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Thanksgiving 2015 – 1 Day and Counting! (Mussel Beach Harvest with Sparkling Zin…)

Mussels as far as the eye can see, revealed during a rare minus tide!!! Check out those gorgeous waves, too...

Mussels as far as the eye can see, revealed only during a rare “minus tide”!!! Fantastic waves, too…

Welcome back, my friends! I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s peek at my roasty-toasty little red peppers.

I’ll be griddling up a batch tonight for our Turkey Day feast.

My friends and I just got back from an amazing late-afternoon, Thanksgiving Eve beach adventure.


Laura pries mussels off a rock.; Christina tosses a handful into her tote bag.

Laura pries mussels off a rock.; Christina tosses a handful into her tote bag. Ten pounds is the limit.

Not only did we harvest enough mussels for a huge first course for tomorrow’s feast – and a kettleful for tonight – we’ll have plenty for the weekend, and even for the freezer!

Yesterday, when I said we would be braving the mighty Pacific, I was only half-joking.


I found this perfect low rock to work on – mostly medium- to huge-sized mussels. (Lotsa little crabs hiding in the crannies. They get to stay!)

I found this perfect low rock to work on, with my trusty pry bar). Mostly medium- to huge-sized mussels. (Lotsa little crabs hiding in the crannies. They get to stay!)

We timed our arrival for the outgoing tide, with a low of minus 1.1 feet just before sunset.

After dutifully purchasing the requisite fishing licenses, we headed to my favorite “mussel beach” – just past Bodega Bay on the Sonoma coast – where I’ve been harvesting the tasty treasures ever since I moved to California in my early twenties.

We hiked down from the cliff and made our way to the tide pools, where just about every rock is thickly encrusted with mussels of all sizes. They grip tightly to the rocks, and each other, with a “beard” of ultra-strong threads.


Laura harvested lots of medium-sized mussels here. The big ones were at the water's edge (and beyond)...

Laura pries off some “mediums,” then heads to the water’s edge to go after the giant mussels.

The great-great-(great-great-)granddaddy mussels are almost as big as my hand – scroll down for a pic!

We knew we’d be standing on (almost) dry sand and rocks to do our harvesting.

Even so, you can see the monster waves that lurk just behind those mussel-covered boulders. (Check out top pic.)

It didn’t take long to harvest our limit of ten pounds each.


Rock Wall Sparkling Zin! Isn't it *gorgeous*?

Rock Wall Sparkling Zin – it’s gorgeous, delicious, ultra-festive – just the thing for a mussel hunt! Plus, we’re serving it with the cooked mussels tomorrow…

Remember last week on National Zinfandel Day, when I promised you a (virtual) taste of Sparkling Zin? (*Click Here*!)

Well, we brought a bottle to the beach, to celebrate our massive harvest. (Ten pounds per person is a *really* big haul!

My friend and fellow wine judge (see pic) Shauna Rosenblum (Hi, Shauna!), winemaker/ partner at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda, sent me some of her lovely Sparkling Zin when I told her about my musseling plans. (*Click Here* for more on Shauna and Rock Wall!)


Wonderful stuff!

Wonderful vino – Thanks so much, Shauna!

What a wonderful wine – a perfect way to toast our catch!

I’d like to see Sparkling Zinfandel catch on in a big way. It’s berry-fruity, a little spicy – and at the table, I can see it filling the gap for all those fun, easygoing, everyday meals that are tough to pair: BBQ ribs, curry, Thai, spicy Mexican, takeout Chinese….

In fact, I would happily pop open a refreshing Sparkling Zin just about anywhere I’d ordinarily enjoy a good craft beer.

My crystal ball ;) is telling me that Sparkling Zin is the next step for white wine drinkers who enjoy bubbly, plus a red-fruit flavor profile. It’ll also solve the “what’s chilled, but still full-flavored” conundrum for (red) Zin fans, for foods that need a wine with a bit of oomph.

And Shauna – *you* have created today’s benchmark for this cool style!

IMG_3259As we enjoyed our last few sips, the setting sun dipped below a thin layer of fog at the horizon, casting a golden glow. Pure magic!


This huge mussel is literally almost as big as my hand!

This huge mussel truly is almost as big as my hand!

(I promised you a pic of a *giant* mussel…) With three of us on the job, we hauled *way* more mussels off the beach than we could eat tomorrow on T-day.

Plus, who wants to wait!

So I’ve steamed up a kettleful for tonight. Some simple pasta, a little sautéed garlic… mmmmm!

Tasty T-day details coming this weekend –


Until then, my friends,
Cheers and happy tastings,

PS ~ Want to nab a *free* membership in the fun, interactive Drink Wine With Dinner Club, and get tasty content delivered straight to your Inbox? Just *Click Here* to join instantly!

And as always, please be sure to grab your *free download* of “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules for Wine and Food Pairing.” It’s the best way I know to help you make the foods *you* love taste even better!

You can also email me at Rosina@DrinkWineWithDinner.com with comments or questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers once again,