Weekend Winos

Enthusiasts in search of quality libations to enhance weekends.

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Stroll The Alameda Part Deux: New Finds!

This year, our second time attending, we had no trouble convincing the winos to join us for a fun afternoon of wine & beer tastings as we visited the merchants on The Alameda.  Much like last year, we met early and endeavored to visit all the locales.

IMG_8803This is the sixth year that the Shasta / Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association and the Alameda Business Association organize The Alameda Wine & Beer Stroll. Armed with our wine or beer glasses and official yellow wristband we were off.  

We recognized some of the participants from last year:  Travieso Winery (should have been back at the tattoo parlor), Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Coterie Winery and The Wine Affair.  There were some new participants that made our day!

Umunhum-Brewery-LogoUmunhum Brewing:  Great Beer!   They say it is California’s first co-op brewery,  a growing group of dedicated members who are passionate about great beer, customer service, sustainability, and great food (supporting local and organic farms where possible). We were so impressed by the beer, we joined the co-op!

ZonaRosaSangria at Zona Rosa: The sangria was very good and at this half-way point we also sat down to enjoy their decadent guacamole (yes, that is bacon and nuts) and home-made chips.  We agreed that we would be back soon to the restaurant to try other items on their menu.  It is a small place and always packed.  Everyone there recommended we make reservations and insisted that we would not be disappointed with the meal.

Like we said last year…This is an event that we will add to our regular list.  Already looking forward to the 2017 Stroll, and in the meantime we will be back to enjoy the new acquaintances we made.


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Paella Feast


The group gathered for a house-warming party and what a treat to be part of it!  It was a large crowd and everyone had a great time.

The hosts hired  Hola Paella  to provide the delicious food and a fantstic show.  They cooked the paella as we all watched. Step-by-step they showed us how its done and our appetite just kept growing and growing. Gratefully the delicious appetizers (Serrano ham and melon mini-skewer; Manchego cheese, Spanish chorizo and Spanish olive stuffed with pimiento in a toothpick; and vegetarian empanaditas) were being served with wine, beer and sangria while we watched.

Making paella is an art form, and Chef Fernando and Team at Hola Paella sure have the experience and love that it takes to make this tasty dish.

paella7paella5The Paella Valenciana is my favorite with all the seafood (mussels, clams, calamari, scallops, peeled and devained shrimp), chicken, Spanish chorizo, pork sausage, timely prepared with rice and vegetables (sweet peas, green beans, garlic, onions, roasted peppers, Spanish saffron and spices. They also prepared, for any guests with allergies,  an All Meat Paella with rice, boneless chicken, Spanish chorizo, pork sausage and green and red roasted peppers, green beans, sweet peas, garlic, onions, Spanish saffron and spices. Both were served with a house salad (Mixed organic baby greens, red peppers, & walnuts served with honey Dijon vinaigrette dressing) & a French Baguette with Butter.

paella3paella9We all chipped in on the drinks and desserts and I assure you nobody left hungry.  The small donuts with dulce de leche filling were the first to disappear. The peanut butter pie with whipped cream was a close second.  Many guests asked to take some of the peanut butter pie home, because they heard it was good but had not had a chance to taste it.  I should have thought of that!

I must confess I did not pay much attention to the libations, my glass was always full with something special that one of the weekend winos had brought to share. I do know that I started with a delicious home made Sangria — must get the recipe.

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Wine, Beer, Frozen Mimosas and Lots of Garlic at the 2013 Gilroy Garlic Festival

You Have To Go At Least Once!

This weekend we knew it was going to be hot so we tried to get there early to avoid the long lines. No such luck, but what a great surprise when we finally got there and parking was FREE with a bus waiting to take the group to the entrance.  No lines to buy tickets and you could definitely smell the garlic coming from Gourmet Food Alley.

Gilroy Garlic Festival Beer Tin

Gilroy Garlic Festival Beer Tin

We started to walk around and quickly decided we needed a strategy

1) food, drinks, walk around, music, shop and repeat, or

2) drinks, food, walk around, drinks, music, food, shop

we all agreed the shopping was last because it was too hot to carry anything.

So, we’re off… no wine tent in sight yet, so….first stop is the beer garden followed by garlic fried calamari and garlic fries.  We bought the beer tins as a practical souvenir and took a break to listen in at the Cook-off Theater.   Yes, the free garlic ice cream booth was right in front of us, but the line was about 60 people long.  We walked around and were tempted by many goodies but there was still the other half of the event to conquer.

We avoided the Children’s Area, yes we did, and came back to Gourmet Food Alley just in time for the Flame-ups by the Pyro Chefs, that was impressive.. huge flames of fire.  And we move on.

Garlic Goodies

Garlic Goodies

It is high noon and it is very hot.  The wine tent is now in sight but we haven’t tried the pesto pasta yet and we’re tempted by the henna tattoo booth (unfortunately the line was too long).  So with bellies full we walk around and find our way to the wine tent.  Five or six wineries to taste and what a surprise frozen mimosas (the perfect combination of tasty and refreshing).   We knew this would be our final stop before shopping at the everything garlic tent.

Last stop… everything garlic to buy under one tent.  Yes every one bought something, how could we resist.  The garlic infused oils, soaps, rubs, dips.  Yummmm!  Clothing, wine glasses, cook books.  A one stop shop and by the look on everyone’s face it was time to say goodbye and head back home.

See you all next weekend!