Wow, what an event! I am so happy and grateful that I was able to participate this year, and that I am able to share our fun day with you here.
Where do I start? At the beginning, I guess! We arrived at the gorgeous Santa Margarita Ranch in Santa Margarita (just north of SLO) a little after 10am on Saturday morning. Our good friends are getting married there next summer, so it was fun to just scout out the location. At the entrance, they loaded us up with a reusable bag, lanyard, and wine glass–ready for the fun to begin!
Our first stop was the main tent with local vendors representing the various SLO county cities and, of course, wine tasting! Let me just say right now that we tasted a lot of wine yesterday…
My first bite of the day was a real first for me–oysters! Sunset magazine actually has a really fascinating feature on the Morro Bay Oyster Company in their current issue, so I figured it was about time I actually tried one. And to my surprise, I actually liked it! It had a wonderful fresh salsa on top and honestly, it just kind of tasted a bit like salt water. Plus, they’re fun to eat!
Cal Poly Organic Farm had a stand too. We got to try their chocolate covered pistachios, beef jerky, and chocolate milk–yum!
We got sidetracked by the Atascadero Zoo stand for a bit–who could leave this cute little guy?
And then got sidetracked again by my other favorite thing–the gift shop!
At Jeff’s pleading, we finally got back to the food and wine–it was hard to escape! There were over 200 wineries from the central coast represented at the event including the Sunset Western Wine Awards.
One of my favorite parts of the day was the port and cheese pairing station. Port is usually a bit sweet for my taste, but the cheese really brought out the richness of the flavor in each wine. Plus, I’ll never say no to cheese!
The event also had a few breweries set up on what is traditionally the wedding ceremony site, so of course, we spent a fair bit of time in that area! As expected, Firestone Brewery and Tap It were both pouring their beers. We also got to try an amber and pale ale from Figueroa Mountain Brewery based in Buellton, which we was new to us.
The beer tasting area had picnic tables set up in the center so people could sit, drink, and enjoy the band. Of course, each table had these cute little centerpieces set up–how perfect and easy to make would any of these be for an outdoor party?
Happy Acres Goat Farm was also set up in the garden area with a few of their goats. I’ve been wanted to go take their tour for such a long time now, so it was fun to see them there!
It was definitely a fun filled day of excessive eating, drinking, and entertainment, and such an amazing celebration of a place I love!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: somehow winding up with a seat in Aarti’s, last year’s food network star’s, cooking demonstration!