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February 3, 2009

3rd Annual Slow Bowl 2009

My sister JoAnne and I have attended each of the three Slow Bowl GTG's in Paso Robles. We haven't gotten to participate fully in all of the events, but that should change by next year because we hope to have our folks' house sold by then. I really look forward to going to all of the wineries and the Friday night dinner.

We do always go to the Saturday night GTG, though. What an awesome food and wine feast that is! Pretty decadent, actually, some people would say. So much food and so much wine - it's kind of like I picture heaven!


Here we are on the couch after playing Slow Travel bingo - Jane, Nancy, JoAnne, and Deborah. (Photo courtesy of Palma)
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The table was jam-packed with yummy food! Shannon usually requests that I bring apple salad - you can see it on the upper right.
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Not to mention delicious desserts too!
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Deborah makes liqueurs for us each year and transports them on the plane from where she lives - I give her lots of kudos for that (they must be pretty heavy). She brought 12 flavors this time - the one I tried was Russian Tea, and it was yummy! In this photo I am trying to decide between two possibilities . . .
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Needless to say, a good time was had by all. I can hardly wait for next year's 4th Annual Slow Bowl!

But, here is my question:

Is this hooch?
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Or is this hooch?
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The answer is: BOTH are!!!

February 3, 2010

On the Road Again

I'm "On the Road Again" - heading to Paso Robles this morning and then to Santa Barbara County for a Slow Travel GTG next weekend.

My sister and I usually get together in Paso Robles after Christmas, and we try to do it on Super Bowl Weekend when the annual Slow Bowl is scheduled.

This year, because of the BIG March Slow Travel GTG in San Diego, only a small group was able to come to Slow Bowl, so it has been switched down to Santa Barbara County instead of Paso Robles. Lots of good wines there too!

My sister has been to each of the first three Slow Bowls, but she has a brand new puppy and doesn't want to drive down that far. She is bringing little Bindi with her, so I will get to meet her for the first time. I'll post some pictures later this week.

February 5, 2010

Prelude to Slow Bowl

Just thought I would check in with an update. I drove to Paso Robles on Wednesday (it's now Friday). The day was beautiful - the hills on Hwy 46 going into Paso looked like green velvet.

Decided to stop at Eberle Winery to pick up some wine I had ordered. They had some beautiful winter flowers along the driveway and by the tasting room entrance.

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I met my sister in Paso, and we sneaked her new puppy into the motel. She is adorable! Bindi is her name, and she really behaved herself there.

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I am heading down to Los Alamos (close to Solvang) to meet up with the Slow Travel gang (a small Slow Bowl gang this time), and I don't know if there will be any internet access there.

More later!

February 8, 2010

Slow Bowl 4 - Part 1

Friday morning dawned with fairly good weather, so the drive from Paso Robles to Los Alamos was beautiful. The oak-studded hills looked like green velvet.

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My destination for the next two nights was the Skyview Motel in Los Alamos, located about 10 miles north of Solvang and Buellton. Shannon located this little gem for us, and it turned out to be even better than anticipated. It has 30 rooms and a huge community room with a full kitchen and lots of tables and chairs. Sounds like a good place for a Slow Travel GTG, doesn't it?

Palma and Brad arrived in the early evening, and the four of us (Shannon too) sat in the community room, along with several bottles of wine and LOTS of food. We had the best time, just eating and drinking and talking - lots and lots of talking! Such a fun evening.

I left my camera in my room, so I didn't get any photos, but Palma got a couple - take a look.

February 9, 2010

Slow Bowl 4 - Part 2

On Saturday we had an appointment to taste wine at Palmina Winery in Lompoc. Brad and Palma picked up Shannon and me and off we went. The weather was horrible, and it just poured all of the way there. The scenery, though, was gorgeous.

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Krista and Steve of Edible Santa Barbara met us at Palmina. Our winetasting was in their barrel room, a really neat setting. A tasting table was set up for us, with yummy breadsticks, homemade salami, and Parmesan.

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Check out all of the barrels - large and small:
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The wines were great - all Italian varietals. We had 2008 Traminer, 2008 Arneis, 2008 Malvasia Bianca, 2007 Alisos, 2005 Nebbiolo, 2007 Barbera, 2005 Mattia (Wedding Wine), and 2006 Savoia (their ultimate blend).

My favorites were the Arneis, the Alisos, and the magnificent Savoia. I even joined their wine club, so more wines will be coming to my doorstep soon.

Palma has posted a pretty neat photobook, complete with music. Take a look.


Continue reading "Slow Bowl 4 - Part 2 " »

February 10, 2010

Slow Bowl 4 - Part 3

After visiting Palmina, our next stop was Alma Rosa Winery in Buellton. The weather, which had been so stormy on our way to Lompoc, completely switched gears. The sun came out, and the day was beautiful!

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We spent quite awhile at Alma Rosa taking in the beautiful views and, of course, tasting their wonderful wines. My favorites were the 2006 Chardonnay - El Jabalí Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills and the 2008 Pinot Noir - Clone 667, La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills. Yum!

We even chatted with a local celebrity - Chris who appeared in the movie "Sideways".

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Continue reading "Slow Bowl 4 - Part 3" »

February 11, 2010

Slow Bowl 4 - Part 4

After visiting Palmina and Alma Rosa wineries, we still weren't finished! Our third stop was Avant Tapas and Wine Bar in Buellton.

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This state-of-the-art wine bar with dispensers for over 30 wines made right on the premises. Yes, Terravant Wine Company offers winemakers with smaller productions a place to create their wines and a place to store and bottle them. What an interesting place! And just look at the view:

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I loved the dispensers, where you could "pour" yourself either a taste size, a half glass, or a full glass. A "credit card" recorded your choices, which ranged in price from .75 to about 3.00 for the taste size.

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It was a great way to sample wines that were new to you and decide which you liked the best before you purchased a full glass. Tapas were also available to go with the wine.

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February 12, 2010

Slow Bowl 4 - Part 5

After visiting the three wineries, we headed back to our motel for a short rest and then off to dinner at Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos. Very close to our motel - if it had been summer or a little warmer, we could have walked. In fact, we ate so much delicious food that we SHOULD have walked home!

Full of Life Flatbread is an interesting place. Dinner is served only on weekends. The rest of the time, the facility makes frozen artisan pizzas to ship out to many locations in the western United States. Sorry, East Coasters, I don't see any locations there.

Slow Travelers Krista and Steve, who started Edible Santa Barbara magazine about a year ago, have even given an award to Full of Life Flatbread. One of the writers for the magazine, Nancy Oster, and her husband joined us for dinner. Nancy had written a lovely review of the restaurant for Edible Santa Barbara.

The restaurant was jam-packed when we arrived at 6 p.m. We waited in the bar for 15-20 minutes until our table was ready. The bar area was pretty, but this was the best photo I could get with all of the waiting diners crowded in there.
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We were seated in the main dining room very close to the wood-burning pizza oven:
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Lots of firewood, stacked and ready to go:
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The first order of business, of course, was to choose some wines. Here Brad and Shannon try out the Palmina Alisos that we had tasted earlier in the day:
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And, since the area, is famed for its pinots, we also had a bottle of Tantara pinot. Yum!
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Food pictures - Keep going - the best is yet to come!

Continue reading "Slow Bowl 4 - Part 5" »

July 5, 2010

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

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We met up with Palma and Brad and Shannon in Palm Desert Saturday night to have wine and appetizers at a brand new wine bar there, The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro. Here is the announcement I found on the Palm Springs Life Magazine website.

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What a neat place! Not only do they have a huge selection of GOOD wines (remember I am a wine snob), but the bar area is darling! And if you buy wine in the wine shop, you can take it right over to the bar (or the bistro) for a shockingly low corkage fee of $5. This is my kind of place!

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We sat in the bar area and ordered several appetizers to share. Our wine guru Shannon picked out a couple of pinots, and several of us chose glasses of white wines to start. Great by-the-glass selections too - that's a definite plus in my book!

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Continue reading "The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro" »

August 25, 2010

Pinot & Ponies - My First Time

Better late than never, they say, so here is my very tardy post about Pinot & Ponies in San Diego that I attended for the first time.

I wasn't able to get to San Diego for Friday night's festivities, so I met everyone at the Del Mar racetrack on Saturday. Here is the little courtyard where I waited to meet the gang.
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We had a fun time at the horseraces - won a little, lost a little. David and Marcia had a trainer friend who let us use his box, which was nice. We had picnic food and wine, and the weather was beautiful.

After the races, I drove back with Shannon to Ocean Beach and we walked down to The Vine

Here I am with Sharon:
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Bill and Charity are having a good time:
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Palma and Brad enjoying their dinner:
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Shannon, Marcia and David:
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Palma posted about Pinot & Ponies on her blog. Check it out!


December 30, 2011

A Special Christmas Lunch

It has kind of become a tradition that we get together with our friends Palma and Brad during the holiday season. This year we had lunch at a beautiful Palm Desert restaurant, Cuistot.

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Palma and I shared a bowl of Wild Mushroom soup, as did Bill. I just loved the little pot that it was served in.

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And the soup was definitely to die for!

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I thought my entree was the most unusual thing on the menu. It was called the Cuistot Lunch Box - it was served on a square plate with four sections. A small soup and salad, the entree that day was salmon and spinach topped with pastry. Last but certainly not least was a small raspberry creme brulee. I love trying small portions of several different items, so this was perfect for me.

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Continue reading "A Special Christmas Lunch" »

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