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Agritourism Adventures in Wine Coast Country: Morro Creek Avocado Ranch by Tina Swithin

Oh, how I love the Central Coast! Being that I am a lifelong resident of San Luis Obispo County, one would assume that I would know this county like the back of my hand. That isn’t necessarily true- it seems like there is always something exciting to discover in my beloved Wine Coast Country. Read more »


Excitement Continues to Build for First Annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival

Enthusiasm and participation keep growing for the The First Annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival slated for Saturday January 26, 2013 from 11a.m. to 4p.m. at Reyes Winery just 45 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. The festival will celebrate the recently established AVA, The Sierra Pelona Valley Appellation. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. The Sierra Pelona Valley appellation is Los Angeles’ County most recently established and fastest growing wine country destination. Read more »

Parisian Peony

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary. ~Chinese Proverb

Coffee, wine, a good beer, are all fabulous — but tea is my drink of choice – it’s beyond passion – it’s my ritual. I drink it first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Jane Pettigrew’s The Tea Companion sits prevalently on my desk with Origins, the Oxford Dictionary, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, The Wine Lover’s Companion, and the Beacon Handbook. However, being a tea snob in a challenging economy has forced me out of my comfort zone of boutique teashops and limited edition tea clubs and into the aisles of the supermarket. Read more »


Reyes Winery To Host Inaugural Sierra Pelona Valley Annual Wine Festival

Something exciting is always happening in California’s world class wine regions including the most recently recognized AVA in Sierra Pelona Valley. The First Annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival will be held Saturday January 26, 2013 from 11am to 4pm at Reyes Winery approximately 45 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. In attendance at this inaugural event will be the Sierra Pelona Valley Vintners, local winemakers and other wineries and breweries from all across southern California. They will gather to celebrate Sierra Pelona Valley’s recently granted AVA by showcasing their award winning wines and officially taking their place as one of California’s most exciting burgeoning winemaking regions. Read more »



LOS ANGELES, CA – The forth-annual Taste of Italy, a cultural-gastronomic event to benefit the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, will take place on October 13th in downtown Los Angeles. Taste of Italy showcases more than fifty of the region’s best restaurants, wineries, and fine food and beverage purveyors in a historic atmosphere. Read more »
Crush & Roll

Central Coast Business Sees Increase in Female Cigar Enthusiasts

ARROYO GRANDE, CA – Who doesn’t like to end the day with a few hours among friends? For some, the unwind occurs over dinner and drinks. For others, it’s a crushing workout class at the local gym. But for San Luis Obispo resident Michele Doage, relaxation takes on a slightly different form. Read more »

Whisky Live Los Angeles

WHISKY LIVE LOS ANGELES 2012 is Coming Oct. 17

Whisky Live LA 2012, Los Angeles’ World Premier Whisky Tasting Event will be held on October 17, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Beverly Hills.

This year, CIGAR & SPIRITS MAGAZINE and HOLLYWOOD SMOKE will sponsor the WHISKY LIVE Platinum Cigar Pass. This premium ticket includes both early VIP entrance and admission to the exclusive After Party showcasing a special selection of whiskeys paired with fine cigars. Hors d’oeuvres will be served from 9:30pm-11:00pm and all WHISKY LIVE Platinum Cigar Pass holders will receive a subscription to Whisky Magazine and a sampler box of premium select cigars courtesy of Hollywood Smoke. Read more »



The 2012 Central Coast Wine Classic, held from Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15, featured one of Wine Spectator’s “Top Ten” Charity Auctions in America on Saturday, July 14 at Avila Beach Golf & Resort. Termed the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction, it included offerings of rare wines and lifestyle packages from the Central Coast of California and other wine and culinary destinations in California, as well as around the United States and throughout the world. It also included remarkable artworks from exceptional California artists. Read more »


Central Coast Wine Classic is in a League of Its Own

(Photo by Bob Dickey) Last year I was lucky enough to attend the Central Coast Wine Classic. I was a “water girl” for Chef Mavro and Chef Yamaguchi at the Hearst Castle Dinner under the unforgiving afternoon sun and blazing heat of the outdoor ovens in San Simeon. And then, I was a “bottle model” and I carried around the fine wines and art items for the auction at a delicious lunch prepared by Frank Ostini. It was all volunteer and I’m doing it all again this year. It’s not just because the proceeds go to support non-profits throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties — I do it because I love this event and there’s nothing like and I go to a lot of events. Read more »

Parisian Peony

Rose for Sunny Days






Now that spring is here and the sunny days of summer are quickly approaching, it’s all about Rose for me. The versatile and beautiful cameleon that pairs well with almost everything. For Mother’s Day, we enjoyed three Roses: Hearst Ranch Chridhe 2011 (51% Tempranillo, 26% Syrah, 23% Malbec), Domaine de al Fouquette Cuvee Rosee d’ Aurore 2011 (65% Grenche, 30% Cinsault, 5% Rose); and a gift brought back from Provence, Chateau Beaupre. I served my highly anticipated mango pollock cerviche; spinach & ricotta lasagna; salad of frise and epoisse; and for dessert we had butterscotch blondies with chocolate chunks with Claiborne & Churchill’s Port Obispo (which one friend described as “better than a chapter in Shades of Gray“).

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