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Make the Right Choice

On May 4th, 2015, a young mother and her 14-month-old daughter died and their loved ones, family and friends, as well as the local community and many beyond are now suffering from this senseless tragedy. A tragedy, that in hindsight should never have occurred, and could have been prevented, if, somewhere in this chain of events, a right choice had been made. 

Please don’t drink and drive. This plea has been repeated countless times. And yet, many times the right choice is not made and awful tragedies ensue, leaving lives scarred forever more.  DWI

Balancing personal responsibility while providing fail-safe measures to assist people whose better judgment has been impaired by intoxication and who nonetheless proceed to make decisions that most likely will imperil themselves and others, obliges all of us to explore new ways to prevent such tragic results. An ounce of Prevention

In writing this difficult article, I can hear the voice of my grandmother saying: “ An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This might be an old adage, but it nonetheless wisely invites all of us to consider “fail-safes” and search for novel ways to prevent the “Crash.” 

One solution is to plan ahead: Before attendees purchase their wine-event tickets, or at the event itself, attendees might be provided lists of transportation services that specialize in providing safe and sober transportation services. 

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Wine Events To Talk About and Attend (April 10th, 2015)

aaa-blank-imageHere are some spectacular Wine Events we are pleased to mention for this weekend! 

Looking for a “high touch” wine and food celebration? Check out the Eight Annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival! The Pebble Beach Food & Wine Fest is the premier West Coast epicurean lifestyle event, matching 250 acclaimed wineries with 75 celebrity chefs in order to create a hedonistic four-day destination on one of the most picturesque strips of coastline in the world. pebblebeachfood and wineThroughout the weekend you'll have access to the very pinnacle of culinary and winery talent at wine tastings, cooking demos, and you will be sure to find some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities in the world. Check out http://www.pbfw.com for all the details. 

Simply in the mood to Sip and Savor in the City by the Bay? Check out San Francisco Vintner’s Market this weekend. The SF Vintner’s market is a wine tasting and buying event located at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Up to 200 wineries from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Russian River Valley and beyond will be pouring their favorite wines, including new releases, special collections and hard to find vintages that will be available for you to taste and buy. No more racking your brain trying to remember the name of that great wine, or wasting time trying to actually find a place that sells it. sfvm spring 2015 logo2At the San Francisco Vintners Market you’ll be able to “try and buy.” For more information go to:  http://www.sfvintnersmarket.com.

Looking for something a bit more cozy? Take a Sunday Drive to experience the wonderful Pinot Noir wines and hospitality from Bargetto Winery and get your tickets to their Pinot and Paella Party this Sunday, April 12th. Hurry for this one because it will be a Sell Out! http://bargetto.com/blog/event/bargetto-winery-presents-pinot-and-paella/?instance_id=440

Too busy this weekend doing a Tango with the Taxman?MVAC-2015-STD-All-Combined-sm2 Plan on attending the Mt. Veeder Spring Wine Tasting in San Francisco on Thursday April 16th, from 5 pm to 7 pm. The ultimate in a Wine Tasting Happy Hour. Explore the offerings of 28 different wineries from Mt. Veeder. The Mt. Vedeer appellation is the only one of the five Napa Valley hillside appellations that adjoins the cool Carneros district. Get your specially priced tickets to this fabulous wine tasting event here now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mt-veeder-spring-wine-tasting-in-san-francisco-tickets-16420218315?ref=ecalcalifornia wine festival 2015 OC rev 1

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Fall Back in Love with Red Wine

Tis the season for red wine!Autumn is coming again, even if it still feels like the heat will never subside here in the Bay Area! With the endless Back to School and Labor Day sales, we're all getting ready for the leaves to change, the wind to pick up, and the cold-weather clothes to come out of storage.

As I look forward to the brisk days of fall (even as I get sunburnt while wearing shorts and tank tops to walk the dog), my taste in wine shifts away from the crisp white and rose that kept me refreshed through the dry summer days and I get excited to break out those full and complex reds that pair perfectly with fall breezes and autumn dinner parties.

For early fall pairing, you have several routes to take. Football season and weekend cookouts need the bold fruit and spice of Livermore, Lodi, and Paso Robles Zin, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. Red blends are always welcome, too! They don't have to be anything fancy, since you don't generally keep crystal stemware next to your outdoor grill. Just get something that has a big enough body and tannic grip to stand up to the smoky flavors of the burgers, sausages, and ribs with which the wines are served. Daytime wines are all about power.

 

For the cooler evenings, focus on grapes that show more finesse.

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Wine and Cheese Party Dos and Don'ts

Whether you’re a guest at a friend’s event or planning your own, there are a few tricks to pulling off a successful wine and cheese party:

Don’t skimp on the cheese!

     Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a subtle art picking out the proper cheeses to serve at a wine-and-cheese party. Just make sure you have at least three different options; one soft (like an aged triple-cream brie), one medium (Like Manchego or chevre), and one hard (like parmigiano reggiano). You’re going to have a range of different wines to taste, so don’t worry too much about which wines pair best with which cheeses. Let your guests experiment!

      It’s also helpful to have labels for the cheese you pick, in case attendees are not a fan of bleu cheese or goat cheese. Though in either of these cases, these people are not your friends. Bleu cheese and goat cheese are delicious, and perfect for wine-pairing.

      Also, keep plenty of cheese-knives ready! Disposable plastic knives and forks are not helpful when trying to grab a reasonable portion off a wedge of cheddar. Dinner knives are better, just as long as the blades are sharp and strong enough to handle the hardest of the cheese you have selected.

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Drunk or Kid?

Drunk or Kid?

1. I was in an intense discussion with my brother about the origin of the many interesting names of Harry Potter characters. For three hours.

Drunk or kid?

2. I was wearing a tutu, rainbow suspenders, a pirate skull bandana, and water shoes, carrying a small water pistol and running arm-in-arm with my best friends. We were jumping in every fountain we passed (which, in Southern California, is a lot of fountains) and singing at the top of our lungs.

Drunk or kid?

3. I was filling water balloons and sneaking up on the kid next door, ready to ambush him if he threw more twigs over into my yard.

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