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Jasmine and freesia – both with exotic, intoxicating aromas – sprawl across my front rock garden.

Welcome back, my friends – and happy May! I hope that your part of the world is starting to show signs of Spring.

Here, just north of San Francisco, Spring is in gorgeous full swing, with songbirds tweeting (the “old school,” analog way) 🙂 and riotously colorful flowers everywhere.


Spring vineyards in the cool-climate Carneros region.

In nearby Wine Country, the grapevines are showing off the fresh, vivid green hues of their brand-new leaves.

Wineries, too – and entire wine regions, from Paso Robles to Mendocino’s Anderson Valley – are celebrating the season with gala tasting events. (More details coming very soon.)


Nothing says Spring like a heaping platter of fresh asparagus. Though they’re delicious all by themselves, I’ve added a bowl of my rosemary-flavored aioli (*Click Here* for recipe.)

May is also a great time to revel in the fresh, flavorful foods of Spring – especially on Food Holidays devoted to them – while washing them down with potables that have holidays of their own.

From Asparagus Month to Strawberry Month; National Shrimp Day to National Hamburger Day to Eat What You Want Day (!!!) – we’ll try out some fun new recipes and pairings.


I’m at the Santa Lucia Highlands Gala – one of my favorite wine festivals – enjoying two “library” vintages of Mer Soleil Chardonnay (2004 and 2009, in magnum!) while looking out at the vineyards and winery. This year’s SLH Gala will be held at Mer Soleil on Saturday, May 19.

(And I haven’t even mentioned International Chardonnay Day or National Wine Day yet!)

We’ll even go beyond wine, starting with a look at Mexican beer on Cinco de Mayo.

We might even explore some sophisticated mixed drinks on National Cocktail Day, and venture into the complex realm of “brown spirits” on World Whiskey Day.


Until then,
Cheers and happy tastings,

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