Happy Father’s Day!
We love our dads! But we think that when it comes to holidays, they don’t get a fair shake. After all, we just had Mother’s Day and all the stress that goes into trying to find the perfect gift for the moms in our life, and now here comes Father’s Day, less than two months later!
What’s an offspring to do?
Well, around here, we’re all about gender equality. We thought that you should bring the moms in your life on our tours for Mother’s Day, and now, we think that the best thing to do with the dads in your life this Father’s Day is, of course, bring them on one of our tours.
You could just take them to dinner. But that’s so low key! Why not do something different and bring them on our beer or wine pairing events? Our hand-picked wineries and craft breweries are sure to be a big hit with them, and sharing the fun of our tours is sure to be a great experience for all the dads you know.
Studies show that the best way to improve your bonds with loved ones is by sharing novel and fun experiences with them. So share the great experience of one of our tours with the fathers in your life, and we’ll be happy to be there with you!
We love you, dads, even if you do tell Dad Jokes.
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It's one of the best weeks of the year!
American Craft Beer Week starts today, and it's gonna be a good one. American craft beer has only gotten better and better every year. This week starts today, and runs all the way through Sunday, May 17th, so you have plenty of time to get your tastings on!
This week exists to honor the thousands of American brewers who have made the United States one of the world's premiere beer destinations. The epicenter of this movement is California, and the absolute heart of the American craft brewing community is right here in San Diego.
That's why we feel particularly blessed to live right here! Not only is the weather fabulous and the scenery unbeatable, it's also one of the best places on earth to be a fan of excellent beer.
That's also why we support American Craft Beer Week. When you're drinking a beer, you're not just quenching your thirst – you're also taking in its geography, its history, and the spirit and innovation that goes into making every carefully brewed barrel.
Drink up! After all, the independence and creativity that characterize craft beer are what makes America (and its drinks!) great.
Cheers to great beers!
Brooke B., Cerveza Fanatic
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Happy Mother’s Day!
This is the weekend people acknowledge and celebrate motherhood, whether you have one, are one, want to be one, or just appreciate moms.
There are days to honor women and mothers all over the world, but the one in the United States has a fascinating history.
Mother’s Day, in its original incarnation in the US, actually started as a way to stop wars. In the late 1800s, Julia Ward Howe was so horrified by the Civil War’s effects on individuals and families that she wrote a poem exhorting women to keep their husbands from fighting, and pushed for a Mother’s Day of Peace.
This was ultimately unsuccessful, but a generation later, Anna Jarvis successfully petitioned the American government to dedicate one day a year to mothers. It was signed into law in 1914. Today, we just want to show our moms we love and appreciate them! That’s why you should take yours (or someone else’s!) on one of our tasting tours.
Wine and motherhood go together like peanut butter and jelly, and we’ll be proud to help you honor your mother in the best, and tastiest, way possible. And let’s tip back a glass together to the committed individuals who realized that this day should exist to begin with.
Cheers to moms!
Brooke B., Vinista
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It’s almost time for that most beloved of beery holidays, Cinco de Mayo. Whether it’s a reason to go party, or just to throw a backyard fiesta, we’re in your corner!
But we also wanted to share a little-known fact about Cinco de Mayo.
You probably are already aware that it’s not Mexican Independence Day, which a lot of people in the United States thought for years. In fact, it’s barely acknowledged in most of Mexico. It’s actually the day that the Mexican army beat back French forces, then thought to be the best in the world, during 1862’s Battle of Puebla.
This victory was a source of enormous pride for people in Mexico, but even more so for people outside Mexico – especially the many living in California. Californios began to celebrate May 5th starting the next year, even though in Mexico the day went almost completely ignored. Cinco de Mayo caught on throughout the rest of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now even spreading back into Mexico.
In other words, like so many other good things in life, Cinco de Mayo is almost purely a Californian creation. That’s why a California craft beer (with tacos, of course) is the best way to celebrate this wonderful day.
We’ll be right there with you.
So, toma una cerveza and drink up. Salud!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Brooke B., Californista
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It’s Friday the 13th. The name of the day alone can inspire a superstitious shiver. There’s even a name for fear of it: paraskevidekatriaphobia. It causes all kinds of issues, because so many people won’t travel, get married, or even leave the house on this date!
But really, it’s nothing to be afraid of. First of all, it’s Friday. That in and of itself is a wonderful thing! Second, what’s wrong with poor number 13? It didn’t do anything to anybody.
When you dig a little deeper into the origin of just why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky, it becomes extremely interesting. First of all, thirteen has been considered a strange number in many different cultures for centuries, although not necessarily an unlucky one. Historians think this might be because of simple mathematics: the number twelve is seen as a “perfect” number, readily divisible by 2, 3, and 4, and 13, the number immediately following it, is a prime number and something of an outlier.
The number 13 was considered unlucky in the Norse pantheon, which may have been where paraskevidekatriaphobia originated. According to the story, twelve gods showed up for a dinner, and Loki the trickster showed up uninvited, bringing the total number to thirteen just before he shot Baldur the Beautiful with an arrow and killed him. (Of course, when you look at it that way, it seems like twelve is the unlucky number, not thirteen!)
The fear of Friday, on the other hand, seems to come partly from Christianity. Adam and Eve apparently died on a Friday, the Temple of Solomon was destroyed, and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Fear of Friday, like fear of the number 13, also seems to have come from Scandinavian mythology: Freya, after whom Friday is named, was the goddess of love, beauty, wisdom… and death.
Since there seem to be so many ties between Norse mythology and Friday the 13th, we recommend trying out something very Nordic this evening: Mead, or honey wine.
Meads, when done right, taste like flowers and honey, and are just as delightful iced as they are heated with spices.
While there are a number of meads to choose from, but only one full-time meadery in San Diego that we know of. Golden Coast Meads, in Oceanside and Julian, would be one of our favorites even if it wasn’t local, not just for their drinks but because of their message of sustainability.
So go out and try some mead and remember, Friday the 13th can be a honey of a day! It’s all in how you look at it.
Brooke B., Honey Bear
San Diego Restaurant Week is almost here!
It should go without saying that we love San Diego's food scene. We may be San Diego Beer and Wine Tours, but tasting beer and wine without knowing what foods to pair them with takes at least half the joy out of the whole experience!
That's why we always offer food on our beer and wine tours. When you correctly pair, it brings out nuances and dimensions to your drink – and your food – that you never knew existed. It's like a voyage of discovery with every meal!
San Diego's craft beer scene has been extolled and admired as one of the best on the planet for years, and with good reason. Its wine scene is also gaining attention, too, as more people realize how wonderful it is. But the food scene here is one of the region's best-kept secrets.
We're committed to changing that, and that's why we're such huge supporters of San Diego's Restaurant Week. Everyone should get out during the week of January 18th through the 24th and check out the menus! Participating restaurants offer special, prix-fixe menus so that you can sample as many as you like without a big dent to your wallet. It's totally worth it to be able to explore!
And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that as huge supporters of San Diego's food scene, we also organize food and drink tours that showcase some of the best, most scrumptious meals (and beers and vino too) that you can find anywhere.
So eat, drink, and be merry with us, because tomorrow… well, tomorrow there will be more of the same!
Here's to a delicious life,
Brooke B., Gastronomix
Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
-William Butler Yeats
Happy Valentine's Day!
February is such a great month in San Diego. Not only is it when springtime begins around here, but it's also the month of love!
Valentine's Day is a tradition that's been going on for centuries – and probably millennia. The tradition of Valentine's Day is murky, but it's thought to come from a 5th century Roman fertility rite called Lupercalia. The rites were supposed to honor Faunus, the god of agriculture, and Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome who according to legend were raised by a she-wolf. The rites consisted of parties and sacrifices, but most importantly, wine.
Over time, it became much more about romantic love than agriculture. Much of the ancient festival has changed (although it could be argued that it's still a fertility rite) but we've held onto the wine, because wine is love… and let it never be said that we don't believe in love!
That's why we think the best thing you can do this Valentine's is head out to one of our winery tours; we recommend the Chauffeured Tour! If you're feeling more like a beer, we love bringing people along on our new Beer Trolley Tours. Don't worry, beer is love, too!
This February, come join us! It doesn't matter if you're with your sweetie, your best friend, or if you just want to be with us. We love having you and sharing Valentine's with you, and we know you'll love it too.
Here's to amore!
Brooke B., Vinamorata
Posted in Beer, Breweries, Food and Vine, holiday, Local Business, San Diego Wine Country, San Diego Winery Tour, Theme Tours, Tours, Travel, Uncategorized, Valentine, Walking Tours, Wine, Wine Train, Wineries |
Image courtesy: Flickr user vreimunde
Well, we all made it through Thanksgiving!
We might be sporting a slight sugar hangover and some residual turkey sleepiness, but we're now back in business and raring to take you out on a tour. We know you've been scrambling to find some great deals (we know of some great ones ourselves) and doing your best to find your loved ones the perfect gifts this holiday season.
Here's what we really want to discuss: It's been hot around here this week. You've spent the past few days rushing around looking for deals. Your feet must be so tired, and, you poor thing, you must be so hungry and thirsty!
Luckily for you, we know of a great way to unwind after all the rushing around you've been doing. Sit back, relax, and let us do the driving on a chauffeured tour, or hop aboard the train with us and watch the stunning coastline go by as you toast the year so far. Great wine, great beer, great food, and above all, great company!
Why stop being thankful just because Thanksgiving is over? We're eternally thankful for you. Come treat yourself with a beer or wine tour – you deserve it!
Brooke B., Holiday Helper
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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.
As always, we're so thankful for you.
Brooke B., Thanks Giver
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.
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.
Brooke B., Oenophile
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 |