Pink Port Sparkler

Last weekend, Tim and I poured wine at the Atascadero Wine Festival. If you’ve never been to a wine festival, you should definitely find one in your area (or come visit Paso Robles Wine Country…we have lots!). As long as you keep it responsible and don’t try to taste every wine there, you will learn a lot and maybe find some new favorites!

During the event, we traded shifts with our fellow pourers so that we could walk around and taste. I had some friends visiting from New York (Hi, Mike and Kate!), and the timing worked out perfectly so that they were able to come to the festival. They had never been wine tasting before (and of course, we took them tasting the next day, too!), and I had a fabulous time sharing my passion with them.

My two favorite tastes of the day were both bubbles! Domaine Le Mieux was a new discovery for me. They are opening a tasting room up in Templeton, hopefully by the end of summer, and they make Vin de Pomme…that is, Apple Champagne! (technically, Sparkling Apple Wine). I wish I had taken some photos, but I’m sure I will be mentioning them on here again – they are definitely a new favorite!

My other favorite taste was what the team at 15 Degrees C, our fabulous local wine shop, was pouring – Cava and Pink Port cocktails. Pink bubbles can do no wrong in my book; the next day I stopped by the shop to pick up the makings. The four of us polished off the champagne part of the mix before dinner – at $8 a bottle, I definitely should have picked up two!

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Oh, Mexico

bloody maries

Bon Voyage and Bottoms Up!

So if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I have been gearing up for a cruise!  Brian and I are headed to Catalina, California and Ensenada, Mexico (via San Diego!) for a little five-day vacation.  We leave this evening and we’re very excited!

On the down side, this means no new recipes for about a week. On the up side, I will be eating many delicious things on the cruise and while in port, so I will come back with lots inspiration to share with you!  I might even post some vacation photos.

One thing vacation means is cocktails at fun times of the day…like breakfast (ha).  With that in mind, I leave you with a divine recipe for a delicious Bloody Mary, one of our favorite cocktails.

Customizable Bloody Mary
makes 1

Combine one shot (or more, I don’t judge) vodka, a few shakes Worcestershire sauce, a few drops Tabasco, a few cracks of pepper, and few shakes of celery salt in pint glass. Fill with tomato juice (or V8 – I like the low sodium one), stir well to combine, and garnish with celery.  Bottoms up!

Quantities can be adjusted based on how spicy you like it!  If you’re feeling lazy, like I will be this week, my favorite mix is Mr. and Mrs. T’s Spicy mix…I really recommended them, they taste just as good!

Brian’s Key Lime Sublime

Key Lime SublimeMy boyfriend Brian makes fab cocktails.  He came over the other night for a post-work cocktail, only to find that there weren’t really any mixers in my house (greattt job Laur).  We found a week-old bottle of tangerine lime seltzer and key limes…”That will work,” he said, and my champion improviser went to work.

We were both expecting sub-par, but this drink turned out to be great – I credit the bartending skills (…and the limes).

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