Some people seize a three-day weekend as the perfect travel opportunity.

Not me. I’d much rather stay put and not drive — except to my local grocery store for picnic ingredients to pair with a bottle or two of local wines.

In my May 11 column, I wrote about how well rosés pair with food, but so do pinot noirs, grenaches, sauvignon blancs, pinot grigios and (your favorite wine here).

While we survived our recent heat spell, it’s still important to pack both red and white wines on ice when you drive from home to holiday barbecues or picnics. Wine kept in the trunk of one’s car can easily overheat during transport from home to event.

So gather round your friends and family and honor the women and men who died serving in the United States Armed Forces. Thank you, and cheers.

Members of the Central Coast’s wine industry were stunned and saddened by the May 9 passing of David Robinson, co-owner of Lompoc’s Vintegrated Solutions with his wife, Karen Steinwachs, winemaker at Buttonwood Farm & Winery in Solvang.

Robinson, 54, a native of England, immigrated to the United States in 1990 to work for Epson, where he met Steinwachs.

Robinson and Steinwachs enjoyed the respect and adoration of their many colleagues in Santa Barbara County and the greater Santa Ynez Valley.

I interviewed Steinwachs for stories about wine and harvest and found her to be a wealth of knowledge about viticulture and enology, and I’m distressed that I never took an opportunity to chat with Robinson, whom friends and family described as a man of wit and humor who loved to cook and entertain for others.

A celebration of Robinson’s life will take place at 2 p.m. June 8 at Buttonwood Farm, 1500 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang.

The annual Red, White & Blues Festival, co-sponsored by Longoria Wines, Buttonwood Farm Winery and the Santa Barbara Blues Society, returns to Buttonwood’s idyllic hilltop vineyard from 2 to 6 p.m. June 28.

Rick Longoria, an avid fan of the blues, secured blues guitarist Coco Montoya, a former member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, to headline the event this year.

“I’ve always liked his music,” Longoria said of Montoya, whom he described as having modeled his style after the late blues legend Albert Collins.

Tickets for Red, White & Blues are $40, and are available via Buttonwood, at 688-3032. Tickets for Longoria or Buttonwood club members, as well as members of the Santa Barbara Blues Society, are $35 each. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and picnic gear, but outside alcohol is prohibited.

Tickets include a logo glass and two tastes of wine, and wines from both Buttonwood and Longoria will be available for purchase, Longoria said.

Opening for Montoya will be The Stiff Pickle Orchestra, a Santa Barbara-based duo.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Arts Outreach.

Freelance writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at winecountrywriter@gmail.com. Her blog is www.centralcoastwinepress.com.

0
0
0
0
0