makes an appearance at the PBFW event. The berries are served as is and are always one of our favorite snacks in between the richer bites chefs prepare. The acidity and sweetness wake up our pallet so they are ready to try the next thing! We also loved the tasty berry popsicles they handed out as we all left the tent. 

9. Sake for wellness sake - This year we sampled TYKU sake which has a variety of flavors. Tyku is a clean alternative to wine because it has lower acidity, no sulfites which sometimes irritate people, and has no tannins. You can literally "unwine" with TYKU. Our favorite flavor was the refreshing cucumber. We think it may be time to explore the world of sake soon. 

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10. There really is NOTHING like PBFW - We haven't been able to attend any of the other Food and Wine events around the world but we have been told by many who have that the Pebble Beach Food and Wine is the BEST. And jousting by the location, the chef and winemakers who attend, and our experience, we can't see how anywhere else can compare!

Avacado, mint and cucumber shooter topped with créme fraîche and wild flowers

Avacado, mint and cucumber shooter topped with créme fraîche and wild flowers

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Bone marrow, butterscotch, panna cotta with blueberry and bacon relish by Chef Jin from Paws Up Resort

Bone marrow, butterscotch, panna cotta with blueberry and bacon relish by Chef Jin from Paws Up Resort

It was our Mom's birthday on Sunday we were so happy to be able to spend the day sipping and tasting with her!

It was our Mom's birthday on Sunday we were so happy to be able to spend the day sipping and tasting with her!

Kona kampachi tartar with shallots, chives, avacado puree, radish, lemon aioli and honey crumble.

Kona kampachi tartar with shallots, chives, avacado puree, radish, lemon aioli and honey crumble.

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Marinated salt spring mussels

Marinated salt spring mussels

A Wine Lover's Guide to Edinburgh

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While wine may not be the first thing you think about when visiting Edinburgh, that doesn't mean there isn’t plenty of amazing places to satisfy the wine lover in you. Edinburgh is home to some of the best wine bars and restaurants we have ever been to, and that’s saying something! We can’t think of many better ways to spend an afternoon, cozying up in one of these spots with a glass of wine, a bite to eat, and a friend or two.

We have teamed up with This is Edinburgh to share with you our wine lover's guide to Edinburgh.Follow the link below to find out where our favorite locations for wine connoisseurs and casual wine drinkers to visit in Scotland’s capital city.

Continue reading A Wine Lover's Guide to Edinburgh...

xxx Ivy & Eve

The Fat Pony

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24 hours in Napa, CA

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During the week, Eve works as a curator at an art museum. One of the perks of the job is that she is sometimes asked to visit artists' studios and select art for donation or exhibition. A few months ago, Eve was asked to visit an amazing California landscape painter, Jack Stuppin, up north and we decided to make a quick trip out of it!

We arrived in Napa around noon and went straight to Clif Family Winery. We only recently discovered this Napa winery and had to stop in to say hi and try their food and wine pairing. Created by the founders Gary and Kit of Clif Bars, Clif Family Winery is full of fun history, great food, and of course great wine. The winery was created after Gary and Kit's cycling adventures in Italy. Their adventures included cycling, leisurely Italian meals with wine, and great food and hospitality and sparked the idea to create their own wines from their property on top of Howell Mountain. Now they grow grapes for their delicious wines and organic veggies for their Bruschetteria food truck.

We tasted through their wines each paired with a little bite to eat fresh from the food truck out front. The wines were delicious and the food pairings were perfect. Troy and Tom, who were our servers, made sure we had an awesome time. We were first served some wines that were not included in our Bruschetteria Trio, the 2016 Rosé of Grenache, 2016 Rte. Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Bici "MRV" White Blend, and the 2015 Mendocino Grenache.

For the Bruschetteria Trio which started with a seasonal Arancini that was super tasty. The first wine pairing for the flight was the 2015 Oak Knoll Chardonnay which was paired with Porchetta Bruschetta (pronounced "Pork-etta" with pork, herbs, red onion, aioli, and parmesan. Next was the delightful 2013 Gary's Improv Howell Mountain Zin. This yummy wine was paired with their Pimento Bruschetta which included roasted beet pimento spread, goat cheese, and Clif Family Kitchen smoked paprika almonds. The last wine on our flight was the 2013 Kit's Killer Howell Mountain Cab, this heavy and scrumptious red was paired with their Funghi Bruschetta which featured local mushrooms, fontina, and chives.

Lastly Troy brought us a delicious chocolate and red wine reduction "pudding" with Zinfandel salt sprinkled on top and a small bowl of chocolate covered caramels and cherries. Just thinking about them makes our mouths start watering! Our favorite wines were, of course, the rosé and the 2015 Mendocino Grenache (which Troy told us we should try chilled 20-30 min). We ended up leaving with a few different bottles and later tried the Grenache chilled back home and it was quite refreshing!

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After satisfying our palates and stomachs, we headed down the road to Napa Soap Company. We loved this cute shop and its lovely smelling soaps all made right in-house. We picked up a few of their bath "teas", soaps, and some shaving bars for the boys. They have the most amazing array of scents to suit everyone! 

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After doing a little shopping, we drove to Domaine Chandon where Ivy is a wine club member (YAY!) and we took full advantage of the benefits seeing as we rarely ever make it up to Napa. We sipped through the bubbly wine tasting flight which was delicious and nibbled on some truffle popcorn, and cheese plate. The Chandon tasting room is surrounded by green lawns perfect for picnicking, patio seating, a restaurant, and lawn chairs to admire the Napa Valley vineyard views. This is definitely a beautiful place to sit back and relax some bubbly wines while in Napa. 

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After our leisurely bubbly flight, we headed to our hotel to check in. Since the trip was last minute we picked one of the cheapest we could find- Ivy Hotel. It was under renovation, which we were unaware of and it was much farther away from everything than we expected. This wouldn't be a hotel we would normally stay at but it was clean and comfortable for the price.

Once we settled in we headed to the sushi restaurant, Eiko's near the Napa water-front for drinks and dinner. This sushi place was über cool, and the menu was very creative. We're totally trying out the sushi tacos and pizza next time we come! Lexie ordered a bunch of tasty rolls and the blackened edamame which was really yummy! Ivy also got a MASSIVE glass of champagne and Eve tried out their extensive sake menu. You can order sake by the glass (2oz), carafe (10oz), or bottle. Eve loved that you could order glasses because that means you can try a few!

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The next morning we only had time to grab a bite to eat for breakfast at the Long Meadow Ranch. The only thing open when we got there was the Cafe which had nice blankets to bundle up in since it was a chilly morning and heater lamps were turned on. The coffee was delicious and so were our pastries! On the grounds, there is the main restaurant, the General Store, a tasting room, and an outdoor area where you can hangout on the grass or sit at the picnic tables and listen to live music. We definitely want to come back here for lunch or dinner. 

xxx Ivy & Eve

Photo credit:  Long Meadow Ranch

Photo credit: Long Meadow Ranch

Staves and Steel

Last Saturday, April 8th, Cima Collina Winery threw their second annual Staves & Steel party. This  gathering - held at their warehouse winery in Marina, CA - offers a unique experience featuring new release artisan wines, barrel tastings, and of course delicious food! 

This year was this first year we had the opportunity to attend the event, and we had such a great time! It was also our Mom's birthday and we couldn't think of a better way to begin her birthday celebration than to start at this awesome party! This event had live music by the band the Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble, who were so fun and lively, and the local ate3one food truck which provided delicious bites available for purchase. We ordered the shrimp taco and two pork sliders...YUM! 

An awesome part about attending the event was the discounted prices off the wines for sale: 10% off any bottle, 15% off cases, and 25% off everything if you were a club member. We loved their "mystery case" deal which was filled with an assortment of wines: some reserve wines, some new wines, and some older wines too. Not to mention you were getting the case for basically half off the retail value!

Our personal favorite part of the event was tasting wines from the barrel. Barrel tastings give you the opportunity to try wines that are still aging and gives you a completely unique sneak peek of the wine to come! They had two wines to taste, the first was their 2016 Argyle Petit Syrah and the second was a 2016 Chalome Petit Syrah. It's crazy how different they tasted! The 2016 Argyle was totally drinkable now, where the 2016 Chalome tasted very young. We spoke to the winemaker, and she said that while the Argyle tasted great now, the Chalome is a much more complex wine and will turn into the more superb wine in the long run. 

In the end, we purchased a few bottles of their newly released Rosé Pét-Nat. A Pét-Nat is a naturally bubbly wine, similar to a sparkling rosé. We highly recommend this one on a warm summer's day, or for a Sunday brunch party. The color and taste will win over anyone! 

If you want to hear more about Cima Collina, check out our previous post here!

xxx Ivy & Eve

Joyce Vineyards Winery Party

For the past few months we have been anticipating the opening of our nearest and dearest local winery's new tasting location; Joyce Vineyards Winery Tasting Room in Salinas! (Ivy's boyfriend happens to be the assistant winemaker here!) Although it's location is not as convenient for us as their Carmel Valley tasting room which we told you about here, the new location is at their winery! This location is awesome because it gives the enophile's and devoted club members a chance to peer into the making of delicious wine. Although it would not be our first time visiting the winery, we were still very excited to see the changes they had made to the facility since the last time we visited. As soon as the date was announced for the 'Open House', we marked our calendars and crossed off each day in anticipation. The open house was free for club members and $40 for nonmembers. This ticket included 3 glasses of wine, and unlimited food. What a great deal! 

The location of the winery is in a warehouse in Salinas, California. From the outside you would never know there was wine nearby. When we stepped inside the winery's large processing room, there was a long table for people to stand and eat with additional tables around the edge of the room. Along the sides were barrels full of wine and stainless steel tanks ready for this years harvest. Within the big room there were two wine tasting bars set up. Each bar was pouring something different. One area poured the reds, the other poured special estate wines under a canopy of moody bistro lights. Off to the left was a room which is going to be the new tasting room. This bar was pouring white wines. In this room they also featured Buzz Light Beer from a wine barrel keg in the wall by Alvarado Street Brewing, which happens to have their brewing facility and new tasting bar open just down the street.

 The food at the event was amazing! Hawaiian food truck Pono served seaweed salad, manapaul (steamed pork bun), Kalua pork sliders, and pork or shrimp tacos! Catering company Tasty Solutions, with Chef Marc Jones served up the best tri-tip sandwiches, grilled corn on the cob, quinoa salad, and a large assortment of other delicious grilled veggies. Plus he served the most heavenly blueberry bread pudding cobbler with stone fruit and blueberries topped with a lavender chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Seriously delicious!

Outside, they had our friend and local artist Casey Frazier playing tunes for everyone sitting outside enjoying the wine. They also had a cornhole game set up for people to play in the sunshine! 

The event brought in over 250 people from around the area. This new winery tasting location plans to be officially up and running for weekends and special events sometime after this years harvest. There is a lot to be done at Joyce Vineyards between now and then. They not only have harvest just around the corner but they also are moving their Carmel Valley tasting room to another location down the street. Definitely keep an eye on this winery. They have big and exciting changes coming soon! Be sure to follow them on Facebook for the most up-to-date info on the upcoming changes and events! 

xxx Ivy & Eve

Brothers Todd (left) and Nick (Right [Ivy's wonderful boyfriend]) pouring a selection of red wines offered at Joyce.

Brothers Todd (left) and Nick (Right [Ivy's wonderful boyfriend]) pouring a selection of red wines offered at Joyce.

Looking towards the estate wines tasting corner among the barrels

Looking towards the estate wines tasting corner among the barrels

Music in the sunshine

Music in the sunshine

The entrance to the winery

The entrance to the winery

The DELICIOUS cobbler!

The DELICIOUS cobbler!

Seaweed salad and pork bun...and lots of wine!

Seaweed salad and pork bun...and lots of wine!

Tri-tip, grilled veggies and grilled corn

Tri-tip, grilled veggies and grilled corn

Inside the winery

Inside the winery

Awesome chalk map and beer on tap (left)

Awesome chalk map and beer on tap (left)

Santa Lucia Highlands Gala

The Santa Lucia Highlands Gala (also called the SLH Gala) is an event put on each year that showcases 40 plus local wines grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (American Viticultural Area...fancy talk for a grape growing region). On top of premier wines, the event has small bites of some of the best local flavors. This year the event was held at Mer Soleil Winery and Vineyard. Surrounded by vineyards and sunshine, it was the perfect setting for a wine party! This event is really unique because only wineries that produce wines from grapes grown in the SLH are invited. You can taste anything from dry Rieslings to bold Syrahs. Some of our favorite wineries attended such as Morgan Winery, Joyce VineyardsBoekenoogen, and Scheid Vineyards. We found a few new favorites along the way though. The Odonata winery had a very dry riesling which was fun to try. While we were talking to the winemaker Denis, he mentioned having a sparkling wine down the road at his wine tasting room and winery. So naturally we stopped in for a glass on our way home, and left with two bottles. Oops! Here is a link to their online shop

As for the small bites, options ranged from a huge cheese table presented by the local Star Market grocery store, to waffles with fresh sweet corn topped with lobster from Chef Soerke from Basil. Just delicous! If you needed a break from the wine you could stop at the Bar Cart Cocktails Co. table where Katie was serving chilled herbal tea made from ingredients picked on the Apex Vineyard in the SLH. 

On our way home we stopped at Joyce winery to regroup with friends. We caught a glimpse of their new tasting room (scheduled to open this summer) and jumped in a few tanks before heading home. Shout out to our dear friend J for hooking us up with tickets to this event! It was fab!

xxx Ivy & Eve

What a view!!!

What a view!!!

YUMM from Chef Todd at Tarpy's

YUMM from Chef Todd at Tarpy's

Delicious Noodles from Shiho at Ocean Sushi

Delicious Noodles from Shiho at Ocean Sushi

Eve used to work at a tasting room so when Morgan needed a helping hand, she gladly stepped in!  Photo by: Morgan Winery

Eve used to work at a tasting room so when Morgan needed a helping hand, she gladly stepped in! Photo by: Morgan Winery

Katie from Bar Cart Cocktails Co. pouring some of her tasty tea!

Katie from Bar Cart Cocktails Co. pouring some of her tasty tea!

Goofing off at Joyce! :)

Goofing off at Joyce! :)