Oh, Tax Day. Is there any date more dreaded or breathlessly awaited in this country than April 15th?
Doing taxes is a chore, even when you know you're going to get a big return at the end. It's even worse when you know you're going to have to pay, and the bugbear of being audited lurks around the corner of every impenetrable phrase.
Luckily, you have us. We can't do your taxes for you (although I'm sure we can suggest some of our favorite accountants) but we can take the edge off by offering you a good deal on a beer or a wine tour to reward yourself after you've done your yearly duty with the IRS!
Come on out and enjoy yourself with us on Tax Day. You deserve it!
Brooke "Putting the 'fun' back in 'tax refund'" B.
*Not valid with any other offers or past purchases. Good through end of April 2013.
Earth Day is one of our favorite days of the year, but not for the reason you might think. While we love that there's a day dedicated to the planet we all share, we think that every day should be Earth Day. That's why we do the tours we do – it's the only fully “green” winery and beer tour you can find in San Diego.
Our chauffeured tours are no different. While we're driving you so you can fully enjoy San Diego's great beer and wine, rest assured knowing that our low-emission vehicles help you participate in our environmentally friendly practices.
We're also reducing our carbon footprints in another, more subtle way. By showing San Diego the delights of its own vibrant wine, craft beer, and local food scenes, we are helping them buy locally – which cuts down on the amount of fuel that we use and by extension, cleans up the atmosphere.
Here's to clean air!
Brooke B., Gaia Goddess
Read more about Earth Day by Shira Bliss, owner SD Beer and Wine Tours.
We've already mentioned that this is one of our favorite times of year, from the Easter egg hunts to the buds on the trees. We're also pretty sure we've mentioned wine's particular role in the spring season's rites and rituals, but since Easter (and springtime in general) is all about beginnings, today we're going to talk about the integral role beer has played in human history: helping spark civilization.
That's right. Your humble glass of beer isn't just a delight, nor is it a brew reserved for sailors and ruffians (although, really, was it ever?) It's the reason everything, absolutely everything, exists as you know it. The theory goes thus: ancient Sumerians discovered that they could ferment barley, and were so happy with the results that they retired from their nomadic ways to cultivate it. There was enough enough food and beer to go around for thousands of years, and so they stuck around in one place for generations, focusing on other things – and that's how civilization was born.
It is not coincidental that the Sumerian goddess of fertility, Ninkasi, was also the goddess of beer and alcohol, whose hymn, once deciphered, also functions as a recipe for beer. But – stay with us – here's where it gets really interesting. Ninkasi was known by a few other names, including Astarte and Ishtar. That last name may sound familiar if you say it out loud, the way it was meant to be pronounced: “eesh-tar.” That name is, in fact, the goddess of fertility for which the Easter celebration is named.
So, the next time you're hoisting a beer, especially on one of our annual spring tours ushering in the season, pause for a moment and reflect on what you're sipping: not just a humble beer but the origins of civilization itself. To say nothing of Easter.
Brooke B., Spring Sumerian
The holiday season is almost over, and 2012 is about to go out with a bang!
At San Diego Beer and Wine Tours, we don't really believe in the standard New Year's resolutions. What's the point of a year filled with thirst and deprivation? Plus, nobody ever sticks with them. That's why we have decided to make 2013 the year of the Resolution Revolution. Instead of taking things we love away, we've decided make changes by adding more good things into our lives. We've decided to take better care of ourselves by eating more good food and drinking as much rich wine and tasty craft beer as we can handle.
If your New Year's promises run in the same vein (and why wouldn't they?) we have any number of delightful tours for you to enjoy to kick next year off in style. Join us for a walking exploration of San Diego's best restaurants and microbreweries, or a chauffered tour of our little-known Wine Country. After all, we're only going to get one 2013. You might as well make the most of it!
Cheers, prosit, and Happy New Year!
Brooke B., Resolutionary
Posted in Beer, Breweries, Company News, Food and Vine, Happy Hour, Health, holiday, Local Business, San Diego Wine Country, San Diego Winery Tour, Tours, Uncategorized, Walking Tours, Wine, Wine Train, Wineries |
`Tis the season for giving. While we think that nothing is better than the gift of a winery train tour, chauffeured tour, or a beer tasting tour through beautiful San Diego, we also like to give back. In fact, it's one of the things we're most proud of!
Did you know that a portion of all of our money made goes to San Diego's underprivileged children and teens, and another portion goes to people struggling with health or financial challenges? So every time you buy a tour, you're not just having a great time, you're also helping out people who need it.
If you prefer to donate directly, here are some of our favorite charities:
Summit4StemCell, tour guide Marti's organization of choice, is part of the Parkinson's Association of San Diego and supports non-embryonic stem cell research in partnership with the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla and the Scripps Research Institute.
Shakti Rising, one of Shira Bliss's favorite charities, focuses on personally empowering girls and young women, with the end goal of creating societies that are healthier for everybody, especially women and children.
The Playing For Change Foundation, Brooke B.'s favorite, is dedicated to using music and education to promote positive change in blighted or war-torn areas. Musicians hold concerts to raise money or put together videos using performances from far-flung corners of the world to raise money to provide children with safe spaces to learn.
These are just a few of the many wonderful charities out there. But no matter which community you give back to during this season of giving, we raise a glass of our favorite wine to you.
Brooke B., Charitrix
Posted in Beer, Breweries, bus tours, Company News, Food and Vine, Health, holiday, Local Business, San Diego Wine Country, San Diego Winery Tour, Tours, Uncategorized, Walking Tours, Wine, Wine Train, Wineries |
June takes its name from Juno, the most important goddess in the Roman pantheon. Juno was called Hera by ancient Greeks and Uni or Cupra by the Etruscans, who once populated what is now Tuscany. She helped rule heaven alongside her husband, Jupiter. Juno, whose name means “vital force,” is the goddess of marriage, women, and new beginnings. The first day of every month also belongs to Juno.
New beginnings are also on our mind right now. La Jolla Wine Tours is growing to include San Diego Beer and Wine Tours as we expand and bring you the best wine AND beer throughout San Diego County! We’ll even have a online booking system on our website to show off to you soon. Follow us on Twitter to keep abreast of all the new happenings.
Incidentally, one of Juno's many aspects or epithets was known as Potina, the goddess of the act of drinking. We'll drink to that!
Mother's Day is coming up on the 13th, and we're here to help! If you're looking for the perfect gift, look no further – our beer and wine tours will make your mother's day.
Dark beers were once known as"mother's milk," because hospitals in Ireland once gave stouts to expectant and nursing mothers to increase their milk supply. In fact, Guinness once ran an entire ad campaign on the premise that dark stouts are good for you, a claim that, happily, has been bolstered by modern science.
Red wine, which (like beer) is packed with flavonoids and resveratrol, will keep mom young and her heart happy, and white wine is associated with better lung function. And both types of wine will lower "bad" cholesterol levels. Around here, we like to call it "Mother's Little Helper."
So if you want to show your appreciation for your mom and help her heart, lungs, and cholesterol levels in the process, don't delay: book a wine or beer tour with us today!
Brooke B., So"mom"lier
The La Jolla Half Marathon is this Sunday, and in its honor we're going to tell you a secret. If you're a runner, you probably already know it. If you aren't a runner, this might change your mind.
Here it is. After a long run, there are a very few drinks recommended for recovery during training for a marathon. As hardcore runners and Hash House Harriers have known for generations, one of the shining stars of recovery drinks is… beer.
Thirsty after the run? La Jolla Brew House has just the ticket to quench your thirst!
That's right – after punishing your body after a long run, it turns out that tipping back a beer or two will not only help your body combat inflammation and soreness, it will also pump up your immune system and help your body fight off race-busting colds.
One study, from the Technical University of Munich, recommends up to a liter and a half a day during training – although it cautioned that non-alcoholic beer was probably better because of alcohol's dehydrating effect. Another group of scientists, these from Spain's Granada University, say that alcohol actually makes beer more efficient at rehydrating the body than water alone after exercise.
Lest you think that wine is getting short shrift here, we would like to point out that resveratrol, a component of red wines, can increase endurance by up to 100 percent – in other words, a liberal dose of red wine during training could double your long runs. After a run, to ease those worked muscles, try one of our walking wine tours or winery train tours, both have 1-2 miles of walking on them.
Brooke B., Beer Runner
Expensive wines aren't always good wines. Who hasn't had the experience of being seduced by snappy packaging into paying way too much for a bottle of wine that is, quite frankly, mediocre? The same goes for beer. Even here, in the heart of craft beer country, there are great beers… and then there are duds.
This April First, don't be “fooled” by bad beer and wine in a beautiful glass! How do you learn to tell the difference between what's pleasing to the palate and what's just barely palatable? Often, learning which brands are delicious and which to pass on is a matter of trial and error or personal taste, but sometimes people don't know the signs of a corked wine, especially when it's being served to them in a restaurant. Here's a tip – if your wine smells like a lit match, a horse blanket, wet newspaper, or a basement, pour it out or send it back, and get a clean wine glass!
Craft beer is subject to issues of its own. While mass-produced beer is pasteurized, which stabilizes the product and makes it taste homogeneous, craft beer is often “alive,” which means it is still in the process of fermentation and therefore prone to infection (yes, that's what it's called.) If your beer tastes overwhelmingly of corn, butter, sulfur, or just plain skunkiness, toss it out. However, sourness and bitterness is usually intended by the brewer.
Want to know more? Join one of our walking or train tours and learn about wine and beer from our experts. If you don't feel like walking, we’ll pick you up and drive you to sample the superb wines of San Diego Wine Country.
Brooke B., SDBW Resident Writer
Has it always been sexy for a woman to drink beer? We think so. We’ll even go so far as to argue that most men have ALWAYS thought it was sexy for a woman to drink beer. So, what’s the point we’re trying to get to then? What’s the issue? Is there even an issue?
Here’s our two cent’s worth: It’s women who used to think drinking beer was NOT sexy. Now there’s a huge trend where women are reevaluating that judgment and coming up with the conclusion that sipping or even guzzling a beer is completely sexy. We’re not talking just any beer (we won’t mention names!) With a booming craft beer industry all across America, in which San Diego is no small fry, more and more women are finding they LIKE beer (goodness, maybe even LOVE the thirst quenching stuff.) Science shows that women should like beer – moderate beer drinking can reduce blood pressure and risk of osteoporosis and contains fiber, calcium, magnesium, and plenty of antioxidants.
Walk into one of the 48 craft beer joints in San Diego and you’ll have more than just a couple of choices at each. There’s likely something here to please most every feminine palate. From a refreshing hefeweizen style beer with subtle banana and clove nuances to sweet ambers and browns, and then there’s the coffee and chocolate stouts, oh my! That’s a handsome lineup! And with the higher alcohol content of some of the barrel-aged brews, for example, you'll even get a smaller, sexier glass to tout your treasure.
Some of us ladies may not be quite ready for that big, bold muscular IPA that San Diego is famous for, but let me give you a tip: Keep sipping and you may just find that your palate has expanded and it’s now your cup of tea (I mean beer.) My next blog will be about high tea with those lovely watercress and cucumber sandwiches. Oh dear, I’m getting distracted….
Shira Bliss, San Diego IPA Lover