Join our food and wine blog and enter the discussion to learn about the latest food and wine happenings, as well as our recommendations for dining, wine-tasting, relaxing and recreating here on the Central Coast of California. A MUST READ for Foodies.


SLO Wine Country is having their annual “Harvest on the Coast” the weekend of  November 2 – 4th, 2018!

The weekend kicks off Friday,

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

November 2nd with “Crafted on the Coast” a collaborative winemaker dinner featuring Executive Chef Heidi Hornikle of Flora + Fauna Catering, hosted at the beautiful Casitas Estate in Arroyo Grande. This promises to be a delicious experience at a most beautiful location. 

Then on Saturday, November 3rd, hit the coast at our Grand Tasting and Wine Auction, located beachside at Avila Beach Resort–featuring wine tasting, artisan foods, and live music by The Damon Castillo Band. All food and wine is included in your grand tasting ticket. The live auction features a broad selection of rare wines, culinary treats and SLO Wine Country destination experiences. 

Auction table seating is available for groups of 8 or 10, so you can place your stake at the auction. You’ll also receive complimentary food and wine service throughout the live auction (limited tickets available), plus you’ll have a chance to raise a paddle and support local charities in SLO County.

And if this all isn’t enough of our SLO wines and food…grab your wineglass & wristband, and head out to the SLO Wine Country tasting rooms for free wine tasting all day Sunday, November 4th during our “Surf’s Up Sunday”. Each tasting room will feature free tastings, wine specials, live music and more. The best part of Sunday? It’s completely complimentary with your grand tasting ticket purchase! 

Continue Reading…

Central Coast Food Tours has a vacation rental to offer for short-term stays in the Paso Robles Wine Country.

Deck with View

Deck with View

This beautiful home is 4 bedrooms and three baths, with a large open kitchen that looks out on the dining room and great room. There is almost 1500 sq feet of decking for enjoying the sunsets and family time around the BBQ.

Bedrooms consist of 3 with queen beds and the master with a King Bed and ensuite master bath. There is a fireplace in the master suite and in the dining/great room.

great room

great room

The home is wonderful for entertaining and family gatherings. Located just 5 miles from Vineyard Drive in Paso Robles, it makes for a convenient wine tasting base for exploring the Paso Robles Wine Region. For beach lovers, the home is just 20 minutes to Morro Bay.

We rent the home for $400/night October – February, and $450 night March through September. The house sits on three acres of land, offers a

master bedroom

master bedroom

private and very relaxing vacation rental in Paso Robles Wine Country. And just think – Yule and I are here to help you plan your adventures with Central Coast Food Tours!

Continue Reading…

I am a huge fan of Paso Robles wine, and my favorite event is the annual Harvest Weekend. 

Harvest Weekend

Harvest Weekend

This year Paso Robles’ Harvest Weekend falls on the third weekend of October, October 19 -21st 2018. The perfect time of year to enjoy the mild weather and Paso Robles wine.

What’s so special about Harvest Weekend? Imagine a year of tending wine vines, the culmination of which, results in 24 hour round-the-clock work to get the fruit off the vine at the perfect time to reveal the best of the grape.

All us who live in the area know this is the most hectic time of year for the wineries and their staff. We all hold our breath until that last grape is pulled and harvest is announced as complete. Then, and only then, comes the celebration! This is “Harvest Weekend”!

For all of us who love Paso Robles wines, Harvest Weekend is the time of year to visit for access to new wines served up in a variety of venues. Each winery offers events at their winery during the weekend. We’ve got grape stomps, wild boar BBQ’s, winemaker dinners, vertical tastings, barrel samples, barn dances and live music galore. And while the town and area can get crazy crowded during the May Wine Festival, the Harvest Weekend is another story.

Continue Reading…

Here are 7 tips for successfully pairing wine with chocolate.

Pouring wine Image by jill111 via pixabay.com

Are you an avid chocolate and wine lover? Since you are reading this article, I would assume your answer is yes. But, have you ever thought about mixing these two excellent foods? I know many people can’t even imagine this but trust me once you do mix them you will think it’s a match made in heaven.

 However, not every chocolate is made to match up with wine. If you don’t pick up the right pair, it’s going to taste bad. There is only one way to figure out which pair is best for you and that is by experimenting. You must keep on experimenting to see whether you achieve the perfect taste you want.

If you are completely novice with chocolate and wine then no need to worry, we’ve got a few tips for you to get you started on figuring out the best pairing of chocolate and wine that will leave you in ‘awe’.

1. Don’t have the chocolate sweeter than wine

Start with the wine that is a little sweeter than the chocolate that you are pairing with. Otherwise, you will turn the situation into palate power play. Both chocolate and wine have their intense flavor. Therefore, they will fight for dominance.  

Continue Reading…

Anthony Bourdin

What can anyone possibly say about Anthony Bourdin’s death. 

He was a light amongst all us foodies, and dared to go into the quarters that no one else had. We know he was a tormented soul, having overcome heroine addiction in his 20’s and cocaine, amongst other addictions. God, this man had so much to offer the rest of us.

Not gaining fame until his forties, he had 20 years of crafting his much beloved series of traveling the world and introducing us to all the things We Didn’t Know. I actually went to Seoul, South Korea and took the same food tastings he experienced while visiting. AMAZING!

 https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x553kg7

Truth be told, Tony got me out of my rut and sent me on an adventure I would have never imagined. I’m in Korea.

I’m so very sad that Tony’s depression overcame him. It’s a struggle many of us make.

The world will not be the same without this most beloved and eccentric character.

Rest in Peace, dear Tony.

Laura

 

A Food Tour for graduation is a wonderful way to celebrate the 

graduate! It’s always hard to find and activity that keep the celebrating group together and enjoying one another’s company after the diploma is bestowed. Consider a Food Tour for graduation! 

We can accommodate most size family groups with enough notice and are happy to customize the tour to your group. Consider a private tour for your family through the downtown streets of San Luis Obispo, or do a food and wine tour in the downtown district of Paso Robles.

These tours are favorites with locals and visitors alike. We’ve got everything from Organic hand-make super rich chocolates and milkshakes, to fine Italian cuisine, authentic Santa Maria BBQ, and everything in between! This tour is more than enough food to take care of your lunch or an early dinner. A Food Tour for graduation is a great way to share the delicious food of downtown, before you send your child into the big wide world to start their adult life.

Please call Laura at 805.400.9054 to see if we can schedule a food tour to celebrate your grad!

We are excited to announce the Olive Oil Festival in Paso Robles for Saturday, May 5th, 2018. All our friends who have taken our wine and food tours know that we are passionate about our local olive oil.

Paso Robles Olive Oil

Dare I say, there is none better to be found?! Even the traditionally robust oils of Italy, Greece, Spain and France pale in comparison to our fresh, earthy and incredibly delicious locally grown olives and it’s oil.

If you are an olive oil lover, like I am, then make a weekend out of this festival on May 5th. Come to Paso Robles, spend a few days to enjoy the festival, taste our lovely wines and enjoy or laid-back lifestyle.

As it is the Olive Oil Festival in Paso Robles is becoming more fun each year!

While olives, in and of themselves, might not seem that interesting, that’s not to say the Festival celebrating olives is anything but FUN!

This is the 15th year of the Festival that takes place in Paso Robles’ downtown park. You’ll find everything from olive and olive oil sampling, vendors, and an olive cooking contest. We’re even bringing in our local mobile olive oil press so you can see all that goes into process our amazing extra virgin olive oil. In addition to all the culinary offerings, the surprise find is the olive oil ice cream (it’s a must try!)

Continue Reading…

Wine and Chocolates?

What do you think about pairing wine and chocolates?

broken earth chocolate pairing

We’ve recently discovered a winery that makes a specialty out of pairing chocolates uniquely crafted to their wines. Interested? Heck yes – I was! But, call me a chocolate lover. I must say, I even convinced Yule to give this pairing a try.

Yule’s friend is a tasting room associate at Broken Earth, a winery on the East side of Paso Robles. He encouraged us to visit Broken Earth and try their wines, cheese plate and chocolate pairing. On a day off, we did just so and found a winery we had little known. From 20 years ago this was the turf of Arciero Winery, with the high gloss spectacle of his Italian racing cars. Things have changed and Broken Earth is making a go of it. They offer a dynamite cheese plate for $12 and a nice little cafe offering salads, sandwiches and Australian Pot Pies. On Saturday’s they bring in the music for their guests to enjoy the ultimate comfort of Wine, Music and Food.

Wines are a value buy, up to their reserves. I took home a Petite Syrah and enjoyed it thoroughly – a new value wine or me! 

Continue Reading…

Thomas Hill Organics has a new offering that I want to share with all our friends – their “Raw Bar”.

One of our favorite restaurants in Paso Robles is Thomas Hill Organics, led by owner, Debbie Thomas. Debbie has a knack for creating food and experiences on the cutting edge of “cool”. Her new Raw Bar is just such an example. 

Offerings for fresh, raw seafood has always been hard to find in Paso Robles. Enter Thomas Hill Organics! Their new Raw Bar offers a top line experience to experience the ambience of the restaurant while also offering a raw bar experience with thoughtfully curated sakis.

I took mom to their opening event and we enjoyed fresh oysters on the

Thomas Hill Organics

half shell (my favorite) and amazingly tasty ahi. We ordered champagne and saki – which we shared along with our food items.

Let me break to the chase: this is a cool, relaxed and delicious take on a light dinner, or a place to hang for the freshest raw seafood. Stop by and park yourself on their comfy bar and enjoy!

Thomas Hill Organics is located at 1313 Park Street in Paso Robles. The Raw Bar has select hours, mostly over the weekend. Visit their website to check out your options. www.thomashillorganics.com

Continue Reading…

What to do in the middle of winter?

MaryAnn’s Wine Bags

To everyone’s good fortune, Mom is busy making wine bags! Yep, most of our friends know we are a family affair, and mom’s a big part of our business. She does everything from catering, to cake baking to occasionally leading one of our tours. Add to the list, making these awesome wine bags!

I can’t think of a classier way to present your Paso Robles wine than in one of her custom crafted wine bags.

Imagine doing a family reunion here and having her craft wine bags of the same material for all the guests – you wine visit will be long relived through these wine bags which will inevitably be shared and passed along. Maybe engagement o wedding parties will want to memorize their event through a custom crafted wine bag.

wine bags

Get even more creative and provide her with the fabric from your daughter’s childhood for a special gift. Well, you get the idea. Here’s some shots of bags she has ready made.

Mom is taking orders for these amazing wine bags. Call her and see what she can do for you. Reach her at mrutshaw@yahoo.com or give her a ring at 805.550.6825. Ask for Mary Ann – she’s the best!

Continue Reading…