Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Local Flavors

There is nothing quite as nice as being able to walk out your front door and less than twelve minutes later be at a great local wine shop. In Sebastopol our local shop is the Wine Emporium, owned by Tom West. They have a wonderful wine selection and a fabulous tasting line up that changes monthly. They also host terrific events featuring local artists and musicians.

Last Friday we attend a reception for Charles Beck, a landscape artist we recently met on the open art studios tour. Beck’s work captures the essence of Sonoma. If you are a local and missed his open studio you can a view a sampling of his work at the Wine Emporium for the next month or so. An added bonus at the art reception was musician Tara Linda providing a lush musical accompaniment to the wine, art and edibles on hand. I was blown away by Tara’s relaxing, yet upbeat and eclectic style. Her music filed the space without overwhelming it. It was bistro with a beat, sensual and hip with a Cowboy Junkies meets Norton Buffalo sensibility. Anyway, I bought two of her CDs on the spot and have been listening to them ever since.

Naturally, the Wine Emporium features local wines from the area, but they also carry many international labels and I brought home a bottle of Naia, a Verdejo from Rueda in Spain, the purchase of which I think was influenced as much by the music, as what was in my glass. Never underestimate the power of pairing wine and music. The Naia was crisp and spicy with a grapefruit scent and a bright citrus top note. Perfect for a hot summer evening with some grilled chicken or tuna steaks marinated in a ginger-soy sauce. Have at it.

If you are in Sebastopol, or just passing through, take the time to check out the Wine Emporium. Pull up a chair at the wine bar, chat with Al, and let him take you on a mini tasting tour of the day’s offerings. You can even tell Al I sent you. He probably won’t know who you are talking about, but he will take special care of you regardless…it’s that kind of a place.

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