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Big Rick


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The Notorious B.I.G.’s Daughter Opens a NY-Style Pizza Place in Los Angeles


The new Juicy Pizza is shaping up to be a collaboration for the ages, pairing Tyra Myricks (daughter of the late Jam Master Jay, of Run-D.M.C. fame) with Tyanna Wallace, daughter of the late Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G. The pair have been friends for some time, Myricks told Business Insider last month; both stay busy with a variety of projects, including their own fashion lines, but wanted to collaborate to give Los Angeles some of the New York City-style pizza they felt was missing.

“The more I thought about how to bring that New York theme to Los Angeles, I felt, who represents New York more than Biggie Smalls?,” Myricks told Business Insider.

the new Juicy Pizza will open at 615 N. La Brea in the former Pizza Romana space

It’s also worth mentioning that the upcoming Juicy Pizza will not only carry merch and clothing from Myricks, but it will have a members-only cannabis lounge run by Black-owned Presidential Cannabis in the back

Coachella Pre-Sale Tickets Sell Out In 4 Hours

Pre-sale tickets for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival set for next April sold out soon after going on sale Friday.

Coachella, which typically brings upward of 250,000 fans over two weekends to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, is slated for the weekends of April 15-17 and April 22-24.

Event promoter Goldenvoice said fans can still sign up for the waitlist.

The Coachella Valley’s economy lost upward of $700 million due to the absence of both festivals, according to a previous report issued by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.

Groth Announces Oakville Neighbors Series

Groth Vineyards & Winery has released the Oakville Neighbors Series, a new portfolio of limited-production, single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons sourced from distinguished grower-partners who have helped make the Oakville AVA one of the most highly regarded appellations in Napa Valley. Coinciding with the Groth family’s 40th year of growing grapes and making Cabernet Sauvignon in the Oakville AVA, the Oakville Neighbors Series is only available directly through the winery tasting room, wine club and website ( The three wines in this initial release are priced at $75 each.

“The Oakville Neighbors Series is a platform for exploring the incredible diversity of Oakville Cabernet,” President & CEO Suzanne Groth said. “The wines tell stories about this place we call home, narratives about the land and vineyards, and also the people who have believed in, shaped and brought to prominence the Oakville AVA.”

Groth’s Oakville Neighbors Series debuts with three single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons from the 2018 vintage. “These are winery-driven wines, that is, small lots from the 2018 vintage that presented themselves in the cellar,” Groth said. “The vineyard sources for the series may or may not change from vintage to vintage. The only parameter is that each wine stand on its own as a distinct expression of the Oakville appellation.”

The 2018 wines in the Oakville Neighbors Series are sourced from grower-partners with whom the Groth family has had long relationships, reaching back as far as 35 years or more. The names of the wines are fanciful, homages to the growers vs. the names of the vineyards themselves.


The city of Long Beach regained control of the Queen Mary Friday for the first time in four decades, with the previous operator surrendering leases for oversight of the vessel, which is in need of millions of dollars in urgent repair work.

Recent reports on the state of the vessel concluded that it could potentially sink absent an estimated $23 million in immediate repairs.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said the city plans to take swift action to restore the ship now that it has operational control of the vessel for the first time since 1978.

“For the first time in decades, Long Beach has full control of the Queen Mary,” Garcia said in a statement. “We will be fully engaged in the preservation of this historic landmark and are incredibly grateful for this opportunity.”

San Diego Listed Among Best U.S. Cities To ‘Staycation’: Report

Three Golden State cities ranked among the best places to “staycation,” according to a new list compiled by WalletHub. San Diego snagged no. 9 out of 182 cities across the U.S.

The financial advice website used several metrics to determine how cities ranked, including the number of parks, swimming pools, ice cream shops, museums, coffee shops, beer gardens, zoos, aquariums, tennis courts, public golf courses and spas per capita in each city. It also took into account local restaraunt meal costs and entertainment.

In sunny San Diego, locals have a plethora of sandy beaches with rolling surf right at their fingertips.

Here are just a few suggestions to add to your San Diego staycation bucket list:

Balboa Park

San Diego Zoo

Hotel del Coronado Curio Collection

San Diego Natural History Museum

Maritime Museum of San Diego

La Jolla Shores Park

Windansea Beach

Sunset Cliff’s Natural Park

Japanese Friendship Garden

Mingei International

San Elijo State Beach

Annie’s Canyon Trail

Other California cities that ranked above no. 20 were San Francisco (no. 3) and Los Angeles (no. 15). Fremont, the Bay Area’s fourth-largest city, was listed at the bottom of WalletHub’s staycation list, ranking as the worst city for taking a local vacation.

Alaska Airlines announces nonstop flights from Santa Barbara to San Diego

Santa Barbara Airport will provide nonstop flights to San Diego starting June 17.

Alaska Airlines will offer nonstop flights to San Diego International Airport starting June 17,

The flight is expected to be only an hour long bypassing the normal four hour plus drive through Los Angeles.

“We are honored that Alaska Airlines has chosen SBA for this new route to San Diego and we are reassured summertime travel to southern California just got easier with this new direct service says Airport Director, Henry Thompson. “This new flight will offer a quick trip to sunny San Diego for families and those needing to travel for business.”

Food Trucks Roll Back into Downtown San Francisco

After more than a yearlong hiatus, food trucks are rolling back downtown next week, scheduled to coincide with California’s official June 15 reopening. Lamas Peruvian Truck, Bacon Bacon, and Rice Bucket will be among the offerings when Off the Grid launches its food truck spots at Salesforce Tower (Tuesdays and Thursdays), Levi Plaza (Tuesday through Wednesday), as well as further south in Menlo Park (Wednesday only). Additional food trucks are set to join the rotation in the coming weeks.

This Brilliant Wine Hack Will Chill Your Bottle of Rosé in Record Time (Sommeliers Agree)

well + good

“Spin the bottle in a salted ice bath and it will be chilled and ready to drink in less than five minutes,” reveals sommelier and Good Clean Wine co-founder Michelle Feldman. She elaborates on her instructions saying to fill a metal container large enough to hold your bottle—a large, tall stock pot works perfectly—with 50 percent ice, 50 percent water, and two cups of salt. Then, submerge the bottle up to the bottleneck in the ice water and twist the bottle and swirl it for about five minutes.

Sommelier Samantha Capaldi has another smart tip for chilling your wine ASAP: she pours the wine and adds a few frozen grapes to each glass. “This way, it gets chilled immediately without the chance of watering it down with ice cubes,” she says. This is actually her preferred method. “I always remember to grab a pack of grapes from the grocery store and have them in my freezer at all times,” she says, adding that between four to eight frozen grapes per glass typically does the trick.

So… what’s the consensus re: ice cubes?

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: just adding plain old ice cubes to your glass of wine. When it comes to this (ahem) ‘older-school’ method, Capaldi and Feldman both have a “you do you” attitude about it. “The best way to drink wine is how you like it. It’s totally acceptable to add ice to red, white, rosé, or sparkling,” Feldman says. “Spritzes, wine cocktails, and sangria are often poured over ice. Adding ice can dilute the colors, aromas, and flavors, but it also makes wine more refreshing on a hot day.” If you want to add ice cubes without diluting the flavor, you can always use whiskey cubes ($8) instead of real ones.

Sushi, Craft Cocktails, and More Newness in Napa and Sonoma

Bay Grape Napa

The little Oakland bottle shop that could has grown up with a Napa outpost. It opened in the last week of March with an enormous patio for drinking wine and enjoying snacks. The snacks include bread from fellow newcomer West Won Bakery, a custom-made paté from Contimo Provisions, and local cheeses, cured meats, and olives, too.

Ace and Vine

A late-night destination has hit sleepy downtown Napa, known for its early last call. And notably it has the only gaming license in the city of Napa, making its debut as a California Casino, too. Card games but no slots. A very extensive menu of “Asian fusion” dishes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Cocktails, beer, wine, and fire-pits can also be found on the patio, which overlooks the Napa River.

Empress M, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant serving dim sum and other Chinese delicacies at lunch and dinner.

From Top Chef alum Casey Thompson comes Folktable, a bright and airy daytime restaurant located in Cornerstone Sonoma.

SF’s Ferry Building Farmer’s Market launching home delivery across 9 Bay Area counties

San Francisco’s popular Ferry Building Farmers Market is starting a new way for food lovers to get fruit and vegetables that will help growers across the region.

The nonprofit group CUESA (the Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture) that operates the market, developed market boxes for curbside pickup to help the farmers. Now comes a new strategy as the market sees how consumers have become accustomed to home delivery. Next week, Ferry Building Farmers Market Delivered will launch.

“If you cannot come to the Farmers Market on a particular Saturday, that’s OK,” said Christine Farren, CUESA Executive Director. “You can still order online from your favorite farmer and have it delivered to your house”

A dozen growers will participate to start with more added in the months ahead. Delivery will be handled by The Fruit Guys, another family run business, with service to all nine Bay Area counties for a $10 delivery fee. There’s no minimum order.

Online orders will be taken Monday through Thursday night for Saturday delivery. In time, it plans to expand to 24/7 ordering and more frequent deliveries.

Disneyland to introduce a $100 sandwich

The Disneyland Resort will soon be home to a new attraction – one of the most expensive sandwiches in the world.

The Anaheim, California resort will feature a new panini sandwich that will debut when Avengers Campus opens at Disney California Adventure Park on June 4.

The sandwich will cost $99.99. The menu says it will serve 6-8 guests.

The quick-service restaurant called Pym Test Kitchen is themed to the movie Ant-Man and the Wasp and will serve meals that have been shrunk or expanded in size.

So, what’s in the Quantum-sized Pym-ini Sandwich?

It comes with salami, rosemary ham, provolone, and sun-dried tomato spread on toasted focaccia. It is served with marinara dipping sauce and arugula salad.

The sandwich will also be available in a single serving for $14.99.

Also on the menu is an oversized can that is filled with soda. That drink will put you back $22.99.


Santa Barbara Airport Adding New Service to Chicago Starting in June

Santa Barbara Airport on Monday announced that United Airlines will offer nonstop service to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago starting in June.

Beginning June 3, daily flights on United Airlines are scheduled to depart the Santa Barbara Airport at 7 a.m. and arrive in O’Hare International Airport at 1:20 p.m. local time in Chicago, according to Angi Daus, marketing coordinator at SBA.

“We are honored that United Airlines has chosen SBA for new service via its Chicago hub,” SBA Airport Director Henry Thompson said in a statement.

“For Santa Barbara area residents, it will be our farthest direct flight with connections to more than 40 destinations across the Midwest and East Coast and will also shave hours off the typical routes via Denver, Los Angeles or San Francisco. As international travel opens this route will connect Santa Barbara to over 60 international destinations.”

Big Bay Boom fireworks show over San Diego Bay returning on July 4

After being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the popular Big Bay Boom fireworks show is making its return as an in-person event this Fourth of July.

Port of San Diego officials announced the show over San Diego Bay will happen on Sunday, July 4, starting at 9 p.m.

Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Michael Zucchet said, “We are excited for the return of the Big Bay Boom. Not only is this event incredible to see and to celebrate our nation’s independence, it has a major economic impact on the Port and the region, and that will be especially important this year as we emerge from a very tough period. We can’t wait to enjoy this San Diego Bay tradition once again.”

Sandy Purdon, the executive producer of the Big Bay Boom, added, “The Big Bay Boom this year will be our 20th and we hope it welcomes everyone back from a year under COVID. Besides being one of the largest July 4 fireworks shows in America, it supports the Armed Services YMCA and our military families in San Diego.”

The price of a tasting has almost doubled in Napa and Sonoma in the past five years

If you haven’t been to a California winery for a tasting visit in a while, you might experience sticker shock. The average price for a standard tasting fee has almost doubled in five years and is now $58 in Napa County and $30 in Sonoma County.

This was one of the most striking figures released today from Silicon Valley Bank’s 2021 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Survey Report. The report is based on self-reported data from 460 US wineries. The majority (69 percent) are in California; only 35 (7.6 percent) are outside the West Coast.

The survey lists the average standard tasting fee in the US as $25, but that is brought up by Napa and Sonoma, as only those regions average more than that. Paso Robles, Oregon and Santa Barbara have average tasting fees between $21 and $24. Washington state is the bargain region for tasting: high-quality wines with an average fee of $15.

Many wineries also reported having a higher “reserve tasting” fee, which averages $90 in Napa and $50 in Sonoma. Once again, Washington state is the value play, with average reserve tasting fees of just $20.

“Over the past 20 years, wineries have moved from walk-in to a by-appointment model only when forced by local regulations,” the report says. “Covid-19 restrictions forced wineries into by-appointment in 2020. From conversations, we believe when fully open the majority will retain a by-appointment option or remain fully by-appointment.”

Only one major US wine region – Santa Barbara County – actually reported more average monthly visitors so far this year compared to 2019. Napa and Sonoma Counties are seeing less than half the average number of visitors that they did in 2019, according to the survey.

The Vice Wine, in Partnership with the USA Triathlon Foundation, Reveal “The Tri” 2019, Napa Valley

The Vice Wine, in partnership with the USA Triathlon Foundation, today announced the release of their limited edition triathlon-inspired “The Tri” 2019 with a portion of proceeds being donated to the USA Triathlon Foundation in support of its mission, which is to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run.

The Vice Wine co-founder and winemaker Malek Amrani is a multi-time member of USA Triathlon’s amateur Team USA and a USA Triathlon Foundation Ambassador. Amrani, passionate about sharing his love of both multisports and wine, combined those interests to create the specially crafted Tri Blend.

“The Tri” is the one and only wine blend by The Vice Wine, known for single varietal luxury Napa Valley Wines. The limited release wine is based on triathlon’s three disciplines, with the 2019 vintage inspired by 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team Member Joe Maloy and his race at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The blend is made from 18% Cabernet Franc, 52% St. Laurent and 30% Malbec to celebrate Maloy’s time spent on each discipline (swim, bike, run), respectively. Maloy is a longtime friend and daily mentor to Amrani.

“It is an honor to be able to collide the two vices that I am most passionate about. I am eternally grateful to The USA Triathlon Foundation and to the athletes and future athletes that have inspired “The Tri” blends and will inspire future blends to come,” Amrani, Founder and Winemaker of The Vice Wine, said. “Triathlon became a vice for me in 2017 and has helped me tremendously in winemaking. I’m proud that the simple pleasure of enjoying a glass of The Vice Wine will contribute to someone’s healthy lifestyle, participation in sports, or even Olympic dreams.”

SLO Coast Wines’ Roll Out the Barrels Celebration Is Back — Refreshed and Reinvented for 2021

Wine Industry Advisor

The SLO Coast Wine Collective’s annual Roll Out The Barrels celebration, which has drawn thousands of wine lovers to San Luis Obispo’s wine country since 1990, returns this year with an all-new format: A series of exclusive events held at member wineries throughout the Central Coast, and for the first time, an auction of rare bottles curated by the winemakers.

All of the events and the auction will take place June 24 through June 28.

As the region emerges from the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown, the SLO Coast Wine Collective is committed to restarting its popular yearly event, but in a way that is safe and comfortable for participants and winemakers. “Roll Out the Barrels is the perfect opportunity to taste new wines and say hello to our winemakers as Covid restrictions loosen up,” says Stephen Ross Dooley, President of the group’s Board of Directors. “We’re excited about being open again and seeing the people who’ve enjoyed our wines all these years.”

Roll Out the Barrels 2021 will offer unprecedented opportunities for wine lovers throughout the long weekend: Most events will be limited to 10 to 25 participants, allowing plenty of individual interaction with winemakers — and giving winemakers the chance to pour wines made in limited quantities and older bottles pulled from deep in their cellars.

Where does Stanislaus County rank among California wine spots? You might be surprised

Stanislaus was second only to Napa in an online ranking of California wine counties.

“Wait, what?” might be a wine fan’s first reaction to Monday’s announcement by LawnStarter. Stanislaus is among the nation’s top producers by volume, but Napa and other premium regions usually dominate the talk about quality.

A look at LawnStarter’s methodology explains this. The criteria include the number of awards won by the wineries in 2019 and 2020. Many of these competitions have divisions for low-priced and mid-market wines, along with the high-end stuff.

E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto has racked up its share of medals. So has Bronco Wine Co., south of Ceres, which is much smaller than Gallo but still a major industry player.

Raymond Vineyards Opens New Entrance from Highway 29 in the Napa Valley

Guests now arrive to the winery on a nearly one-and-a-half mile route through the winery’s Rutherford estate. No mere entryway, the opening of the road to Raymond reflects an ambitious endeavor in the Napa Valley to unite two distinct estates, create a dramatic entrance that brings its guests through an experiential voyage among organic and Biodynamic vineyards, while reducing traffic on the valley’s main thoroughfares.

The winery has deemed its entrance The Avenue of the Senses, a name created through a crowd-sourced social media campaign that garnered nearly one thousand entries.

“Raymond Vineyard’s Avenue of the Senses is the culmination of a grand journey to unite Raymond’s Rutherford estate, the Ticen Ranch property and Highway 29. It has been the dream, not only for us, but also for the Raymond family before us,” says Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset, “Uniting these two estates and leading our guests through the heart of the Napa Valley presents an incredible opportunity to bring our guests among the vineyards and into the magical environment essential to Napa’s unique sense of place – the vineyard treasures that create world-class wines.”

Barefoot Taps Sweeter Styles, Alternative Formats To Connect With New Drinkers

Shaken News Daily

As the second-largest wine label in the U.S., E.&J. Gallo-owned Barefoot surely fits that description. The core Barefoot brand was up 12% to 17 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, not including its Bubbly, Spritzers, Wine To Go, Seltzer, and Barefoot On Tap offerings

Both Barefoot Seltzer and Barefoot On Tap earned Impact “Hot Brand” honors for their 2020 performances. Barefoot On Tap, the brand’s 3-liter box offering ($19), jumped 55% to 1.7 million cases last year, while Barefoot Seltzer topped a half-million cases in its first year on the market.

“Alternative formats will continue to play a critical role for Barefoot and for the broader wine category,” Gallo’s director of brand marketing Adam Weinberg tells SND, adding that Gallo “expects to see continued growth of On Tap with larger formats staying in high-demand. We also expect to see strong acceleration of our single-serve formats, such as our line of Barefoot Wine To Go 500-ml. and canned wine offerings including Barefoot Spritzer and Hard Seltzer.”

Another area of growth for Barefoot is within its range of fruit-flavored Fruitscato wines, which debuted in fall of 2019.

Weekend At A Winery: Add Big White House To Must-Visit List

No fancy fountains or manicured lawns at this boutique winery in Livermore – just a laid-back atmosphere and really great “wine nerds.”

Big White House Winery and John Evan Cellars is a smaller venue in the Livermore Valley wine region, but one that should not be missed by vino aficionados (AKA: “wine nerds”), whether locals or visiting out-of-towners.

“We are HUGE wine nerds,” said Jessica Carroll, the vineyard’s winemaker and general manager. “We love everything that’s involved in our craft: It starts in the vineyard, goes to harvest, on to cellaring, and finishes with sharing bottled wines.”

Known for its Syrahs, Petite Sirahs and such uncommon varieties as Teroldego and Montepulciano, Big White House launched in 1998, after years as a backyard, grape-growing hobby of former Lawrence Livermore National Lab scientist and engineer John Marion II and his group of friends.

La Jolla restaurants ‘thrilled’ after San Diego approves one-year extension for outdoor dining

Outdoor dining patios, corrals and parklets that have become familiar sights in La Jolla will be allowed to remain until summer next year following a May 18 vote by the San Diego City Council.

The council unanimously approved a one-year extension of interim urgency regulations to allow the city’s Temporary Outdoor Business Operation permit program to continue until July 13, 2022.

The approval extends the expiration date for all permitted outdoor operations and allows restaurants and other businesses to continue outdoor operations at their discretion, even if COVID-19 health orders are rescinded.

Randy’s Donuts expands into San Diego

L.A. landmark Randy’s Donuts has announced plans to expand into San Diego County with 10 franchise locations over the next few years. It’s part of a global expansion that will eventually expand the now seven-store chain to 164 locations worldwide.

Randy’s is best known for the 33-foot giant doughnut sculpture on the roof of its original store in Inglewood that has been seen in dozens of movies, TV shows and commercials. Launched in 1952, Randy’s specializes in classic doughnuts made by hand each day from a proprietary dough.

UB40 is launching vegan red wine nearly 40 years after releasing its hit single “Red, Red Wine.”

Vegann News

This week, the members of British pop band UB40—known for its 1983 hit “Red, Red Wine”—released actual red wine and it’s vegan. Ali Campbell and Astro (born Terence Wilson) worked with wine company Eminent Life to create vegan Red Red Wine to celebrate the band’s 2021 tour. “We have always wanted to release our own red, red wine and we’re very excited to finally be doing this,” Campbell said.

The band previously worked with Eminent Life to create wines but this launch is the first time that Red, Red Wine is labeled as vegan and organic. The new wine features a deep color with purple glints and notes of sweet red cherry and black plum. “Red, Red wine has great balance and is really satisfying to drink,” Astro said. “Like our music, we are always looking for balance and harmony.”

The vegan Red Red Wine is available for £24.50 ($34.63) per bottle on both the UB40 and Eminent Life websites. “I am delighted with the exceptional partnership between Eminent Life and UB40,” Eminent Life Founder Jerome Jacober said. “It has been a pleasure and honour to work with Ali and Astro and we look forward to launching this organic, vegan red wine, which is so befitting of the great track ‘Red Red Wine.’”

Production to cease at Sebastiani Winery in downtown Sonoma

North Bay Business Journal

It is the end of an era for Sonoma’s largest downtown winery. Foley Family Winery plans to lay off most of its workers at the Sebastiani Winery and close its winemaking operations at the eastside facility. The winery’s tasting room and administrative offices in Sonoma will remain open. according to Foley President Shawn Schiffer.

Sebastiani is located on the east side of Sonoma’s downtown, occupying the equivalent of two city blocks on either side of Fourth Street East. Its production and storage buildings run along the town’s bike trail. A multi-million dollar remodel of its tasting room and hospitality center was completed in 2001. There are about 32 acres of vines situated around the winery.

“This is not a spot that anyone would choose to locate a modern winery,” Schiffer told the Index-Tribune about the Sebastiani production facility. “A variety of factors (have) led us to the conclusion that the Sebastiani site is not the right place to bear a large share of our manufacturing needs. The size and layout of the facility as well as environmental concerns like the encroachment of the surrounding residential neighborhood and public access trail all played a part in our decision.”

Mondavi Sisters Now Accepting Cryptocurrency for Cult Wine Brands Aloft and Dark Matter

PR Newswire

The Mondavi Sisters, 4th generation of the iconic Napa Valley wine family, continue a history of winemaking innovations by offering purchases in cryptocurrency

This groundbreaking move makes the four sisters the only winery in the Northern Hemisphere to offer members the ability to exchange cryptocurrency for their wines.

A limited allocation of each wine will be available through their respective websites – and

“Innovation has always been a key element of our family’s involvement in the wine industry – this is just the next step to expand our 100% female-owned and operated company to a global audience while diversifying beyond the US Dollar. More importantly, over 100 years of family experience in the wine industry, provides an opportunity to preserve the past, live in the present, and lead for the future – and that is exactly what we are doing, without hesitation.” – Giovanna Mondavi, Co-Proprietor and Brand Ambassador.

To execute this they consulted with one of their long-time collectors and friend, Jon Geenty, a Data Scientist @ Coin Metrics

Esteemed Napa restaurateurs open location in Paso Robles

A new restaurant is open in Paso Robles’ Paso Market walk.

FINCA is a Napa based Mexican restaurant and is located in a historic farmhouse.

The restaurateurs, who run La Taquiza in Napa, have many esteemed distinctions including being on the Michelin Guide since 2009.

The co-owner Patrick Aguirre worked as the head baker of the Napa staple Buchon Bakery alongside the famed owner Thomas Keller.

FINCA is a casual restaurant which highlights Baja and Sonora style Mexican food with an emphasis on wood-grilled seafood and carne asada.

There’s a hot tub crisis bubbling in Lake Tahoe. Here’s why.

At the moment, wait times for hot tub orders in Tahoe are up to six months long. Before the pandemic, the wait was about three weeks.

“The pandemic progressed, and we found that more people who were staying at home and were able to work from home were bored,” said Pammie Pomin, who co-owns one of Tahoe’s oldest hot tub companies with her husband, Randy

“So they’re buying toys. They wanted to all buy hot tubs. But you have to understand what happened. The plant was shut down.”

“We have an enormous amount of tubs on backorder,” Pomin said. “Marquis picked up the pace since the pandemic. It’s been more under control. It’s still not in a great place, but it’s getting better, let’s put it that way.”

“We just got a shipment last week of six spas, so we got some happy customers,” she said. “And we’re just progressing as best as we can.”

California vineyard sales, demand booming

Western Farm Press

A recent survey of land and farm data found 100,000 acres of vineyards in California with “For Sale” sign on them with a combined value approaching a half-billion dollars, according to one West Coast broker.

Jenny Heinzen Real Estate is a leader in the dealing of vineyard and winery properties. The Paso Robles, Calif.-based broker notes: “Despite the stresses of 2020, we’ve seen a significant upswing in demand for vineyard acreage and wineries and I saw encouraging signs of active grape buying during harvest. The wine industry sees growth through innovation and renewal and this is especially evident with the current robust vineyard sales activity.”

Calling the growing of grapes and making of wine “a promising arena,” Heinzen concludes: “There was a big planting boom in the 1990s and a lot of those vineyards are of the age where they need to be replanted, so it’s redevelopment time, a kind of replanting or selling opportunity for a lot of people. It’s an exciting time to see the next generation come forth and carry the industry on its next journey.”

California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base renamed to Space Force Base

“Redesignating Air Force installations as Space Force installations is critical to establishing a distinct culture and identity for the Space Force,” a base statement said.

Vandenberg’s host unit, the 30th Space Wing, will be redesignated Space Launch Delta 30, under Space Operations Command.

Vandenberg was originally established in 1941 as Camp Cooke, an Army garrison for tank, infantry and artillery training.

Its geographical location near Lompoc in Central California made it ideal for missile tests and launches into polar orbit.

The Space Force was created as the sixth uniformed military branch in 2019 during the administration of former President Donald Trump.

A pitmaster shares 5 mistakes you’re making that are ruining your at-home barbecue

Oakland Pitmaster Matt Horn shares his tips for home barbecue cooks.

1. Stop washing your meat

Dry it off!

2. Avoid over-seasoning

salt and pepper might be all you need

3. Let your coals get hot enough

wait until they are all coated in white

4. Don’t crowd your pan and avoid flipping your meat too soon

Leave some space and let it cook

5. Give it time to rest

Just like a steak or roast no matter what you cooked let it rest when you are done

Hot August Nights Preparations in Full Swing

Updated: May 8

Thousands of classic cars will be making their way back to Northern Nevada in August. The event was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

“As of right now, we’re going one hundred percent strong,” said Hot August Nights Executive Director Alan Tom. “The city needs it, the county needs it, and with everything being postponed and not having any events last year, it’s going to be amazing thing to be able to bring this economic impact back to the city of Reno, the city of Sparks and Virginia City.”

The Kick It Off Old School event in Virginia City is already sold out, but there’s still plenty of space to register your car for the main event in Reno. So far, about 3,800 cars are signed up; they can take about 6,000. All the crowd favorite events will be back this year – everything from drag racing to cruising, and the same venues are going to be welcoming back these classic cars the first week in August.

“All of these participants, they’ve basically had their cars locked up in their garages for the whole year,” Tom said. “So we’re asking everyone to dust off their cars, get their engines revving, and it’s going to be great for all the participants and for all the people that want to see the classic cars.”


Updated: May 8

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway announced the tram will return to being open seven days per week starting Monday, May 10.

“For the convenience and enjoyment of both local residents and our Valley’s many visitors, we are delighted to be back to seven-day-a-week operations just in time for our summer season,” said Tramway General Manager Nancy Nichols.

Monday through Thursday, the first car up will be at 10:00 a.m., the last car up will be at 6:00 p.m. and the last car down will be at 8:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, the first car up will be at 8:00 a.m., the last car up will be at 7:00 p.m. and the last car down will be at 9:00 p.m.

more information is at

Comedian George Lopez to Offer Virtual, ‘Delivery-Only’ Taco Concept in San Diego

Updated: May 8

Comedian and actor George Lopez is getting in on the food scene’s “ghost kitchen” trend, launching a delivery-only taqueria in San Diego and other locations this summer.

George Lopez Tacos will be a delivery-only restaurant centered on Mexican street taco recipes developed by Lopez. The menu features slow-cooked meats and lots of special salsas. There are also mini churros involved.

The menu is big on family-style street tacos – like a pile of carnitas with tortillas, salsas, cilantro and onion – that can be built at home.

Other cities launching the George Lopez Tacos virtual restaurant on June 8 include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Atlanta, Dallas and Denver.

Santa Barbara’s ban on vacation rentals is rejected by court

Updated: May 8

Santa Barbara’s ban on most short-term vacation rentals near the beach was rejected by an appeals court.

The city’s decision in 2015 to treat rental homes as hotels effectively banned them in the coastal zone, a strip extending about a half-mile inland from the beach. Previously, 114 homes were available for short-term rentals in that area; after the decision, there were six.

Judge Steven Perren wrote that the city erred in failing to seek the approval of the California Coastal Commission for the change to the local coastal plan

Urgent Volunteer Appeal to Help Tens of Thousands in Need of Food

Updated: May 8

PR Newswire

The Redwood Empire Food Bank urgently needs more volunteers in order to keep feeding families.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank which continues to see increases in the need for food. In fact, last month, volunteers distributed the equivalent of more than 1.5 million meals. At the same time, other individuals are moving toward a more “normal” day-to-day, which means they no longer have the time to put toward volunteering.

“What we realized within days of the initiation of the lockdown was that people have very little to live on and food insecurity is right around the corner,” said David Goodman, CEO, Redwood Empire Food Bank. “We’ve had dramatic growth of individuals seeking food assistance. And if you’re wondering if that growth will taper, well, we just had our largest month ever.”

For more information on volunteer opportunities and to register, please visit

Walmart To Provide COVID-19 Vaccines At All Stores

Walmart and Sam’s Club will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone who walks in or schedules an appointment at their pharmacy locations in California and across the nation.

As vaccine supplies surge in the United States and eligibility has opened to people age 16 or older, Dr. Cheryl Pegus, who oversees Walmart’s health and wellness unity, says the company should prioritize distributing the vaccine to underserved and vulnerable populations.

“Widespread vaccination is the only way we will eventually end the pandemic and help our country re-open, and we don’t want anyone to get left behind as we enter this new chapter in our fight against COVID-19,” Pegus said.

Walmart and Sam’s Club have launched an educational campaign, “Get Out the Vaccine,” to galvanize people to get vaccinated and have partnered with organizations in vulnerable communities.

Napa to maintain outdoor dining, downtown Main Street closure through February 2022

Updated: May 8

North Bay Business Journal

Downtown Napa restaurants who have set up tables on a one-block stretch of Main Street during the coronavirus pandemic will be able to continue their alfresco service through this year and into the next.

Temporary permits allowing eateries to offer outdoor service will stay in effect through Feb. 28, 2022, City Manager Steve Potter announced

“The restaurants need the extra seating, and the community seems to love the look and feel of it,” Craig Smith, executive director of the Downtown Napa Association, said after the program’s first weekend.

Napa is not alone in the county in recently extending outdoor dining permits well into the next year. On April 6, the Yountville Town Council approved a continuation of temporary dining and retail permits on walkways, lawns and patios to the end of June 2022, even if businesses are cleared to return to full indoor capacity before then.

a stunning new sky walk through the redwoods

Updated: May 8

Want to explore the world’s tallest trees from a bird’s perspective? Plan your next vacation to Northern California’s new Redwood Sky Walk for a once-in-a-lifetime, up-close-and-personal experience of the famed California Coast Redwoods.

The longest sky walk in the western United States, the Redwood Sky Walk, located within Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka is just under one-fourth–mile to the end and back, stretched out across a network of suspended bridges.

At the highest point, you’ll stand more than 100 feet above the forest floor and about one-third of the way up in the old-growth and mature second-growth redwood grove. The upper canopy of the trees in this region reaches approximately 250 feet

Along the way, posted signage celebrates local redwood history and ecology.

visit for more information

Music Festivals Are Back, But Their Covid Risks Are All on You

Rolling Stone

Make sure to read the fine print on any concert tickets this summer

In 2017, a stage diver landed on a man’s head at a punk music festival in New Jersey. That man, who experienced significant spinal damage, successfully sued the show’s organizer for $2 million.

Will we see an explosion in these types of liability lawsuits in the coming months, as music festivals come roaring back around the world, bringing an increased risk of Covid-19 cases with them?

The answer is largely not — because festivals have preempted such scenarios. New coronavirus-specific liability clauses are springing up on most large-scale festival websites that suggest you’d be wasting your time, energy, and money lawyering up if you contracted Covid-19 at a show. Take Bonnaroo’s statement, for example. While the four-day, Tennessean extravaganza planned for September says its team has “taken enhanced health and safety measures for you, our artists and employees,” festival-goers must still “follow all posted instructions” while on site, and, most importantly: “By attending Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19.”

“You’re going to see this specific language pop up everywhere,” Audrey Benoualid, music attorney and partner at Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light LLP, tells Rolling Stone. “It’s in all the agreements we’re doing just generally now.”

Language similar to Bonnaroo’s can be found on the website for San Francisco festival Outside Lands, due to take place in October. But at press time, Milwaukee competitor Summerfest and Southern California’s Coachella did not have a clause specific to Covid-19 on their websites.

The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook Available for Pre-release

Updated: May 8

The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook isavailable for pre-release.

Featuring 35+ recipes from top Napa Valley restaurants and chefs, proceeds from this first-of-its-kind Napa Valley cookbook will go directly to Napa Valley restaurant workers, who have been heavily impacted in the past year by the pandemic and wildfires.

Created in partnership with Feed Napa Now, The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook will enable Napa Valley lovers to enjoy iconic wine country dishes at home, like the Gott’s Ahi Burger, Mustards Mighty Meatloaf, and Charlie Palmer Steak’s Lobster Corn Dogs.

order and get info at

Sonoma Raceway says fans can return to the stands starting with June NASCAR event

North Bay Business Journal

For the first time in more than a year drivers at Sonoma Raceway will hear the roar of fans the first weekend in June.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the venue June 6, with the ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 200 50-lap race on June 5.

Track officials announced the change Thursday. Because Sonoma County is in the orange tier this allows for 33% of the facility to be occupied by fans.

“We are thrilled to be able to open our gates and welcome fans back to the raceway for our annual NASCAR race weekend in June,” Sonoma Raceway Executive Vice President and General Manager Jill Gregory stated in the announcement. “We are fortunate to have a beautiful, outdoor facility that is perfect for social distancing and will provide a safe and memorable race-day experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming the greatest fans and drivers in motorsports back to Northern California.”

Spectators will discover several things have changed because of the pandemic. All tickets will be digital and all transactions will be cashless. Food must be ordered via an app. It will be delivered to a person’s seat or can be picked up at a window in a contactless manner.

Everyone must wear a mask even with the race being outside. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed in each pod, with no more than three households per group.

The NASCAR weekend in wine country will feature the 90-lap Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday as well as the ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 200 50-lap race on Saturday.

As California theme parks reopen, Disneyland announces reservation system

points guy

How to make a Disneyland theme park reservation

Part of Disneyland’s reopening plan included a reservation system. In order to visit a park, you need both a paid ticket and a free reservation — both for the day you wish to visit. You need a reservation whether you’re visiting Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. This is a requirement for all guests ages 3 and up.

According to Disneyland’s website, “Only California residents may visit the parks, and in groups no larger than three households, in line with current state guidelines.” Here are the particulars about ticket sales and reservations, according to Disneyland.

Sonoma County airport gets new Southern California flights via startup Avelo Airlines

North Bay Business Journal

Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport will be among 11 destinations served by Avelo Airlines, a new commercial carrier with a low-fare business model focused on the western United States. The airline and the airport made the announcement today.

“We are the inaugural flight and destination, so that is very exciting from an airport operations standpoint,” said Airport Manager Jon Stout.

Avelo will become the fourth commercial air carrier servicing the Sonoma County facility, joining Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines, the latter which is expected to resume flights June 3 after pausing in November because of the pandemic.

Burbank-based Avelo Airlines will make its maiden roundtrip flight on April 28, with reservations available starting today.

The airline’s initial nonstop routes also include Arcata/Eureka and Redding; three markets in Oregon (Bend, Eugene and Medford), along with Bozeman, Montana; Grand Junction, Colorado; Pasco, Washington; Ogden, Utah; and Phoenix, Arizona.

new online tool to find certified sustainable California wine

North Bay Business Journal

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance has launched a new website dedicated to the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program at

“It is developed for trade, media, consumers and visitors who want to find sustainable wines, wineries and vineyards that are certified with a rigorous third-party audit, the website also illustrates how sustainable vineyards and wineries are making wine in an environmentally and socially responsible way,” the nonprofit states.

Included in the website is a find function in which users can search for certified wines, wineries and/or vineyards, and sort by varietal, region or appellation. The organization reports there area 2,247 Certified California Sustainable Vineyards in the state.

Also included is a “visit” function to help visitors find certified wineries with tasting rooms open to the public.

Disneyland releases ticket prices and pricing calendar for April 30 reopening

Mercury News

Ticket prices will remain unchanged from when Disneyland and Disney California Adventure closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Disneyland will still employ a five-tiered pricing system that charges less on slower days and more on busier days. Prices for single-day, single-park tickets continue to range from the $104 Tier 1 to the $154 Tier 5. The Tier 2 ($114), Tier 3 ($124) and Tier 4 ($139) ticket prices also remain unchanged. Parkhopper and multi-day tickets cost more.

The newly released pricing calendar shows what ticket tiers will be available on specific days over the next two months. The 60-day rolling calendar will reveal new dates and prices over time.

The ticket calendar will help visitors with unused tickets and those purchasing new tickets determine which days they can make a reservation to visit the reopened parks.

Visitors will need both a ticket and an advance reservation to get into Disneyland or DCA. Those with previously purchased tickets will need to make a reservation. Those without tickets will need to buy one first and then make a reservation.

Southwest Airlines begins long awaited Santa Barbara service to three cities

It has been a wish from Santa Barbara area travelers for years.

Travelers hoped for a low cost airline with multiple flights to many cities and now it’s happening.

Southwest Airlines now has service to and from Las Vegas, Oakland and Denver from Santa Barbara.

Travelers will have access to multiple other cities, and continue to find lower cost airfares. Some flights will be $39 one-way.

Some passengers said they found $29 introductory fares.

Santa Barbara tourism and hospitality leaders also say it will be a heavily marketed addition to the area and should be an economic stimulus on its own.

This could lead to more corporate meeting plans in-person and also weddings or special events.

The first flight, coming from Las Vegas touched down about 10:35 a.m.

Passengers coming off the plane were greeted with Santa Barbara gift bags and a ring of balloons to walk through.

Mayor Cathy Murillo personally spoke to dozens of passengers coming to Santa Barbara and taking off.

Some of the departing passengers were cheering and screaming to show their enthusiasm for the new service.

The first plane was called California One in the Southwest fleet. It has the Golden Bear and California design painted on the side.

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department has its airport engines positioned to spray a shower of water on the plane as it made its way to Gate 3 in a picture perfect arrival out of the morning overcast.

Southwest is flying the 737 planes and recently announced it has a new order in to Boeing to upgrade to the new 150-seat 737 MAX 7.

In addition to Santa Barbara, Southwest is also beginning new service in Fresno.

Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Launches the California Zinfandel Trail

Updated: Apr 15

The California Zinfandel Trail is Geared for Virtual and Live Exploration of Zinfandel Website Tool Creates Travel Itineraries — ZAP Hosts Virtual Tours

Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) announced that it officially launched The California Zinfandel Trail March 29, 2021. Zinfandel lovers and the Zinfandel-curious now have a powerful new tool to explore wineries and plan custom itineraries. This new platform is designed to boost tourism and raise interest in wineries that produce America’s time-honored heritage wine, Zinfandel.

“Consumers and wineries alike will benefit from this fast-track connection directly to Zinfandel winemakers, featuring small production artisanal wines that are available to consumers only by visiting the winery in person or virtually,” according to ZAP Executive Director, Rebecca Robinson. “So many of these wines are from historic vineyards and come with wonderful, colorful family stories that are the fabric of American agricultural heritage,” she continues.

Mindful of travel restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic, virtual visits and tastings have been made available, in addition to the traditional in-person winery tastings and experiences. Visitors should contact wineries in advance about their latest visiting policies and experiences.

The Zinfandel Trail website includes an easy-to-use interactive map of California’s Zinfandel wineries for plotting and planning itineraries to vineyards across California. Here, visitors can explore Zinfandel winery experiences by region, such as vineyard and winery tours, specialized tastings, picnicking, food service, and pet-friendly policies. In addition to winery listings are featured winery to winery routes with beautiful Zinfandel vineyard images, regional travel blogs, points of interest, and winemaker stories.

Comic-Con 2021 ‘Special Edition’ in San Diego to be held in November amid COVID-19 concerns

Updated: Apr 15


Comic Con recently updated their plans by announcing the traditional Comic-Con in-person event in San Diego, normally held in July, has been postponed until summer 2022. However, Comic-Con@Home will return as an online event on July 23-25, 2021.


This fall they are planning a smaller, supplemental event Comic-Con Special Edition, taking place on November 26-28, 2021. They hope that by that point, conditions will permit in-person public gatherings of this kind. As details are still being finalized, badge cost, attendance capacity, and related information will be forthcoming.


Comic-Con typically attracts more than 135,000 fans to Southern California and generates an estimated $147 million for the San Diego economy each year.


Click here for more information.

A Nob Hill Icon, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco Reopens

PR Newswire


The City’s Only AAA Five Diamond Hotel Welcomes Guests Back


Set within the city’s prestigious Nob Hill neighborhood, once home to the mansions of the “Big Four” railroad barons, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco will reopen its doors on April 15, 2021. Renowned for its personalized service and luxurious city-view accommodations for the past 30 years, the award-winning hotel on the hill is the perfect destination in which to rediscover one of the world’s most famous cities, yet it offers a quiet respite from it all.


The 1909 Neoclassical landmark building features 336 well-appointed guestrooms inclusive of 60 suites, presenting some of the most elegant and unique accommodations in San Francisco. Drawing inspiration from the Bay and the city’s iconic fog, the design showcases a palette of steely blues and greys, while furnishings take their cues from the styles of couture fashion and men’s fine tailoring.


The Ritz-Carlton Suite features panoramic views of Coit Tower and the San Francisco Bay, while The Presidential Suite presents a fully furnished 1,200-square-foot balcony overlooking the courtyard and the Financial District.


The distinguished property is also welcoming back meetings and events, with 24,000-square-feet of function space including a 9,300-square-foot ballroom and an outdoor courtyard with skyline views which also serves as a private interior park for guests – the perfect place for a morning coffee or to read a book.


Hotel amenities available to guests include a Contemporary American breakfast in The Lounge and a fitness facility with state-of-the-art cardio machines and strength-training equipment.


Retail shopping is available in the lobby at The Ritz-Carlton Gift Shop and at the legendary Krigler store, the perfumer to the royal family and Hollywood stars.


Rare wines for purchase and private member tastings are available at The JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Tasting Lounge.

Alaska Airlines makes move with new Burbank-Sonoma County flights

North Bay Business Journal


Alaska Airlines service to and from Burbank from the Sonoma County airport will begin June 1, according to an April 14 press release from the Seattle-based air carrier.


The additional flight to Hollywood Burbank Airport will be the sixth destination Alaska Airlines services out of the Santa Rosa airport. Alaska also flies to Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Portland and Seattle.


Alaska also announced that starting Sept. 8, it will add additional flights to both Orange County and San Diego from the Santa Rosa facility.


“We’re grateful for the 14 years of commitment, growth and Alaska’s outstanding service to the North Bay and the heart of wine country,” Jon Stout, airport manager at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, said in the announcement. “Alaska recognizes the potential in our market and (the airport) looks forward to many more years of a prosperous partnership.”

Kitchen Door Moving to New Downtown Napa Location


Napa’s Kitchen Door announced it will relocate to Napa’s open-air downtown collective, First Street Napa. The new, larger space, complete with additional patio seating, is the perfect backdrop for the beloved local restaurant. Chef Todd Humphries will also refresh Kitchen Door’s menu, though classic favorites will remain. Opening in Winter 2021, the new Kitchen Door will be located at 1300 First Street, Suite 272, off Clay Street Promenade.


The restaurant, which has anchored Oxbow Public Market for a decade, will formally close that location in June 2021.


Locals and tourists alike appreciate the open-daily schedule with lunch and dinner service, and brunch service on Saturday and Sunday. Fresh salads, wood-fired pizzas, and other favorites like the roasted half chicken will remain on the menu, along with drink selection combining locally crafted favorites with globally inspired offerings.


“Kitchen Door is an established favorite in Napa, with an ambiance and menu that invites guests to relax,” said Andrew Mazotti, director, First Street Napa. “With a loyal fanbase and great appeal for visitors, it’s an excellent fit for downtown, and we look forward to welcoming them to First Street Napa.”

Wine cellar worker training is focus of new Santa Rosa Junior college program

North Bay Business Journal

Santa Rosa Junior College has announced it will offer either a degree or a certificate in the job through its wine studies program. Students who pursue a certificate will be required to take only wine classes, while an Associate of Arts degree course path will include wine classes and general education classes.


In preparing participants for a job as wine cellar worker, the program focuses on the theory and practices used in the production of wine, including basic grape growing practices and vineyard decisions, steps in the winemaking process from harvest to bottling, basic wine lab analyses, and the use of winery production equipment.


“We are incredibly pleased to offer this new program. There is great demand for qualified wine cellar workers in the North Bay. Historically, cellar workers have come to us for training. Now they can leave with a certificate or degree to document their hard work,” said Kevin Sea, professor and coordinator of the SRJC Wine Studies Program.

El Mexicali Café Honored, 40 Years In Indio


For four decades, El Mexicali Café has served up authentic home-style cooking — even in times of hardship and uncertainty.


INDIO, CA — El Mexicali Café’s iconic location on Indio Boulevard over the last four decades is special. The restaurant has survived the tenures of six U.S. presidents (going on seven), and many big changes in the Coachella Valley.


The family-owned restaurant has shown a commitment to serving up authentic home-style cooking even in times of hardship and uncertainty.


On Friday, El Mexicali Café’s owner, Monica Murguia, and her family will be recognized with a proclamation from City of Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes celebrating the eatery’s 40 years of success.


“Not only is El Mexicali Café a staple in our downtown, but during Women’s History Month it’s also fitting we should mention that it is the oldest woman-owned restaurant in the Coachella Valley,” Holmes said. “In addition, to recognize this achievement on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-shutdown shows the resiliency of this family and our community.”


El Mexicali Café was started by Murguia’s mother, Carmen. The business now has two

locations, including one at 43-430 Monroe St., which is run by Monica’s sister Laura.


In 2016, El Mexicali Café was honored as the 56th Assembly District Small Business of the Year.


From May this year there’s be a new offer under the Kendall-Jackson brand, whose Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay has been the US’s most popular Chardonnay for more than 26 years.


Called Avant, it’s a ‘lower calorie’ Chardonnay that boasts “only 85 calories, no sugar and 3 grams of carbs per serving”, according to the producer, Jackson Family Wines.


This means that the new wine contains around 23% fewer calories than the standard Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, based on a 150ml serving of wine at 14% abv, which contains 111 calories from the alcohol alone.


Indeed, the new Avant Chardonnay contains fewer calories because it has a lower abv, with just 9%, a level achieved by picking the grapes earlier in the ripening period, when they have a lower concentration of sugar.


However, to ensure the Chardonnay is not unpleasantly tart, this early-harvest portion of grapes is then blended with a second pick of fully ripe berries to bring the tropical fruit flavours that lovers of Californian Chardonnay desire.


Kendall-Jackson winemaker Randy Ullom explains, “An initial harvest of grapes picked on the earlier side ensures lower sugar. A secondary harvest later in the season offers more complexity and concentration, which complements the wine, producing a full-bodied blend that’s structurally balanced and delicious, yet lower in alcohol and calories.”


Like the Vintner’s Reserve, the Avant Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels to bring a touch of vanilla to the wine, which is described as tasting of “grapefruit, pineapple, creamy lemon meringue and delicate white flowers”.

NBA Players Are Making Wine More Inclusive


How stars like Dwyane Wade and Josh Hart are driving a more equitable future for the wine industry.


“I love wine now, but if I hadn’t been a Laker, my being in the wine world probably wouldn’t have happened,” Hart said, reflecting on his time with Los Angeles’ team. “As an NBA player with a platform, I can help minorities who don’t have the resources, or who are nervous or hesitant, to get into the wine space.”


Beyond awarding a WSET Level 1 course to 100 recipients, Hart’s program will sponsor five students in Level 2 and three students in Level 3; those top three will get to travel to Napa with Hart for a wine-filled weekend. “My dream is for people in the program to further their pursuit of a career in wine,” Hart said. “Hopefully we keep this program going, and in 10, 15, 20 years, there will be a winemaker in Napa who first started with the WSET from this partnership.”


In the more immediate term, Hart hopes to influence the perception of wine itself. “I’m trying to change the stereotype around wine as something for old, rich, white men,” he said.


Other players, like Wade, share this goal. “One of the reasons I got into the wine industry was to change the common misconception of wine as pretentious,” Wade said. “I didn’t grow up knowing what wine is. Wine was perceived in this really uppity kind of way and I wanted to be a part of showing that it’s not that—of respecting what goes into making one simple bottle of wine.”


In 2014, Wade created his own wine brand, Wade Cellars, in partnership with Napa’s Pahlmeyer winery. The next year, while on vacation, Wade was photographed sitting on a banana boat and toasting with red wine with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul. The group became known as the Banana Boat Crew, and that moment ignited a wine frenzy within the league. Ever since, Wade has been a role model for others looking to get into the business.

The Best Things to Do in Napa and Sonoma, According to Locals


How to get the most out of a long weekend in California wine country.


Day 1: The Yountville Ride

…Napa Valley Vine Trail. This section covers 12.5 miles through the city of Napa’s working-class roots, into Yountville’s luxe center. Rent rides from Napa Valley Bike Tours in downtown Napa, then cruise a couple blocks to La Esperanza Tacos, St. Clair Brown Brewery and Winery, a handy early hydration stop and rare crossover: Elaine St. Clair stakes a claim as the nation’s only woman working as both winemaker and brewmaster.

Yountville stops include Elyse winery, Bouchon Bakery, Ciccio


Day 2: The Carneros Point-to-Point

Cornerstone Sonoma, Angelo’s Wine Country Deli, Gundlach Bundschu, Scribe, Hudson Ranch and Vineyards, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art


Day 3: Exploring Olivet Road in Russian RIver Valley

DeLoach Vineyards, Harvest Moon, Hook & Ladder Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, Canneti Roadhouse

San Diego, LA Rooftop Cinema Club 2021 season

After canceling the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rooftop Cinema Club is back with a full lineup of classic and beloved movies — all screened on the roof of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego.


This year, the space has expanded to ensure proper social distancing. Guests are invited to arrive early to enjoy the city views, play games, take photos and grab a cocktail. Food is also served and the menu includes charcuterie boards, pretzels, nachos and, of course, movie staples like popcorn and candy.


Some screenings include interactive elements like a costume contest or a sing-along. While most screenings are limited to guests over age 18, some special family-friendly films are also being offered this year.


Programming for this season includes films like “Grease,” “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Mean Girls,” “La La Land” and more.


There is also a screening of “Selena” happening on April 16, which would have been the late singer’s 50th birthday.


For info on all Rooftop Cinema events including the LA locations visit

Andretti Winery will close its Napa Valley winery


The company said it has decided not to extend its lease of its site on Big Ranch Road. The Oak Knoll winery also stressed in its message that customers will “always be able to order” wine online on the company’s website.


“This isn’t ‘goodbye,” this is ‘we’ll see you later’…at our future location!,” the message read. However, no new sites have been announced.


Andretti and co-founder Joe Antonini, former CEO of Kmart Corp., who started the winery in 1996, could not be reached to comment on the decision to leave the Tuscan-style winery on the edge of the Napa.


It is unclear who will next occupy the winery site owned by the Laird family.


Andretti WInery

Best beaches in San Diego


Grandview, Beacon’s, and Stone Steps are the popular surf spots


Moonlight State Beach, a charming coastal park near downtown Encinitas that’s perfectly suited for sunning and picnicking, and features inviting beach volleyball courts, too.



Best beach for all-day activities


Coronado Beach is consistently voted one of America’s finest beaches by countless guides and travel publications, year after year.


Pacific and Mission Beaches

Best beach for living it up

Popular among the 20-something sunkissed crowd, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are connected by a groovy three-mile oceanfront boardwalk, with a steady stream of inline skaters, skateboarders, runners, bikers, and energetic beachgoers alike.


La Jolla Shores

Best beach for families


Point Loma and Shelter Island

Best beach for daredevil surfers and sunsets


Imperial Beach

Best beach for groups



All 30 cities listed below received the most votes after we surveyed a broad number of professional writers, photographers and travel industry specialists. Each voter was asked to select their favorite five small cities – with a population between 10,000 and 250,000


West Coast cities on the list


South Lake Tahoe, CA

Santa Barbara, CA

Palm Springs, CA

Napa, CA

Bellingham, WA

Ashland, OR

Penfolds Partners With Australian-Born NBA All-Star Ben Simmons



Two Australian icons celebrate Penfolds inaugural California Collection release


To support the launch of Penfolds inaugural California Collection, the esteemed Australian winery has partnered with Australian-born NBA All-Star Ben Simmons. Best known for its flagship red wine Grange, Penfolds has always believed in relentlessly pushing boundaries to achieve the extraordinary – values also embodied by Simmons.


A lover and collector of premium Australian wines, Simmons has joined forces with Penfolds to launch the new California Collection, led by the 100-point 2018 Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – a wine that combines Napa Valley cabernet fruit with a significant addition of prized South Australian shiraz. Over the coming weeks, a digital and social campaign featuring Ben Simmons and Penfolds California Collection will appear across North America.


“What an amazing opportunity to partner with such an iconic Australian brand. As a younger wine consumer, I am looking forward to being able to grow and learn with the Penfolds family, and to take my family, friends and fans along for the journey. I identify so much with what Penfolds represents; always pushing the boundaries and constantly striving for excellence. I am looking forward to some great times ahead,” said Simmons.

Legendary Kiss rocker Gene Simmons moves to Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Daily


The New York Post recently reported that Gene Simmons, 71, the founding member of Kiss, has relocated from Beverly Hills and now lives in a 12,000-square-foot mansion that sits on 4 acres in Incline Village.


Simmons told The Post he is done with Southern California and that he and his wife, model and actress Shannon Tweed, is tired of big city living.


“We are moving out of LA for a number of reasons: one of which are the tour buses,” Simmons told The Post. “After a certain point, we have had enough of that, even though we appreciate the attention. I’m done. There are earthquakes, fires and pandemics every year. Even though there is nice sunshine, I’m done.”


Simmons cited better quality of life at Tahoe among the factors for moving and “going hiking without bumping into people.” He also mentioned that taxes are much more appealing in Nevada.

Apple Maps Displays COVID-19 Guidelines for Airports Worldwide


The Apple Maps app was this week updated with new COVID-19 guidelines for airports, providing iPhone, iPad, and Mac users with a quick look at COVID-19 travel requirements and easy access to each airport’s full list of guidelines.


Airport data is being provided by the Airports Council International, with the information displayed at the top of each airport card. The Airports Council International collects the COVID-19 information directly from airports.

La Jolla teen donates 20,000 masks to San Diego service organizations

La Jolla Light


Looking to help, Ezra Granet, a student at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, created the charity Donate4Masks to collect donations to buy a bounty of surgical masks and get them to those who need them most.


“I noticed doctors and first responders needed masks and I wanted to do what I could to help,” said the 14-year-old eighth-grader. He partnered with Clinical Supplies, a mask company, and negotiated a bulk price so he could buy large amounts of masks.


To raise the money needed to buy the masks, Ezra launched a GoFundMe page, received a grant from the Rotary Club of Coronado and sold a mask tether called MOMO (Mask On Mask Off) that takes the pressure off one’s ears when wearing masks for extended periods. Soon he had enough ($2,000) to purchase about 20,000 masks. Half of them went to firefighters, the rest to other organizations.

New Study Looks At Covering California’s Canals With Solar Panels



Scientists in California just ran the numbers on what would happen if their state slapped solar panels on 4,000 miles of its canals, including the major California Aqueduct, and the results point to a potentially beautiful partnership. Their feasibility study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, finds that if applied statewide, the panels would save 63 billion gallons of water from evaporating each year. At the same time, solar panels across California’s exposed canals would provide 13 gigawatts of renewable power annually, about half of the new capacity the state needs to meet its decarbonization goals by the year 2030.


“With or without climate change, the supply of water in California is tightening, and the demand for water in California is increasing,” says Kiparsky. “And those two facts together mean that, indeed, any water savings is good, and it’s welcome.” says Michael Kiparsky, director of the Wheeler Water Institute at the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Helen Mirren chased off a ‘naughty bear’ at her home in Lake Tahoe


Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren lives in Nevada now and keeps having run-ins with “naughty bears” near her home.


Mirren opened up having “a bit of a meeting with a bear” while quarantining with her husband at their Nevada home in a segment called “Helen Mirren Talks About Animals” during Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. The actress made an appearance on the prerecorded show as a presenter.


“I shooed the bear away,” Mirren said. “I told him he was a naughty bear.”


“He was a young bear, so I just said, ‘no, naughty bear, go on, go, off you go,'” she added.


“You’re supposed to make yourself as big as possible and say, ‘Bad bear,'” she continued. “‘Cause it was not a big bear, it was a smaller bear, so I just said, ‘you naughty bear. Go on, go away.'”

Visit the Santa Ynez Valley sweetens the pot on a Sun-Thur visit with up to $60 in dining credits…

Midweek Vibes in the Santa Ynez Valley Just Got Even Better, Thanks to New Passport Incentive Program to Welcome Back Travelers


Visit the Santa Ynez Valley sweetens the pot on a Sun-Thur visit with up to $60 in dining credits, six complimentary wine tastings, or a combination of the two


As if there weren’t already enough reasons to plan a getaway to the Santa Ynez Valley, Visit the Santa Ynez Valley has unveiled a new Midweek Membership Club passport program that provides up to $60 in dining credits, six complimentary wine tastings, or a combination of the two to visitors who book at least a two-night, Sunday through Thursday stay for travel between now and April 30.


“A visit to the Santa Ynez Valley is special any day of the week, but particularly midweek when the pace of the valley provides an even more relaxed respite from our daily grinds,” said Shelby Sim, President and CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “The return of leisure travel combined with the flexibility of remote working creates a unique opportunity, and we wanted to give visitors even more reasons to come back to what they know and love most.”


Guests who book a qualifying stay at one of 35 participating Santa Ynez Valley lodging properties will receive three physical Midweek Membership Club passport cards upon check-in. Each card can be redeemed for a tasting for two at participating wineries and tasting rooms, or a $20 coupon at participating restaurants. Midweek Membership Club travelers will also receive club member pricing on wine purchases at participating wineries.

California Pizza Kitchen is the Dodgers’ official pizza

California Pizza Kitchen is extending its partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Playa Vista-based restaurant chain has signed a multi-year deal to be the official pizza of the 2020 World Series champions, according to a news release.


CPK will have concessions at four places within Dodgers Stadium, according to the release. They are on the Field, Loge and Reserve levels and the Left Field Pavilion.


Founded in 1985, California Pizza Kitchen is known for its West Coast creations such as BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Wine cellar worker training is focus of new Santa Rosa Junior college program

North Bay Business Journal

Santa Rosa Junior College has announced it will offer either a degree or a certificate in the job through its wine studies program. Students who pursue a certificate will be required to take only wine classes, while an Associate of Arts degree course path will include wine classes and general education classes.


In preparing participants for a job as wine cellar worker, the program focuses on the theory and practices used in the production of wine, including basic grape growing practices and vineyard decisions, steps in the winemaking process from harvest to bottling, basic wine lab analyses, and the use of winery production equipment.


“We are incredibly pleased to offer this new program. There is great demand for qualified wine cellar workers in the North Bay. Historically, cellar workers have come to us for training. Now they can leave with a certificate or degree to document their hard work,” said Kevin Sea, professor and coordinator of the SRJC Wine Studies Program.

Snoop Dogg launches new Rosé with 19 Crimes

On Monday, the hip-hop superstar’s partnership with wine brand 19 Crimes launched Snoop Cali Rosé, which is a blend of Grenache and Zinfandel with notes of fresh raspberry, strawberry and red cherry.


“We did it big with 19 Crimes Cali Red, so you know we had to do it again – and this time, I was thinking pink,” Snoop Dogg said in the announcement. “I can’t wait for everyone to sip on my Snoop Cali Rosé and bring those fresh feels from spring into summer and beyond. I hope when you open a bottle of this wine you take a little mind trip to my Cali home. This is how we Rosé the Snoop Dogg way!”


The California rosé is the first wine of its category for the brand that has experienced huge success with the “Doggystyle” rapper. The San Francisco-based company’s first collaboration with Snoop Dogg, Cali Red, was recognized as the No. 1 selling wine innovation of 2020.

Cannabis Taxes Total $2.6 Million for Latest Quarter in Santa Barbara County

Cannabis tax revenues continue to increase in Santa Barbara County, with a reported $2.6 million received in the last quarter.


Financial analyst Steven Yee of the County Executive Office said the figure represents a 30 percent increase for the quarter that ended Dec. 31 from the same period in 2019.


“Cannabis tax revenues continue to remain strong despite the economic impact of the (COVID-19) pandemic,” Yee told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday during a second-quarter report on cannabis compliance, enforcement and taxation.


Based on the amount of revenue received in the quarter, staff estimates that cannabis tax revenues could generate as much as $14 million in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, according to a letter filed with the board. That is about $3.4 million more than the anticipated revenues for the year.


The tax revenues were received from 56 operators that reported gross receipts, Yee said. Over the quarter, 37 operators reported zero gross receipts and 25 operators did not submit any reports.

CK Mondavi and Family Launches Color-Changing Labels to Celebrate 75th Anniversary

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, CK Mondavi and Family released a set of wines with thermochromic labels that use temperature-sensitive ink to change color as the bottle becomes colder. Once chilled to approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the light, cream-colored labels transform into brighter hues—the Chardonnay turns orange, the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio become different shades of green, and the Moscato to teal—and a new design appears in the background.


“We’re always on the lookout for new ways to make our wines really pop at retail, and also give our fans even more reasons to reach for CK Mondavi and Family,” said Riana Mondavi, a fourth-generation family member and director of chains, western region.

This Sonoma Winery is Among Elizabeth Olsen’s Favorite Places in the World

The Hollywood actress likes to sip wine in Sonoma County and calls it her “breathing space” from L.A.


The actress, who is the younger sister of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, gave a shout-out to Sonoma County in an interview with luxury and lifestyle magazine Condé Nast Traveller, citing Sonoma County as her favorite place to visit during the pandemic.


“The last place I travelled to was Sonoma, a trip I’ve taken quite often during the pandemic,” Olsen told Condé Nast Traveller. “My fiancé’s [musician Robbie Arnett] family has a place in St Helena, so we spend a lot of time up there.”


Like her sisters, Olsen started her career as a child actor and has since starred in indie films such as “Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene,” for which she received critical acclaim. Olsen’s fanbase has continued to expand after she landed the lead role as Avenger Wanda Maximoff in the new Disney+ miniseries “WandaVision,” in which she stars alongside Paul Bettany (as Vision). She said her visits to Sonoma County have provided “breathing space” from L.A. and her work; the perfect relaxing destination.


Olsen also mentioned that her favorite spot to sip wine is Ryme Cellars in Forestville.


“Their tasting is this kind of backyard set-up, but with beautiful wines and great people. A lot of Napa Valley feels old and too fancy and too serious for something that should be really enjoyed, but they’re not like that,” Olsen said.

Newlyweds donate $20,000 from canceled party to feed Sonoma Valley hungry

Press Democrat


When COVID-19 restrictions at last persuaded a betrothed Bay Area couple that they must cancel the wedding party of their dreams, they discussed the nearly $20,000, most of it refundable, that they’d prepaid prominent Wine Country caterer Elaine Bell.


The couple then did something astonishing.


They reached out to Bell and asked her to return none of the money she’d received from them for a deposit and retainer. The couple directed the caterer: Please use the dollars to feed as many people as possible.


Blown away by the act of caring, Bell and her kitchen crew are busily preparing and delivering fine meals to thousands of people in Sonoma Valley unaccustomed to such pleasures.

Some Tahoe ski resorts extend closing dates as new storms bring snow

SF Chronicle

Snowfall averages have been relatively low across the region this winter, and the Sierra snowpack is only 61% of average for this time of year. But storm surges in late January and early February dumped 100 inches of snow at certain spots around the basin and more is on the way. Storms moving through the mountains this week and early next week are forecast to bring between 2 and 3 feet of snow to the Tahoe basin.


With spring in sight, many resorts have set their closing dates. However, some might push them back with strong late-season snowfall.


Here are the closing dates for Tahoe’s 11 major ski areas:

Squaw Valley: May 31


Alpine Meadows: May 31


Heavenly: April 18


Northstar: April 18


Mt. Rose: April 18


Boreal: April 18


Sugar Bowl: April 18


Homewood: April 11


Kirkwood: April 11


Sierra at Tahoe: April 11


Diamond Peak: April 11


March 8, 2021 5:20 PM PST

Singer and actress Miley Cyrus was in the Coachella Valley over the weekend.


The singer paid a visit to Eight4Nine in Palm Springs Saturday night where the restaurant shared this photo of her with a caption, “To say she is Lovely would be an Understatement.”


Some people on Facebook also said they saw Miley Downtown.


Miley posted selfies on Instagram at the restaurant saying, “Harry Styles took these.” She also posted a video on TikTok over the weekend laying out tanning with a caption, “A short video directed by Harry Styles.”

Blackout dining restaurant to launch in San Diego in May

San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego diners are more than ready to get back inside local restaurants for an indoor meal. But are they ready to eat that meal entirely in the dark? A Spanish events company hopes so.


Dining in the Dark, which will launch May 26 in an as-yet unannounced Gaslamp Quarter restaurant, is being produced by Fever, a global events producer in Madrid. Since last July, Fever has introduced Dining in the Dark at locations in 48 cities worldwide. The first U.S. locations were introduced a few weeks ago, beginning in Chicago. San Diego, Los Angeles and 16 other cities will be rolling out the experiential dinners this spring. Organizers say this will be a permanent San Diego attraction, though the venue will change every three months, and a spooky theme will be introduced during Halloween season.


Dining in the Dark is a three-course, 90-minute meal served to diners wearing black velvet blindfolds in a darkened restaurant. The cost is $90, not including alcoholic beverages. Diners can choose between a meat, seafood or vegan menu theme, but everything else will be a surprise to the taste buds. So far, the price tag hasn’t been an obstacle for pandemic-weary diners eager for a memorable meal away from home.

‘Baywatch’ Star Pamela Anderson Selling Malibu Colony Home for $14.9M

Pamela Anderson, star of “Baywatch,” is parting with her Malibu beach house and departing for Canada. Her sweet retreat is now available for $14.9 million.


After years spent enjoying the coastal compound, which she had a hand in designing, the animal welfare activist is heading north, after marrying her bodyguard, Dan Hayhurst, according to the New York Post. The couple are focused on renovating a home there that she bought decades ago. (It had been a $40,000 a month rental)


“I feel more settled on my sustainable ranch on Vancouver Island with space to rescue more animals. It’s still beachfront. One foot away from the water—and I’m lost,” the 53-year-old bombshell told the Post.


For a buyer looking to swoop in, her Malibu abode presents an alluring option.


“The Malibu market has become the destination of choice for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals from across the nation. Malibu Colony, in particular, is one of Los Angeles’ most important enclaves, dating back to Hollywood’s heyday of ’20s glamour,” the listing agent, Tomer Fridman of The Fridman Group, said through a representative.


Anderson purchased the place for $1.8 million in 2000. She gave the modern abode a complete refresh in 2013, tapping the architect Philip Vertoch and the interior designer Josh Chryssanthou. She also added her own signature touches, such as a bathtub in her bedroom, which she told People magazine is her favorite room in the house.


With four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, the 5,500-square-foot, privately gated home boasts teak wood imported from conflict-free areas. Other highlights include a roof deck with fireplace and views, a pool and spa, and a guesthouse. Another area on the grounds features a spa and fire pit.


The master bedroom, along with the tub, has custom closets with built-in lighting, a bath with dual sinks, a sauna, and a private balcony.


Sustainable elements include solar panels and a sustainably built, irrigated vegetable garden.


The owner also enjoys private beach and lagoon access, the listing notes.

Cowgirl Creamery is closing its S.F. Ferry Building store after 18 years

SF Chronicle

Cowgirl Creamery is closing its famous cheese shop and Sidekick Cafe at the San Francisco Ferry Building on April 10 after 18 years in business — a blow for the food hall that some critics said was already losing its status as a culinary destination even before the pandemic.


Cowgirl, one of the Ferry Building’s last-remaining original tenants, attributed the closure to the pandemic. It will be the eighth vacancy in the famed food hall, which usually has just one or two empty spaces.


Cowgirl exemplified everything the Ferry Building marketplace is supposed to be about: artisanal, locally made food that had rightfully earned national acclaim. The closure doesn’t impact the creamery’s production: Cowgirl will continue to make cheese, selling in stores nationwide and at its Point Reyes Station location.


Amanda Parker, managing director of Cowgirl, said the Ferry Building was always a challenging place to operate a business because of the unusually busy, chaotic environment. But foot traffic came to a grinding halt last March when shelter-in-place orders first took effect, and it never fully came back, she said.


“No ferry traffic, no locals except on farmers’ market days, no tourists,” she said. “We tried really hard to make it work and ultimately it’s just not an operation we could sustain any longer.”

Healdsburg debuts biggest floating solar farm in nation

North Bay Business Journal

Over the last four months, two ponds at Healdsburg’s wastewater treatment plant were transformed by workers assembling rows of solar panels and pushing them out one by one to float gently on the water’s surface.


The project covered roughly half the combined 15 acres of ponds with 11,600 panels. It is likely the largest floating solar farm in the United States, the builders said, and will provide 8% of the city’s annual electrical needs.


The two-sided panels capture the sun’s energy as it strikes them from above, and also from below when sunlight reflects off the water. Metal cables anchor the floating farm to the ponds’ banks, while floating walkways give technicians and wastewater treatment plant workers the ability to check the panels.


… the solar farm was a way to shade the pond, prevent evaporation and at the same time, help power Healdsburg…

Monte Rio restaurant draws complaint after skeletons confused for bar patrons

North Bay Business Journal

Two skeletons at Northwood Restaurant in Monte Rio recently caused some trouble after someone mistook them for real people and reported the restaurant to Sonoma County for COVID-19 violations.


The plastic skeletons first appeared at the restaurant as Halloween decorations in October before co-owner Chrissy Cronquist and her staff decided to keep them year-round, Cronquist said. But someone confused two of the skeletons stationed at the bar for real people. They reported the restaurant to Sonoma County, who sent a code enforcement investigator on March 4 to look into the complaint.


Cronquist said the man introduced himself as an investigator and explained they received a complaint that the restaurant was defying coronavirus restrictions and allowing patrons to sit at the bar. He added that they could face a $1,000 fine for the violation.


Cronquist thought he was joking.


“At first, I was kind of angry,” she said. “There’s nobody sitting at the bar. And then I looked over (at the skeletons) and said, ‘You meant these people?’ I went, ‘Oh my lord.’ And then I realized he’s talking about these skeletons.”

Stuntman Sits In Pool Of Bean Dip For 24 Hours To Support Mexican Restaurant

A stuntman put his skills to work to support his favorite restaurant in Chatsworth.


Hunter Ray Barker pledged to sit in an inflatable pool full of bean dip for 24 hours in an attempt to bring more diners to Los Toros Mexican Restaurant on Devonshire Street in Chatsworth.


To pull off the stunt, which Barker says he has never attempted before, he created his own concoction of beans, starch flour and seasoning and filled an inflatable pool with it.


“I just think we have a golden opportunity to grab the bull by the horn and support local businesses in a big, explosive way, ’cause why not?” Barker said.


Barker said the restaurant was always his family’s favorite place to celebrate when he was growing up.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway To Reopen, Again!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tramway will initially be open on a Thursday-through-Monday schedule, with the first car set to head up at 8 a.m. and the last car down at 6 p.m.

The tramway has been shuttered for much of the coronavirus pandemic, although it did open briefly between October and December, until Gov. Gavin Newsom issued regional stay-at-home orders which were lifted late last month.

All passengers must make advance reservations, cover their faces while inside the tram or inside the Valley and Mountain stations, and submit to temperature screenings. People must also cover their faces while inside Mount San Jacinto State Park when social distancing is not possible.

Tram car capacities will be significantly reduced to allow for social distancing, and the time between each trip has been lengthened to allow for sanitization of tram cars between trips.

link Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Oakland Gets Its First Dedicated Detroit-Style Pizza Restaurant

Along with hot chicken and quesabirria, Detroit-style pizza has been one of the biggest food trends to hit the Bay Area in the past couple of years. But in Oakland, Detroit-style rectangular pies, with their characteristic thick crusts and charred, crispy-cheese square edges, have thus far mostly been found at pop-ups and ghost kitchens, or as one option on a broader pizza menu.

That is, until now. The SoMa-based Detroit pizza restaurant Square Pie Guys has opened their popular take on the genre in the former Benchmark Pizzeria location in Old Oakland. It’s the brand’s first East Bay expansion, and by all appearances, it is be the city’s first full-fledged, dedicated Detroit-style pizza shop.

Penfolds Debuts California Collection

Decades in the making, new bottlings include a Napa Valley Cabernet and a Cabernet-Shiraz blend

Australia’s Penfolds is perhaps best known for its iconic Grange bottling, but the iconic winery doesn’t stand still. Under the direction of chief winemaker Peter Gago, it continues to release innovative new wines. The latest endeavor has just been unveiled, a lineup of four California-based wines from vineyard holdings in Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, with prices ranging from $50 to $700. In a twist, two of the bottlings also include a small amount of Australian wine.

“This is not us marching into California to show people how to make wine,” Gago told Wine Spectator. “It’s made with respect.”

Gago adds that this project follows decades of investing in vineyards and building relationships in California, led by senior winemaker Stephanie Dutton and winemaker Andrew Baldwin. In the late 1980s, Penfolds started experimenting with planting vine cuttings from esteemed sites in South Australia, including Kalimna and Magill Estate, in the company’s Paso Robles vineyard holdings. Now that Penfolds is a part of the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio, the winemaking team now also has access to prime grapes in Napa and Sonoma owned by sister wineries such as Beringer and Sterling.

Apple releases Billie Eilish-themed gift card

Coinciding with the release of the Apple TV+ documentary “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry,” Apple is offering a limited-edition version of its gift card themed to represent the musical artist.

The Billie Eilish Limited Edition Apple Gift Card is listed in the online Apple Store alongside Apple’s other designs. The new option is both the top listing and the default for the page, and is one of nine designs users can choose from.

The Billie Eilish-themed Apple logo is green on a blue background, with gradients on each of the sides to give a form of glowing effect. The logo matches the aesthetic of the documentary’s promotional images, as well as Eilish’s signature green hair coloring.

Apple Reopens All 270 Retail Stores in the United States

As noted by 9to5Mac, there are still restrictions at many of the Apple Stores in the U.S. Some are offering in-store shopping appointments, while others are only set up for Express pickup of online orders and Genius Support appointments.

Apple uses local health and safety guidelines to dictate which stores operate, so there is still a chance that there could be additional shutdowns going forward should there be a change in a particular state.

Napa wine country home where Elvis stayed: $6.95 million

The Ink House is at Hy 29 and Whitehall Lane south of downtown St Helena

A historical home in Napa Valley known as the Ink House — where Elvis Presley stayed during the filming of “Wild in the Country” in 1960 — is on the market for $6.95 million, according to Compass real estate firm.

The stunning property at 1575 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, is the former home of early Napa Valley settler and agriculturist Theron Ink. Updated with an amazing interior design and beautiful renovation in 2017 by celebrated architect Howard Backen, the property is currently home to a luxurious boutique inn.

The two-story Italianate house, built in 1885, spans 4,660 square feet with six bedrooms and eight-plus bathrooms on a 1.23-acre lot. The price tag includes the home’s furniture and artwork, according to a Compass representative.

Ink House listing

SoCal man using mannequin for carpool lane!

Mannequin photo at the link!

A California driver who said he had used a mannequin as his passenger for at least a year and a half in order to access carpool lanes has been cited and faces a fine of at least $400.

The mannequin — adorned with gray hair, wrinkles, glasses, a Cleveland Indians baseball hat and a face mask — sat in the passenger seat of the driver’s Toyota Tacoma when he was pulled over on Feb. 19.

Officer S. Sullinger was patrolling the eastbound 210 freeway in Glendora in search of carpool violators.

The officer noticed the front passenger in the Toyota was suspicious and that the vehicle had tinted windows on its front passenger side, which is illegal.

Open By Summer? Emergency repairs announced for Highway 1 in Big Sur

Emergency repairs on Highway 1 in Big Sur at Rat Creek will begin in March, Caltrans announced on Thursday.

Caltrans said that major repairs would begin March 1 and the roadway could reopen as early as Summer 2021 after debris flow from the Dolan Fire burn scar washed out a 150-foot section of the highway.

“Caltrans crews have been on site since this highway section washed out in the recent storms to assess the damage, and we’re pleased to announce emergency construction begins next week to repair and reconnect the highway,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin.

Fry’s Electronics permanently closes nationwide

The company posted closure information on its website.

Fry’s has more than two dozen stores mainly across California and Texas.

There are six stores in Northern California, eight in Southern California, eight in Texas, two in Arizona, and one store each in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Imagine Dragons bassist Ben McKee pledges $1,000 donation every day for a year

Imagine Dragons bassist Ben McKee, who grew up in the Sonoma County community of Forestville and graduated from El Molino High School, has announced he will donate $1,000 a day to a different community organization for a full year.

“The past year has been a particularly challenging time for a lot of people,” McKee wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “The organizations that fight to support and protect the most vulnerable of us have been pushed beyond their limits. I have set aside $365,000 and over the next year I will be giving away $1,000 a day.”

Sting Scores Again as Top Celebrity Wine

One thing is for sure: Sting knows how to send a message in a bottle. In wine expert Mark Oldman’s latest celebrity wine competition, “Celebrity War of the Luxury Red Wines,” the British music legend once again drew top honors for wine made at his Tuscan estate Il Palagio.

Sting’s Il Palagio “Sister Moon” Tuscan red won the day with 32% of the votes, while actress and cookbook author Ayesha Curry, who is the wife of NBA player Stephen Curry, notched second place with her Domaine Curry Cabernet garnering 18% of the votes.

This is the second time that a Sting wine won over voters, with his “Roxanne” wine voted top celebrity white in the white wine competition conducted by Oldman last year.

In the most recent competition, 328 households logged in via Zoom, and Oldman instructed the group on how to evaluate luxury red wine – i.e., wine priced at $50 or more. He then presented the six contenders. Participants voted through Zoom’s online polling system, with the following results:

1] Il Palagio “Sister Moon” Tuscany 2016 (Sting) (32%) winner

2] Domaine Curry Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Ayesha Curry) (18%)

3] tie) GoGi “29” Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2016 (Kurt Russell) (16%

4] tie) Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017 (Yao Ming) (16%)

5] LVE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2015 (John Legend) (10%)

6] Halleck Vineyard “Find Your Light” Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2016 (Josh Groban) (8%)

San Diego Face Mask Sewing Group still going strong after already providing 70,000 masks

Founder Michelle Harvey is modest about what her passion and compassion have accomplished.

Michelle estimates they’ve provided about 70,000 masks to recipients ranging from health care workers and first responders to service members.

Michelle says, “I felt like I could give them some joy, something in their day to make them feel like out here, we see them, we support them and we care.”

The San Diego Face Mask Sewing Group now has more than 1,800 members who sew, drive or supply fabric.

The group itself has entered a new phase prompted by a troubling message Michelle received about some health care workers. She says she found out, “Nurses are not getting breaks, they’re not able to sit down and eat a full lunch.”

So Michelle put out another call, this time for things to put in goody bags. The gratitude was immediate.

The bags are filled with everything from fruit to lotion and lip balm. Each bag comes with a handwritten note.

San Diego Face Mask Sewing Group on Facebook

Airstream link Flying Cloud 30FB Office Starting at $107,500 story

Airstream has introduced a brand new trailer to the family of iconic silver-bullet trailers, and it’s directly influenced by the need to work from home as a precaution in the ongoing international health crisis. If we’re going to work from home, we might as well make sure that “home” is wherever we want it to be.

So Airstream took the Flying Cloud trailer, which was first introduced in 1949, as a starting point and developed a mobile home office that delivers the best of both worlds: it allows you to fulfill your daily professional obligations and it keeps you on the road for as long as you want – and have money for gas. Meet the Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Office, a combination of a home office with a luxurious 30-feet (9.1-meter) trailer packed with all the amenities you’ve come to expect from Airstream.

Online exhibition Hidden Treasures: Unseen Originals from the Schulz Museum offers a rare look at original Peanuts comic strips

SANTA ROSA, Calif., February 3, 2021—A new online exhibition from the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center brings Peanuts fans inside the world of Charles M. Schulz—and beyond the walls of the Museum—from the comfort of their home. The Museum’s most in-depth online exhibition to date, Hidden Treasures: Unseen Originals from the Schulz Museum shares more than 65 rarely seen original Peanuts comic strips with new, exclusive audio and visual enhancements designed for online audiences.

The original comic strips featured in Hidden Treasures have been displayed only once during a 2019 exhibition of the same name at the Museum. From Snoopy’s doghouse to the Great Pumpkin, the exhibition explores the foundational themes of Peanuts and offers an intimate look at classic favorites. Audiences are invited to zoom in closely on the original strips to view Schulz’s pen strokes, margin notes, and other fine details that are lost in newspaper and book reproductions.

“The original Peanuts strips presented here have very rarely been exhibited to the public,” said Exhibitions Manager Lauren Figueroa. “This includes some consecutive storylines that until recently, likely had not been seen together since they left Schulz’s drawing board years ago!”

The online presentation is also paired with new, behind-the-scenes commentary from the cartoonist’s widow, Jean Schulz, Curator Benjamin L. Clark, and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates staff members Alexis Fajardo and Justin Thompson.

“To have the opportunity to listen to such personal insight from Jean Schulz and hear the group discuss the comic strips, themes, and storylines is what makes this online exhibition truly unique,” Figueroa added. “It’s an entirely new experience that we’re excited to be sharing with the Peanuts fans.”

Hidden Treasures also takes a deep dive into the anatomy of a comic strip and provides a close look at nearly a dozen objects from the Museum’s archives and collection, including correspondence, sketches, animation cels, and classic Peanuts products.

Available directly on the Schulz Museum’s website (, access to the online exhibition is free for members, and $10 for up to 30 days for non-members. Those interested can get a sneak peek before purchasing via a sample shared on the website (

Repairs will keep collapsed stretch of Highway 1 near Big Sur closed for months

Caltrans officials say landslide repairs will keep Highway 1 south of Big Sur closed for months, rewriting travel plans for anyone who had been hoping to make a coastal road trip from Southern California in early spring.

The biggest problem is a 150-foot-long chasm where the highway used to run at Rat Creek, two miles south of the Esalen Institute. That area, authorities noted, lies below the “burn scar” left by the Dolan fire, which blackened about 125,000 acres last August.

In addition to the Rat Creek damage, authorities said about 60 points along the highway suffered damage. Many “need to dry out and stabilize before we can get in there and do full repairs and cleanup,”

Santa Maria, known for its barbecue and wineries, is offering a $100 Visa gift card for use toward a minimum two-night qualifying hotel stay.

You can also use the credit in neighboring Orcutt.

While the state continues to discourage nonessential travel to any destination that’s 120 miles or more from one’s home, Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the stay-at-home order for all regions across the state last week, allowing hotels to reopen to tourists and restaurants to offer outdoor dining with safety measures in place. After a major widespread shutdown in the winter, the state is slowly beginning to reopen.

“Santa Maria Valley has maintained an open-for-business approach and inviting attitude throughout the pandemic,” said Jennifer Harrison, director of tourism for Visit Santa Maria Valley. “Our destination is less crowded than other California destinations, and offers more for less to budget-conscious travelers during a time of economic rebound. We intend for the travel stimulus to help our local businesses while ensuring our experiences are safe and memorable for everyone who travels here.”

Research from Taiwan shows that tannins in wine can help fight Covid-19 by effectively inhibiting the activity of two key enzymes within the virus.

Mien-Chie Hung, President of China Medical University, Taiwan, led a scientific research on the anti-coronavirus treatment. They discovered that tannins in wine can effectively inhibit the activity of two key enzymes of the virus.

As TVBS reported, Hung said: “The initial plan of the research is to call out natural compounds that may have an effect on SARS, and then use the protease of the new coronavirus to detect them and tannic acid was found in the result. It bears the strongest inhibitory ability.”

Hung explained tannic acid is a water-soluble polyphenol. Polyphenol compounds have antioxidants and free radical scavengers, which have anti-inflammatory effects.

During the SARS pandemic in 2003, relevant studies have proved that the treatment of tannic acid is effective. This time we are facing a new type of coronavirus and the research team has further performed detailed molecular experiments for new discovery.

The principal said that tannins can prevent infection and control the growth of viruses. Tannins are readily found in fruits such as bananas and grapes, as well as wine, tea and vegetables.

He explained tannins could be further developed as a drug for pharmaceutical treatment in the future. He believed that the consumption of adequate food and drinks with tannins is also a way to boost up one’s immunity to the virus.

“Grape and sorghum have relatively high tannin content. In fact, we are doing research in this area. We hope that in near future, we can come up with the decision of whether wine or baijiu is more potent in tannins.”

Big Rick’s Super Bowl of Chili

Yes this makes a super bowl of chili. I would get in legal trouble if I combined the first 2 words before “of chili” but it does go well with watching the “big game.”

It is not 5 Alarm hot. It really doesn’t need that much heat. If you like it hot then add heat after you have some in your bowl or play around with the heat as you make it. I don’t make it hot because that way everyone can have some no matter their spicy heat tolerance. A simple hot sauce like Crystal or Tabasco is salt, red peppers, and vinegar and adds good heat and flavor to anything including this chili.

And yes it uses a can of pumpkin!

full recipe here

Pandemic forces cancellation of Levi’s GranFondo cycling event until 2022

The ride will return in the spring of 2022, its founder, ex-pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer said Friday.

The 12-year-old event, which has drawn upward of 5,000 participants in the past, already had undergone notable changes going into this year. Instead of starting and finishing in Santa Rosa, cyclists were to stage at the Town Green in Windsor. Long a fixture on the fall calendar for cycling buffs, the GranFondo was switched this year to late May, a concession to the wildfires that have plagued Sonoma County in recent years.

“I would hope everyone understands,” said Leipheimer, who divides his time between Sonoma County and the Lake Tahoe area. “If it were up to us, we’d have an event. But it’s just not safe. It’s not possible.”

6 of the Best Wines to Pair With Pizza

on the list Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua introduced California AB 239, which will allow consumers to refill their personal wine containers at a winery or tasting room, helping to:
– Reduce consumer waste
– Expand sales for family wineries
– Increase parity in the marketplace

“Taking this next step will help to expand business opportunities for family wineries, reduce consumer waste, and bring parity to our marketplace,” said Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua of Stockton. “While existing law allows for breweries to sell their product in this manner, it’s time we offer the same opportunity to the winegrowers of California.”

Snow in San Diego!

The storm that gave greater San Diego a welcome soaking Saturday will be followed by a much larger, colder system that could dump up to 1.5 feet of snow on Palomar Mountain beginning Sunday night and close to an inch of rain in some areas near the coast.

The National Weather Service says the new system will peak on Monday when it races through Southern California, with much of its energy focused on San Diego County, where the snow level could drop as low as 2,500 feet, affecting travel on flat, open expanses of eastern Interstate 8.

Forecasters say Julian could get 4 to 6 inches of snow, adding to the roughly 2 inches of snow that slowed traffic on Main Street late Saturday. The California Highway Patrol ordered motorists to use chains on state Route 79, from I-8 to state Route 78.

Closed – Sally’s SF Iconic Potrero Hill Breakfast Destination

Potrero Hill breakfast institution Sally’s Restaurant, which for at least three decades has fed locals and area tech workers with all-day breakfast from its De Haro Street kitchen, appears to be shuttered for good. Google marks the venue as permanently closed, its phone number is disconnected, and Eater tipster Molly Ditmore, who visited the scene, says that that the restaurant is “totally dismantled” and that “Sally’s is gone

Cook Popcorn in Bacon Grease

Something primal has awakened in me, and my devotion to the bacon fat lifestyle has been renewed. I don’t know if it’s finally getting a fridge that’s big enough to accommodate my vintage grease crock, or the cold, rainy weather, but something has got me cooking everything in rendered animal fat. My current favorite snack is “meaty popcorn,” which is exactly what it sounds like.

Like all good popcorn, bacon fat popcorn is crispy and crunchy; unlike other popcorn, bacon fat popcorn is permeated with meaty, salty flavor.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another business — the popular Beachside Bar-Cafe at Goleta Beach County Park.

The restaurant, which has served customers for nearly four decades at the base of the Goleta Pier, is expected to close its doors by the end of the month

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that after 36 years Beachside Bar-Cafe is closing its doors permanently,” the company posted on Facebook. “We want to thank our local community for your support and patronage through these ever-changing times.”

You Should Air Fry Wet Tortellini

Just boil some water, cook the pasta until it floats, then remove it with a spider (or slotted spoon) and put it in a bowl. Season the tortellini to taste—I used Kraft green-top parm and Lawry’s garlic salt—and give it a toss to coat. Dump the tortellini in an air fryer set to 400℉ for 13-16 minutes, until they are hot, golden, and crispy on the outside. Serve with marinara or some sort of marinara-like dipping sauce (I used pizza sauce).

Founders of Sonoma County’s Cowgirl Creamery retire

Pioneers in U.S. organic artisan cheesemaking, chefs Sue Conley and Peggy Smith on Thursday announced their retirement from Cowgirl Creamery, which they started in 1997 and grew to the point it attracted the attention of a global dairy giant.

“Creating and building Cowgirl Creamery, has been the greatest adventure in our lives,” they wrote in a letter to friends and colleagues, released Thursday. It noted that their last day was Jan. 1. “The development of Cowgirl Creamery built many careers in cheesemaking, mongering, food safety, sales and distribution. We leave a seasoned team of leaders, each with their own team of passionate people working together to strengthen this artisan cheese movement.”

Noted achievements are their work with the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, or MALT, which protects rural properties for food production, and promotion of “the Northern California milkshed,” described as including dairy farmers, cheese producers and the chefs who use their products.

Swiss dairy products company Emmi acquired Cowgirl Creamery in 2016, providing an infusion of capital and operational support that helped the company expand production in Petaluma in 2017 and bring on new top leadership in training in 2019.

Petaluma cannabis farm celebrates first harvest

The ranch, named Sonoma Hills Farm, recently celebrated its first official harvest of locally grown cannabis, herb that some say could establish the baseline for Sonoma County-specific weed identified by terroir like wine.

The buds are now available in several different strains at dispensaries across the Bay Area.

While cannabis is without question the farm’s most high-profile crop, Sonoma Hills has other ranching operations, too, including cattle and vegetables. Since the spring of 2020, the farm has spread good will by donating produce to local restaurateurs struggling to keep their eateries open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aaron Keefer, vice president of cultivation and production, said his goal at the farm is to grow high-quality products, whatever they might be.

“The way I look at it, cannabis is just another plant,” said Keefer.

Sonoma Hills Farm

Pliny the Younger will be shipped!

Life is nowhere near normal right now, but Pliny is coming. Russian River Brewing is gearing up to release its seasonal favorite, Pliny the Younger, in bottles this year — and under different conditions. You won’t be able to stand in line with other Pliny devotees to get a fresh pour and the full Younger experience. There won’t be an in-person release at either of the two locations. But Russian River will be shipping 12-bottle, mixed-pack cases — within California — that include four bottles of Pliny the Younger, along with some of their other popular beers and one special, new brew no one has seen before.

Co-owner Natalie Cilurzo told me, “We’re trying to re-create the experience of Younger in person.”

Most people who visit the brewery for Pliny the Younger order a sampler of Russian River beers, too, hence the mixed case. And Natalie and brewer Vinnie Cilurzo will be posting Facebook Live tastings of Younger and other beers so fans can taste along with the Russian River duo.

“While we’re disappointed that we can’t do (Younger) in person,” she said, “we’re still doing what we can to make it available to as many people as possible and still make it fun, while at the same time being responsible business owners and keeping everybody safe.”

This is a one-time thing just for 2021, she said. Barring anything unforeseen, Younger will be back at the brewery the following year, so if you want to try it in a bottle, this is your shot. Pre-sales will begin at 11 a.m. (Pacific Time) on Jan. 28 at the brewery’s online store

SoCal skier rides giant waves at Mavericks on custom water skis
Daredevil surfers have been riding giant waves for years, but a Southern California skier is breaking new ground by skiing the same big surf.

Chuck Patterson spoke to FOX 5 from Dana Point about tackling the world-famous big waves at Mavericks surf break near Half Moon Bay. Patterson said he has been skiing since he was 2 years old and got into big wave surfing when he was older. So it seemed only natural to combine his two interests.

“It’s kind of a cool thing to blend the two — a little spicy obviously,” he said. “Nowadays, being ordinary is a little too ordinary.”


The Central Coast’s Legendary Pea Soup Andersen’s Future Is in Jeopardy
The Buellton restaurant is for sale for a cool $4.7 million, and it’s unclear what that might mean for the property

This historic and well-known restaurant off the 101 freeway north of Los Angeles is one of Central California’s quirkiest spots, complete with the old-school dining room as well as gift shops and banquet rooms for tourists and weekend guests. Even those who have never eaten there are familiar with the name, thanks to the many pale green billboards that dot the freeway for many miles in either direction. The restaurant’s pea soup is of course a staple, but it also serves everything from pickled herring to supreme chicken quesadillas.

For now it’s unclear how much, if any, of the business and building would remain post-sale. On its website listing, Santa Barbara company Radius Commercial Real Estate described the building as “prime for redevelopment.​” The building has stood since at least 1924, and has held a variety of businesses over the years, but with easy access to the freeway and the growing wine country region, a full demolition is well within the realm of possibility.

NHL ‘blown away’ by Lake Tahoe; Perfect fit to host outdoor games
STATELINE, Nev. — National Hockey League officials wanted a picturesque landscape where they could build an ice rink surrounded by snow-coverered mountains for maximum visual impact, and Lake Tahoe “fit the bill.”

The NHL officially announced on Monday it will hold two games on an outdoor rink set up at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada.

Vegas will play Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 20 and Boston faces Philadelphia on Sunday, Feb. 21 on a temporary rink set up on the 18th hole at Edgewood, site of the annual American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. The rink will be on the 18th fairway, near the green, and will take approximately two weeks to build after construction starts on Monday, Feb. 8, just after Super Bowl weekend.

The golf course offers plenty of space to set up a temporary rink and the resort at Edgewood allows the league to have a bubble-like environment, which worked during the ACC in July.

No fans will be allowed to attend and players will be under strict protocols due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the visuals on TV and social media should be spectacular.

Petaluma cannabis farm celebrates first harvest
The ranch, named Sonoma Hills Farm, recently celebrated its first official harvest of locally grown cannabis, herb that some say could establish the baseline for Sonoma County-specific weed identified by terroir like wine.

The buds are now available in several different strains at dispensaries across the Bay Area.

While cannabis is without question the farm’s most high-profile crop, Sonoma Hills has other ranching operations, too, including cattle and vegetables. Since the spring of 2020, the farm has spread good will by donating produce to local restaurateurs struggling to keep their eateries open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aaron Keefer, vice president of cultivation and production, said his goal at the farm is to grow high-quality products, whatever they might be.

“The way I look at it, cannabis is just another plant,” said Keefer.

Disneyland ends its annual pass program after 40 years, citing pandemic uncertainty

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has claimed yet another Disney experience: After nearly four decades, Disneyland has terminated its annual pass program.

The announcement is effective immediately, given that Disneyland theme parks are still closed, and affects all four tiers of passholders: Signature Plus, Signature, Deluxe and Southern California Select. All current passholders will be issued prorated refunds for the duration of time remaining on their passes.

“Due to the continued uncertainty of the pandemic and limitations around the reopening of our California theme parks, we will be issuing appropriate refunds for eligible Disneyland Resort Annual Passports and sunsetting the current program,” Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock said in a statement on the company’s website.

From IPAs to Craft Lagers, Six Non-Alcoholic Beers to Try

Booze-free lagers and IPAs are the focus for many breweries, but stouts, hefeweizen and blond ales can also be found for patrons looking for a pint without the pain.

on the list

IPNA, Lagunitas Brewing Co.
The California-based brewery is owned by Heineken, which knows a thing or two about nonalcoholic beer. It’s been testing its NA IPA recipe for the past year, and settled on one that includes Mosaic, Citra, Columbus hops as well as English crystal malt and Alberta barley. This has all the hop bite one would expect from a West Coast brewer. Contains 80 calories per 12-ounce bottle.

Oakland Restaurant Week Is Back with Delicious Deals

The event is definitely a little toned down this year, given the stay-at-home order, but there are still a few sweet deals to be had. Per usual, restaurant “week” is a misnomer, it’s more like a week and a half, running across two weekends from January 7 to 18. Visit Oakland has a running list of more than 300 restaurants that are currently open for takeout and delivery, which is a great resource in general. And specifically for restaurant week, about 20 to 30 of those will be featuring special menus or items.

some favorites of mine

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza

Home of Chicken and Waffles

Bird & Buffalo

Hollywood’s Historic Pink’s Hot Dogs Begins Months-Long Closure Due to COVID-19

Owners hope to protect the health of Pink’s staff and customers with a closure that will last at least two months

Pink’s closed at the start of the pandemic from March until August, only to reopen with a new set of protocols in place that included a “front door ambassador” and “full-time sanitizer monitor” to clean and ensure the use of face masks, even adding delivery options and phone orders for the first time. And while the pandemic and rolling lockdown orders have kept many of the tourists away, Pink’s loyalists have continued to stand in line to order food for the past many months. Now, the time has come for a small hiatus in order to protect staff, ownership said on social media over the weekend. Owner Richard Pink will continue paying furloughed employees until unemployment insurance benefits kick in, according to CBS-2.

A California law that took effect on January 1 has prompted the removal of tens of thousands of restaurants from food delivery apps like SF-based Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, and Caviar. The law, which was approved last fall, requires apps to offer delivery only from restaurants with which they have a direct partnership and to pull listings from any restaurants with which they do not have a current contract.

The legislation was born out of a scandal that began in the Bay Area: In January 2020, Pim Techamuanvivit, the owner of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Thai restaurant Kin Khao, was stunned to discover that delivery services including GrubHub, Seamless, DoorDash. and Yelp’s delivery platform (also GrubHub, as it purchased Yelp’s Eat 24, then shut it down) were offering food purportedly from her menu for delivery without her permission.

Its final language states that to list a restaurant on its platform, food delivery apps online company must have a contract with the restaurant “expressly authorizing the food delivery platform to take orders and deliver meals prepared by the food facility.”

7 California Metros On Top 50 Most Fitness-Friendly Places for 2021

Santa Cruz-Watsonville, No. 6

San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, No. 12

Napa No. 17

Chico, No. 19 (tied)

Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, No. 31

Santa Rosa-Petaluma, No. 43

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, No. 50

Open! Pasadena Outdoor Restaurant Seating Spawns ‘Nearby Dining’

Although state health orders forced the closure of all outdoor dining service throughout California early last month, policy in Pasadena permits restaurateurs to maintain their outdoor seating arrangements — without wait staff service — for members of the public to use, leaving what some worry is a loophole in public safety measures.

While the practice of keeping outdoor furnishings out is allowed by Pasadena, only a handful of local eateries are doing so, according to city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.

In early December, Pasadena, which has its own municipal health department and thus operates under its own health orders separate from the county, had allowed outdoor dining to continue even as Los Angeles County public health officials ordered it to cease in all surrounding cities.

All of our local restaurants need your support more than ever. Here are some ideas. Much more at the links

San Diego Restaurants Offering Christmas Takeout Meals [sandiego.eater]

Urban Plates is serving up a traditional turkey feast and three-course meal available this holiday season. They have locations all over So Cal.

Bahia Resort Hotel

Pop Pie Co.

Tamales El Mexicano

Villa Manila This National City restaurant is offering a Filipino-centric holiday meal to-go.

17 Restaurants to Order Celebratory Holiday Takeout in LA [la.eater]
Wok-fired lobsters, roasted prime rib, truffle pasta, and more

How to Celebrate Christmas 2020 in San Francisco [sf.eater]
All the prime rib roast, cookies, and nog to get through the holidays

26 Bay Area restaurants celebrating Christmas with takeout meals [SF Chronicle]

9 Fabulous Christmas Takeout Dinners in San Francisco and Oakland [7×7]

20 SF Restaurants Offering Holiday Specials [The Infatuation]

19 SF Restaurants That Have Christmas Dinner Covered [Thrillist]

Where to order Christmas takeout in the East Bay [Berkeleyside]

Where to order Christmas takeout in the East Bay [Oaklandside]

18 Bay Area restaurant options for Christmas dinners to go [Mercury News]

Where to get Christmas meals on the Peninsula [Palo Alto Weekly]

Who’s serving Christmas dinner? [Sonoma Index Tribune]


How to Monitor What Your Kid Is Watching on Netflix

Netflix has started rolling out new tools that aim to make it easier for parents to monitor what their kids are watching

First, the Kids Activity Report will break down the types of shows your kids are most watching and the top “themes” in that content; it will spotlight their favorite characters.

Secondly, a new “family profile” setting will be released to act as a sort of bridge between the kids-only profiles and regular ones. That is, it will include shows with more mature ratings (up to a PG-13 rating for movies, and up to a TV-14 rating for TV shows), but which are commonly considered to be more family friendly if kids are watching with their parents.

There is a way to quickly check your kids’ recent viewing activity:

Go to the Netflix home page in your browser
Mouse over the account symbol in the upper right-hand corner and click “Account.”
Scroll down to your kid’s account, click the down arrow, and then click “Viewing Activity.”
All their activity will appear, starting with the most recently viewed shows.

No Rose Bowl game in Pasadena this year; CFP semifinal moves to Texas amid coronavirus concerns

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and fans not being allowed in the venue, the semifinal will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

In November, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses made its first appeal for a special exemption to allow a few hundred spectators inside the 95,000-seat stadium and made a second request to the state this month. Both requests were denied as health officials try to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It is not clear whether the game in Arlington will have the Rose Bowl name.

There will also be no Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, a decision that was made months ago.

Sunnyvale mayor visits and reviews local restaurants

Mayor Klein’s Sunnyvale Restaurant Project

During the pandemic shelter-in-place, as Sunnyvale Mayor, I have been doing an almost daily spotlight of one of our Sunnyvale restaurants open for business during these difficult times.

It’s fantastic to be able to publicize these Sunnyvale restaurants, highlight favorite dishes, thank the owners and employees, and learn more about our diverse city.

I’ve received lots of feedback from residents and requests to visit their favorites. PLEASE shop local and support our local businesses.

I’m also encouraged to hear more people are “following in the Mayor’s footsteps” to frequent the path of restaurants that I’ve highlighted.

Lake Tahoe, Mountain House named 2 of the hottest neighborhoods for 2021

Lake Tahoe, Calif., took the No. 1 spot this year, as median views per listing went up 280% year-over-year, according to Redfin
“The Lake Tahoe housing market is hotter than ever. People are coming from San Francisco in droves and they’re bringing their Bay Area salaries with them — everyone here drives a Tesla now,” Redfin real estate agent Jaime Moore said in a statement.

“City folks have decided that if they have to work from home and shelter in place, they might as well do it in the mountains. In their mind, Lake Tahoe is affordable because they can buy a second home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms for $750,000. In the Bay Area, they’d be lucky to find a one-bedroom condo for that price.”

Coffee is Being Widely Used as a COVID-19 Diagnostic Tool

“One of the things that can be done pretty easily, pretty objectively by someone at home would be to take some ground coffee and see how far away you can hold it and still smell it,” Tufts University School of Medicine Professor James Schwob recently told the University’s news service. “Or do the same with rubbing alcohol or your shampoo. If your nose is not congested and you have trouble recognizing those or other scents that are familiar to you, you might want to call your doctor about getting tested.”

Richard Doty, director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, shared a similar thought regarding coffee’s taste.

“If you discover that coffee has no taste or chocolate seems to no longer have any taste other than bitterness or sweetness, then it’s likely that you may be experiencing smell loss,”


I just traveled to Hawaii: Here’s what it’s like for tourists right now

Right now, Kauai has opted out of the program that lets you avoid quarantine with a test so visitors will need to quarantine for 14 days in Kauai. Unfortunately, even for other islands, getting a valid test isn’t as simple as heading to your local clinic of choice the week before you leave. You need to take your test within 72 hours of departure from one of Hawaii’s approved testing facilities and have to have the correct test results in hand before your trip. That tight turn around can be extremely challenging.

We’ve covered the full run-down of what you need to know prior to visiting Hawaii, but here’s my experience with Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program.

The process is cumbersome, but if you prepare properly, going through the actual check-in process on the ground is simple. They’ll ask for your name, scan your QR code, verify your test results and then send you on your way.

Not everything is open and some places have reduced hours, but by and large, my trip was unaffected by any closures.

I took a surf lesson, went snorkeling, enjoyed the pool areas, did some shopping, hit up a farmers market and tried out food from restaurants both at the resorts and in nearby towns. Hiking trails are also open to the public, as well as parks along the beach.

State of Hawai‘i official info

Keeping Hawai‘i Safe. Today and in the future
We are excited to welcome travelers to the Hawaiian Islands with a pre-travel test

Lagunitas Brewing joins sober segment with new no-alcohol craft brew

Lagunitas head brewmaster Jeremy Marshall called the less potent craft brew “all pleasure, no guilt” by placing the focus on a detailed hop selection that came out of Washington’s Yakima Valley. The project has been under development for a year and was initially taste tested by customers at the Petaluma taproom and they gave it mostly positive reviews.

Released on Dec. 1, IPNA beer contains no alcohol while retaining a full-bodied flavor of Mosaic and Citra hops.

“I think that the non-alcohol thing is all about millennials. I think the pandemic has done even more in the department of health consciousness,” he said. “I think it’s here to stay and we will see a lot more of it.”

Solvang Mayor: City will support businesses that defy stay-at-home order

The Solvang City Council supports the idea of creating a new ‘Central Coast’ region and says it won’t actively enforce the new stay-at-home order.

Councilmembers said they want to maintain the status quo of “safe, open outdoor dining and other business practices.”

Solvang Mayor Ryan Toussaint said in a statement that the city can’t direct businesses to defy the state order, but it will support them if they do decide to stay open.

You Can Get Guy Fieri’s Trash Can Nachos Shipped to Your Door 

GiveBelly subscription meals in cities like SF, NYC, Miami, Chicago, LA, NOLA for $80 a month
Each box will contain enough food to serve 4 people.

With every purchase of a GiveBelly Subscription, 100% of all net proceeds will go towards delivering Goldbelly boxes to healthcare workers and first responders. You’ll be helping both restaurants and those working hard to keep you safe at the same time — and gifting yourself or a loved one something tasty in the process.

Good eats and drinks in north Lake Tahoe

Good eats and drinks in south Lake Tahoe

‘Workcations’ are this year’s biggest travel trend — here’s where you can try it for yourself

How Essential Workers Can Get Free Coffee This Month at Starbucks 

Through December 31, front-line workers will receive a “free tall brewed coffee, hot or iced,” Today reports. The offer brings back the company’s original giveaway back in April, in hopes to “reignite the movement of gratitude and to show those on the front line how much they are appreciated,” Starbucks’ vice president Virginia Tenpenny told USA Today.

What’s a qualifying front-line worker?
Starbucks names front-line worker and first responders for the offer. Eligible workers include active-duty military, as well as:

Front-line health care providers and first responders

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Public health workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Dispatchers
  • Firefighters
  • Paramedics
  • Police officers
  • Dentists and dental hygienists

Hospital staff

  • Janitors
  • Housekeeping
  • Security

Mental health workers

  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Counselors

Foo Fighters & Casa Vega Team Up For A Limited-Edition Charity Taco Collaboration

the Casa Vega team is excited to announce the next installment of their series of taco collabs. Christy Vega, owner of the 64-year-old LA dining institution, is teaming up with longtime friend Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters to create an all-new limited-edition taco

The Foo Fighters taco ($7) is inspired by Dave’s passion for smoking meat (they’re bringing a smoker to Casa Vega specifically for this taco!) and features smoked brisket in a Mexican spice rub and drizzled with backbeat BBQ sauce, topped with Mexican coleslaw, pickled onions, and cilantro, served on a homemade flour tortilla.

The profits from each taco will be donated to No Us Without You, a charity providing food security for undocumented back of house staff and their families created by Va’La Hospitality in the early weeks of the pandemic. New to this collab, there will also be special Foo Fighters x Casa Vega tee shirt sold on Casa Vega’s website, with the proceeds also being donated to No Us Without You.

Casa Vega will be sharing videos and fun behind-the-scenes content with the band on their Instagram @casavegarestaurant throughout the month.

Casa Vega Sherman Oaks Food To Go Menu

Lady Gaga and Oreo Are Collaborating on ‘Chromatica’ Cookies 

The Chromatica cookies are pink Golden Oreo wafers (so, not chocolate FYI) with green-colored creme sandwiched in the middle. (Frankly, it seems like a missed opportunity for a flavor that’s as innovative as Gaga herself, but I digress.) The cookie portions are also embossed with both the traditional Oreo design, as well as exclusive Chromatica designs. Starting in January 2021, the limited-edition cookies will be available in six-packs at convenience stores, but Oreo says full-size packages are also on the way.

Lady Gaga x OREO Stan Club 

Mariah Carey Has Her Own Virtual Cookie Brand 

The cookies come in five year-round flavors (Chocolate Chunk, Triple Chocolate Chunk, Heath Bar, Lemon Cooler, and Spiced Oatmeal Raisin) and a trio of holiday specials (Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and White Chocolate Cranberry). They’re available in boxes of six or 12, and can be ordered one flavor at a time or in self-explanatory combinations like “Holiday Hits” or “Try Them All.”

Mariah’s Cookies 

These Oreo-Scented Candles Are a Gift Nobody Can Refuse 

Sold on Oreo’s website, a product description implies that it’s the perfect gift “if you’ve ever wanted to trick your guests into thinking they just stumbled onto a tour of the Oreo factory.”

Oreo says

Get a whiff of Milk’s Favorite Cookie! If you’ve ever wanted to trick your guests into thinking they just stumbled onto a tour of the Oreo factory, our deliciously-scented Oreo candle is exactly what you need! We suggest accompanying the scent with a few sleeves of Oreos for that full 360 experience.

The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation MOXI is Santa Barbara’s newest science museum and center for interactive STEAM learning. STEAM refers to science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

They are having a Rock Star Raffle fundraiser!

The only thing more fun than dancing and singing to Katy Perry songs is partying with Katy herself! If you’re the lucky winner of this Rock Star Raffle, you and your family will enjoy a private hangout with Katy – scheduled via Zoom to ensure everyone’s safety.

Katy will share some of her favorite things with you in a special Party Gift Basket that will be delivered before your exclusive time together!

In Quarantine with the Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola 

What’s it like to spend seven months holed up with the director and 25 members of his family? For starters, wine, movies, and zero regrets

Coppola and his family are on the expansive acreage of the old Inglenook estate near St Helena in the Napa Valley

“I have a wine fridge like everyone. It’s a small one,” Coppola said. “I looked at what I had up here, and I took all the wines out, and I replaced them with all the best wines that I had in the wine cellar. Why not put out the best wines that I have, because I don’t know how much longer I’m going to live?”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Releases Spiked Ice Cream Just in Time for the Holiday Season

The star of this year’s festive ice cream collection with the Oregon-based creamery is a flavor called Dwanta’s Teremana Spiked Eggnog ice cream, which is made with the Skyscraper star’s Teremana tequila that he launched earlier this year. Unlike traditional eggnog, which is typically made with rum, brandy or bourbon, the frozen dessert boasts oaky vanilla notes from Teremana’s reposado tequila, which shine against rich, silky custard that’s flavored with amontillado sherry, nutmeg and a dash of salt.

This special eggnog flavor is available on its own or as part of the Dwanta Claus Holiday Pack, which includes five festive pints of ice cream

What’s more? The pack also includes an exclusive note signed by Dwanta Claus himself along with pint labels also handwritten by Dwanta.

Pliny The Younger to be sold online in bottles 

“We simply cannot go a whole year without making at least some Pliny the Younger!” the brewery wrote on its blog. “Pliny the Younger 510 ml bottles will be for sale on our website for a limited time late January, early February, date TBD.

Russian River Brewing 

LAX offering interim COVID-19 testing 

The interim COVID-19 testing initially will be available for purchase at three locations:

Tom Bradley International Terminal on the Upper/Departures level at the check-in counters located in Aisle C, along the north side of the terminal

Terminal 2 Lower/Arrivals Level at the information booth

Terminal 6 Lower/Arrivals Level at the information booth Clarity Lab Solutions will offer FDA-approved COVID-19 tests using a standard Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) nasal swab test and provide results directly to participants within 24 hours.

my Thanksgiving wine was Ghost Block single vineyard cabernet sauvignon

Is the vineyard haunted by the ghost of George C. Yount the founder of Yountville and the first person to plant grape vines in Napa Valley? Maybe!

38 Standout Dining Destinations in Los Angeles 

LA’s definitive restaurants across an of array cuisines, neighborhoods, and price points — even during the pandemic

Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 and is officially cosponsored by the US Small Business Association 

Now, the country’s 30 million small businesses—which typically employ half the U.S. workforce—are struggling to survive.

In 2019, consumers spent an estimated $20 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on the holiday.

According to American Express, over 60 percent of small businesses say they need to see consumer spending return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year in order to stay in business.

Shop In Store, On Small Business Webpages, Buy Gift Cards

look for hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday #SupportSmall #ShopSmall

Facebook page SmallBusinessSaturday

A Totally Calm and Doable Thanksgiving Menu for First-Timers

Rachael Ray Shares Her ‘Simplest Thanksgiving Meal’ That You Can Make in One Roasting Pan 

How to Have a Low Carb Thanksgiving During COVID

Where Can You Find Thanksgiving Takeout for One Person in San Francisco?

Thanksgiving Options for Dine-In or Takeout in San Diego 

20 Best-Bet Restaurants for Thanksgiving Day in Sonoma County


SoCal Hot Chicken Spot Prepares for Major San Diego Expansion
Main Chick is flooding the zone with Nashville hot chicken

An eatery that got its start at Los Angeles’ popular 626 Night Market, which opened its first brick-and-mortar last December in West LA and has since expanded to Pasadena and Long Beach, is setting out to conquer San Diego. Main Chick is the latest entry into the area’s competitive Nashville hot chicken scene.

Its menu of chicken tenders and bone-in chicken, served straight up or in sandwiches, is spiced at a range of heat levels, from ‘naked’ to ‘supreme’.

A debut local outpost, which opened this past weekend at Clairemont Town Square, will be the first of its locations to offer beer and wine. All told, the company tells Eater that it plans to launch seven locations throughout San Diego.

New Version of ‘The Godfather Part III’ Gets a New Trailer

Francis Ford Coppola always thought of The Godfather as a two-part film with an epilogue — which Paramount forced him to call The Godfather Part III, but he always wanted to title The Godfather: The Death of Michael Corleone, partly because he didn’t want to suggest this was the third “part” of the story, and partly because he apparently gives no effs when it comes to spoilers.

30 years later, Coppola is finally getting his wish — as part of the release of a totally new cut of the movie. The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone restores the film to Coppola’s original vision; he supervised an edit that created a totally new beginning and ending for the movie, along with a lot of reshuffling of other scenes throughout.

see the trailer here 

How to Support California Wine Country With a Visit This Winter

Joseph Wagner, a fifth-generation winemaker recently opened Quilt & Co. in the heart of historic downtown Napa.

“Quilt & Co. is not your traditional tasting room tied to a winery,” Wagner says. “It is more of a lounge with a fun atmosphere where guests can learn as much as they want about the Copper Cane portfolio, or just relax and taste the wines.”

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020 they rose to prominence as the winery that won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris—a win that put Napa Valley on the map.

Charles Krug The recently launched Cabana Experience features five new Wi-Fi-enabled cabanas on the winery’s beautiful picnic grounds. It’s built outside around a central firepit, offering privacy from other groups, and tailor-made to your preferences.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards has The Insignia blending experience deconstructs the revered red blend and has enthusiasts develop their own, comparing it to the original.

Tower Records launches online music store

The plan was to relaunch during the South by Southwest Music Festival and as pop-up shops. But, Danny Zeijdel, Tower Record’s new CEO, said because of the pandemic, it is now an online store selling vinyl, cassettes and compact discs.

Tower Records also hosts interviews on Instagram Live with up-and-coming artists and has future plans to collaborate with musicians.

The real reason your olive oil is probably fake

Lots of olive oil including big name brands in grocery stores isn’t really Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
It might be mixed with canola, colza, soy, and even hazelnut oil.
It might not really be from Italy.
The Mafia is involved in making and selling fake olive oil!

Thankfully it’s easier than ever before to buy real uality EVOO in the United States, including top-quality brands from California.

California Olive Ranch, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Costco’s Kirkland brand are among the brands you can trust.

West Coast states recommend 2-week travel quarantine

Three West Coast states issued a travel advisory Friday urging against nonessential travel and recommending quarantines for those who do travel between states and internationally.

California, Oregon, and Washington Gov. recommend travelers to their states and residents who leave and then return home self-quarantine for 14 days.

This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state borders for essential travel, which includes travel for work, study, critical infrastructure support, economic services, health, immediate medical care and safety.

statement from Gov Gavin Newsom

In light of rising cases, West Coast states issue travel advisories recommending 14-day quarantines for inter-state and international travel; ask residents to stay local

SACRAMENTO – As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued travel advisories today urging visitors entering their states or returning home from travel outside these states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. The travel advisories urge against non-essential out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encourage residents to stay local.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”

In addition to urging individuals arriving from other states or countries to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, the states’ travel advisories recommend individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household. The advisories define essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.

“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”

“COVID cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks. This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “Limiting and reducing travel is one way to reduce the further spread of the disease. I am happy to partner with California and Oregon in this effort to help protect lives up and down the West Coast.”

Inside the ‘world’s nicest Taco Bell’: Social media goes wild over beach-front fast food location in California, which boasts stunning views, has an indoor-outdoor fireplace and surf board station – and even sells alcohol

The ‘world’s most beautiful Taco Bell’ is located on the beach in Pacifica, California, near San Francisco

It has a walk-up ordering window for people with sandy feet and a place to leave surf boards
In addition to indoor dining with floor-to-ceiling windows, there’s a large outdoor terrace with beautiful views

There’s also a mural by a local artist and an indoor/outdoor fireplace

The Taco Bell was converted into a cantina in 2017, meaning it serves alcohol

10 Easy Day Trips When You Just Need To Get Out Of LA

Oxnard the Strawberry Capital Of The World
Idyllwild Hiking
Santa Barbara Loon Point Beach
Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, great Vietnamese food at the Rooster And The Pig
San Diego, Julian, Ocean Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Sunset Cliffs Park

more info and ideas at the link

What’s new in Downtown Napa?

Be Bubbly recently opened its doors in Downtown Napa as the first and only dedicated Champagne and sparkling wine lounge

Brandy House is the first stand-alone tasting room dedicated solely to luxury California brandies.

Oxbow Public Market El Porteño offers savory and sweet empanadas
Bar Lucia was created and designed by founders of the iconic Kara’s Cupcakes. Bar Lucia features a variety of local rosés, sparkling wines and a menu of seasonal light bites.

more at the link

Jordan Winery in Healdsburg offer Five Tips for Making Holiday Meals More Wine-Friendly

Don’t focus too much on the bird. There are lots of flavors on the plate!

Make your own cranberry sauce
“I love serving this side dish because it’s the best cranberry sauce recipe I’ve found for Thanksgiving wine pairing,” says Executive Chef Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery.

Don’t forget dessert
pair low-sugar blackberry cobbler with cabernet sauvignon


San Francisco has a new waterfront park

SF’s newest park is nothing like any other in the city. And that’s a good thing.
Crane Cove Park has opened in Mission Bay with picnic grounds,a grassy area, is dog friendly,  and has great views.
It was a vital home in the progression of modern shipbuilding, largely from 1884 to 1945
What perhaps makes the 7-acre park most special and divergent from other city parks is its small sandy beach that wades gently into the bay waters.
Crane Cove Park has sparked a robust paddleboard community.


There is no dearth of winter getaways in California, the Golden State of USA. Thanks to mild winter weather in most parts, there are plenty of places to visit in California in winter to escape that dreaded cold that grips most of the northern hemisphere. Besides the obvious choices of popular cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, there are several other winter destinations in California which offer a variety of activities for your enjoyment, be it wine tasting, dining al-fresco, relaxing on a beach, hiking, swimming, surfing, i.e. pretty much all the things you wish you did rather than being bundled up at home all the time.

As a California resident of 10+ years who has traveled quite a bit throughout the state, I hereby present 12 amazing warm(er) weather places in California that are perfect foils to a dreary winter and will spoil you with a variety of things to do, see and enjoy outdoors.

From small towns to (somewhat) lesser known cities and attractions, these are some of the best places to visit in California in December (or even January).

Support Local Restaurants For Thanksgiving!

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 in San Francisco

19 Feast-Worthy Los Angeles Restaurants for Thanksgiving

Tesla unveils ‘Tesla Tequila’ for $250, product sold-out on website

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk finally made good on his promise to sell “Tesla Tequila” – two years after teasing the effort in a tweet, and the $250 bottle quickly flew off the virtual shelf.

Musk tweeted the idea of ‘Teslaquila’ on April Fool’s day in 2018, which many of his followers thought was a joke

Tesla Tequila

Introducing Tesla Tequila, an exclusive, premium 100% de agave tequila aged in French oak barrels, featuring a dry fruit and light vanilla nose with a balanced cinnamon pepper finish.

San Diego Beer Week

A 10-day celebration, promoting more than 150 independent craft breweries in San Diego County. San Diego Beer Week is brought to you by the San Diego Brewers Guild with participation from the region’s local craft breweries, allied and affiliate members.

Taking place November 6-15, 2020, events are held throughout San Diego County at participating breweries, bars, restaurants and more!

San Diego is tops in the nation with more than 150 independent craft breweries

Lots of events with new releases, limited releases, collaboration beers, and beers of every kind.

Ron Howard film Rebuilding Paradise about the Paradise fire airs on Nat Geo Sunday

On the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, a devastating firestorm engulfed the picturesque city of Paradise, California. By the time the Camp Fire was extinguished, it had killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents and destroyed 95% of local structures.

It was the deadliest U.S. fire in 100 years — and the worst ever in California’s history.

REBUILDING PARADISE, from Academy Award-winning director RON HOWARD, is a moving story of resilience in the face of tragedy, as a community ravaged by disaster comes together to recover what was lost and begin the important task of rebuilding. Staffers Pick Their Favorite Instant Pot Recipes 

Beef barley soup
Mac and cheese
Lemongrass coconut chicken
Pork chile verde
Plus a few more things to try. I love my Instant Pot and these all sound great!

Silver Trident Winery Offers New Potato Chip Extravaganza

Silver Trident Winery is adding a new tasting experience – The Potato Chip Extravaganza. It features five different artisanal potato chips paired with five Silver Trident wines.

Winery founder Bob Binder came up with the idea while on a flight back to Napa Valley: “I was on the airplane drinking the standard screw-top mini-bottle of wine and crunching away on some potato chips and I found myself smiling. Hence the idea of the Potato Chip Extravaganza. Enjoying a nice glass of wine, crunching away on some potato chips and smiling. We could all use a bit more of that nowadays.”

Pinot Noir paired with Zapp’s Spicy Cajun Crawtators
Sauvignon Blanc with Route 11 Sour Cream & Chives
River Pinot Noir with Zapp’s Cajun Dill “Gator-Tators”
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Kettle Style salted potato chips enveloped in dark chocolate ‘bark.’ Silver Trident and Kollar Chocolates are Yountville neighbors and teamed up to pair world class wines and world class chocolate.

Want to Just Up and Move to Australia for a Year? It’s Surprisingly Easy

If you fit the criteria of being both American and under 30, you can apply online for the Working Holiday Visa as long as you pay $345 USD and submit any requested documents. Just make sure you’ve got a rough idea of your travel dates, as you’ll have exactly 12 months to enter Australia from the day you’re approved, and your visa clock starts as soon as you get there.

There’s Only One Right Way to Cook a Hot Dog And It’s Called ‘Hydrotoasting’

‘Hydrotoasting’—a term coined by Tony Fragogiannis, founder of The Brooklyn Hot Dog Company—produces a flavorful frank that’s juicy on the inside and the perfect balance of snappy and browned on the outside. Every. Time.

Guy Fieri produces new documentary about restaurants weathering the pandemic

Celebrity chef and Sonoma County resident Guy Fieri is executive producing a new documentary chronicling how the coronavirus pandemic has affected restaurants nationwide, according to Food Network.

“Restaurant Hustle 2020: All On The Line” is slated to premiere at the virtual DOC NYC festival in November and airs on the Food Network on Sunday, Dec. 27.

The film follows four restaurateurs ― Food Network stars Maneet Chauhan, Antonia Lofaso, Christian Petroni and Marcus Samuelsson ― as they’re forced to change their business models during the pandemic.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the impact on the restaurant industry was immediate,” Fieri told Food Network. “ ’Restaurant Hustle 2020: All On The Line’ provides a real and intimate first-hand look into the lives of four top restaurateurs navigate through it all.”

Flavanol-Rich Diet, Including Wine, Linked to Lower Blood Pressure

The results showed that high flavan-3-ol intake, specifically from tea, wine and apples, was associated with lower blood pressure. Kuhnle’s threshold for hypertension was 140 mm Hg (millimeter of mercury) for systolic blood pressure and 90 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure.

The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Reading, Cambridge University and the University of California at Davis.

10/25/- 10/26 Red Flag Warning

A Red Flag Warning means warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs PSPS in effect information on affected areas here

Napa’s newest tasting room is a fancy picnic set in a gothic fairy tale and just opened in Sept

Faust is a practitioner of a Wine Country hospitality style that might be best described as “fancy Millennial picnic”: a place where a group of friends can come for a leisurely, casual hangout with farm-to-table snacks and picturesque views.

Faust Wines

How To Roast Perfect Pumpkin Seeds For Halloween

You Can Zipline Over A Picturesque Vineyard And Sip On Delicious Wines At This Historic Ranch

Margarita Adventures’ “zip and sip” experience might just be your new favorite weekend activity. You’ll get the rush of soaring above Pinot Noir vines with breathtaking views of the Santa Margarita, then you’ll get to mull over the experience upon landing at Ancient Peaks Winery on Highway 58.

Oakland Zoo Boo At The Zoo
A safe, family-friendly ‘pink flamingo scavenger hunt’ look for costumed pink flamingos hidden throughout the Zoo.
Instead of trick or treating in the Zoo this year, we are safely handing out pre-stuffed goodie bags!

Charles Paddock Zoo Atascadero Virtual Halloween Costume Contest

Dress up in your cutest costume and come to the Zoo any time between October 17th and November 1st. Model it in front of our Halloween Photo-Op and send us a pic.

Santa Barbara Zoo Spooky Zoo

Grab your costumes and head to the Zoo for an outdoor Halloween spell-ebration! Discover frightfully fun decor and photo opps, all while visiting your favorite animals.

L.A. Zoo Drive-In Movie Nights 2020

Welcome to movies at the Zoo!
We’re proud to present our first-ever drive-in movie series, featuring cool themes, tasty movie-theater fare available through mobile ordering, and a special preshow video presentation with the Zoo’s biggest animal stars, trivia challenges, and more. This wildly wonderful nighttime experience offers safe, physically distanced fun for all ages and is produced in accordance with county and state health and safety guidelines.

Capacity is limited, and sell-out is expected!

Saturday, October 24 – The Lorax (2012, PG) SOLD OUT
Sunday, October 25 – Lake Placid (1999, R)

Thursday, October 29 – Clue (1985, PG)
Friday, October 30 – Goosebumps (2015, PG)
Saturday, October 31 – The Addams Family (2019, PG)
Sunday, November 1 – Poltergeist (1982, PG-13)

Beer and Wine animal benefits

Harpoon’s New Beer Allows You to Help the Adorable (and Adoptable) Dogs on the Can
The annual Dogtoberfest helps you do good and drink a delicious beer while you’re at it.

One dollar for every four-pack of beer sold will go towards helping dogs at the Lucy Mckenzie Humane Society and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA).

Chateau La Paws

In tribute to our founder’s love of dogs, we have revitalized the Chateau La Paws wine brand from Rosenblum Cellars. Located in the heart of the wine-growing region of Central California, we wanted to create a brand that would not only taste great as an affordable everyday wine, but give back to a cause that is close to our hearts – no kill shelters

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Courtesy Mayank Istwal, executive chef, Musaafer by The Spice Route Co., Houston

The cuisine at Musaafer, a new and notable spot in Houston, is inspired by the culinary diversity across all of India’s states. Chef Mayank Istwal developed this seasonal soup recipe for the home kitchen. Though he prefers to garnish with pumpkin-seed brittle and pumpkin mousse, pumpkin seeds and purée work almost as well.

10 of Our Favorite Northern California Wines for Less Than $30

…in general, when targeting a particular price range, look for wines with smaller, county-wide appellations or regional AVAs to give yourself an edge. Mendocino County reds and Chardonnays, and Lake County Sauvignon Blancs are good examples. The North Coast AVA is not well known but this multicounty appellation encompassing Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Marin Counties—is likely going to produce a better Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot than a California-appellated wine at the same price.

The northern part of California’s vast and fertile Central Valley is another place to remember. Lodi, Clarksburg and River Junction are better-than-average regions within the big valley due to the cooling effect of the river delta they border. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, red blends and, increasingly, unsung whites like Albariño and Chenin Blanc from here are worth seeking out.

see the list here

The Coolest Hikes, Bike Trails and Parks in California, According to Winemakers

Winemakers are an adventurous bunch who love getting out into the natural world, and not just to spend time in the vineyard. Surrounded by northern California’s beautiful nature preserves and miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, most Napa or Sonoma producers will openly gush about more than a few favorite trails and outdoor retreats. Read on to see how they get away from it all.

This Bankrupt Pizza Chain May Be Gone for Good

California Pizza Kitchen saw its sales drop 77% by the end of March as restaurants across the country were forced to close their doors earlier this year amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The struggling pizza chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, joining a long list of major restaurant chains which have filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic.

An auction to sell the company’s assets was canceled in early October after there were “no qualified bidders,” according to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN). Before bankruptcy and the pandemic took their toll on the pizza chain, California Pizza Kitchen had already reached out to 61 parties about a potential sale, four of which sent “indications of interest and/or proposals.” Could this mean the bankrupt pizza chain may be gone for good?

Facebook message from Buena Vista Winery

We are honoring & celebrating today the incredible life of our friend Charles Sullivan…historian and writer who has been a fabulous inspiration to all of us through his passion of history & wine… Among all the many great books written like ‘The Napa History”, Charles wrote with us “The History of Sonoma & Buena Vista Winery”…a magical memory to the heritage of the wine culture in California, its sense of pioneering new territories and where it really all started….a must read !

Charles, through his works gave us knowledge, confidence & profoundness…each of his books & great essays will forever change the world & have a deep impact on how we relate to the past, present & future…
To Charles, who reached total enlightenment & who will be eternal in peoples’ mind & libraries.

All our condolences & prayers are with the Sullivan family.


#sonoma #winehistory #charlessullivan

1 California City Among Money’s Best Places To Live In 2020

Sacramento suburb Roseville ranked #45 out of communities on this year’s list.
The publication then analyzed 115 separate data points on each community’s economy, housing market, education system, employment, weather and more.

A Napa Winery Is Turning Smoke-Tainted Grapes into Brandy

A lot of Napa grapes won’t be picked this year because of the smoke from the recent fires.

Hoopes Winery hopes it has found a creative solution to smoke tainted grapes.
The idea goes back to the 2017 Napa fires.

Lindsey Hoopes says “I had a feeling something interesting could be made from smoke and grapes; they are two flavor profiles I love,”

The Hoopes brandy is still in barrels and should be released next year.

Hotels want remote workers, parents to pack their bags

Work from Hyatt

Head to a hotel and get a workspace that’s either a separate, private space or a complimentary second guestroom. Enjoy things like complimentary or discounted laundry services, high-speed Wi-Fi internet access.

Hyatt’s Andaz in downtown Napa has booked workers from tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, plus a teacher who made Andaz her virtual classroom.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, in the town of Sonoma has a “School & Pool” offer

The 25 Best LA Pizza Places

Over 100 Commercial Beer Clone Recipes From the Breweries Themselves

Ballast Point Brewing San Diego $99 2.5 gallon starter kit

10 California Pumpkin Patches You Can Still Visit In 2020

Make Strawberry Ice Cream in a Ziplock Bag

It’s easy! It works! It’s science!

Combine ice and salt in a gallon Ziplock bag; set aside.

Combine half and half, sugar, vanilla, and strawberries in a quart Ziploc bag; seal tightly. Place quart bag inside gallon bag; seal.

Cover gallon bag in a kitchen towel.

Shake vigorously until half and half mixture is thick and chilled, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from bag to serve.

recipe and ingredients

New Discovery Channel show CAL FIRE

In the series, multiple camera crews have been embedded with Cal Fire’s frontline firefighters across the state – from Shasta in the North to San Diego in the South for the past three months, deploying cutting edge technology including fire-resistant helmet cameras to bring viewers an ultra-immersive perspective on the blazes. Crews had to undergo “Red Flag” training and were equipped with special protective gear in order to accompany the firefighters on the fire lines. During California’s most destructive fire season ever, Cal Fire has deployed all of its 7,000 firefighters, and the worst is likely yet to come as they prepare for the fast-approaching Santa Ana wind season in Southern California. With more than 3.5 million acres burned, 6000 homes destroyed, and more than two dozen lives lost, Cal Fire is waging war on the catastrophic fires.

Episodes will be available each week this year on the Discovery GO app

Xfinity On Demand

and you can watch here

Times Square New Year’s Eve Goes Virtual Due To Coronavirus

The ball drop has taken place almost every year since 1907

For the first time in more than a century, crowds will not flock to Times Square for New Year’s Eve this year, organizers of the annual event said Wednesday, announcing that the pandemic will force the ball drop to become a mostly virtual occasion — with some limited in-person components.

Movie Theaters Reopening At 25 Percent Capacity

Reopening rules say 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
Other health safety protocols that Cinemark has put into place include once tickets are purchased two seats immediately to the left and right are blocked from sale
tickets are sold only in every other row.

Face masks and gloves are required for all employees.
Auditoriums are sanitized after each show.
Moviegoers are required to wear masks unless eating or drinking.

Light a candle don’t curse the darkness!

Eater guide on ways to help make 2020 better

“The Ultimate Source For Ways To Give Back”

The Eater LA Guide on How to Help
The projects, groups, and organizations that are addressing food insecurity in light of COVID-19

information on

Mutual Aid Groups

Volunteer Opportunities

Hunger Relief: Food Banks, Food Rescue, and Food Pantries

Worker and Restaurant Relief

Drink Wine with NBA Stars in This Virtual Tasting Series
talking—and tasting—with five current and former NBA players on Zoom: J.J. Redick, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Kevin Love, and Kyle Kuzma

Each 1 hour session will allow wine-loving basketball fans not only to listen in to the discussion, but also ask questions and even taste along by purchasing corresponding wine packages from the Acker website.

Creative Ideas for Romantic SF area Lunch or Dinner

Drive thru Taco Bell in Pacifica on the beach!
Cheese and more from Cowgirl Creamery and wine from the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
Mel’s Drive-In car hop service
Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay
Swan Oyster Depot San Francisco

Del Mar Dine on the Deck

We’ll provide the sunset. You provide the tablecloth.
Bring your own tablecloths and a meal from one of Del Mar’s many eateries to enjoy at one of 16 tables on the Del Mar Civic Center courtyard.

The program is set to run Thursdays through Oct. 9
Guests can reserve a table for a maximum of six people
All must be from the same household
Two seating periods: 4 to 6 and 6:30 to 8

Tables and restrooms will be cleaned between seating sessions to create a safe space to enjoy a great view and fine meal.

Sam Adams and Auntie Anne’s Collaborated on an At-Home Oktoberfest Kit

The Oktoberfest at Home Kit is now on sale, complete with beer and DIY pretzels.

Despite the name, Oktoberfest actually starts in September (the main event in Munich typically lasts from mid- to late September until the first Sunday in October), so it’s nearly time to celebrate.

The kit includes a six-pack of Samuel Adams OctoberFest beer, an Auntie Anne’s DIY pretzel kit, four hats, four koozies, four suspenders, two steins, curated Oktoberfest-inspired recipes, and more. You can purchase the kit online for $89 starting Monday, Sept. 14 (while supplies last), just in time to celebrate the annual event.

Solvang’s Lost Chord Guitars

One of the positive aspects of life in the midst of the lockdown was the recent release of a long-labored-over project, a special Jeff Bridges model acoustic guitar, created by master craftsman Tom Bedell and his acclaimed, boutique Breedlove Guitar brand. The custom instrument, made from myrtle wood and bearing Bridges’s axiomatic motto “All in This Together” on the fretboard, is a model sold through Lost Chord, with partial proceeds going to the Amazon Conservation Team, “so we are helping out the lungs of the Earth,”


…Modern Times / Stone Wizards & Gargoyles Hazy Coffee IPA is an achievement of collaborative awesomeness between two San Diego craft beer trailblazers. Both teams are hop fanatics, so the classics alone wouldn’t do. Centennial, Cashmere, Citra and Azacca hops are joined by two in-development hops. Altogether, these yield juicy notes of tropical citrus that play beautifully with the robust flavors and aromas of the coffee. And we’re not going to be vague about this “coffee” either. The Modern Times blend of Ethiopia Dame Dabaye and Guatemala Huehuetenango features bright blueberry and melon character underscored by decadent notes of toffee and dark chocolate.

Best Tasting Room: Corner 103 in Sonoma, California

Lloyd Davis, founder of Corner 103, created this Sonoma tasting room for all those people out there who might feel a little intimidated by the wine world. The staff ensure an educational and comfortable tasting experience that includes wines from Corner 103 and the rest of the Sonoma County American Viticulture Areas.

Paso Robles Harvest Update
Is harvest early? Maybe by a week, but at this point most reports are saying that fruit is progressing nicely with acids up, forecasting a possible freshness in the finished wines of 2020

Aaron Wines, Aaron Jackson, Owner/Winemaker
Overall, crop loads look rather generous, much like the past few vintages, and quality looks to be very high.

Napa Valley Vintners explain why there is a night harvest

It keeps the vineyard crews safer than picking during the high heat of the day
It gives the crews a longer time to work without worrying about heating up the grapes which results in oxidation of the grapes
The cooler grapes result in better concentrated flavors and more consistent sugar levels, resulting in a higher quality fermentation

more at

Bay Area residents flock to Sonoma County, boosting home prices to record high
If you can work from home work from a nicer home in wine country!

Local real estate agents say the demand is in large part driven by buyers from San Francisco, the East Bay, Silicon Valley and even the Central Coast. That’s pushed Sonoma County’s median existing home price up 10% in July from a year ago, to an all-time high of $720,000

In July, sales of single-family houses in the county soared 36% from the same time last year.

Tunity an app to take to a Sports Bar or to use at home or anywhere to hear a muted tv

Tunity it’s free and is used for hearing TV audio. So if you are at a sports bar you use the app to listen to the audio on your phone through earbuds.
Maybe airports or even at home.
What’s the catch? Uses data on your plan It has ads on the free version

Your personal safety checklist for Bay Area outdoor dining during coronavirus

This Coffee Frappé Recipe Is a Delicious Way to Curb Your Starbucks Addiction

Star Trek Adds Two New Limited Edition Wines to Its Fleet

Oakland Restaurant Week

LA Restaurant Week The 34 Best Labor Day BBQ Recipes, So Summer Never Has to End

Labor Day: Which beaches are open around the Bay Area

Lifeguards anticipate busy holiday weekend in San Diego amid heat wave

Orange County Beaches Open Over Labor Day Weekend



All Monterey Bay beaches close for Labor Day weekend

Hot Rice with Cool Tomatoes

This very simple dish is remarkably satisfying, especially if you can walk outside and snag cherry tomatoes from your garden. If you don’t finish it all, it’s also quite good the next day, chilled.

Wildfire smoke is already risking 2020 wines

There is little scientific consensus about the details of how smoke taint works, and it’s often difficult to gauge whether it’s even present or not. Many laboratories test for only a few of the compounds that can contribute to it. Sometimes, a wine may taste fine initially, but smoke-taint compounds can become volatile as a result of fermentation or aging, revealing themselves later.

Dine LA Restaurant Week

Enjoy special lunch and dinner menus at nearly 300 restaurants. During the Summer 2020 event, in addition to on-site dining, we’ve added menu options for take-out and delivery.

There are no tickets or passes required for dineL.A. Restaurant Week. Simply dine out at a participating restaurant, ask for the dineL.A. Restaurant Week menu.

LA’s Battered Dining Scene Hopes for a Shot in the Arm With DineLA Restaurant Week

All Santa Barbara County Beaches Closed to Stationary Activity for Labor Day Weekend

Physical Activities Still Permitted Under Newly Announced COVID Restrictions

Anyone hoping to sizzle their skin into a fine shade of bacon over this coming Labor Day weekend had best find someplace to do it other than the beach. Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg announced that all county beaches would be closed for next week’s Labor Day weekend from Friday to Monday to anyone hoping to luxuriate in the sun, eat, drink, or otherwise just lie out and perhaps even read a trashy book. In other words, no chairs, beach umbrellas, or barbecues will be allowed.

That’s not to say the beaches are totally off-limits. People hoping to surf, swim, boogie-board, toss footballs, jog, play fetch, or even have a long romantic walk at sunset will be allowed, just so long as they keep moving. Likewise, all City of Santa Barbara beaches will be shut down with all the same stipulations.

Napa County rural bar survives Hennessey wildfire

As flames spread the afternoon of Aug. 18 around the intersection of Highway 128 at Knoxville Road, it didn’t look good for the Turtle Rock Bar and Cafe.

By around 2:30 p.m., the longtime rural hangout was in the cross-hairs of the Hennessey Fire.

“It was just us” at that point, recalled Pete Leung, the bar’s owner.

There were no fire crews or helicopters on site yet, and the winds were blowing about 40 mph, said Leung on Aug. 19. “The wind and smoke was coming right at us.”

“The Turtle Rock motel (across the street) looked like it was catching on fire,” Leung said. He was very much afraid that if that went up in flames, his bar would be next.

But Leung, 43, was determined to save his family business.

And he had one big advantage: his own 2,600-gallon water tank, pump and fire hoses. The equipment was installed after the 2017 wildfires hit the area, he said.

Exclusive look: Inside what is left of California’s historic Big Basin State Park in the heart of Bay Area wildfires

BOULDER CREEK — The headquarters buildings at Big Basin Redwoods State Park are all burned to rubble, but the vast majority of the park’s famed ancient giant redwoods are still upright — although many are no longer standing quite as tall, two journalists from this news organization confirmed Thursday.

It took a nearly five-mile hike through the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains to reach what remained of California’s oldest state park after the CZU Lightning Complex wildfire was through with it. They found scattered among the tall trees some fallen giants. One, found just before the headquarters and with a base more than a dozen feet across, had burned and shattered, sending the massive trunk crashing to the ground, where it lay in a deathbed of ash and blackened undergrowth.


The National Park Service has reopened visits to Alcatraz

Now is your chance to explore Alcatraz Island without the usual crowds and in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the influential Occupation of Alcatraz by Indians of All Tribes.

Due to COVID-19, outdoor areas will be open for a small number of visitors each day.

This is a self-guided experience as staff led tours are currently not offered. Visitors will be able to experience the windswept Island and learn about its layered history through outdoor interpretive signs, a free Discovery Guide and digital Apps with historical information, stories, and more. Rangers will be stationed around the Island to assist visitors and answer questions.

Movie theater trade group establishes coronavirus protocols for reopening

AMC is only selling to 30% capacity, which in this location meant about 25 people per screen. Each film only gets two screenings a day to give employees ample time to clean. And showtimes are also being staggered to help prevent too many people from congregating in the lobby.

New movies are soon to follow, though, which the theaters are counting on for survival. Disney’s much-delayed “New Mutants” will debut on Aug. 28 and Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” will follow soon after, with some screenings as early as Aug. 31.

Recipe Link: Memphis Style Dry Rub Ribs

Memphis ribs are world famous because of their famous origins. They hearken back to a side alley in Memphis in the 1940s when the now legend Charlie Vergos opened up his spot, Rendevous. Charlie’s ribs were unique. Grilled at a higher temperature, spritzed or mopped often, and seasoned liberally with his secret, signature dry rub seasoning.

Nowadays, many pitmasters in Memphis have added their take on the “Memphis style” rib and their recipes are more unique and varied. You can even specify how you want your ribs in most Memphis BBQ spots. You’ll order the ribs and the person taking your order will ask “wet or dry”. That means do you want your ribs wet: slathered with sauce, or dry: sprinkled with more of their tasty dry rub.

How to Plan the Perfect Car-Camping Date

Camping can either be a romantic night out in nature or the worst date ever (think The Parent Trap or Backcountry). We all prefer the former, but that takes the right equipment and a lot of planning. Some gear is optional—a date can still be saved without a table or slippers—but lacking other necessities will make your experience less than ideal. Forgetting matches or having your only lighter break makes for a cold night and potentially no dinner.

…car camping allows for a really romantic date. For years I focused on perfecting the kit in my trunk to create date-night-quality romance from the comfort of a tent in the Sierra. Here are step-by-step instructions for having the best time possible and equipping yourself with the tools you’ll need to make it happen.


10 Top-Rated American IPAs, from Session Beers to Hazies

97 POINTS Firestone Walker Flyjack – Hazy India Pale Ale

A session IPA that boasts just 96 calories, this has all the flavor of a full IPA, as one would expect from this revered hop-forward brewery. It is a lively combination of citrus and spearmint that leaves the palate cool and refreshed. Perfect for a hot afternoon in the backyard, there is a cracker-like malt backbone that brings the beer into balance.

The Firestone Beer Taproom Restaurant is open in Paso Robles for outdoor dining and take out

Paso Robles cabernet wines with top scores from Wine EnthusiastJ. Lohr 2016 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles); $100 – 97 points. Cellar Selection
Daou 2017 Soul of a Lion Cabernet Sauvignon (Adelaida District); $125 – 95 points
Vina Robles 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles); $26 – 93 points. Editors’ Choice

Nine All-American Grenache Rosés

California rosé I bought last week

2019 Fiftyrow Old Vine Valdeguié Rosé

2019 Raymond Sonoma County Rosé

2017 Laird Family Sparkling Brut Rosé

2017 Hoopes Rosé Napa Valley

2019 Elizabeth Rose Rosé

2019 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon – Pink They are donating a portion of the sale of each bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Pink to the medical support personnel who are working hard for us every day!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle secretly buy family home in Santa Barbara

Recipe: Texas Brisket

Coat with yellow mustard and apply a 2 to 1 black pepper and salt rub

mix in some Post Oak wood to your fire and cook at 250 degrees

At 170 degrees wrap in butcher paper and put it back on bbq

At 200 – 205 take it off and let it rest for at least 2 or up to 4 hours until it gets to 140 degrees then slice across grain to serve!

10 scenic waterfront restaurants open in the Bay Area right now

Alaska Air adds San Diego – Santa Barbra route. The flights will begin Nov. 20

Napa County’s hidden destination: Will Lake Berryessa’s future shine again?

RV destination search at RV Camping At 1175+ Wineries, Breweries, Farms and More! A membership network that invites self-contained RVers to stay overnight for free

Harvest host Christian Ahlmann co-owns Six Sigma Ranch, a 40,300-acre working ranch and winery in Lower Lake, California, with his family, and they’ve been welcoming HH guests for several years. In the beginning, says Ahlmann, they offered just two spots for RVers: flattened-out gravel stretches large enough to accommodate any size RV out there. Now the property is home to six “official” spaces, as well as an area by the winery for overflow on especially busy nights, which are fairly frequent these days. “A few of the sites are also down by the creek and out by the barn,” Ahlmann says, “because we’ve realized lots of travelers might prefer overnight spots that are more fun and creative.” Discover and book tent camping, RV parks, cabins, treehouses, and glamping—everywhere from national parks to blueberry farms.

Taking a Road Trip During the Pandemic? Consider Camping (Legally) on Private Land

Make Beer Can Cabbage! recipe link

Slathering the cabbage with barbecue sauce during cooking gives it a smoky, sweet flavor. Top with rich cheddar cheese, fresh slaw, and spicy pickled jalapeños and you’ll never miss the meat in this hearty vegetarian sandwich.

Canned wine receives unexpected praise at North Coast Wine Challenge

At the recent North Coast Wine Challenge (NCWC) there was an unexpected victor — a canned wine that won a gold medal with 96 points.

Maker Wines 2019 Mendocino, California Viognier, produced by Campovida Wines, surprised the judges when they sipped through a flight of canned wines.

“The score was because the wine was that good,” said judge and vintner Nick Goldschmidt. “I hope buyers stand behind this wine.”

Judge and wine writer Chris Sawyer agreed. Like Goldschmidt, Sawyer not only has an exceptional palate, but he’s brutally honest in his assessments about wine.

“It tasted better than 90% of the bottled viogniers that are currently available in the marketplace,” he said.

This viognier, Sawyer said, is one of the finest examples of the potential of canned wines.

The beauty of a blind tasting is that it tells the unmitigated truth. It has the ability to disrupt assumptions with a paradigm shift.

a great Napa canned wine Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc

from Lake County to Paso Robles… Stellar Sauvignon Blanc on a Budget? Look to California

An international jet-setter, Sauvignon Blanc has proven time and again that it’s perfectly at home in regions across the globe. While the grape’s French origins cannot be forgotten, the variety has also taken root in other parts of the Old World, like Italy and Austria. Plantings have also flourished in the Southern Hemisphere in countries like New Zealand, South Africa and Chile.

In the United States, the grape’s notable history dates back to the 1960s when Robert Mondavi bottled his famous Fumé Blanc—an oaked version of the variety. Today, as one of the most widely planted varieties in California, many great Sauvignon Blanc bottlings can be found. Look to Napa and Sonoma for sure, but excellent values can also be found from Lake County, Mendocino County, the Central Coast and beyond.

Q&A: Livermore Brewery Goes From Pint Glass To Carry-Out Cans
Local business Shadow Puppet Brewing Company shares how it’s adapting to serve customers during the pandemic.

How have you adapted and continued to serve people during this time?

We are currently serving to-go only items out our front door every day from 12-6 p.m. We have moved from serving primarily draft beer in our tasting room to now largely packaging the majority of our beer in cans so people can easy order and take to-go.

The obvious safety measures are being taken, including temperature checks for employees, masks and gloves when needed, and increased disinfecting schedule for applicable areas.

Concerts in Your Car, California’s First Socially Distanced Concert and Entertainment Series in Los Angeles Area
Drive-in Theatre Meets Live Entertainment! A Truly Audience-Safe Music Experience

Californian’s love for cars and live entertainment gets a fresh new twist this summer in light of COVID-19, as CBF Productions presents Concerts in Your Car, California’s first socially-distanced concert and entertainment venue. The special popup style of events will take place through the end of September at the Ventura County Fairgrounds parking lot.

Upcoming concert and live events include:

Zoppe, An Italian Family Circus – Friday, July 31 (7:30 PM),
Saturday, August 1 (3:30 & 7:30 PM) and Sunday, August 2 (3:30 & 7:30 PM)
Sublime with Rome – Friday, August 7 (5:30 and 9:30 PM)
Rodney Atkins – Saturday August 8 (8:00PM)
Fitz and the Tantrums – Saturday, August 29 (8:00 PM)

California Pitmasters Are Creating Their Own BBQ Style—and Some of America’s Best Smoked Meat

These new faces of California barbecue are serving Central Texas-style smoked meat while celebrating their own heritage. They’re also using Instagram to inspire the next generation of pitmasters and let people know that the faces of American barbecue can look a lot different than what you might expect.

Castillo, a rockabilly-loving mixed-race Chicano who serves a brisket roulade and bourbon barrel-cured ham, identifies “as more of an outcast than anything else because I kind of grew up more punk rock.” He and his wife, Brenda, have gone from running an underground barbecue operation out of their backyard to a restaurant (on the site of what once was a gas station) with two 1,000-gallon offset smokers along with the 500-gallon trailer pit they used for their pop-ups.

How to Make the Perfect Margarita
Every ingredient matters in this tequila cocktail. Here’s how to get it right.

As long as you follow a few basic guidelines, you’ll be the envy of your Zoom chat in no time.

But first, however, you’ll have to navigate our only hard choice of the day, a fork in the road. There are two margaritas, and they’re both good, and I can’t choose for you: the classic or the upstart.

Classic Margarita

2 oz. tequila

1 oz. lime juice

0.5 oz. Cointreau

0.25 oz. – 0.5 oz. agave syrup (to taste)

The Upstart
Created in the early 1990s by Julio Bermejo at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant (a San Francisco staple since 1965), this is simplicity itself. Cut out the Cointreau and balance for sweetness. This is a more accessible and lower-proof cocktail, one that is more accommodating of the idea that drinking margaritas, like eating Cheez-Its or falling in love, is hard to stop once you’ve started.

Tommy’s Margarita

2 oz. tequila

1 oz. lime juice

0.75 oz. – 1 oz. agave syrup (to taste)

For both: Add ingredients to shaking tin, or blender, with lots of ice. Shake, or blend, until ice cold. Pour into a glass, garnish with a bright slice of lime, and indulge.

Job Board Created for Napa Valley Wineries Hiring This Harvest Season

The Napa Valley Vintners has launched a matchmaking webpage that connects job seekers with Napa Valley winemaking teams looking to hire this harvest season.

In a typical year, Napa Valley’s harvest intern positions are largely sought out by international applicants. With the interruption of international travel, and a freeze on J-1 educational exchange visas related to Covid-19, winemakers are optimisitc that workforce needs will be filled by local talent.

More than 25 Napa Valley wineries are currently seeking interns, and hope to attract workers who want to deepen their wine knowledge or wish to explore a career in winemaking.



Driveway surfing is pretty easy to understand. You find a driveway, set up camp (with permission), and spend the night there. Sometimes RVers call it “moochdocking.”

Whether you know the person that’s allowing you to stay on their property or not, driveway surfing is perfect for the days (or nights), where you find yourself at a loss of where to park in a new town or city.

Most people who offer driveway surfing sites are travelers themselves, so who knows you might even make new friends!

Don’t Reopen Your Restaurant Until You Read This
Restaurant lawyer Jasmine Moy on the pivots, pitfalls, and possibilities of reopening restaurants in the wake of COVID-10.

Restaurants owners and their employees have weathered a catastrophic loss of income, convoluted governmental support systems, a broad spectrum of behavior from diners when it comes to wearing masks, ever-changing guidance from state and federal officials, increased hygiene protocols for the protection of both staff and customers, and a host of other complications.

As restaurants around the country began to reopen in fits and starts, I called on Moy once again to share insights from what her clients are facing, and where she sees opportunities for a better future.

Road Trip! SoCal Distancing: The Central Coast Something for everyone

Something about California’s central coast never gets old. It’s not just a single something though, rather a whole lot of somethings. The color palette plays a part for me. The way the wind-swept Monterey Cypress’ deep green leaves contrast with its pale gray bark as it hangs hundreds of feet above jagged cliff faces. The ominous dark blue of the ocean that transitions to turquoise in the shallow waters where the Pacific meets the coast. And the coastline itself, a melange of Franciscan assemblage topped with golden coastal prairie scrub.

It’s scenery that I’ll never tire of riding through and camping in. As you venture further north toward Big Sur, the going gets twisty and even if you find yourself slowed by the droves of tourists, it’s not a bad place to get slowed down. Back off, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

14 Rev-Worthy Drive-Ins and Drive-Thrus in Northern California

California rocks the drive in, that 1950s and 60s emblem of American car culture. That’s when cars first started pulling up to restaurants, and car hops — sometimes on foot, sometimes on skates — hustled from drive in to diner, and back again.

In the current health crisis, the concept is making a comeback, and it’s easy to understand why: Even diners who don’t feel safe sitting down at restaurants want to get out of the house, sometimes, and a soft serve from the comforts of one’s car might do the trick. Northern California (where American Graffiti, perhaps the most iconic nod to the drive-in era ever, was filmed) has some real throwbacks, with vintage stools and neon signs, serving everything from burgers and shakes to tacos and falafel. So hop in a car, head to the beach or the mountains, and pull up to these old-school drive-ins and drive-thrus.

Live Music Died; Now What? Santa Barbara Venues Speak Up

Clearly, more than just ticket sales took a hit the day COVID-19 killed live music, as concerts are interwoven into the culture and economy in Santa Barbara County, which has the highest relative number of arts and culture nonprofits per capita in California. Nonetheless, when disaster strikes, the music industry is often one of the most affected.

The staff at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, the privately owned venue on State Street, has yet to forget the moment everything changed. “We shut down March 13, with Glove and Special Sauce canceling their tour right after performing here,” said venue manager Alec Beloin.

In the meantime, SOhO has been playing catch-up by talking to agents, refunding tickets, and selling gift cards to fundraise. “We are also auctioning artist regalia, like guitars signed by Jeff Bridges,” said SOhO co-owner Gail Hansen.

Miso-marinated salmon is sweet and savory

This savory-sweet salmon recipe uses the simple Japanese technique of marinating the fish in miso. The fermented soybean paste is mixed with sugar, sake and mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine) and essentially cures the fish, the testing team notes in their “Why this works” summary.

“The miso, sugar and alcohol all work to season and pull moisture out of the flesh, resulting in a firmer, denser texture. Miso also adds flavor benefits: sweetness, acidity and water-soluble compounds such as glutamic acid that, over time, penetrate the proteins and lend them deeply complex flavor,”

Mendocino Travel Tips

SF Ferry Building Open: Gotts, Hog Island Oysters, Acme Bread, Blue Bottle Coffee, Cowgirl Creamery, and more
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market open Sat 8am2pm Tue & Thu 10am–2pm

18 Homegrown Ice Cream Shops Keeping LA Cool This Summer Ice cream, gelato, and paleta shops open for takeout and delivery Santa Monica to Pasadena

Bring your old bike back to life with these pro restoration tips
New bicycles are hard to come by, but your old beater could be ready to ride again.

Park Tool How To videos

Caffè Shakerato (Italian-Style Shaken Iced Coffee) Recipe

Short version: brew espresso coffee, put it in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake. Pour. Drink!

Japanese-Style Iced Coffee Recipe

Short version: brew coffee with 1/2 the water into container with ice

These Are the Big Brands Hidden Behind Costco’s Kirkland Label
While some of these names are public knowledge, others remain a closely guarded secret.

Mary J. Blige’s Sun Goddess Puts Skin-Contact Pinot Grigio in the Spotlight

Danica Patrick, Kylie Minogue, Rock Band All Time Low Rev Up New Rosés

Sarah Jessica Parker Launches New Rosé

Post Malone Announces Next Summer Hit: His New Rosé

Silver Oak Release Day Kit

Celebrate at home with our exclusive Release Day Kit. Just add wine or check out our Ultimate Release Day Package for a fun-packed Virtual Release Day on August 1, 2020.

The Schulz Museum is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

“In this time of daily unease, we are grateful to be reopening our doors and providing a place for people to have a joyful escape,” said Jean Schulz, widow of Charles Schulz and Schulz Museum board president. “I think we could all use some good cheer right now.”

The Best Virtual Wine Vacations to Enjoy Right Now

As wineries everywhere adjust to a new era of travel, they are finding ways to engage with wine lovers—online.

Since most of us won’t be able to embark on a California wine country adventure anytime soon, why not savor new wines and culinary experiences from the comfort of home to get your palate in the mood and your imagination running at full speed? We asked these California estates how to recreate the tasting-room experience.

How to make wine pops, the coolest summer treat around

Freezing wine to create a sugary treat may seem like an intimidating feat but it’s actually quite easy. In fact, you can probably sip your way through the cooking and freezing process, so long as you’re mindful of things like a stove’s open flame.

Sonoma County wineries grapple with keeping workers safe as annual harvest nears

With about two months before the first wine grapes will be picked on the North Coast, wineries and vineyards are gearing up for an annual harvest that will be unlike any other, given the coronavirus.

Winemakers are running checks on cluster counts on the grapevines that will determine yields. And vineyard farmworkers are removing leaves from vines to get the right amount of sun on the fruit to make it most favorable.

All the preparation for regional harvest, which was valued at $1.7 billion last year, is being done with greatly enhanced safety measures to try to keep the virus away. Workers are having their temperatures checked and being spaced at least 6 feet along vineyard rows. Cellar crews in wineries are grappling with how they will process the fruit and they realize they will have to take in far fewer grapes each day.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom To Reopen Without Rides

The North Bay theme park will use thermal imaging to screen temperatures of employees and guests, and is implementing other safety measures.

The Six Flags Discovery Kingdom amusement park in Vallejo is reopening next week but rides will not be operating and the amount of visitors will be kept well below capacity, park officials announced Thursday.

The park had closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic but will reopen July 2 as an animals-only experience with various talks from animal care specialists and animal demonstrations at outdoor venues.

Napa Valley sparkling wine maker Schramsberg reopens for tasting, hopes coronavirus shutdown marketing eventually recoups lost sales

Schramsberg makes roughly 85,000 cases annually of the eponymous sparkling wine plus the table-wine brands J Schram, Mirabelle, J. Davies Estate Davies Vineyards. The average retail price is $40 a bottle, with selections ranging from $20 up to $200 a bottle.

Of the production, 20% by volume was sold directly to consumers before the pandemic, with 80% going to wholesale. Of the latter, one-third was bound for restaurants, and 47% was going to off-premises retail such as wine shops and stores.

San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery to Launch SOMA Hard Seltzer

Nico Freccia (Co-Founder/CEO, 21st Amendment Brewery) adds, “SOMA Hard Seltzer is wonderful for the active on-the-go individual who is looking for a craft ‘better-for-you’ beverage. It does not fill you up with its 100 calories and 2 grams of carbs with zero sugar.

The States that Drink the Most Wine in America

While Idahoans drink the most wine per capita, residents of West Virginia, Kansas, and Mississippi prefer beer and spirits. Idaho residents drink 1.2 gallons of wine per capita, and while West Virginians, Kansans, and Mississippians drink less than 0.2 gallons of wine per capita, they drink about a gallon of beer and 2 gallons of spirits each year.

From Cabernet to Rosé: The 16 Best Wines and Tasting Experience: Cakebread Cellars

These wines and their makers explore the range of subtleties across terroir, from Burgundy to Tuscany to Napa and Australia.

Cakebread Cellars …the best part for guests are the tasting rooms with myriad views of the winemaking process, from the vines to the lab to fermentation to bottling. The tastings themselves are about as far as can be from choosing wines at a counter while swatting fruit flies. No, these are gourmet micro-events, with coursed food (grown on-site) created to pair perfectly with each wine sampled and led by an expert. The pivot to virtual tasting this spring during the Covid-19 crisis was creative and fun, and it’s this level of hosting that turns tasting into a true experience.

Smaller crowds allowed during whale watching trips in Santa Barbara

The boat trips are going out daily in a fully sanitized boat, crew members will be wearing protective masks. The business is also requiring passenger to wear masks and for watchers to social distance from other passengers.

To make operations safe and running smoothly, the Condor Express is only taking on 39 percent of its normal passenger limit.

Napa Valley USD Serves Over 120K Meals Amid Coronavirus Closure

One problem was how to cover the cost of providing free meals to all students, including those whose meals did not qualify for reimbursement.

That concern was eliminated after schools closed in March when state and federal officials granted waivers to operate Grab & Go meal distributions and permitting school districts to serve all children regardless of whether they qualified for free meals or not.

In April, Napa Valley Unified distributed 65,000 meals; in May, 55,700 meals were distributed to NVUSD students.

All NVUSD students are receiving free meals through the month of June. The district holds curbside Grab & Go distribution on Mondays and Thursdays, providing five days of food for each student at the time of pickup.

Father’s Day Mancake Pancakes

Perfect breakfast for dads on their special day. These mancakes with beer and bacon mixed in are sure to make your dad smile.

Club members buoy Napa Valley’s Peju winery until tasting room reopening

Peju Province Winery in the Rutherford wine growing district of Napa Valley had a soft reopening of its tasting room Tuesday under the new county safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic and fully reopened on Wednesday.

One of the tough parts of the new COVID-19 safety protocols developed by state, industry and local officials is the ban on children and pets in tasting visits, according to Christine Lilienthal, director of marketing.

“We’ve always been family friendly and pet friendly, but because of the coronavirus we really can’t do that because it’s just not safe,” she said, noting that keeping kids and animals in one place can be difficult. “That was a really, really tough decision (for the Peju familiy) to make.”

Central Coast bars prepare to open

Wineries across Monterey County reopen to customers

As California transitions to Stage 3 of the reopening process, wineries across Monterey County are opening their doors to customers, but not without new protocols. Wineries will need to abide by social distancing guidelines, proper sanitization, and both employees and customers will need to wear masks.

“We won’t be serving you if you don’t come in with a mask,” said Natalie Mika, a tasting room associate for Wrath Winery in Soledad. “You can obviously take your mask off when you’re tasting, especially when you’re sitting outside, but it’s mandatory to come in with a mask.”

“Our occupancy is less than it was before,” added Carlee Sichel, a tasting room associate at Wrath Winery. “We’re social distancing, so not as many people at the bar as their use to be.”

The winery said their members have been calling every day to check in on their reopening status. Mika and Sichel said their members were ecstatic to hear their doors are back open. However, the staff said they know the dangers of the virus are still looming.

Wine Tasting Rules – What To Expect at Hope and Grace in Yountville Napa Valley

California’s Yosemite National Park to reopen

One big change: For now, visitors must reserve day passes in advance instead of driving up to the park for entry.

The park, closed since March due to the coronavirus, will limit the number of visitors who can enter.

Yosemite aims to limit daily entry to 50% of the June 2019 average.

Pacific Grove to shut down parts of Lighthouse Ave. for outdoor dining

Pacific Grove has begun preparations to close down Lighthouse Avenue to allow for outdoor dining.

The closure will be 24/7 and will start on Friday June 12 for the next 30 days.

Which IPAs Should Be Considered ‘Modern Classics?’

With so many IPAs on the market, what constitutes a classic of the modern era? We asked brewers throughout the U.S. and U.K. what sticks out.

California beers from Sierra Nevada, Hen House Brewing, and Pliny The Elder made the list

How to Find Free Online Homework Help

From CliffsNotes to Khan Academy, free homework help sites can help your student prep for the next school year.

Napa Valley wineries ready to welcome Bay Area visitors

Napa County allowed wineries to immediately reopen their tasting rooms last Friday, right after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s updated the state’s industry guidelines.

Central Coast counties preparing to reopen gyms, bars, hotels next Friday
San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties both said all businesses approved by the state are expected to reopen next Friday, provided they follow new guidelines. Monterey County Public Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno said partially in a statement, “The County Health Officer must then determine if current indicators support implementation of the new guidance and opening of the sectors. “

Napa’s Most Expensive Wines on WIne Searcher

  Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc $6339

  Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon $3572

  Harlan Estate $1099

  Tusk Estate Cabernet Sauvignon $846

  Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon $803

  Screaming Eagle The Flight $800

George’s at the Cove Reopening

We are excited to announce our dine-in service will resume on June 1st for Ocean Terrace and Level2, followed by California Modern on June 8th. We appreciate all of your continued patience and support as we navigate through these challenging times and look forward to seeing you again soon! Book your table today!!

Returning to Santa Barbara Restaurants

Taking a Stroll Down State Street, Where Distanced Tables Spread Across the Sidewalks and Asphalt

By Matt Kettmann
Wed Jun 03, 2020 | 5:24pm

Last Thursday afternoon ​— ​when most of the country was still primarily focused on the global pandemic rather than the widespread protests and riots to come ​— ​it felt like the right time to hit State Street for my first visit in 11 weeks and see how the restaurants were embracing the city’s closure of the main drag to cars.

I’d heard that the previous weekend’s Memorial Day crowds were a bit too large and unmasked for comfort, perhaps too jubilantly celebrating the cracking open of the state’s shelter-in-place orders. But I’d also appreciated a breath of fresh commerce blowing into Santa Barbara’s stagnant sales, knowing how desperately so many establishments, and their many employees, were clinging to survival.

Free, Lunches To-Go Kicks Off For Summer 2020 In Temecula

The first-come, first-served program for youngsters begins June 9, with no income requirements or registration required.

“The Summer Food Service Program is a vital resource for some Temecula families,” Mayor James ‘Stew’ Stewart said. “Our mission is to make certain that any child in need of a meal knows where they can find a nutritious lunch while school is out of session. We want our local youth to be able to spend their summer time playing, exploring, growing, and not experiencing food insecurity.”

For more information on the Temecula program, call the Community Services Department at (951) 694-6464

We are bringing Long Meadow Ranch straight to your living room. This interactive tasting experience requires nothing more than your computer, tablet or smartphone, a tasting pack, and approximately 45 minutes.

What to Know About LA County’s Strict New Restaurant Guidelines
Social distancing in the kitchen, masks on masks, and more strict details to adhere to in LA County’s newest guidelines

You don’t even need an oven to make the simplest homemade bread (steamed Chinese buns)

These simple Chinese buns are steamed, giving them a distinctive fluffy softness. Eat them on their own or as a side dish to take the place of steamed rice. In my family, we tear them open to slather with butter and sprinkle with pork floss for a savory breakfast or drizzle with sweetened condensed milk for a sweet treat. You can also use the dough as the base for fillings to steam into bao or knead in seasonings such as sliced scallions or sesame seeds.

here are Instant Pot instructions for steamed buns

Experience the Sheer Magic of Los Angeles

From technicolor sunsets to an incomparably diverse dining scene and a longstanding role as the moviemaking capital of the world, Los Angeles is an absolutely magical city. Now, without even leaving home, you can savor all that is L.A. thanks to Magic Hour, a new Discover Los Angeles program that celebrates the City of Angels through an eclectic collection of virtual and interactive experiences.

These experiences are as exciting as the city itself, with both classic and surprising ways to explore. Whether you’re into sports, museums, or simply miss wandering around the city, Magic Hour has a little something for everyone.

HBO Max is available today — here’s what you need to know

Max offers everything you’ll get from HBO, plus enough movies and shows to keep you busy streaming for a long, long time.

WarnerMedia made headlines in the lead-up to HBO Max by snapping up some high-profile TV favorites as exclusives for its service. Those include Friends, Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who (in the US), South Park, Rick and Morty, Pretty Little Liars and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown (a Bourdain documentary is also in the works for HBO Max).

There’s also a massive selection of TV shows from WarnerMedia’s catalog networks, including CNN docuseries and much more. Series like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Impractical Jokers and the British version of The Office are on the initial list at launch. Expect to see a variety of anime from Crunchyroll too.

To say there are a lot of movies on HBO Max is a massive understatement. An extensive list is already available, and plenty more are coming in June. It’s important to note that anything available through HBO will also be on Max.


‘What about us?’: Napa Valley wineries wonder when tasting rooms can reopen, as local eateries welcome back diners

“Wineries are ready to reopen, which makes sense given their ability to derive greater use of outdoor facilities allowing for even larger social distancing. Why are restaurants permitted to offer dine-in and outdoor service, while wineries are not? Both restaurants and wineries should be reopened at the same time,” said Rex Stults, association vice president of industry relations.

Even as restaurants in the area were allowed as of May 20 to welcome back customers for indoor dining, at present, wineries and tasting rooms are not allowed to open. They cannot until the county moves into stage 3 of California’s four-stage recovery plan

The 163 Best Military Discounts in 2020

Active-duty service members, veterans, reservists, and their families can save on food, travel, and more.

When I Can’t Be Bothered With Cold Brew, I Make Japanese Iced Coffee Instead

So instead of making cold brew, I’ve been turning to Japanese-style iced coffee a.k.a. flash-brewed coffee a.k.a. ice brew a.k.a. brewing super strong coffee directly over ice. The hot drip melts the ice, diluting the coffee to the perfect strength while also cooling it down immediately. It’s ready in about 10 minutes (including bringing the water to a boil), and—not to offend all the cold brew fanatics out there—but… I actually like the taste better?

Former Napa Valley Chef Shares Tips On How To Grill The Perfect Burger

we bring you burger-grilling advice from Adam Baird, executive chef at Irvine-based Habit Burger Grill.

Baird, to be sure, knows his way around a kitchen — and a grill — as he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y, and has a resume boasting stints at Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at CIA’s St. Helena and at Disney’s Grand Californian Napa Rose restaurant in Anaheim.

He now works and steers The Habit menu, renowned for its award-winning Charburgers, signature sandwiches, hand-cut salads and more, at the restaurant chain, founded by two brothers in 1969 in Santa Barbara.

20 Easy Burger Recipes to Make This Year

These recipes prove that making the perfect burger doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you’re in the mood for an all-American classic or something a little more adventurous, these easy burger recipes are exactly what you’re looking for.

The Mediterranean Diet, Including Wine, May Decrease Frailty Among Elderly and Improve Gut Health

Researchers found those who stuck to the diet for a year enjoyed a more diverse microbiome and fewer health risks

The Mediterranean diet, which includes balanced consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, grains, olive oil, seafood and wine in moderate amounts while limiting dairy products and meats, has been touted for its healthy results for decades. The diet has been associated with myriad benefits, including decreased risks of heart disease, cancer, depression and neurological diseases, as well as a lower rates of hospitalization and a longer lifespan. According to a new study by a team of European researchers, the diet may also be linked with a healthier aging process and more varied gut microbiota.

Texas Monthly How to Cook Smoked Tri-Tip

A cut popular in California, it comes from the bottom sirloin. As its name suggests, tri-tip is triangular in shape. We’ve shown you how to cook it on a two-zone grill set-up, but I wanted to test out a seasoning method. A barbecue joint whose name I won’t divulge said that it bloomed its spices, or briefly cooked them in oil to release the flavors, before applying them to the meat. If you’ve ever cooked Indian food or made a chili recipe that instructed you to add the spices directly into the hot oil, you’ll know the importance of blooming, not to mention the aromas that are released. The ground spices in a barbecue rub are generally applied raw or straight out of the shaker. With a few tri-tips that 44 Farms sent my way, I wanted to try blooming the classic Santa Maria barbecue seasoning combination of garlic powder and ground black pepper before putting it on the meat.

Restaurant Steals & Deals For Memorial Weekend 2020

See specials offered at California eateries for U.S. veterans, military, first responders and families for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Wineries that serve food can reopen in Sonoma County

Wineries that serve food in Sonoma County are now open.

Barbara Cox with the Sonoma County Vintners Association joined KRONon to explain what exactly that means for the county.

The new mandate went into effect Saturday morning. It is the next phase for the opening of wineries who are now allowed to host visitors in their tasting rooms if it’s for an outside tasting.

To do so, they must serve a meal with the wine tasting experience, Cox said.

Wineries can partner with different chefs and restaurants to offer these experiences. Every winery is different, so it is encouraged that people still check websites and call wineries to check for full details.

San Diego Zoo Launches New Hippo Cam Presented By Mattel Playroom

Ever wanted to know how long a hippo can stay underwater? How they “dance” so gracefully through the water? Or how long they sleep? You can learn the answers to these questions and more by inviting a hippo into your home—virtually—on the San Diego Zoo’s all-new Hippo Cam presented by Mattel Playroom. While the San Diego Zoo is temporarily closed to on-grounds visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions, the livestreaming Hippo Cam is the newest way online visitors can engage with wildlife from their smartphone or computer.

Niners Nutrition: What a 49ers Lineman Eats in a Day

The caloric needs can range from 3500 – 6000 calories per day based on individual needs and goals. The focus is always on lean protein sources, complex or simple carbohydrates, and healthy fats. It takes some fine tuning and there is an art to creating a plan based on needs but also personal food preferences, food allergies, and motivation. Nutrition quality matters with what we serve our players, so locally sourced and organic foods are a priority. Carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for a football athlete due the explosive nature of the sport. However, protein and fat are important macronutrients for muscle repair and overall health and recovery.
So, what does a meal plan look like for a lineman that might need to consume 5,000 calories per day to gain weight?  Take a look at an example below:
Breakfast (7:00 a.m – 8:00 a.m.)
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Egg Whites
1 Cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
12 Almonds
1 Cup Blueberries
8 fl oz Orange Juice

Napa Valley Pizza Chef’s Online Cooking Demos Draw Worldwide Audience

A Napa Valley chef’s weekly Italian food cooking sessions have drawn thousands of viewers stuck inside during worldwide stay-home orders.

…chef Cognetti now presents a live cooking lesson every Friday at 6 p.m. showing how to prepare various mainstay Italian dishes, from lasagna to gnocchi to tiramisu. Cognetti welcomes guest chefs and an occasional wine expert to join him.

Napa Restaurants Can Reopen Their Dining Rooms Right Now — Here’s Why They’re Waiting It Out Instead


Could California’s Central Coast Lead the Way For the Future of Local Food Tourism?

The city of Solvang has been trying to give tasting rooms and other small businesses a fighting chance by offering microloans of $5,000 to anyone with a corporate license, paid out through the city’s general reserve fund. And with many anticipating a mid-May partial reopening, the city is even considering a rejiggering of its colorful downtown area, complete with a pedestrian-only main drag to better allow for physical distancing. Employees will be kitted out with personal protective equipment, and customers can rotate through the various businesses in a safe, slow wave. There could even be a move to allow more outdoor dining and parklets over the following months as restaurants continue to come back online with reduced capacity.

These Local Chefs Are Offering Free Online Cooking Classes

Many of our favorite dishes from Sonoma County restaurants are available for curbside pickup and delivery as we shelter at home. Ordering takeout remains a great excuse to eat well while supporting local businesses, but chances are you’ve still been spending more time in the kitchen. If you’re looking for ways to up your cooking game and get some meal-planning inspiration, a number of Wine Country chefs are offering free virtual classes. Click through the above gallery for some inspiration.

50 Affordable Wines You Can Always Trust

Sometimes wine is daunting, and the fact that vintages change every year is one of the reasons. Was 2014 better than 2015? Worse? How are you supposed to know? One solution is not to worry about it (and have the best corkscrew on hand). We’ve assembled a list of 50 of the world’s most reliable, inexpensive wines—bottles that offer amazing quality for their price year in and year out

Hollywood Bowl Cancels Summer Season For First Time In 98 Years

HOLLYWOOD, CA — In a sign that Los Angeles will not return to normal anytime soon, the Hollywood Bowl canceled its summer season for the first time in nearly a century due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The summer concerts are an annual tradition for generations of Angelenos. It’s the first time in 98 years that the Hollywood Bowl cancelled its season. The move is an acknowledgement that activities featuring large crowds will be among the last to resume as the pandemic wears on.

Post Malone Is Launching His Own Rosé And It’ll Make You Feel SO Fancy

Our dear Posty is launching his own French rosé called Maison No. 9, a name inspired by Post’s favorite tarot card, the Nine of Swords. He created and developed it in partnership with his friend and entrepreneur James Morrissey of Global Brand Equities, and Dre London, long-time music manager and Founder of London Entertainment. The three chatted about it at dinner in L.A. one night and then apparently were already visiting the vineyard in Provence a few days later.

The team sampled more than 50 wines before coming up with the blend you’ll be sipping on in the sun very soon. The wine sports a soft, light “Provencal Pink” color and features aromas of “ripe pineapple, pear and strawberry, meet hints of sweet French desserts once uncorked.” 

Mannequins Will Fill Empty Seats at This Michelin-Starred Restaurant

The Inn at Little Washington—the D.C.-area’s only restaurant with three Michelin stars and subject of a recent PBS documentary—has devised an unorthodox plan to help fill the void created by social distancing. When chef Patrick O’Connell reopens for dinner on May 29, the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award Winner will be placing what a spokesperson called “theatrically dressed” mannequins at empty tables to serve as “an entertainment and design touchpoint to keep things interesting.”

Vista Teen Surprises Sister With Quarantine Prom Amid CoronavirusJared Bender, a senior at Vista Visions Academy, surprised his little sister, Aubree Bender, with a “quarantine prom” at their Vista home.He posts to Instagram as HypedOnHappiness see his inspiring videos at YouTube follow him at Facebook

from  McDonald’s Just Revealed What Its Restaurants May Soon Look Like

YouTube video McDonald’s Prototype restaurant Dine In

Subway Grocery

With most Subway® dining rooms closed due to COVID-19, we’re using our access to food distribution to offer Subway® ingredients to our local communities during this difficult time.  

Say “thank you” and send a sub to our first responders.

Just add as many “First Responder Subs” as you’d like to your cart and we’ll deliver them to local doctors, nurses, police, fire, and EMTs in your area as a “thank you” for everything they are doing for us!

Petaluma Group’s 30-Year Mother’s Day Tradition Still Planned

Volunteers plan to bring flowers to Sonoma County seniors who generally spend Mother’s Day alone. The community is invited to show support.

Paso Robles Wine Alliance updates members on making plans to reopen wine tasting rooms

California Wine Institute guidelines on reopening

Napa plans on reopening

‘Helping to maintain that social connection’: Mobile app Get Your Drink On offering digital gift cards for bars, breweries and wineries

The Get Your Drink On mobile app helps users grab a beer, cocktail or glass of wine for their buddies, wherever they are. Since people can’t go out for a drink because of the coronavirus outbreak, GYDO is helping venues compensate by providing a digital gift card platform.

Founder Ryan Williams said all venues have to do to launch their gift cards is sign-up for GYDO. The only registration requirement is an active Facebook business page.

“Once somebody has downloaded the mobile application, they can send a designated amount to any venue. The venue gets the funds immediately. Obviously with the whole shelter-in-place it’s not exactly easy to visit the respective venues,” Mr. Williams said.

There are 25 venues in the Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria areas that support GYDO, including Night Lizard Brewing Company, Skyenna Wines, Brass Bear Brewing, Island Brewing Company and Rincon Brewery.

GYDO is free for businesses to use. For more information visit or call 805-284-5213. Instructions on how to register as a user or business owner are available on the GYDO YouTube channel.

San Diego Restaurants Delivering Free Meals to Hospital Workers

Through grassroots efforts, a new nonprofit has grown into a national movement to support local restaurants impacted by the pandemic while feeding our hero healthcare workers. Founded in the Bay Area, Frontline Foods is now active in 46 cities; the local chapter, Frontline Foods San Diego, was started as GoFundMe campaign by San Diego resident Michael Van Sickler, who wanted to find a way to support his wife, an ICU nurse. Sickler connected with local organizers Liza Gurtin and Brett Roggenkamp, and so far the program has raised over $50,000 in donations and partnered with 25 restaurants which have delivered more than 6,000 meals to emergency rooms, ICU’s, and other healthcare units including all locations of UC San Diego Health, Scripps Encinitas, Scripps Green La Jolla, Scripps Memorial, Scripps Mercy Hillcrest, Scripps Mercy Chula Vista, Tri-City Medical Center, and Rady Children’s Hospital.

To qualify for the program, restaurants must be locally-owned and able to provide or arrange for their own delivery.

Watch Thomas Keller prepare his favorite two-ingredient, at-home meal spinach and salmon!

In his latest quarantine cooking tutorial, chef Thomas Keller shows viewers how to turn two simple ingredients — salmon and spinach — into a restaurant-quality meal.

In the six-minute IGTV video, Keller shares some trade secrets: squeeze out the water from the spinach as you sautée with the back of the spoon or spatula, and baste the salmon with the fat it’s frying in — a combination of oil and butter.

30 minute workout Personal Trainer Olympic Silver medalist Kim Glass

Gott’s opens San Franciso location

Gott’s Roadside, a Northern California roadside restaurant emphasizing locally sourced ingredients, reopened its San Francisco Ferry Building location Wednesday for takeout and delivery. The store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day, with the full menu available through

Additionally, its soft-serve ice cream station is open from noon to 6 p.m., offering organic Straus vanilla and chocolate, Clay Walker, president of Gott’s Roadside, said in a press release.

“Our highest priority is getting our team members back to work and collecting a paycheck,” he said. “We are optimistic that the economy will start to reopen gradually, and we will be here to serve the community when it does.”

Gott’s Roadside was founded in 1999 in St. Helena by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott.

Can making those famous meatballs be any more difficult than putting together a bookcase?

The recipe—which serves four—is pretty straightforward: a meat mix that’s two-thirds beef and one-third pork combined with onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, and salt and pepper. And, of course, these balls wouldn’t be Swedish without the sauce: a mix of oil, butter, flour, vegetable stock, beef stock, thick double cream, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard.

Love your local brewery’s beer? Buy it directly from them

Consumers are still drinking beer, and if they would simply buy directly from the many small breweries selling beer via online orders, touchless transactions and curbside pickup, they could save many from folding.

Altman says he’s grateful for “the outpouring of support we’ve received.”

But with sales nonetheless so diminished, more is clearly needed.

“Just remember your small local businesses,” he says. “They can’t survive without your support.”

12 Terrific Fried Chicken Spots Open for Takeout and Delivery in Los Angeles

Next weekend is “Walktail” a virtual walkathon

 100% of your donation goes to support pets in shelters.

BISSELL Pet Foundation invites you to participate in the first-ever, national Walktail fundraiser for homeless pets who need our help now more than ever. 

Santa Monica Brewery Offers Specialty Beer to Benefit Coronavirus Fight

Each sale will have a part of its profits donated to UCLA Health

Beer-loving Angelenos who are homebound due to the coronavirus will be able to directly support patients, their families and health care workers by enjoying an India Pale Ale at home, thanks to Santa Monica Brew Works.

The independent craft production brewery announced the debut of “Unsung Heroes,” a hazy IPA crafted to honor health care workers on the front lines in the fight against coronavirus. Brewery owners said $5 from each sale of 32 oz. “crowler” cans will go to support UCLA Health’s COVID-19 Coronavirus Greatest Needs In Patient Care and Healthcare Provider Protection Fund.

Napa’s Annie the Baker mixes up business during pandemic

“I decided early on that the best way to get my cookies out there to people who are sheltering in place is to ship them out.”

Free video call backgrounds


Star Wars

Marvel Comics

Harry Potter

Recreate Walt Disney’s Chili from Carnation Café in your own kitchen! This hearty chili recipe is based on Walt’s own recipe, and is delicious topped with sour cream, cheese, and fresh tomatoes.

Cookie Monster Is Hosting a Weekly ‘Snack Chat’ to Help Kids Deal with Staying Home
The Sesame Street resident is teaching kids simple recipes and inviting them to share a virtual cookie every Tuesday.

How to make a funny Zoom background to entertain your friends and coworkers

Best funny Zoom background trick: Put yourself in a looping video so you can skip the meeting

‘Tiger King’: Where Everyone in the Series Is Now

Like a stealthy tiger padding through the jungle, no one saw Netflix’s “Tiger King” coming. Once word started to spread to homebound viewers hungry for an engrossing quarantine watch, it was too late to un-see the questionable conditions the animals were kept in, and the questionable taste in tattoos of nearly everyone involved. Nielsen said that more than 34 million people watched the series in the first 10 days — more than Season 2 of “Stranger Things,” and almost as many viewers as “Stranger Things” Season 3.

Bloke spends 18 months recreating KFC’s secret chicken recipe at home
and he swears it’s spot on

The recipe includes five cups of plain flour, four tablespoons of paprika, two tablespoons of white pepper and garlic powder, one tablespoon of ground ginger, mustard powder, celery salt and black pepper, half a tablespoon of oregano and thyme and one-third of a tablespoon of sea salt.

Best times to go grocery shopping to avoid crowds

data Retail Aware gathered from supermarkets across the country in March and April that shows midweek mornings, particularly Wednesdays and Thursdays, are when the stores tend to have the fewest shoppers during the current crisis.

The busiest days? Saturdays and Sunday, by far

8 Ways to Get Free HBO

You don’t have to splurge on a cable subscription to watch this popular premium channel. All you need is a few free trials and a little patience.

49ers: Healthy Eating Habits While at Home

Jordan Mazur is the Coordinator of Nutrition and 49ers team dietitian. In his fourth season with the 49ers, he oversees all nutrition related to players, sports medicine and football operations and works individually with players to help ensure they are fueled and recovered throughout the grind of the season.

Explaining coronavirus to kids

How To Make Hand Sanitizer

The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant
industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Donate and apply for Assistance at

How to properly handle Amazon delivery boxes and orders during the coronavirus pandemic

If you’re planning on ordering online from shipping services like Amazon, here’s what you need to know about handling your packages, cleaning them and making sure they’re safe enough to bring into your home.

Mustang Mach-E development doesn’t stop for coronavirus

Ford Motor Co. engineers are keeping the Mustang Mach-E program on track to launch this fall even as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts manufacturing, sales and other business.

As they work from home, the developers have traded team rides in prototype vehicles for recorded video, labs for garages, co-workers for children and office conversation for virtual chats. But the team developing Ford’s first battery-electric Mustang SUV says it remains focused on completing the base model’s final evaluations and continuing work on other versions.

Why You Should Order Your Pizza ‘Uncut’

When you order pizza carryout, don’t let them cut it. Don’t let them cut the pie. When they cut it all the juices run down and make the crust soggy. When you order your pie, fire up the oven. Throw your stone in there or a pan or whatever. And just keep the temperature cold—keep it under 212℉. Take that pie in uncut—so the crust stays crispy—and pop it in the oven. And then, when it [the pizza] is back up to the temp, you can slice it as you need it. Never let them cut the carry-out for you.

Links For Kids and Parents At Home

Comcast Free On Demand Say FREE with your voice control remote

Free On Demand including DogTV! (a network that is made specifically for dogs!)

Comcast Gives Xfinity Customers Rolling Free Previews with Focus on Education, Entertainment and Fitness

Tiger Woods Foundation Free Resources for Students and Educators

WWF Coloring pages

Nat Geo kids pages

13 Learning Websites for Kids That Working Parents Can Count On

From yoga for kids to live animal webcams, there are plenty of resources parents can use to entertain their children.

Virtual Farm Tours From Sonoma Will Instantly Make You Happier

Non-profit farm animal sanctuary Charlie’s Acres is offering virtual farm tours every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Viewers are encouraged to ask questions during the half-hour smile-inducing sessions. Meet some of the animal residents by clicking through this gallery.

FBI Physical Fitness Test App

The FBI’s Physical Fitness Test app is an informative and interactive way to train like an agent. Whether you’re an aspiring agent hoping to see if you have what it takes or a fitness enthusiast curious about agent training, this mobile application will help you learn the benchmarks of the official FBI Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

The Perfect Wine to Pair With Your Favorite Pizza Toppings

The beauty of pizza (let’s be honest, there’s a whole lot of beauty in pizza) is that it’s basically a blank slate when it comes to wine pairings. There are very few wines that won’t accommodate charred crust, melty cheese and zingy tomato sauce. The fun comes when taking into consideration the toppings, which can steer pairings in a slew of different red/white/bubbly directions.

5 Favorite Pantry-Staples Recipes
Can’t go shopping right now? Make the most of what’s already in your fridge, freezer and kitchen cabinets with these great weeknight meal ideas

Silenus Winery Binge Pairings

Game of Thrones and 2015 Ideology Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Why it Pairs: a dark heavy red with the Lannister lion right on the label

 Parks and Recreation and 2017 Ideology Rosé
Why it Pairs: Treat Yo Self 2017!!!

Scandal and 2015 Danais Merlot
Why it Pairs: Enjoy a big glass right alongside Olivia Pope

The Big Bang Theory and 2018 Banjo Nebbiolo
Why it Pairs: This unfined and unfiltered, native yeast, carbonic maceration, Beaujolais style red is perfect for the nerd in you.

 The Bachelor/The Bachelorette and 2017 Thorn Hill Pinot Grigio or 2018 Silenus Pinot Blanc
Why it Pairs: Find your perfect match!

Big Little Lies and 2018 Silenus Pinot Noir
Why it Pairs: This seemingly innocent pinot noir transforms on the palate into a gorgeous, seductive, feminine wine that pairs beautifully with murder, mystery, suspense, and intrigue. One sip of this wine will instantly transport you to Monterey, California and the world of Big Little Lies.

 Gossip Girl or Sex and the City and 2018 Silenus Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon
Why it Pairs: A classy feminine rosé that will bring out your inner glam.

Mad Men and 2018 Jana Riesling
Why it Pairs: It’s not an Old Fashioned, but this dry German-style wine is a nod to Blue Nun, a popular wine of the time; although there are no nuns in this show.

 2016 Silenus Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
For this wine, you should turn off the TV, prepare a beautiful meal, and have a romantic evening with your loved one(s).

So You Want to Have a ‘Star Wars’ Marathon? George Lucas Has the Correct Order to Do That In

Right now, the outside world is a bit of a mess, to say the least. And while a movie about intergalactic war and space wizards isn’t any less chaotic, there truly isn’t a wrong time to binge-watch Star Wars. Everyone has a preference on which trilogy is the best or how best to watch them, but what does George Lucas say is the best order? If you’re going to conduct a self-quarantined Star Wars marathon, it’s best to hear how the creator himself suggests to watch them.

 “Start with one,” Lucas said in 2015, according to The Independent. “That’s the way to do it right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. That’s the way they’re supposed to be done. Just because it took a long time to film it doesn’t mean you don’t do it in order.”

Binge worthy shows to watch

The Outsider

Adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about the investigation of the gruesome murder of a boy in the Georgia woods and the mysterious force surrounding the case.


Based on The New York Times best-selling book of the same name, The Most Dangerous Animal of All is a four-part documentary series on FX that explores one man’s search for the father who abandoned him, only to uncover the worst: he believes his father is the Zodiac killer, one of the most infamous serial killers in American history.


Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates opens up about his childhood, business career and passion for improving the lives of people in the developing world.


Though it skips the occasional beat, High Fidelity’s fresh take on a familiar track is as witty as it is emotionally charged, giving a curmudgeonly charming Zoë Kravitz plenty of room to shine.

“There Has Never Been a Better Time to Finally Watch The Sopranos”

Where to Watch Free Movies and TV Shows Online

If you’re still paying for cable and streaming services every month, you should check out the free options for watching your favorites.

Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

If you are stocking up on some pantry basics this simple tomato sauce can be used with pasta, as a soup base, or for lots of things. You can use this when you make it, store it in the fridge, or freeze this for later. I like to use puree but whole or chopped tomatoes in a can are fine you just have to crush them before you cook it. I use my hands to squeeze them smaller.

It is a good basic sauce that can be used as is or you can add to it to your liking.

1 28 oz can of tomato puree (get the kind with just tomatoes as the ingredient)
dried basil
tomato paste (optional)
sweetener (optional)

Heat the tomato puree at medium then bring down to low to simmer.
add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
add 1 teaspoon of dried basil
let it simmer for 10 minutes
That’s it! All done!

unless if wanted
add salt a pinch at a time stir it in and taste
add sugar or a sweetener a 1/2 teaspoon at a time
to add more thickness and tomato flavor add tomato paste 1 tablespoon at a time

Great Deals in California Wine Are Coming

Slackening demand and a two-year California grape glut means a boon for bargain hunters, even as wineries soften the blow by ripping out vines.

The Taste with Doug Shafer
A new podcast series from Doug Shafer about the people behind the food and wine you love.

Where to see giant redwoods in Sonoma County

In today’s fast-paced world, standing next to a living being that’s more than a thousand years old can be unexpectedly quieting.

Luckily for us in Sonoma County, that experience is within fairly easy reach.

Several native tree species here, like the black oak and Douglas fir, can live for five, even 10 human lifespans. But by far the eldest trees are sequoia sempervirens, the coast redwoods.

In a few local spots, some trees have managed to survive nearly 2,000 years

20 California road trips Sonoma County residents love

Road trips are a great way to see this Golden State of ours but we’ve taken enough of them that sometimes it feels like there is nowhere else to go.

For some fresh ideas, we reached out to readers and Press Democrat staff to find out their go-to destinations for a quick trip.

From spirits and beer to wine, Alameda is your East Bay hub for drinking

With so much to sample, it’s best to not try and conquer Spirits Alley in one trip. One journey can be dedicated just to beer, with options including Almanac Beer Co. and the Rake at Admiral Maltings, which is situated just east of Spirits Alley’s main drag. Faction Brewing remains a popular spot, with its expansive outside patio and vintage pinball machines in its indoor tasting room.

The tasting rooms for St. George Spirits and Hangar One Vodka add a whole other level of imbibing. At St. George Spirits, which is housed in a sprawling hangar, $15 gets you a tasting of six spirits including vodka, gin and liqueurs. The nearby Hangar One distillery offers six tastings for $16, along with a chocolate or cheese pairings for $50.

Budweiser Wants Drinkers to Give Its New Nitro Cans a Shake

New Budweiser Nitro Gold—the brand is going the nitrogen route

…now nitrogen beers—though still only a tiny percentage of beer sales—are more common, with many brewers looking to take advantages of the differences: Most beers are carbonated, causing explosive bubbles that can attack your palate; finer nitrogen bubbles quickly push to the head of a beer, creating a smoother drinking experience more comparable to lightly-carbonated cask brews.

Cafe Society: Julia Child’s Santa Barbara will be focus of culinary weekend March 13 to 15th

A portion of the weekend’s proceeds will benefit The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that offers grants and scholarships.

Peek Season: Whale Watching Off San Diego Will Thar-She-Blows You Away

More than 20,000 gray whales are making their annual migration in a traffic corridor off San Diego’s coast, the longest migration of any mammal. Their lanes are most congested from about mid-March to late April.

Jewish Deli Food Is Having a Moment in LA
From porkstrami to ceviche-topped bagels, chefs are redefining the cuisine

Six years after Wexler’s brought house-cured salmon back to Grand Central Market, four years after Ugly Drum sparked a pit-smoked pastrami craze at Smorgasburg, and two and a half years after Freedman’s started carving glazed brisket tableside in Silver Lake, new takes on Jewish deli food are suddenly showing up everywhere from sit-down restaurants to weekend pop-ups. Deli-inspired fare is one of the most exciting things to eat in LA right now.

Why the resurgence? Well, first there’s the cultural significance of delis in LA. The city’s best-known institutions date back close to a century: Canter’s opened in 1931, with Langer’s and Factor’s not far behind in the 1940s. Visit any of those beloved joints today and you’ll still find bustling crowds digging into bagels and lox, matzo ball soup, and corned beef, brisket, and pastrami sandwiches (or, in the case of Langer’s, the iconic No. 19). Suppliers like meat purveyor RC Provisions and A-1 Eastern Homemade Pickle go back several decades too, so the nostalgia factor is strong. And, of course, deli food is delicious. But industry experts point to more than that.

“I feel like Jewish food never goes out of style. It is the ultimate chicken soup for the soul”
Micah Wexler, who arguably started the trend back in 2014, says, “Outside of the Jewish food thing, there’s always the pendulum swing from fine dining to comfort food. I think that the new place the pendulum has swung to right now is chefs cooking what’s in their souls and celebrating it.”

Forbes magazine and travel guidebook Frommer’s have both named Sonoma County one of the best places to visit this year.

In 1875, horticulturist Luther Burbank referred to Sonoma County as “the chosen spot of all this earth.” 145 years later, he’s not alone in his views. In addition to locals and visitors with an affinity for this area, several publications are big fans. In recent years, Sonoma County has been featured in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, The Evening Standard, The Sun, among others. And now, Frommer’s travel guidebook and Forbes magazine have both named Sonoma County one of the best places to visit in 2020.


The 5 Best Paso Robles Wineries to See Live Music

Music and wine are a natural pair, but if you pair Paso Wine alongside of some of the most talented musicians around then you’ve got a perfect pairing. A pairing that will make forever memories; to share with your family, post on Instagram, maybe give friends FOMO, and to plan your next trip to Paso Robles Wine Country.

from Robb Report

McDonald’s Made a $100,000 Shamrock Shake to Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary

The fast food chain is celebrating the big anniversary with a 20-karat gold cup.

Cakebread Cellars Winery Leap Year Dinner: Leap, hop and waddle!

Saturday Feb 29 Rutherford

In celebration of the day that keeps our calendars – and our kitchens – aligned with the seasons, the Cakebread Cellars Resident Chefs have invited three of our favorite game purveyors to present a menu that leaps, hops and waddles! Chris Hughes of Broken Arrow Ranch, Mark Pasternak of Devil’s Gulch Ranch and Jim Reichardt of Sonoma County Poultry will be on hand to share the history of their properties and the practices that helped them become leading purveyors for fine dining establishments in Napa Valley and beyond. Paired with Leap Year vintages of Cakebread Cellars wines, the experience will have you jumping for joy!

Niner Wine Estates SIP for Scholars

Friday Feb 28th Paseo Robles

A community funded scholarship for high-school and college students whose parents work in our members’ vineyards and wineries. Since its inception in 2015, the fund has awarded over $75,000 in higher education scholarships based on academic excellence, financial need and community involvement. Participating Wineries: Ancient Peaks Winery, Baileyana, Castoro Cellars, Center of Effort, Halter Ranch, Lafond Winery & Vineyards, McIntyre Family Wines, Niner Wine Estates, Shale Oak Winery, and Tolosa.

Check Out the Best Leap Day Deals and Freebies

Those with and without birthdays on February 29 can indulge in free food and cheap hotel stays.

Leap day only comes once every four years on February 29, but it’s a special opportunity to score freebies and other great deals. Some are meant to help leap day babies celebrate their rare birthdays. However, other offers are available to everyone! Coffee is healthy for bones!

For all those folks who drink lots of coffee and are concerned about the health effects of coffee, this is good news,” he said. “It appears to show that coffee is, in general, probably good for bone health.”

Best Ramen Spots in Sonoma County

Noodle soup translates into warmth and happiness in just about any language, but in Japan, it’s called ramen.


Winemaker Dave Phinney — whose runaway wine hit, The Prisoner, sold for $40 million a decade ago — is branching into food. He plans to start pairing fried chicken with wine and whiskey on Mare Island in Vallejo

V. Sattui Valen-Wines Weekend

Splash of V. Sattui Sparkling Wine – Friday, Feb 14 – Sunday, Feb 16
Chocolate Confection Pairings – Friday, Feb 14 – Sunday, Feb 16

Presidents’ Wine Weekend

The 24th Annual “Presidents’ Wine Weekend” in Calaveras County opens the doors to discovering wineries, wine experiences and special events in the Gold Rush town of Murphys, CA.

Winter White Wine Festival

Mendocino County Fairgrounds Boonville February 22—23, 2020

Experience a 40-year tradition of celebrating white wine, including Alsace-style wines, at the Anderson Valley Winter White Wine Festival.


…Renteria Vineyard Management’s Carina de la Cruz, who placed first, and Number One Vineyard Management’s Fabiola Rojas, who had placed fourth. On the men’s side, Joseph Phelps’ Vineyards Manual Tellez placed first, Beckstoffer Vineyard’s Isaac Gutierrez and
Narcizo Maciel placed second and fourth, respectively, and FARM Napa Valley’s Rene
Alejo placed third.

De La Cruz, who said she’d been doing vineyard work for five years, said she was
elated to have placed first. She’d use the check to pay her bills, she said, as she fingered
the specially-made belt buckle awarded to first-place winners.
“I’d previously worked in the restaurant industry, but I came to field work because I felt
like working outside agreed with me,” De La Cruz, who commutes from Woodland to
Napa County every day, said in Spanish. “I thought I wasn’t going to like it, but I love it
– and here I am.”

When it comes to wine, Monterey has euro chic

In 1919, Charles Tamm came upon remote hills in Monterey County that reminded him of his homeland in Burgundy, France. Homesick, he planted his French grape seeds in what he guessed, rightly, was similarly volcanic soil. Today, the Chalone Vineyard still grows grapes on those original vines, producing wines with the terroir of their ancestral lands. When Chalone brought its Chardonnay to the 1976 Judgment of Paris for a blind tasting, it beat its French competitors.

To visit Chalone’s tasting room is both to connect to that past – to drink the wine of those 100-year-old grapes – and to participate in the future of winemaking. As I learned on a recent trip to Monterey’s wine region, Chalone radically overhauled its process for making Pinot Noirs in 2016. It eliminated any maceration – a bold move in the wine world – to create a Pinot with less tannin and more acid that it expects to age beautifully. The process is far from settled, though, and I had the chance to eavesdrop on their ongoing debate.

Why, I asked Chalone’s winemaker Gianni Abati – whose title should really be “wine guru” – can’t you say definitively which process produces the best wine? The scientist in me (I was a physicist before I was a writer) wanted clear answers and believed they must exist, but Monterey’s growers and makers don’t lack for scientific training or an analytical bent; Gianni was a pharmacist before he was a vintner.

There are simply too many variables, he said: the grape variety, soil, drainage, slant of the sun, number of cloudy vs. sunny days, exact date of harvest. And that’s just to get the grapes.

Grab Your Girlfriends and Spend a Weekend Drinking Wine in Vintage Campers at This Scenic Vineyard

In the hills of central California, family-owned and operated winery Alta Colina has created a most clever setting for a group getaway. Owner/winemaker Bob Tillman and his daughter Maggie took time after our wine tasting (more on that later) to take us through their property among oak trees, rows of grapevines, and stunning views to the “Trailer Pond” — five vintage campers set on the edge of a pond in the shadow of Alta Colina’s hilltop vineyard.

People Are Freaking Out Over This Chipotle Hack That Gets You A Meal For Less Than $4

Going out to eat isn’t the cheapest habit in the world. While I firmly believe that buying food that someone else expertly made for you is one of life’s few pleasures, we’re always looking for cheaper alternatives. One TikTok user shared their Chipotle hack for getting a meal for less than $4 but not everyone is buying it.

TikToker @llamassc vlogged her experience visiting Chipotle recently where she got her “$3.95” meal. The video, which was reported on by In The Know, follows her ordering a kid’s meal cheese quesadilla, which she says comes with three sides, as well as salsas and chips. Pro tip: She says you have to order the salsas after the sides so they don’t count as sides themselves.

This Costco Fan Website Shares All the Best Unadvertised Clearance Deals

There are those who love Costco, and then there are those who really love Costco. You know the type. They’re a part of all the secret Costco Facebook groups, they’re constantly tracking #costco on Instagram, and they’re always telling you the incredible deals they received at their favorite grocery store. And then there are the Costco fans that go above and beyond with Costco97.

Unaffiliated with Costco, Costco97 is a website that tracks and shares Costco deals, especially those that Costco hasn’t advertised itself. It’s a place for wholesale club evangelists and deal-hunters to scope out sale offerings before making the drive to their local store. How useful does that sound!

Cheers to the wine country of Paso Robles

About halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles is the dusty, unobtrusive town of Paso Robles, what has become known as a haven for cowboys and wine drinkers. An unlikely mix to be sure, but somehow it works here. Paso is an incredibly diverse wine region with a range of soils, climates and over 40 grape varietals. So it only makes sense that it is like the wild west of wine country – where winemakers boldly experiment with techniques, style and grape varietals.

My mom and I made the trek from Orange County to Paso Robles, an area that surprisingly neither of us had visited before. At our hotel in the heart of Paso Robles, we were immediately welcomed by the friendly doorman, who escorted us into the cozy lobby. If this was our first taste of Paso Robles, I knew we would be in for a treat.

Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend

Sunday February 9th
Enjoy handcrafted Lodi wines and delicious chocolate treats as you embark on a self-guided tour between more than 50 participating wineries.

Madera Wine & Chocolate Weekend

Sunday February 9th Madera
The Madera Wine Trail’s family wineries will host the 18th annual “Wine & Chocolate Weekend” on February 8 through 9, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Do something unique for Valentine’s Day and enjoy a quality wine tasting experience! Receive a keepsake wine glass to use at *participating wineries. Your ticket includes wine tasting and chocolate sampling. There will also be live music, gift shopping and delicious food available from food trucks and caterers around the Wine Trail!

Visit a region that has been winemaking since the late 1800’s! Visitors can expect a unique local adventure with special activities beyond wine tasting including winery tours, live music concerts all weekend, food, shopping of local handcrafted gifts, beautiful scenic views and relaxing outdoor patio lounging.

Wente Rose All Day

Sunday February 9th
To celebrate the release of the new vintage of Niki’s Rosé, join us for a tasting and pairing of four different Wente Family Estates expressions of Rosé.

Walk the beautiful grounds of our Arroyo Road Estate as we pair Rosé perfectly with delectable bites in different locations across the property. You’ll be tasting in our historic sandstone caves, among the barrels of our Tirage, and more!

Presidents’ Wine Weekend
February 15—16, 2020 Murphys

The 24th Annual “Presidents’ Wine Weekend” in Calaveras County opens the doors to discovering wineries, wine experiences and special events in the Gold Rush town of Murphys, CA.

Blendfest On The Coast

February 20 – 23, 2020 in San Simeon and Cambria

Experience a taste of Paso Robles Wine Country on the beautiful California coast. Paso Robles BlendFest on the Coast will take place February 20 – 23, 2020 in San Simeon and Cambria with a selection of exciting events. Paso Robles’ winemakers love to blend wine, mixing varieties to craft something unique and delicious. BlendFest celebrates the traditional and unconventional blended wines, throughout the weekend.

Madera Chocolate and Wine Weekend Feb 8 and 9

The Madera Wine Trail’s family wineries will host the 18th annual “Wine & Chocolate Weekend” on February 8 through 9, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Do something unique for Valentine’s Day and enjoy a quality wine tasting experience! Receive a keepsake wine glass to use at *participating wineries. Your ticket includes wine tasting and chocolate sampling. There will also be live music, gift shopping and delicious food available from food trucks and caterers around the Wine Trail!

Visit a region that has been winemaking since the late 1800’s! Visitors can expect a unique local adventure with special activities beyond wine tasting including winery tours, live music concerts all weekend, food, shopping of local handcrafted gifts, beautiful scenic views and relaxing outdoor patio lounging.

Plan to taste and take home award-winning wines! Participating wineries will have a large selection of excellent wines to choose from, many with special pricing during the event.

Rose All Day Wente Livermore Feb 9

To celebrate the release of the new vintage of Niki’s Rosé, join us for a tasting and pairing of four different Wente Family Estates expressions of Rosé.

Walk the beautiful grounds of our Arroyo Road Estate as we pair Rosé perfectly with delectable bites in different locations across the property. You’ll be tasting in our historic sandstone caves, among the barrels of our Tirage, and more!

The 15 Most Underrated Beers in the World
List has beers from Ft Bragg, Portland, Seattle, Chico

Hardly a week goes by anymore that isn’t accompanied by a beer release hailed as the next best thing. This makes it all too easy to forget the many exceptional ales and lagers that have stood the test of time. So we asked 15 brewers from across the country to name a beer they consider underrated. The results run the gamut of styles, and include at least a few surprising answers. When was the last time you had one of these beers?

Jameson Is Releasing A Cold Brew Flavor That’s Perfect For Your Next Irish Coffee
What’s better than coffee and whiskey?

There is a limited cannon of drinks that are deemed acceptable to drink at brunch. Sure, you can have a Mimosa or Bloody Mary, which are delicious, but other than that, your choices are slim. While I fully support your right to have a vodka soda with your pancakes, Jameson is coming out with a new cold brew whiskey that was made to take its rightful place on your brunch table.

Jameson announced that it’s releasing Jameson Cold Brew, a whiskey blended with the taste of cold brew coffee. While you may have spiked your morning cup of joe with straight whiskey before, this was made to pair with all of its flavors exactly.

It’s made with 100% Arabica Beans from Brazil and Colombia, so it tastes like toasted oak, dark chocolate, and, of course, coffee. The whiskey is made to be enjoyed in an espresso martini, on its own, or poured right into a glass of cold brew.

The 12 Best Dishes at the Ferry Building Marketplace

Seated at the edge of the bay, with a sweeping view down Market Street, the San Francisco Ferry Building is not only an architectural landmark and major transit center, but is a dining destination for this food-obsessed city. Built in 1898 as a hub for trains and ferries, New York architect A. Page Brown designed the clock tower after one in a cathedral in Seville, Spain, and created an interior of soul-lifting arches and skylights. Today, it’s mostly known as a sanctum for local food — home to what is probably the Bay Area’s most prestigious farmers’ market and an emporium for food and beverages made by local artisans, feeding hungry travelers and locals alike.

The shops that line the indoor marketplace include such celebrated restaurants as the Slanted Door, Boulettes Larder, and Hog Island Oyster Co. But there are lower-profile food vendors, too, as well as everything from fresh produce to nut brittle to sourdough bread and cheese — whatever you’d need to assemble the perfect little picnic, pick up a quick snack, or take home ingredients for dinner.

Feeling overwhelmed by the huge crowds of locals or frustrated by slow-moving sightseers? Here’s our guide to the Ferry Building Marketplace’s greatest hits.

Las Vegas Weekend Guide for Angelenos, Winter 2020
A quick hit guide to everything Sin City, all in one handy place

Heading to Vegas for the weekend? Planning a trip in the near future? Eater is here for you. This monthly guide covers the very best of Sin City, from the latest restaurant and bar openings to all things nightlife.

Driving for Lyft or Uber? Here’s Why You May Want to Consider a Dash Cam

Say you’re a new rideshare driver still getting the hang of things. It’s prime time Friday, and you just picked up a passenger after a night on the town. Things are going well. Then you notice the passenger is slurring their words before – uh oh – they puke all over your back seat.

If you want to keep driving, you now have to clean up — but not before taking multiple pictures of the damage and not too long after the passenger leaves. That costs money and supplies.

And the time it takes you to scrub your back seat is equivalent to missed earnings because you would have otherwise been taking fares.

For drivers, situations like this, or worse, are worth being prepared for.

In Uber and Lyft advice groups, drivers caution not to expect that the companies will handle things for you. When it comes to damage or cleaning claims, drivers report passengers tend to get the benefit of the doubt unless the driver has hard proof.

Compiling that proof, taking photos, submitting a claim – that all takes additional time, time you could have spent making money. But there is a way to make that process simpler.


Big Rick’s Crowd Pleasing Super Bowl of Chili recipe

Yes this makes a super bowl of chili. I would get in legal trouble if I combined the first 2 words before “of chili” but it does go well with watching the “big game.”

It is not 5 Alarm hot. It really doesn’t need that much heat. If you like it hot then add heat after you have some in your bowl or play around with the heat as you make it. I don’t make it hot because that way everyone can have some no matter their spicy heat tolerance.

I promise this doesn’t lack any flavor and everyone has always liked it from kids to senior citizens.

You might be surprised by some of the ingredients (pumpkin?) but trust me it works!

It uses a lot of cans so it is pretty easy to make and the simple version takes about an hour and 30 minutes including prep. If you make your own beans from dry it will take longer. I suggest cooking them in advance and adding them during the last 10 minutes to heat up. Otherwise they can get mushy.

You can make it in advance and reheat and you can freeze it. If you don’t want meat just leave it out. If you don’t want beans leave them out.

Big Rick’s Crowd Pleasing Super Bowl of Chili

1 pound ground sirloin (ask the butcher to grind it for you it is a much better option than hamburger)

1 cup diced onion (red or white)

1 cup diced green bell pepper

3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional if you want to add some heat I usually leave it out)

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes (I like the San Marzano Tomatoes Peeled Whole I buy at Safeway. I drain off 1/2 a cup of the juice in the can. In the winter I think canned tomatoes are better then the fresh)

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

1 can (15 ounces) 100% pure pumpkin (This is a key ingredient. It makes the chili thick and kind of creamy. It won’t taste like pumpkin. Don’t get the pumpkin pie filling!)

1 bottle (12 ounces) beer (I like Red Stripe or Modelo)

1 can (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

(Cans are easy and work fine but if you have time make beans from dry. I love Napa’s Rancho Gordo beans. In the photo I used their Yellow Indian Woman Beans. The beans made from dry make a huge difference in the chili. You can make them the day before and add them late in the chili cooking to reheat them.)

3 tablespoons chili powder (I only use Gebhardt Chili Powder. It beats anything I have ever made or bought. It is full of flavor, not spicy hot, easy to find, and Mr. Gebhardt is part of the great history of Tex-Mex cooking and chili.)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

¾ teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

3 to 4 green onions, sliced on the bias

4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite

In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain fat.

Add onion, green pepper, and garlic to cooked beef and continue to cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables soften.

Add crushed red pepper flakes, if desired, and cook an additional 1 minute.

Add whole tomatoes and juices, crushing tomatoes by hand into bite-size pieces, tomato paste, pumpkin, beer, kidney beans, pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar.

Cover and continue to cook on low heat for 45 minutes.

Remove from heat and add vinegar and salt. It won’t take much of either but both are important. I usually end up adding about a tablespoon balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of salt.

Serve with sides like hot sauce, sour cream, cheese, and sliced green onions.

this is based on a recipe by: Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD for Heart Smart®, Henry Ford Health System.

Three Intriguing TED Talks That Relate To Wine

Gary Vaynerchuk—’Do What You Love (No Excuses)’ [March, 2010; 15 minutes long]
Filmed at a Web 2.0 Expo 2008, Vaynerchuk mentions how he developed his work ethic at his family owned liquor store, which provided him with the discipline to turn his Wine Library TV videos into a huge success. That, in turn, provided him with the ability to build a business advising others on building platforms and brand identity.

Joseph Pine—’What Customers Want’ [2004; 14 minutes]
Pine, an author and business coach, mentions wine tangentially in this talk as being ‘an experience,’ or a memorable event people enjoy, just as they might enjoy the experience of going to Disneyland, or visiting a theme restaurant, or a boutique hotel, or taking a journey.

Benjamin Wallace— ‘The Price of Happiness’ [2008; 14 minutes]
Wallace (and his editors) decided he would sample some of the most expensive foods, wine and experiences in the world before he remarked about their possible value. These included eating an 8 ounce Kobe rib eye steak (for $160; ten years ago) and (later) white truffles, visiting a $30,000/night hotel room suite in Manhattan (he visited, but did not stay), trying a $125 bar of soap made from silver nano particles, owning and wearing an $800 pair of Japanese jeans (made from handpicked organic Zimbabwean cotton hand dipped 24 times in indigo), finding the merits of a set of Honma Japanese golf clubs costing $57,000, drinking coffee that retails for $600 a pound, using a $5,980 toilet, sleeping in a $64,000 Swedish bed, test driving a $1.5 million Italian Bugatti vehicle and sampling 1947 Cheval Blanc wine (‘linseed oil aromas,’ he said, followed by a taste with port richness. Overall—he was not impressed).

Ben and Jerry’s Netflix ice cream
No, Netflix is not making food. Well, not really. They have, however, collab’d with Ben & Jerry’s to concoct a flavor that’s best consumed while binge-watching the streaming service. NETFLIX & CHILLL’D is packed with peanut butter ice cream, fudge brownies, and the pièce de résistance of sweet and salty pretzels to make the “perfect indulgent treat to catch up on your favorite Netflix shows.” As pervasive as Netflix, itself, the Ben & Jerry’s brand will unleash the flavor- and calorie-rich blend in 20 countries, a record for the godfathers of frozen delights. Look for NETFLIX & CHILLL’D to sell in February (along with a non-dairy version), so start planning those shows you’ve been just waiting to watch.

New Alexa devices announced at CES including a shower head!
Now that this year’s CES event has wrapped up and we’ve seen everything from the OnePlus Concept One phone, to new Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches, and a ton more, we’ve taken some time to pull together all the products that debuted with Amazon Alexa support. This year, there were significantly more Alexa-enabled gadgets than what we saw at CES 2018 and CES 2019 — great news for anyone who wants to dip their toes into the Amazon-connected ecosystem. We have more than 50 different products to check out, so let’s dive right in.

Sammy Hagar and Guy Fieri Dish on Their New Tequila and Their Desert-Island Drinks

Liquor brands and celebrities have long had symbiotic relationships, though, and that seems particularly true when it comes to Mexican spirits. Teremana Tequila — a brand owned by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — is scheduled to launch in March. Pop star Nick Jonas and designer John Varvatos collaborated with Stoli Group to make Villa One tequila. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul from “Breaking Bad” released Dos Hombres Mezcal last fall. And now restaurateur and television host Guy Fieri and rock star Sammy Hagar have teamed up to create Santo Tequila Blanco.

The collaboration between these two entrepreneurial friends makes sense on multiple levels. Both men have rowdy, bombastic personas, both are restaurateurs with multiple concepts, and they’re both enthusiastic consumers of agave spirits. Their Santo Tequila Blanco is an unaged (white) tequila made with 100 percent Blue Weber agave from the Jalisco highlands. It’s earthy and citrusy with white pepper, spice, and floral notes.

Who actually makes Costco’s Kirkland beer?

Costco has had enormous success in carving out its grocery… clothing… gas… just-about-everything empire in the United States. One of the secret weapons behind their enormous success has been their signature Kirkland brand. Kirkland products account for a huge percentage of Costco’s sales and cover everything from Kirkland liquor to diapers to their popular protein bars.

Naturally, Costco also sells beer under the Kirkland name, and it’s done so with very mixed results among Costco shoppers and beer drinkers. Perhaps you’ve found yourself sipping on a Costco craft brew and wondered, “Who makes this stuff anyway?” Psst, we have a secret: It’s not Costco.

Temecula Valley Annual Barrel Tasting Event
January 25—26, 2020 Temecula

Start the New Year with us! This once-a -year event offers ticket holders a self-guided taste and tour of Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country voted as One of the Top 10 Wine Destinations in the World by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2019!

Crab Feast Mendocino 2020
1/24 – 2/2
Join the festivities with a ten-day extravaganza of events dedicated to our favorite crustacean, Mr. Crabby! Shrug off those winter blues and indulge in fine seafood, wine, beer, and more. Enjoy family-style crab and and cioppino feeds, gourmet crab-themed dinners, crab and wine pairings, whale watching and crab fishing adventures. There is a Wine Competition showcasing our sparkling liquid assets and the ever popular Crab Cake Cook-Off that highlights the talents of our county’s chefs. Unplug with us in beautiful Mendocino County and stay a night or two, or even more, in some of the most unique lodging properties in Northern California!

Zinfandel Experience 2020
San Francisco January 30—February 1, 2020
Dine, Learn, Enjoy, Taste with legends and emerging rock stars of Zinfandel. ZinEX is a three-day wine and food extravaganza attracting wine lovers from around the world.

Which Meal Kit Delivery Service Is Right for You?
Whether you’re on a specific diet or want the most budget-friendly option, there’s a kit that can meet your needs.

Subscription boxes as a whole have grown in popularity over the last decade, but meal kit services are in a league of their own. What began as packages of preportioned ingredients and recipes has now evolved to include not just traditional meals, but smoothies, snacks, and even boxes geared toward kids.

With so many choices, how can you decide on the best meal kit delivery service for your needs? It’s doubtful you want to sign up for every service out there to find your Goldilocks box, so we’re here to help.

Paso Robles named one of the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2020. Here’s why

New York Times writer Danielle Bergament compares the city to Tuscany and mentions L’Aventure and Adelaida wineries, Hotel Cheval, Hotel Piccolo, Les Petites Canailles and the soon-to-be completed Paso Market Walk as attractions for travelers.

“The city has turned the good life — of wine, olive oil, cheese and boutique hotels — into an identity,” Bergament writes.

Check Out These Hidden Gems In Napa Valley

Situated in northern California just one hour from the bigger cities of San Francisco to the north and Sacramento to the south, Napa Valley is well known for being home to a number of world-class wineries that offer tours, tastings, and beautiful views all around.

The Valley also boasts a number of well known restaurants and resorts to visitors who want to retreat for a quiet get away from the hustle and bustle of busier California destinations. There are a number of well known tours that are hosted year round to their most well known facilities, but for visitors who want to see a different side of Napa Valley, there are local secrets that are sure to please.

Millennials like White Claw better than wine — and it’s shaking up the alcohol industry

Americans are buying less wine for the first time in 25 yearsAmericans have been drinking less alcohol overall, with teetotaling trends like Dry January and Sober September encouraging people to periodically give up the sauce. And those who still do imbibe are either opting for lighter, low-calorie alternatives, such as hard seltzers like White Claw or Boston Beer Co.’s SAM, +0.21% Truly, or they are indulging in hard spirits such as mezcal and Japanese whisky.

Winemakers on What Makes Wine from the Santa Lucia Highlands Distinctive?

The Monterey Bay winds (that so deserve a name, like Mistral, sirocco, or zephyr), soil, cool temperatures, fog, elevation, clones, and accumulated knowhow of the viticulturalists and winemakers meld to produce the SLH style of wine.

Rutherford AVA Leads the Way in Sustainable Winegrowing

Rutherford Dust Society Announces 100% Participation in Napa Green Land Program

The Rutherford Dust Society (RDS), the twenty-five-year-old organization of growers and vintners in the Rutherford appellation, announced today that all of their landholding members are now active in the Napa Green Land program, making Rutherford the first appellation association to achieve 100% participation in the sustainable winegrowing certification.

10 Great Filipino Restaurants in and Around Daly City
Adobo, silogs, and halo-halo reign supreme in this stretch of the Peninsula known as Little Manila

Financial tips from Star Wars

If the Deal Turns to the Dark Side, Cut Your Losses

Make Sure You Have a Long-Term Plan

Do or Do Not. There is No Try.

more at the link!

5 Things to Buy in January (and 4 Things to Wait On)

Expect strong discounts on fitness equipment and winter apparel, but hold off on upgrading your laptop or smartphone.

BUY Gym Memberships and Fitness Equipment, Winter Clothes, Spring Travel including cruises, Bedding, Holiday Decor

WAIT Toys, Smartphones, Laptops, Video Game Consoles

Deals at Yountville locals night (open to non locals!)

2 for 1 tastings Free corkage meal specials and much more every Wednesday

From CNET more Alexa tips

Set up your new Amazon Echo like this
Amazon’s Alexa assistant will only be as helpful as you let it be, so do these 11 things first.

The weirdest things your Amazon Echo can say and do

Burning Man exhibit brings playa to Petaluma, no dust necessary
Marin artists part of playa exhibit in Petaluma

For the longest time, the only way to see the amazing art at Burning Man — the annual nine-day spectacle that includes artistic performances, installations and music in the Nevada desert — was to attend the event itself.

But the notorious dust storms, heat, crowds — more than 70,000 people attended in 2018 — and pricey admission, assuming you can even get a ticket, keep many people away.

Which makes the “Petaluma to the Playa” exhibit at the Petaluma Arts Center, through Jan. 25, such a treat for burners and those who will never be burners. Curated by Mill Valley’s Freddy Hahne, it features wildly creative sculptures, photographs, jewelry, artifacts, maquettes and interactive artworks all made by North Bay artists, including several from Marin.

The goal, he says, is to give people a taste of what Burning Man is like.

Yountville chocolatier Chris Kollar of Kollar Chocolates on Chopped Jan 7

Season 42, Episode 1 Sweet and Salty Success
The chefs get a sweet and salty theme and are tasked with perfectly harmonizing the quintessential flavor pairing on their plates. In the first round, the competitors must combine a Moroccan pie and a sugary take on bacon. A classic fair snack and an imaginative breakfast food are included in the entree basket. And the judges are hoping for creative, beautiful desserts made from a puzzling final sweet and salty basket.

WINE ENTHUSIAST Our 10 Most Searched Wines of the Year, Ranked by Traffic

After sorting through more than 1.6 million searches, we compiled the most sought-after bottles on And to prioritize wines still available to purchase, we kept it only to reviews published in the past year.
The results were decidedly democratic. Just two bottles cost more than $25, and the most-searched wine of the year is $17. Domestic bottles reign supreme, with California Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir dominating the list.

Air Fryer Fried Ice Cream!

A perfect summer snack: Home cook reveals how she used her Kmart air fryer to make air-fried ice cream

A home cook used the Kmart air fryer and Crunchy Nut cereal to make ice cream. She rolled cricket-ball-sized scoops of ice cream in cinnamon and the cereal. The woman said she then let it freeze for several hours and ‘cooked’ it.

People online said the air-fried ice cream recipe was a ‘game changer’.

Bloomberg Pursuits – Where to Go in 2020
The 24 destinations that will be especially hot this year—and the data you need to plan your trip.

The best way to plan a trip is to think about what you love to do and when you need a break—not which destination you have yet to check off some list. With these key points in mind, we tapped our network of in-the-know editors and global correspondents to deliver two dozen inspiring spots that will be particularly enticing this coming year.

Among them are far-flung places you may have never considered, such as the nomadic villages of Kyrgyzstan, the archaeological ruins deep in Guatemala, and the pristine landscapes of Lombok, Indonesia. There are also sleepy beach towns getting glammed up by posh hotels, or classic cities revitalized by hot restaurants and fresh cultural institutions. And if you’re looking for a chance to commune with the great outdoors or go on an animal adventure, we’ve got those, too.

In interactive graphs accompanying each destination, you’ll find exclusive, week-by-week hotel pricing data from Google and intel from our most trusted travel experts. Tap or hover over them, and you’ll get specific insights for each spot.

All that’s left is for you to pick your favorite. Bon voyage!

Wine and Chocolate Tasting

Acumen in the Napa Valley now offers Wine and Chocolate Tasting Thursdays through Sundays in partnership with Napa’s Annette’s Chocolates. Learn about chocolate production while sampling three PEAK Cabernet Sauvignons paired with six chocolate selections. Reservations must be made online or by phone 72 hours in advance.

73 Delightful Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles

Ring in the New Year at these diverse LA restaurants and bars

Hermosa’s ’70s-Themed Coffeehouse Lands a New Spot in Redondo

Hi-Fi Espresso, the new Redondo Beach coffeehouse touting waffle dishes called “Brock Landers” and “Chest Rockwell” from the film Boogie Nights, opened a second location this month. This time, the owners took their love of the 1970s culture and coffee to Redondo’s Riviera Village.

Jeff and Karen Prugh debuted Hi-Fi in Hermosa Beach in late-2017, and the new spot resembles the coziness of its sister cafe at 800 square feet. But Redondo has a full-kitchen and expanded all-day menu. Hi-Fi Redondo sports breakfast, savory bowls, salads, soup, toast, and the aforementioned waffles. They’ll rotate the menu with the seasons, and offer tea and kombucha.

Get Crackin’: The Bay Area Dungeness Crab Heatmap

San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade and 5k December 26th

The scenic, bayside streets of downtown San Diego will come alive with the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade presented by Hilton! As always, this exciting family event brings together world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons – more than any other parade! Over 100,000 street-side spectators will enjoy the parade along with a nationwide television audience. Street side viewing of the parade is free!

Parade festivities will begin in the television area with the National Funding 5K Run/Walk.

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

Nutcracker and Charlie Brown Christmas

Sacramento 6p and 7:30p
Old Sacramento’s 7th Annual “Macy’s Theatre of Lights”

The free outdoor performances artfully mix the historic charm of Old Sacramento with state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology

Napa Wine train Santa Train trips

1.5-hour train ride through beautiful Napa Valley
Enchanting musical entertainment and games bring the kids!
Hot cocoa and freshly-baked cookies on board during the return to the station
Other beverages and snack boxes available

Giving back during the holiday season is important to us. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Napa Valley Food Bank for this event. In support of the food bank, we ask that each guest bring a non-perishable item to donate, and we will collect the items at the station.

Santa Rosa 3pm today

Sing-Along Messiah Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School

Ring in the season at Sonoma County’s annual Sing-Along Messiah, featuring orchestra, soloists, and an on-stage chorus for an afternoon of enjoyment. Copies of the music are available.

Santa Rosa 4 to 6 today

Montgomery Village Chanukah Festival

Petaluma Today 4:30


The festival of Chanukah teaches us about the power of light over darkness and right over might.
Join in the celebrations at the fifth annual Grand Menorah Lighting at the Petaluma River! The event features the Mega-Nine-Foot Menorah, the Great Chanukah Gelt Drop,  a spectacular Fire Juggling Act, latkes, donuts, and chocolate “gelt.” Participate in a Chanukah craft, face painting, and the photo-op with Life-Sized Dreidel! Enjoy music, the grand raffle, and more.

✡ Special Chanukah Giveaway for first 50 Kids!

Petaluma City Lights Driving Tour

Beautifully decorated homes adorn the neighborhoods of downtown Petaluma through the month of December. Maps and addresses for a self-guided tour are available online or at the Petaluma Visitors Center.


Ice Skating by the Bay

Celebrate the holidays amidst the scenic coastline at Ice Skating by the Bay’s seasonal ice skating rink located in Custom House Plaza behind Portola Hotel & Spa. Skaters can spend the day in a winter wonderland right by the Bay.

Christmas At The Wharf

Festivities will include holiday entertainment, free visits with Santa, wandering characters including holiday princesses, and a dazzling array of holiday lights and decorations including a 23-foot Christmas tree. Be sure to stop by the Wharf Tent for complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, hot apple cider, and delicious holiday cookies.

If you’re a Monterey County resident, bring your ID and get 2 hours of free parking in the Waterfront Lot November 29 – December 24 courtesy of the City of Monterey.

Check out the Santa Barbara County Christmas Bird Count Information

Paso Robles Saturday Dec 21st Victorian Teddy Bear Tea

The Snow Queen & King, Mrs. Claus, Santa Claus, the elves and Victorian friends invite local youth and their families to the Annual Victorian Teddy Bear Tea. Event features music, storytelling, gingerbread cookie decorating, candy canes, pictures to color, and door prizes. Seating is limited, so get your tickets in advance!

Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf Association presents Christmas on the Wharf on Fridays (4pm-9pm), Saturdays (9am-9pm), and Sundays (1pm-6pm), December 6-22, plus on Monday, December 23, 10am-5pm.

Festivities will include holiday entertainment, free visits with Santa, wandering characters including holiday princesses, and a dazzling array of holiday lights and decorations including a 23-foot Christmas tree. Be sure to stop by the Wharf Tent for complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, hot apple cider, and delicious holiday cookies.

If you’re a Monterey County resident, bring your ID and get 2 hours of free parking in the Waterfront Lot November 29 – December 24 courtesy of the City of Monterey.

The Nutcracker in Yountville 2 shows Saturday and 1 show Sunday

Napa Regional Dance Company’s beloved production of The Nutcracker is back for its 19th season! Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince on an enchanted journey through the Snow Flake Forest to The Land of Sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier in this timeless holiday classic.

Enjoy the larger than life scenery, dancing toy soldiers, Harlequins, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes and a magnificent Christmas tree as the ballet unfolds to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score. This sumptuous performance is a feast for the senses.

We are also delighted to announce that Lincoln Theater is partnering with Napa Regional Dance Company and guest Conductor Steven Thompson to bring live music by Symphony Napa Valley to this year’s production. With over 30 dancers, 50 musicians, 12 actors, elaborate scenery and incredible costumes, The Nutcracker promises to be a heartwarming experience for audiences young and old.

Santa Rosa at the Charles M. Schulz Museum

Saturday December 21st Holiday Gift-Making Workshop

Sign up your little elves to make a variety of fun and creative gifts to give for the holidays, including lavender bath bombs, sweet smelling sugar scrubs, a homemade photo holder, and more! Recommended for children ages 5–12.

Kelseyville Saturday December 21st

Come to the Ely Stage Stop Christmas Fair and Marketplace! There will be local artists’ handcrafted items for sale including custom jewelry, handbags, beauty items, wood creations and more. Also enjoy hot food in the Barn, and hayrides (weather permitting). Bring your cameras for photos with Santa too.

2019 Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink Open daily through Jan. 20

Turkey Time!

Here are some turkey cooking ideas.

Yes I have roasted a frozen turkey and it always comes out very good if not quite great. It is better than many turkey dinners I have had in my life. All you do is unwrap it and put it in the oven. Check the link for details.

This year I am not making a full turkey but a sous vide turkey breast with this recipe.

The Turkey Math link has good details on roasting a turkey and getting everything ready to time out for dinner.

And if you want to try out your Instant Pot for making your Thanksgiving turkey and more check the link below!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I Cooked A Frozen Turkey (Not Fake News)

I have now done this 5 times. Each time I did it the same way. Each time I have had very good results. Oh and FWIW Williams-Sonoma has a read on cooking a frozen turkey (read the comments on how well it works)

Turkey Day Math: Let experts tell you how to cook your bird and sides on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner may be the most iconic meal in American culture. It also may be the most stressful to prepare. How big should your turkey be? How long should you cook it? How long do you thaw it? What about a brine? And the gravy? And sides?


Fear not, Bird Day chefs. NJ Advance Media talked to some of the biggest names in New Jersey cuisine to take the guesswork out of preparing your turkey.

How to make easy Thanksgiving dinner in under 1 hour using an Instant Pot

Roasting a turkey used to mean hours of pacing and peering into the oven. But thanks to a trendy kitchen gadget, home cooks can now make a beautiful brown bird in a mere hour.

“It’s definitely 100 percent possible,” food blogger Jeffrey Eisner tells The Post. The 38-year-old Astoria resident, who runs a recipe blog called Pressure Luck Cooking, is on a mission to prove to that you can make an entire turkey — as well as stuffing and gravy — in an Instant Pot, the superspeedy electric multicooker that’s taken over American kitchens the past two years.

“It’s a new way of cooking,” says Eisner of the pumped-up pressure cooker. “When you have an appliance like this that can do it all, why not push the limits to see if it can make a turkey?”

In a hurry but don’t have an Instant Pot? Here is a 1 Hour Turkey recipe!

2 good reads from Tim Fish at Wine Spectator

Winemakers Keep It Real on Thanksgiving

Asking winemakers what they’re drinking on Thanksgiving is Wine Writing 101, an enjoyable exercise for the first few years but then it grows stale, as much for the vintners as the writer.

“Hey, what’s the perfect wine for the most idiosyncratic meal of the year?”

Who needs that kind of pressure?

So, of course, I asked them anyway. Since taking over Wine Spectator’s Oregon and Washington tasting beats a few years ago, I’ve gotten to know whole communities of winemakers. Their new perspectives are a refreshing complement to what California winemakers bring to the table.

The rules were simple. Keep it chatty and lighthearted, and above all, keep it as real and true as possible. Recommend one bottle, specific vintages preferred, and no fair naming your own wine.

I asked some of my favorite winemakers to play along, and I was impressed by how poignant some of their responses were. Enjoy, and have a great Thanksgiving!

The Broke Millennial’s Guide to Thanksgiving Wine Values

When I was in my twenties, I didn’t have a lot of cash leftover for wine. I may not be a Millennial, but I know the feeling. Some things never change.

But that’s no reason to be a skinflint on Thanksgiving when you head back to the folks’ house or grandma’s, or even sit down with a group of friends. It’s a holiday. Splurge … proportionally.

If you’re a smart shopper you can find plenty of better-than-average wines that sell for $15 or less. It helps to be open-minded. Don’t expect Napa Cabernet or a Burgundy, but look to some of the lesser-known regions and mass-produced bottlings and you may be surprised.

I’ve pulled together 10 wines that will suit just about any Thanksgiving feast, and they’re tasty enough that no one will consider you cheap.

Just be sure to peel off the price tag.

Wildly popular food truck Nash & Proper to open downtown Sacramento restaurant

The word is out about Nashville style Hot Chicken in Sacramento. Coming soon Nash and Proper will have their own restaurant! For now check out the website that has a calendar with all their Food Truck locations.

Here is what says about them.

Co-owned by Cecil Rhodes (of food truck Cecil’s Taste) and Jake Bombard, Nash & Proper serves hot chicken in classic Nashville fashion (the “Nash” in the name is a nod to Music City, where this particular style of fried chicken originated)—brined and double-fried, dripping with cayenne-red juices, nestled on a bed of white bread and topped with pickles. The “Sammich” version, which had its pilot run last year at Cecil’s Taste, features a fried chicken thigh piled with cabbage-jalapeño slaw, pickle brine vinaigrette and a sadistically spicy fuego sauce.

Ok you might not go to LAX to eat but if you are there people say the food isn’t too bad. They have a lot of variety and even a food truck area!

Read about Cassell’s Hamburgers, Asian Street Eats by Chef Hung Huynh, Cole’s (famous French Dip sandwich), ink.sack, Border Grill, plus a list of places by the terminal.

Where to Eat at LAX, Holiday 2019 Edition

From horrendous traffic getting to the airport to inefficient security lines and unplanned delays, traveling can be a real headache. Fortunately for frequent flyers, LAX has made some major improvements to its dining scene over the last few years, with solid options available in each terminal. Additionally, the introduction of LAX-it means there’s food trucks to explore while waiting for rideshare services. Here now are the very best places to dine at LAX.

Pop-Up BBQ Legend Is Opening His First Restaurant, and It’s a Brisket Wonderland
Matt Horn’s new brick and mortar, Horn Barbecue, will give Central Texas-style meats a permanent home in Oakland.

When barbecue pop-up sensation Matt Horn opens his Oakland brick-and-mortar restaurant in the coming weeks, you can expect the crowds to flock for his Central Texas-style brisket. That supple and spectacular dry-rubbed brisket, smoked for 16 to 18 hours over California white oak, will no doubt be the main event for a lot of guests. But there will also be many other meats sold by the pound and in sandwiches as Horn demonstrates his range and reverence for American barbecue.

He’ll have turkey, chicken, pulled pork, and pork ribs at the West Oakland restaurant known as Horn Barbecue. He’ll make hot links and also beef-and-garlic sausages that pay homage to Texas pitmaster Robert Patillo. On Saturdays, he’ll serve big beef ribs and whole-hog barbecue. Horn and his wife, Nina, will prepare sides like mac and cheese, pit beans, potato salad, collard greens, slaw, and black-eyed peas.

Craft Beer Thrives in the Heart of Napa Wine Country

Napa Valley has long been devoted to the products of the grape, but the region actually played a pivotal role in getting the craft beer revolution off the ground. New Albion Brewing launched the microbrewery trend in adjacent Sonoma County in 1976, inspiring a wave of delicious and potent alternatives to pale industrial beer.

There’s a symbiotic effect between the hops and the vine, since making beer requires the same creative and perfectionist drive as wine. As the saying about thirsty winery workers goes, “It takes a lot of beer to make good wine.”

Lodi leads California wine regions in sustainability

Lodi is home to around 90 wineries, just a handful of them corporate. The big players may exploit most of Lodi’s grapes, but the 85 wineries that generally can qualify as “boutique” is where most of the dynamic action is taking place in the area.

…“Lodi Rules,” the state’s first independently certified winegrowing program aimed at balancing environmental, economic and social concerns. That first year, six families farming 1,455 acres agreed to subscribe to 100 standards concerning pest, soil, water and other management practices to enhance sustainability. Today, 85 families farming 24,200 acres adhere to the standards, representing more than a fifth of Lodi’s winegrape acreage.

Paso Robles is getting a new Mexican restaurant owned by a Napa chef

A restaurant owner with ties to famed restaurant The French Laundry will bring a new Mexican eatery to the Paso Market Walk public market.

Finca — owned by Patrick and Stephanie Aguirre of La Taquiza Fish Tacos in Napa — will be the Spring Street market’s flagship merchant, according to a Thursday news release.

The restaurant will be located in a restored historic farmhouse that almond grower J.H. Van Wormer built on the property in 1890.

Explore Santa Cruz Mountains on a California Wines Road Trip

California’s many beautiful wine regions offer an extraordinary variety of wines and experiences to enjoy. To help visitors explore them all, Wine Institute’s California Wines Road Trips series highlights a different region each month. This month, take a trip to the coastal Santa Cruz Mountains wine region, known for its wooded peaks and small, family-owned vineyards tucked into serene hillsides. The diverse microclimates allow growers to cultivate a variety of winegrapes, but the region is known primarily for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

If San Francisco Neighborhoods Were Dogs

They’re at the table next to you at your corner coffee shop. They’re sitting next to you on the bus. They’re even surfing in competitions now. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in San Francisco — it takes no time to realize that San Francisco loves its dogs.
And you’ve heard the stat: there are more dogs in this city than children. This got me thinking about the many stereotypes and vaguely written articles out there that attempt to describe what the neighborhoods that define this quirky city are actually like.

California’s Top 10 Collectible Wines

…we gathered secondary market data on dozens of wines to calculate the most collectible California bottlings today. We considered wines whose first vintage was at least 15 years ago, those widely regarded to hold or improve in quality with time, ones traded most frequently in the U.S. and abroad, and bottlings with high price appreciation, calculated by comparing release prices and future resale figures compiled by Liv-ex.

Read on to discover the state’s top 10 blue-chip bottles, ranked by the average rate of their six-year appreciation.

Wine lovers take note: Temecula, California, is the next Napa Valley

There’s a good chance that even if you know about Sonoma and Paso Robles and California’s other iconic wine-producing regions, you haven’t heard of Temecula. Of some 3,900 wineries in the state, fewer than 50 lie within the 33,000-acre Temecula Valley American Viticultural Area, and just 1,300 of these acres are devoted to vineyards. Temecula hasn’t always had the best reputation with wine aficionados from up north scoffing at the amateurs making jug wine for Angelenos traveling via party bus. But after a decades-long ascent, it’s on the cusp of bigger things. With a legion of new wineries and winemakers, the region is earning recognition for sophisticated wines, bottling Spanish and Mediterranean varietals suited to Temecula’s hot days, cool nights, and afternoon breezes rolling in 22 miles from the Pacific Ocean. In head-to-head contests, Temecula winemakers regularly beat their counterparts from up north. Earlier this year, Wine Enthusiast magazine named Temecula one of the 10 best wine travel destinations in the world.

Just before a roundabout, I hit the brakes; all of Temecula stretches before me. It’s time to go and uncork some bottles.

The Taco King of South Central LA – Street Food Icons

VIDEO at the link

Keith Garrett of All Flavor No Grease sells his take on Mexican street food out of his food truck in South Central Los Angeles. He makes quesadillas, tacos, and burritos filled with chicken, steak, shrimp, or all three. Keith grew up in Watts, a neighborhood in South LA. After selling weed for years, he used his entrepreneurial instincts to start a candy shop, which he morphed into a taco stand in front of his mom’s house before turning it into All Flavor No Grease. Now, AFNG is a South LA institution that has been lauded by rappers like The Game, Problem, Bow Wow, and the late Nipsey Hussle. Keith’s inspiring journey to becoming a street food icon is one of the most memorable of the series.

Billie Joe Armstrong & Billie Eilish

Though Dookie came out seven years before Eilish was born, you can see why she would love it. Its themes — boredom, anxiety, self-doubt — are ones she takes to twisted extremes on her own breakthrough, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Eilish, 17, has been listening to Green Day since she was nine. Her older brother and musical collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, was such a huge fan that as an early teen he emulated everything about Armstrong, down to the “little undone tie and the guyliner.” “He was basically a downgrade of you,” Eilish says. “Well,” Armstrong says, laughing, “he’s an upgrade now.”

20 Essential Thai Restaurants in Los Angeles
Pad Thai, sour sausages, and boat noodle soup

With its rich culinary traditions and hyper-regional fare, Thailand is home to some of the most delightful and crave-worthy foods on the planet. LA’s tremendous Thai population means that Angelenos are never more than a stone’s throw from excellent renditions of pad Thai, sour sausages, and boat noodle soup. From Thai Town to the Valley and beyond, here now are the 20 essential Thai restaurants in Los Angeles.

Thai Elvis is not dead. But he may not be the one you’re thinking of

Manuel Toi GB — yes, that’s his actual name — sat calmly at a table at the Siri Thai Cuisine restaurant in Burbank on a recent Saturday and waited his turn to take the small stage at the back of the dining room. The restaurant, which serves both northern and southern Thai dishes, is in a small shopping center off Burbank Boulevard, next to a dog groomer and an Edible Arrangements. It’s one of many Thai restaurants in Los Angeles that features a small stage for entertainment — some Elvis or Britney Spears covers while you eat your green curry.

On this particular Saturday, the narrow restaurant was packed with about 100 diners, all there to eat dinner, celebrate the restaurant’s three-year anniversary and listen to Toi GB, one of Thailand’s most popular Elvis impersonators, sing.

At 5-foot-2, Toi GB is a thin but sturdy man who may or may not be in his 70s. Like most performers, he prefers to keep his age a secret. He favors faded denim tuxedos. He wears his jet-black hair with deep, bushy sideburns. Gem-studded rings fit for a fistfight all but engulf his fingers. And even when he’s not in his Elvis garb, he has a period look about him; it’s always as if he’s just walked off the Opry stage in 1954.

“And now, Elvis Presley,” bellowed a woman from the stage, her silhouette illuminated by rotating red, orange and yellow lights.

Peter Luger given zero stars in brutal New York Times review

New York institution Peter Luger has been ripped as a washed-up, overpriced scam in an excoriating zero-star review by the New York Times.

The blistering critique by the newspaper’s restaurant critic Pete Wells plunges in the steak knife — describing the South Williamsburg eatery’s porterhouse as “far from the best New York has to offer.”

Peter Luger owners rip brutal, zero-star New York Times review

Peter Luger’s owners and staff are not taking a brutal New York Times zero-star review lying down — telling The Post they won’t be beholden to food trends and the whims of the Gray Lady.

“We know who we are and have always been. The best steak you can eat. Not the latest kale salad,” Peter Luger co-owner Jody Storch said Tuesday in the wake of the blistering critique by Times restaurant reviewer Pete Wells.

‘What does the New York Times know anyway!’ Defiant New Yorkers and hungry tourists flock to Brooklyn’s Peter Luger steakhouse the day after stinging zero-star review and say it DOES have the best steak in town (even if the waiters are a bit rude)

Peter Luger steakhouse in Brooklyn was busy when visited on Wednesday lunchtime, a day after the New York Times’ scathing review
Diners were happy with their meals and said the Times’ rebuke was unfair
Veteran waiters said the review was ‘too personal’ and downright ‘wrong’
Among customers were tourists from Japan, Florida and Australia
They all enjoyed their food and said the prices, though steep, were justified
Retired NYPD cops and long-standing customers with Peter Luger credit cards were also there to show their support

The Champagne Myth
Bubbles may feel special, but sparkling wine shouldn’t only be for celebrations

Ariel Arce, the founder of Air’s Champagne Parlor in Greenwich Village, among other trendy spots, wants people to take bubbles seriously, but she doesn’t put them on a pedestal, either. That means she doesn’t reserve Champagne for special events. “I don’t really like to classify Champagne as celebratory anymore,” she says. “We have a real revelation with people drinking sparkling wine for every and all occasions. Yes, there is something special about bubbles in anything — sparkling water is more festive than still water — but it’s a well-thought-out and produced wine.”

This already happened but sounds like it was fun!…

Big Kahuna Burger From ‘Pulp Fiction’ Pops Up in Hollywood Next Week
Burgers, loco moco fries, shakes, and swag

Los Angeles is overrun with branded food stunts these days, from faux museums dedicated to a particular dish to media-savvy pop-ups attached to cultural properties like Good Burger from the show All That. Fat Sal’s, the overstuffed sandwich makers in Hollywood, have gotten into the mix before, and now for Halloween the group is transforming its corner address off Highland into a Big Kahuna Burger from the movie Pulp Fiction.

Much like in years past, Fat Sal’s plans to its dining area to fit the new temporary theme. Expect a grassy Hawaiian-tinged awning and overt nods to the 1994 film everywhere, including slogans (“Now that is a tasty burger” or “That’s that Hawaiian burger joint”) and an image of Jules Winnfield, the character played by Samuel L. Jackson in the Tarantino flick. A separate area will be turned into the pawn shop from the film as well, and diners will be able to check out merchandise in that space.

The whole thing is very temporary, of course — meaning customers should expect long lines and lots of photo opportunities. Big Kahuna Burger runs only on Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31, from 11 a.m. to close both days.

Unprecedented Movement on Mojave Desert Fault Capable of Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake: Caltech Study

The earthquakes that hammered the Southern California desert near the town of Ridgecrest last summer involved ruptures on a web of interconnected faults and increased strain on a major nearby fault that has begun to slowly move, according to a new study.

Ruptures in the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence ended a few miles from the Garlock Fault, which runs east-west for 185 miles from the San Andreas Fault to Death Valley.

The Garlock Fault has been relatively quiet for 500 years. It now has begun a process called fault creep and has slipped 0.8 inch since July, the research found.

The study by geophysicists from the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was published in the journal Science on Thursday, coinciding with the implementation of a statewide earthquake early warning system for the general public.

Southern California’s largest earthquake sequence in two decades began July 4 in the Mojave Desert about 120 miles north of Los Angeles.

A magnitude 6.4 foreshock was followed the next day by a magnitude 7.1 mainshock and then more than 100,000 aftershocks.

Zachary Ross, assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech and lead author of the paper, said in a statement that it was one of the most well-documented earthquake sequences in history.

Ross developed automated computer analysis of seismometer data to detect the huge number of aftershocks with precise location information, Caltech and JPL said in a press release.

Here’s a Quick Way to Make Soup from Nearly Any Fall Vegetable

Now that the seasons have changed, it’s time for cozy-weather vegetables and dishes. First among them, of course, is soup, which harnesses magical powers. When the temperatures dip, soup is there with plenty of warm and comforting goodness in every spoonful. But you don’t need a complicated recipe, or cans of stuff from the grocery store. Fall is full of fantastic produce that’s easy to turn into soup at home. Just use this easy-to-remember no-recipe formula.

Paso Robles Is A Wine Region With A Fascinating Climate And A Punk Rock Edge

But what sets Paso Robles apart from Napa Valley et al, beyond just the punk mentality, is a peculiarity in the area’s climate caused by a small but consequential geological formation, a low-lying segment of the Santa Lucia mountain range. Take a seat at Paso Robles’ dive bar, the Pine Street Saloon, and you’re likely as not to find yourself next to a winemaker expounding on the virtues of the Templeton Gap. The same conditions that draw cold air inland off the Pacific and cools the Bay Area is present in Paso Robles year-round, thanks to this phenomenon, which roughly tracks state highway 46 and becomes a veritable wind tunnel of cold air every afternoon.

Baja Wine Should Be a Bigger Deal in the U.S.

You’re probably familiar with the Big B’s of winemaking: Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Barolo. But Baja? Maybe not. The Mexican peninsula isn’t very well known in the U.S. for its wine, but a group of young winemakers is trying to help the region get the viticultural love it deserves.

Tresomm was founded in 2017 by Taylor Grant, Conner Mitchell, and Christopher Miller. The trio first met through the Los Angeles sommelier community, and after a group jaunt down to Mexico, their shared passion for Baja’s viticultural diversity led to talks about starting a vineyard. After numerous glasses of wine and a life-changing meeting with one of the region’s wine pioneers, the group was all in.

How San Diego Became a Natural Wine Haven

Welcome to opening night for Nat Diego 2019, the third time that natural wine producers, importers and advocates have descended on this Southern California city. One of the capitals of the country’s craft beer movement, San Diego has also cultivated quite a natural wine scene. Bars like The Rose and Vino Carta promote unique bottlings from across the globe, while hometown producers like J. Brix, Vesper, and Los Pilares turn San Diego County fruit into fresh fun.

“Once you get hooked on what natural wine can be when it’s good, exciting and vibrant, there’s no going back,” says Chelsea Coleman, who worked at The Rose when it was a “normal” bar for three years. In 2014, she became co-owner and immediately shifted to sustainably sourced, gently handcrafted wines.

“Gradually, it has taken hold, and people are paying attention now,” she says. “Beer nerds are into crazy aromas and lots of flavors. That can be leverage when you’re trying to introduce new things to San Diego.”

Boldly going where no palate has gone before: A Star Trek wine tasting

What is it about alcohol and Star Trek? We’ve had the Star Trek: The Next Generation 30th anniversary beer, the James T. Kirk Reserve straight bourbon whiskey, and Ten Forward vodka, named after the Enterprise lounge, with each bottle containing traces of “vodka from space” (technically Earth’s mesosphere).

But arguably the most anticipated Trek happening of 2019 involved the announcement of a new series—Star Trek: Picard. Slated to debut in early 2020, the show picks up with the beloved captain retired to his vineyards before life intervenes. So naturally, in honor of the series and Picard’s true passion, we now have Star Trek Wines, a collaboration between CBS Consumer Products and Wines That Rock.

These 3 Central Coast wineries are among the best in the world, magazine says

Three Central Coast wineries are among the world’s best, according to Wine & Spirits magazine.

Tablas Creek Vineyard in Templeton, Deovlet Wines in San Luis Obispo, and Chanin Wines in Lompoc were all named to the magazine’s 2019 Top 100 Wineries list, alongside wineries from France, Italy, Spain and Australia.

Wine & Spirits magazine said its panels and critics perform blind taste tests of more than 11,000 wines from around the world, and the top 100 wineries are chosen based on the wines with the “highest scores and the most consistent showing throughout the year.”

A Death in Flavortown: Guy Fieri’s First Restaurant, Tex Wasabi’s, Has Closed

In 1999, a 31-year-old Guy Fieri, not yet the Founding Father of Flavortown, opened his first Tex Wasabi’s restaurant with his then-business partner, Steve Gruber. For almost two decades, that spot in Santa Rosa, California, served a combination of what it called “Rock-n-Roll Sushi” and barbecue, described on the menu as assorted arrangements of pork, sushi rice, French fries, and mayonnaise-based sauces.

On Monday, their era of “Gringo Sushi”—their words—came to an abrupt end, not with a bang, but with a sign taped to the restaurant’s window and a newly deactivated website. “After nearly 20 years, we are sorry to announce that Tex Wasabi’s had closed its doors,” the sign read. “Thank you to all for your support and patronage over the years.”

There’s No Chili Like Texas Chili and These 10 Recipes Do It Best

Lindsay Mattison writes – If your chili has beans, I’m simply not interested. Why take up space in a perfectly spiced homemade chili with beans? In my opinion, that’s the difference between a good chili and a great recipe. The best Texas chili recipes say “No, thank you!” to the pinto beans and “Yes, please!” to lots of brown, seared beef and spicy chiles swimming in spicy sauce.

Yes, red chili is where it’s at, and there are a ton of recipes out there. We scoured the internet to find the best of the best Texas chili recipes (and automatically disqualified any recipe that added beans). So pull out your Dutch oven or slow cooker, bake up a side of cornbread, and get ready with your sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese toppings. It’s time for a chili cook-off!

Nike’s self-lacing Huarache can be controlled with Apple Watch and Siri

The Adapt Huarache features the brand’s FitAdapt technology, which Nike claims will “update and evolve along with the user.” This isn’t a Nest thermostat for your feet; the motorized lacing unit won’t analyze your habits and adjust accordingly. It will, however, offer users more convenient control than previous versions of the Adapt technology. The Nike Adapt BB featured smartphone control, but the Adapt Huarache will also connect to Apple Watch and Siri for even faster changes. Presets will make it even easier to switch from a relaxed fit while sitting at your desk to a secure hug for running sessions.

Sneakerheads might be disappointed by the aesthetics of the Adapt Huarache, as it takes some major deviations from its namesake: While the angular silhouette of the original Huarache looks decidedly ’90s, the Adapt version of the sneaker takes on a more streamlined appearance. That said, the Adapt Huarache is more stylized than the Adapt BB, and its Adapt unit doesn’t look out of place or tacked on like the Nike Hyper Adapt.

The Nike Adapt Huarache will hit Nike’s apps and select stores on September 13th in grey and yellow colorways. The MSRP has not been announced, but the Nike Adapt BB launched at $350 in January 2019, so the new model will likely be positioned at a similar price point.

‘Taste-Tester’ Bear Munches on Pinot Noir Grapes at California Vineyard

It’s coming up to harvest time at the Navarro Winery in California, but they’re happy to share some of their more delectable pinot noir grapes with a local bear. In fact, they positively encourage it, having put in “bear ladders” to allow wildlife through their vineyards. CCTV footage from the winery shows their nighttime visitor helping itself to the pinot grapes on a number of occasions in recent weeks. Aaron Bennett, of the winery, told Storyful the bear in this video has been visiting for a few years. “We’re happy to share a few grapes every season,” he said. The vineyard’s cameras also record bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, and coyotes traversing the land, Bennett said.

The Best Things To Do During a Trip To Napa Valley, According to Local Winemakers

Skip that “Sideways”-inspired schedule and fill your next Napa trip with these expert tips.

Napa Valley, aka the adult version of Disneyland for wine aficionados, is best known as a travel destination that’s ideal for experiencing California’s greatest grapes. (I mean, it is the holy grail of Cabernet Sauvignon, right?) But while enjoying fine wine is undeniably the highlight of the Napa experience, there’s plenty of other activities to indulge in when you’re not touring wineries.

Some Tiny House links

Escape takes the wheels off with trio of non-towable tiny houses

Over the years Escape has offered lots of different tiny houses, from ultra-portable compact models to supersized XL versions with room for a family. With its new EscapeSpace, the firm takes the wheels off and offers a trio of sheds/tiny houses that are suitable for multiple uses, including as an extra bedroom or a home office.

Want something bigger?

Amazon Is Now Selling A Prefab Tiny Home With A Loft That Sleeps 7 People

the SLEDhaus, a 572 square foot wooden structure that is straight-up stocked with A+ features

Considered a “luxury retreat” by the creators at Irontown Homes, the SLEDHaus boasts an open floor plan (yes, even in a tiny home) and a loft so spacious that it can sleep up to—wait for it—seven people. I repeat: seven people.

want to try out a Tiny House?

9 tiny houses in Silicon Valley that you can rent on Airbnb

Wine Coolers Are Making a Comeback – Bartles & Jaymes Selling Canned Wine Drinks

“We started having discussions about what the reinvention of Bartles & Jaymes [looked like] and kicked off product development about two years ago,” says Stephanie Gallo, E. & J. Gallo’s chief marketing officer.

If Bartles & Jaymes had managed to improbably survive America’s craft beer revolution, the bourbon explosion, and $15 cocktail mania, it had finally made it to what E. & J. Gallo saw as another wine cooler-friendly era. As you may have heard, hard seltzer is the hottest thing… What if E. & J. Gallo could go back to using wine…and then slip this wine cooler onto millennial and sub-millennial refrigerator shelves alongside White Claw and Bon & Viv?

Gott’s Opens Gas Station Convenience Store for Doughnuts and Sandwiches in St. Helena

Patrons of St. Helena’s landmark gas station, Napa Valley Petroleum, can now fuel up on a whole lot more than gas. Local winemaker and restaurateur Joel Gott of the Gott’s Roadside burger chain, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, has opened a sophisticated and contemporary convenience store behind the pumps in a long-vacant retail space. Simply named the Station, the new store features a robust coffee menu and fresh, relatively healthy grab-and-go items for breakfast and lunch.

“The St. Helena food scene has gotten a little stale, so I think any new business that can breathe some life into this town is needed,” says the Station general manager Emelie Poisson. It’s true that St. Helena’s Main Street hasn’t welcomed a new dining concept in quite some time, and the town’s fast-casual lunch and breakfast options are limited to spots like Model Bakery and Sunshine Market. “In talking to people and walking around, everyone is liking it, everyone likes the bright space, and just that it’s something different in town.”

Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
September 27—29, 2019
Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, Sonoma
Includes both adult and youth grape stomps!

Downtown SLO Sip ‘n Saunter
Friday, September 27 Downtown SLO’s 3rd annual Sip ‘n Saunter takes place at multiple Downtown venues on Friday, September 27 from 5-8:30 PM! Sip ‘n Saunter is a memorable evening of beverage and food tastings offered in Downtown San Luis Obispo’s diverse shops and locations.

Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival
September 27—28, 2019
Downtown Arroyo Grande, Arroyo Grande
Join the Ag Harvest Festival Grape Stomp!

Temecula Valley Crush
Saturday, September 28
Monte De Oro Winery, Temecula
The ONE and ONLY event showcasing the wines of 30+ member wineries in one location!

3rd Annual Eat Drink Play Los Gatos, a community event featuring Fine Wine, Craft Brews, Local Food, Live Music FREE Saturday, September 28

Why Mexican Wine Is No Longer a Restaurant Novelty

For most American wine drinkers, Mexican wine appeared seemingly out of nowhere. One day, we were content drinking Tecate, margaritas and mezcal, and the next, sommeliers were pouring tastes of Tempranillo-Nebbiolo blends that showed big fruit and a touch of sea salt.

The Unified Theory Of Cooking With Beer has just 1 simple rule

While pairing beer with specific foods falls midway between an art and a science, there’s far less effort involved with cooking with beer as an ingredient. I’ve both cooked and baked with beer, and while the latter requires precision and forethought—it is baking, after all—the former is mercifully simple. Keep one key rule in mind, and you’ll hardly ever be led astray.

That one rule, which I’ll call my Unified Theory Of Cooking With Beer (trademark pending), will serve you well in 95% of your cooking-with-beer experiments:

If the beer is brown or amber in color, not too hoppy, and tasty enough for you to drink, you can cook with it.

The young natural wine mavericks of Santa Cruz

Stirm, Bell, Jelks and Mayeaux each has his or her own wine label, bound by common threads: a love for the Santa Cruz Mountains and a devotion to natural winemaking. It would be easy to lump this group into the same category as a cooperative, a model commonly practiced in Europe to share equipment and reduce costs for inexpensive wines. It would also be easy to compare the group’s facility to a custom crush, the shared winery model common throughout California.

Singing The ‘Friends’ Theme In Minor Key Transforms It Into An Intense Ballad

A “Friends” fan, distraught over the news that his beloved show is leaving Netflix, performs the theme song like it’s an 80s ballad.

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Tiger Woods, Justin Timberlake team up to raise millions for Bahamas Hurricane relief

On Tuesday, Woods announced the creation of the ONE Bahamas Fund “in support of Hurricane Dorian relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts.” Woods teamed up with singer and actor Justin Timberlake, along with Nexus, RBC and the Albany, Bahamas, in the joint effort.

“We’ve established the #onebahamasfund with a challenge gift of $6 million, matching dollar for dollar the next $6 million raised,” Woods wrote on Twitter. “Help us turn this first $6 million into $12 million, and join our efforts to restore and rebuild The Bahamas.”

You can make a donation to the ONE Bahamas Fund at

Think You Can’t Find Affordable California Cabernet? Think Again.

California produces bold Cabernet Sauvignon renowned around the world. And while Bordeaux may be Cabernet’s spiritual home, if the Judgment of Paris taught us one thing, it’s that California produces bottles that are easily on par with the famed French region.

Some of the most notable examples come from Napa. But the cost of grapes from the valley are often notoriously high, which means it can be difficult to find a budget-friendly bottle.

So today we wanted to shine a spotlight on both well-known and often unsung areas that are producing Cabs whose prices will keep you and your wallet happy and showcase all that this state has to offer.

Your Definitive Guide to NFL Wines and Winemakers

As the fanbases for wine and football grow to overlap, 14 teams have official wines, while retired Hall-of-Famers are making their own plays on the grape field.

Football season is finally here again, and the match-up we’re most excited about is wine and the NFL. With the 2019 season, more teams than ever have announced official wine partnerships, bringing fall-friendly Cabernets and victory sparklers to stadiums and living rooms. Players across the league are discovering wine and flaunting their bona fides, from Panthers QB Cam Newton’s sommelier stylings to Vikings rookie linebacker Cam Smith, who interned at Melville Winery in Lompoc, Calif., between summer workouts when he was at USC.

And then there are veterans: QBs Dan Marino and Drew Bledsoe, coach Dick Vermeil and late owner Lamar Hunt, who started the American Football League and coined the term “Super Bowl,” are just a few of the gridiron pros who founded wineries that have been making increasingly ambitious and respected wines.

We Asked 20 Beer Pros: What Are the Best Trends in Beer Right Now?

In the beer industry, as any other, haters gonna hate. Still, there’s a lot to love in beer. And so VinePair canvassed brewery employees and community leaders across the country to share what they love most about the industry right now.

Spoiler alert: A lot of industry members we spoke to are over the moon about a certain crisp, bottom-fermented beer style. Beyond that, however, brewers are celebrating both classic and experimental styles, and a few even admit to falling for some unexpected trends.

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The 2019 Original Lobster Festival

The Long Beach Original Lobster Festival returns for its 23rd year of providing Fresh Live Maine Lobster, prepared to mouth-watering perfection in the World’s Largest Cooker. You can dance away the calories to a variety of popular artists throughout the day on the dance floor, enjoy tasty eats in the food court, kick back in the VIP Lounge, take a Free Souvenir E-Photo, check out the Arts & Crafts booths, catch some sports action at the Live Sports Tent, explore the live reptile exhibit, sip on adult beverages (beer, wine, specialty drinks — infamous Signature drink “Screaming Lobster” and Margaritas), and sing a tune at the Karaoke Lounge with a Live Band (Fri. & Sat. night). There is something for everyone, including kids, Magic Show (as seen on America’s Got Talent), Face Painting, Games and Inflatable Bounces.

Large Scale Vineyards Now Reaping Huge Benefits from Innovative Bird Deterrence Device

For more than 42 years, vineyard managers and growers have benefitted from revolutionary bird deterrence practices developed by Falcon Crop Protection that have either reduced or completely eliminated the extensive damage that can result from bird encroachment at the winery or in the field.

The company may be best known for its Falcon FrightKites, self-launching kites in the shape of large birds of prey that frighten small birds away from valuable vineyard fruit the moment they are spotted.

Wine harvest underway for Northern California vineyard

It’s grape harvest season in Northern California, and growers are busy picking this year’s crop.

Clarksburg, California, just 20 miles outside of Sacramento, is one location where the harvest is well underway.  At Merwin Ranch Vineyard off Jefferson Boulevard, they’ve spent many evenings and mornings clearing leaves and shaking vines for grapes.

“Here we harvest both by hand and by machine,” said Tom Merwin, vineyard owner. “We usually reserve our crop harvester for our larger clients and hand harvesters for smaller batches.”

Merwin Ranch Vineyard sits on 134 acres of property and yields about 11 different types of grapes. “We produce about 1,000 tons of grapes which turns into about 80,000 cases of wine,” said Merwin.

You Can Winery Hop Through Napa and Sonoma in a Vintage VW Bus

Travelers from around the globe come to visit California’s idyllic Wine Country each year to sample the region’s best vino, indulge at Michelin-starred restaurants and bike through the picturesque countryside. However, we recently stumbled upon an experience that was a little more our speed—and in our price range—VW bus tours through Sonoma, Napa, Temecula and Healdsburg.

West Wine Tours offers day trips to three of Sonoma’s best wineries—Ram’s Gate, Winery Sixteen 600 and Larson Family Vineyards—accompanied by a freshly made lunch from a local chef. In classic California fashion, all lunches are gluten- and nut-free, and special dietary requests can be made beforehand.

Now Is The Time To Start Your Wine Collection (Even If You Don’t Drink Wine)

It also means that some currently released wine could be discounted, to move through the vintage in preparation for what’s to come. It might take a bit of hunting, but these wines are out there and will continue to be made available. (Hint: McMillan was impressed by something he found at Trader Joe’s, but he didn’t leak specifics to me.)

This is exciting for any wine consumer, but it’s especially attractive to younger people, price-conscious shoppers and just-starting-out wine drinkers. As McMillan says, now is the time to stock up and build a mini-cellar that hits above its weight. “Bring them out in a few years and tell the story at a dinner party,” he suggests.

Lake County Winegrape Harvest Gets Underway with Its Flagship White: Sauvignon Blanc

Kelseyville, Calif. August 28, 2019 – The 2019 Lake County winegrape harvest is underway and growers in the high-elevation winegrowing region are once again pleased with this year’s growing conditions and optimistic about the grape quality.

Many of the region’s growers and vineyard managers are anticipating an earlier-than-normal harvest, which was unexpected given the region’s wet spring and relatively cool early season temperatures. However, by midseason, more normal temperatures prevailed, making for consistent, and in some cases, even early ripening.

“It’s been a really beautiful growing season,” said Debra Sommerfield, president of the Lake County Winegrape Commission.

Central Coast Wine Region Fueling Tourism, Jobs and Economic Vitality

More than 200 wineries in Santa Barbara County serve wine made from more than 50 grape varieties that are grown in the county. The economic value of harvested wine grapes was $121 million in 2018, according to the recently released crop report compiled by the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.

In 2015, Paso Robles AVA and Greater San Luis Obispo County reported 1.56 million tourism visits to wineries. Wine revenue was a whopping $732 million from San Luis Obispo County wine.

10 Great Grape Stomps for California Wine Month

If you’ve always wanted to stomp grapes like in “I Love Lucy,” then California Wine Month this Sept. is the best time to do it! Wineries all over the state offer grape stomp contests so you can crush your competitors and celebrate with wine, food, music and more! To help you pick the one that’s right for you, Wine Institute—the resource for all things California wines—compiled these ten great grape stomps and close-up harvest experiences.

An early look at California’s 2019 wine harvest

The 2019 wine harvest is underway in California — just barely. And while it’s still too soon to understand what sort of a vintage 2019 will be, the early reports from winemakers throughout the state are promising.

Savory Kentucky Beer Cheese

Wine isn’t the only thing that pairs well with cheese. It’s much faster to brew beer than to create an aged Merlot, and it opens up a world of pairing possibilities.

This recipe for Kentucky beer cheese is a cousin of pub cheese, pimento cheese and fromage fort. The difference here is it’s packed with a splash of soy sauce for umami, while additional flavor is provided by a dash of mellow ancho chili pepper. It’s part dip, part spread and all deliciousness. Stock up on buttery crackers, saltines, crudités or pretzel sticks to serve at your next barbecue, picnic or party.

Why Weed and Wine Have More in Common Than You Think

Cannabis and Cabernet have a lot in common. Jamie Evans came to that realization while she studied viticulture at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Evans, a 2018 Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 honoree, applied information she learned in classes on sensory evaluation to cannabis. In 2017, she launched The Herb Somm and began to host private cannabis tastings and culinary events in California in 2018. The events focus on terpenes—the aromatic compounds found in the plant—and how the unique profiles of various strains of marijuana can best pair with wine and food.

“Cannabis is just as complex as wine,” she says. “There are a lot of similarities in the aromas and the flavors of cannabis and wine. Even the terroir of wine can be applied to cannabis.”

Iconic 1980s cars featured at NostalgiaCon

On display check out three different versions of “Doc” Brown’s De Lorean-based time machines like those in Back To The Future, a Ghostbusters ambulance and more. The show will take place September 28-29 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

White Claw Fever!

As hard-seltzer fever continues to sweep the nation, three new brands hit the market in the past two weeks alone, clamoring to capture a piece of a market anticipated to reach $2.5 billion by 2021. Read this about taste-tested hard seltzers from 9 popular brands and ranked them from worst to best.
“Better than actual seltzer,” another said. “Love the real fruit taste.”
Long live the summer of White Claw.

What it takes to become a Level 1 Somm

A 70 question multiple choice exam is designed to test a breadth, not a depth, of knowledge at this level. As many questions about Austrian wines as there were about Oregon, Washington and California, together.

Grapes Behind Favorite Wine Blends

Read about these wine blends like Bordeaux left bank and right bank, the Southern Rhône G-S-M blend, Champagne blend plus blends from Italy Portugal many more

Bordeaux winemakers forced to promote rose and white wines as young drinkers abandon red

Louise Descamps, 28, an assistant television producer, said: “It’s a change in lifestyle from our parents’ generation. They used to drink mainly red wine at dinner, but we tend to drink more at bars or parties. My friends and I drink more rosé or white. I still enjoy reds from time to time, but only ever with dinner.”

White Wine Emoji not approved
Livermore: The laid-back California wine country you didn’t know about

After a year in Sacramento, here are our beer columnist’s top 10 beers

Temecula area to get hundreds of high-end hotel rooms, new winery

The Matrix is returning to theaters to celebrate its 20th anniversary

Lonely model gives up on dating, marries her golden retriever

Star Trek Fans Can Soon Enjoy Official Chateau Picard Wine

Suisun Valley’s Harvest Celebration set for Aug. 25

The Walking Dead’ Bourbon Arrives This Fall
The Walking Dead Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a partnership with Diageo

2 comments on “Big Rick Says”

  1. Rick:

    This sounds like great fun. You look happy and healthy. Good for you, hope all’s going well for you. Great to see you in RAdio Ink!

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