San Diego Beer & Wine Tours Is Thankful For So Many Things!

Post Date: November 20th, 2014

Beautiful table with thanksgiving food

It's almost holiday season. Well, actually, since holiday season starts right after Halloween these days, we guess it IS holiday season!

This the time of year that we tell all of you how thankful we are for all of you.  We couldn't be in this business without you, our fellow beer, wine,nd food aficionados, and all the good things you bring into our lives.  

We're also thankful we live in such an amazing corner of the world, where fine, locally-produced food and drink is available everywhere we turn!

Since we know you appreciate good meals and drinks just as much as we do, we thought we'd share some tried-and-true suggestions with you to make your Thanksgiving Day as delightful as it can possibly be.

First, to the food.  Do you have too much to drink hanging around the house? Is that bottle of sparkling wine from your great-aunt not really doing it for you?  How about roasting a champagne turkey?  The wine (or sparkling cider, if you don't feel like sacrificing a bottle) plus some butter leaves the turkey tender, moist, and absolutely delicious.  Or, if you have some leftover reds, how about adding a red wine glaze?  Spectacular!

When it comes to actually drinking the wine, turkey is a special case. While you can drink red or white wine with anything, of course, turkey actually pairs beautifully with both! 

So we think that if you want to kick it up a notch, you should take the middle ground and add a delicious orange to pair with your turkey, just to keep your family or friends guessing. Orange wine is white wine that's spent a lot of time fermenting in its own skins and seeds. At its best, it's complex and spicy and goes beautifully with a Thanksgiving feast.  The ever-wonderful Bernardo Winery has a sweet orange moscato that would taste divine with cranberry sauce or even with dessert.  It's also a gorgeous color! 

If you're feeling beerish, we can't recommend a good stout, like Alesmith's Speedway Stout, enough.  Its coffee and molasses notes are perfect for pairing with stuffing and its creaminess complements everything from peas to pumpkin pie! 

But if you're feeling adventurous, sour beers are where it's at for Thanksgiving.  Sour beers, in case you haven't tried them, are perfect for cutting through the sometimes-gamy flavor of dark turkey meat, and prep your palate for the lighter side dishes.  If you can get your hands on The Savage from Societe, it's a great American sour ale and we highly recommend it! Its cherry finish will leave you singing. 

Of course, you can always come out on a tour with us. We'll feed you fine food and drink – and you won't ever have to worry about cleanup!

As always, we're so thankful for you.

Brooke B., Thanks Giver 

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Posted in Beer, Breweries, Food and Vine, holiday, Local Business, Recipes, San Diego Wine Country, Tours, Uncategorized, Walking Tours, Wine, Wine Train |


Happy National Red Wine Day from San Diego Beer and Wine Tours!

Post Date: October 15th, 2014

Today is National Red Wine Day! And what a glorious day it is. It's the day when we take a moment to sit back, take a sip, and really appreciate red wine. What, you say? That's every day? Well, read on for tips on how to appreciate it more! 

First of all, wine is history in a glass. No matter what you drink, you're sipping on the sun, the sky, the soil, the climate, and the temperament of the place your wine was born. It contains the minerals that nurtured it, the light that warmed it, the chill of the starry nights that helped the grapes grow. In short, it embodies the character of a place like nothing else you could eat or drink, and in the most delightful and delicious way possible.

And while people have been fermenting beverages throughout human history, red wine has a special place in history. Egyptians associated it with blood and therefore considered it sacred. Europeans loved red wine so much that explorers brought and planted their own grapes wherever they landed

Second, red wine is great for you. Red wine contains polyphenols and antioxidants that provide many anti-aging benefits, from preventing wrinkles to protecting your heart.

This is not to say that white wine, or orange wine, or green wine, or rosé are not glorious things to taste as well. We just think that red wine deserves an appropriately reverent attitude today, and really, every day. That's why we have our wine tours, so you, too, can enjoy the complexities of California's history and delicious climate in every glass.

Cheers!

 

Brooke B., Oenophile

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Posted in bus tours, Food and Vine, Happy Hour, Local Business, San Diego Wine Country, San Diego Winery Tour, Theme Tours, Tours, Uncategorized, Walking Tours, Wine, Wine Train, Winemaking, Wineries |


San Diego Beer and Wine Tours Loves Oktoberfest!

Post Date: September 21st, 2014

 

You know how we keep saying this is the best time of the year for beer and wine lovers?  We do, because it is! 

It's not only a gorgeous time to experience all of southern California's unique and unforgettable beauty without contending with too much crowding and traffic, but it's also harvest time, when the grapes are squeezed and the hops are threshed.  

This is also when great events take place for those who love their wine and beer.  One such happening is Oktoberfest, a loosely-knit series of beer festivals.  There's the huge one in Munich, which draws at least 6 million visitors a year (!) and then the various local Oktoberfests that showcase local brews all over the world.  We like those better, because not only do you save yourself hundreds to thousands of dollars in airfare, we think you might even be getting better beer.  Don't tell anybody we said that. 

But seriously, you can imagine that in a place like San Diego, where the beer is so divine that we are actually exporting breweries to Germany at this point, you're going to be in hops heaven.  Don't just take our word for it, though!  Go see for yourself how amazing San Diego's brews can be.  Here are a few upcoming events to get you started. 

San Diego's first Oktoberfest celebration of the year is in Encinitas today: September 21st.  It's fudging the definition of Oktober ever so slightly, but they more than make up for it with their great beers and wonderful music with which they fill the streets of their beautiful coastal city.

If you like the beach and can't make it to Encinitas, Ocean Beach's Oktoberfest will take place Oktober – pardon, October- 10th and 11th, and it's the only such celebration right on the waterfront.  

If staying dry is more your thing (or you just don't want to wait!) go east to La Mesa's venerable Oktoberfest, which gets more fun every year.  It boasts vendors, live music, and a HUGE beer garden (trust us, it's HUGE!) and will be filling the streets of downtown La Mesa on October 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  It's even right on a trolley line so you can roll on in and not have to worry about either parking or driving, which is a huge bonus.

There are so many more that we just can't name them all, but here's a list of some of the rest of Oktoberfests around San Diego to get you started.

Go have fun, and we'll see you there!

Zum Wohl!

Brooke B., Oktoberfestaria

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Posted in Beer, Breweries, holiday, Local Business, Travel, Uncategorized |


San Diego Beer and Wine Tours Loves Food, Too!

Post Date: August 27th, 2014

We know we're called San Diego Beer and Wine Tours, but we don't just deal with beer and wine. In fact, we never have. We understand that beer and wine without wonderful food pairings is like having peanut butter without the jelly, ice cream without the sprinkles, yin without yang – you get the picture.

All of our tours, as a matter of fact, include food tastings to go with your beverages – the equivalent of a full meal. We don't just tour the finest wineries and breweries in San Diego. Our tours are filled with the best food this town has to offer, no matter what you're in the mood for!

It's a great way to savor the best gourmet, farm-to-table fare while you sip without having to commit to the price of a full meal. Plus, you get to answer one of life's eternal questions: what's better with pizzabeer or wine? (Answer: Both, of course. And don't forget champagne, too.)

Worried about calories? Don't be! First of all, you won't be getting overprocessed food – we deal with only the best food made with the highest-quality ingredients, and our walking tours will burn them right off.

We don't stop with beer and wine pairings.  We also have whiskey tours – we've found that Chedi Thai Bistro's food works beautifully with owner and chef Pia's creations.

And in case you're not in a drinking mood, rejoice. We have suggestions for wonderful non-alcoholic drinks to pair with food as well!

In other words, we have something for everybody and we proudly support the small businesses that produce the tastiest and freshest foods in San Diego.

Here's to health, good food, and lip-smackingly delicious libations!

 

Brooke B., Epicure  

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Posted in Beer, Breweries, bus tours, Food and Vine, Happy Hour, Health, Local Business, San Diego Wine Country, San Diego Winery Tour, Theme Tours, Tours, Uncategorized, Walking Tours, Wine, Wine Train, Winemaking, Wineries |


Happy International Beer Day from San Diego Beer and Wine Tours!

Post Date: July 31st, 2014

International Beer Day is almost here!

The worldwide celebration is going on anywhere there's beer, all over the word. We'd be thrilled to not only help you celebrate it, but also perhaps introduce you to some brews you might not have known exist. There's so many wonderful beers in the world to choose from!

San Diego Beer and Wine Tours will take you to the best local breweries to celebrate this special day (and all year round!). Think globally, drink locally!

International Beer Day is nothing to sneeze at, either. The party, which takes place every first Friday in August, was first celebrated in 2008, and the idea, like all great ideas, quickly spread. Now, International Beer Day is celebrated in at least 50 countries and 207 cities, all over the world!

San Diego has one of the best beer scenes you'll find anywhere, but we also love the world – just like you. So come tilt a pint with us. We're bringing the world together, one brew at a time!

San Diego Beer and Wine Tours invites you to join us for one of our special International Beer Tours. Support local and support FUN!  

Cheers!

Brooke B., Cerevisaphiliac

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Posted in Beer, bus tours, Food and Vine, Local Business, Theme Tours, Tours, Uncategorized, Walking Tours |


San Diego Beer and Wine Tours Wants to Talk Tequila with You!

Post Date: July 25th, 2014

Happy National Tequila Day!

Seeing as how we're so close to the border, we'd love to take a little time to talk about one of Mexico's tastiest exports.  It's what you get when you ferment the sweet sap of the agave or maguey plant, which was sacred to the Aztecs.  Tequila is, truly, the nectar of the gods. 

We love tequila around here!  It's way more than just something that's going to make you really drunk, really fast. (Sip, don't guzzle! Trust us!) 

Agave, in its unfermented form, has been used as a food for at least 8,000 years.  Its body and sap also have a host of traditional medicinal uses, too, from wound cleanser to colon cleanser.  That doesn't hold true if you're drowning your tequila in a super-sugary margarita, though – try to learn to love it straight, if you don't already!

We'd love to help you develop your love for this wonderful ambrosial drink. Our own Shira Bliss has been hosting whiskey tasting events lately, and we'll be having tequila tastings in the very near future. So bottoms up – time to develop your tastes south of the border!

Salud!

 

Brooke B., Tequila Mockingbird

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Happy Fourth of July from San Diego Beer and Wine Tours!

Post Date: June 30th, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Today's the day the United States formally declared its independence from Great Britain, way back in 1776.  Fourth of July celebrations include displaying the American flag, parades, and fireworks, not to mention the all-important barbecues.

All of those are wonderful, but we’d like to suggest a slightly different way of celebrating this great day. If you are thinking, “Hmmm, we bet this involves beer,” you’d be absolutely right.  Here’s our idea for a patriotic afternoon of leisurely local craft beer sippin’:

Green Flash Hop Head Red (1 bottle)

Avery Brewing Company’s White Rascal (1 bottle)

Repeat as necessary.  The red ale and white beer represent, of course, the red and white stripes of our great nation’s flag. 

But what about the blue? we can hear you asking now.  That took some special legwork, and you have to go outside the United States to find it – all the way to Hokkaido, Japan, where Abashiri Brewery has begun selling beer that is made with melted icebergs and colored with seaweed dyes.  

We’re not too sure about this one, so we’ll leave the final decision about how far to take your patriotism up to you. We’ll be over here, celebrating the Stars and Bars with our favorite local reds and whites (beer, that is.)

Here’s to US!

Brooke B., Patriotette

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Posted in Beer, Food and Vine, holiday, Local Business, Uncategorized |


San Diego Beer and Wine Tours Wants You to Have a Great Father’s Day!

Post Date: June 1st, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Today's the day that we stop to thank our fathers for doing their part to bring us into the world – and raise us!

Did you know that Father's Day isn't a very old holiday? In 1972, then-president Richard Nixon signed a proclamation that made the day a federal holiday. So Father's Day is probably younger than your dad, which means he labored away, unappreciated, for years before there was finally a day delegated just for him. 

We'd love to make up for that, so we found this list of Dad-themed craft brews he can try out. Better yet, we've also put together a special beer tour just for him. (You can come too, of course!  In fact, we'd love to see you there.) 

We love our moms, but we don't think dads get as much thanks as they deserve. So we'd love to lift a craft beer and toast the special dads in our lives!  

Here's to you, Dad. Eight to the bar!

Brooke B., Padrista

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Happy Memorial Day from San Diego Beer & Wine Tours!

Post Date: May 25th, 2014

Memorial Day is a day we honor all our military women and men. Originally, it was called Decoration Day, where you would visit graves of loved ones who had been killed in action, strewing flowers over their tombstones. Over time, though, it became a way to celebrate anyone who served in the armed forces, alive or dead.

Today, Memorial Day is not only a way to give thanks to our loved ones who serve in the military, but it also marks the unofficial start of summer. “May Gray” might be here, but in San Diego's temperate climate, that's no excuse not to fire up the barbecue and have a beer with your family and friends. Just make sure it's craft beer, because you don't want to deprive anybody of the best brews in the world.

As a matter of fact, some breweries – including San Diego's own Stone – are bringing together great beer and honoring the troops by participating in the “Hops for Heroes” program, brewing a beer called Homefront IPA.  Proceeds go to provide emergency financial assistance to the families of veterans. It's a great way to drink your red, white, and blue!

Here's to our troops – and the beginning of summer!

 

Cheers,

 

Brooke B., IPAtriot

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Happy Vernal Equinox from San Diego Beer and Wine Tours!

Post Date: March 21st, 2014

Happy Spring! 

The vernal equinox is the first day of spring. That's when the day and night are roughly equal in length. Now nighttime is just going to keep getting shorter, until we're at summer's glorious peak! 

Not that springtime in San Diego is anything to sneeze at, unless you're allergic to pollen, of course. In fact, it's one of the most gloriously beautiful times of the year here, with rare flowers popping out of the desert and cherry blossoms adorning Balboa Park. 

It's also a great time of year to sit outside and sip some light springtime wines. We recommend light-bodied wines. Here are a few to try: 

Prosecco is a light and sparkly wine, and at its best it's fruity without being oversweet.  It's also quite wallet-friendly, running about $10 a bottle. Perfect for sipping with or without peach juice as you sit on the porch in the springtime sun. Try something from Nino Franco to start.  

California has a serious rosé issue — it's serious about rosés.  And so are we! Dry, balanced rosés make life worth living, and Napa Valley produces some of the best you'll find anywhere. Trefethen Family Vineyards produces a wonderful fruity rosé that's made with Pinot Noir grapes and has hints of cherries and strawberries. Perfect. 

Red wine that carries just a touch of sweetness will be welcome on any sunny day, too. Modesto's Tisdale Vineyard carries a wine called Sweet Red of California that's a springtime favorite. It's great for summer, too! Pair it with your favorite barbecued food. 

Enjoy the sparkling days and clear nights of springtime in San Diego. Here's to the equinox! 

Cheers, 

Brooke B., Spring Blossom

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Posted in Food and Vine, holiday, Local Business, San Diego Wine Country, San Diego Winery Tour, Theme Tours, Tours, Uncategorized, Walking Tours, Wine, Wine Train, Winemaking, Wineries |