Monday, June 7, 2010

2010 San Diego Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Festival

Happy Monday all!

How was your weekend? Mine was great/busy.

Friday night, I had the honor of attending the San Diego Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Festival. My friend JGago helped plan the event on behalf of Wine Smarties, a local wine education company that she interns with. Ryan and I went as (blog) press.

It was a beautiful (!!!) eve in San Diego, the perfect weather for a festival.

There was alot of wonderful booths there, serving primarily wine, cheese, and chocolate - go figure.

We stopped by Honest Tea's booth and tried out their new Honest Ades. Our favorite was Pomegranate Blue. We also tried Cranberry Lemonade and Orange Mango.

The Pomegranate Blue was amazing. It is by far and away the best flavor of Honest Tea I've tasted so far. Seriously, go try it. Hurry!

My favorite booth was Cupcake Love, a Solana Beach-based cupcakery. I got to meet the owner, Ilene Lamb. According to the Web site, Ilene and her husband stumbled upon the idea for a bakery while on vacation and Ilene fell into "cupcake love." The rest is history... a serious delicious history...


They offered three flavors of cupcake: peanut butter chocolate, chocolate sin, and red velvet. Between my photographer husband and I, we tried all three. Peanut Butter Chocolate was the major winner. Oh, be still my heart.

Another blog favorite was on hand to give away free bags of everyone's favorite "chips."

Popchips! I have to confess, I've tried these once before and didn't love them. I'd only had the BBQ flavor, which is actually their bestseller. This time, though, I tried Salt and Vinegar. Score! Amazing. These "chips" have a great crunch and tons of flavor. With only 100 calories per bag and no preservatives (with a 52-week shelf life!), these "popped chips" are perfect for food bloggers on the go. They call them "love without the handles." Oh, and get this. They're based in San Francisco, but they have local sales and marketing representatives that they call "pop stars." Love it! :)

After all that food, I had to find something to wash it down with (well, other than Honest Tea). You know I'm not a drinker, but I did decide to take one for the team blog and give it a shot, since this was a wine, cheese, and chocolate fest. And, guess what? I actually tasted a wine I like!

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly is based in Modesto, California. They've been making wine since the sixties and definitely have the skill on lock. Known well as an "affordable" wine, Barefoot offers a variety of wines to suit even the most discerning tastes (ie: me).

I tasted the Moscato Spumante, which from what I understand must be called a "bubbly," not "champagne" because of the region where the grapes are grown. Again, I'm not wine expert. That would be JGago. :) No, really, she is. Certified, even. Oh, and I scored a sweet purple foot magnet. Too cool for school.

Oh! And, yet another blog favorite was in attendance to regal the attendees with their fabulousness.

Luna Bar! They were giving away samples of their White Chocolate Macadamia bars. Oh, and did you know Luna is a division of Clif Bar?!? Who knew?!

This is yet another example of a free sample swaying me back to the flock. I've never liked Luna bars, but now that I've tried this flavor, I'm in Luna love. They gave me a free bar.

...which I promptly ate the very next day for breakfast before I went to the zoo (a story for another day).

One of our last stops for the evening was to Orfila Winery, an Escondido winery that gets huge thumbs up by JGago.

Obviously, it was starting to get dark and our pictures weren't coming out well. Unfortunately, one of the coolest companies at the event was also our very last stop of the day. The pictures didn't turn out at all, but I want to tell you about ONEHOPE. OneHope is a great wine company that partners with various charitable organizations to put out certain types of wines. For example, they offer a Breast Cancer wine, a Troops win, and an Autism wine. The last of which is a cause near and dear to my heart because my brother-in-law is autistic.

Ryan and his brother Sam

The way OneHope's program works is that for every specialty bottle of wine, 50 percent of the purchase goes to that charitable organization. It's a great company that you should really check out. Visit their website here.

So, to sum up: this night was incredibly fun! It was so cool to see so many local companies represented. I'm hoping some of them will want to do some blog giveaways. Cross your fingers! :)

And, by the way, the event itself was put on by the Women's History Museum of San Digo, who are rallying to get a spot in SD's beautiful Balboa Park. To raise money, they were selling fabulous tank tops and t-shirts. I will leave you with the tank top's quote:

Well-behaved women rarely make history.

Work it women. :)



  1. Great looking blog. Glad you liked the Barefoot bubbly!

  2. That looks so much fun. I LOVE wine tastings! I did one this weekend too! ;D

  3. 3 things I absolutely love, and can't live without! Wine, cheese and chocolate! Please please, let an event like this come my way!

  4. Wow, I forgot to tell you how great you looked that night! I love that shirt... is that a new one Ryan picked out?

    When I look at that picture of us, and the one you gave me today from when we first started being friends, it amazes to me how far we've come and how much things have changed in that short amount of time. I definitely would not be here or be helping plan this event had you never came to San Diego first. I'm thankful for whatever forces came into our lives to bring us together. Maybe your my true hetero life-mate?

    Crazy to think I've been here almost a year! xoxo

  5. Looks like you guys had a ball!! :)

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