Last Friday my mom and I attended one of our favourite local events: The Art and Wine Tour in downtown Atascadero. This was one of the better Tours they've had with a total of 17 wineries representing their best wines, as well as some flavoured olive oils and vinegars, lots of yummy hors d'oeuvres, singers, dancers, various artists like photographers and painters, belly dancers, a country band, and even the drama department from Atascadero High School! To be different, we started on Traffic Way instead of Entrada and paced ourselves this time, so we didn't get to taste at every winery, and didn't get to see all the artists (particularly bummed about missing the drama department!), but we did manage to try some different wines, and got to browse some different as well as newly opened downtown shops and businesses. And we broke out of our rut! Yay, us!
Frolicking Frog inside Olive Tree Gallery.
Model posing outside Olive Tree Gallery - pull up an easle and draw a picture!
Our one big regret was not thoroughly perusing the map showing the business and their artist and winery before we started because Envisions Gallery had as their artist, executive chef Shannon McDuffie who prepared a food and wine pairing with Eberle winery which looked amazingly delicious! However, we had already been to six places before that and they all had lots of really good food (Wilwand Tea basically put out a full meal!), so we were already full by the time we reached Envisions and only tried the wine and looked longingly at the amazing food. That was a bummer!
The food thing is kind-of hit or miss as this event; you really can't count on there being any food at all. At one of the first-ever Art and Wine Tours, every business that was hosting a winery had a variety of hors d'oeuvres, fruit, or desserts, so we snacked the whole way around as we drank. We didn't even need to have dinner afterwards, or worry about The $20.00 Rule. The next time we went, only a couple places had anything at all, and they were crumbly little cookies, and dried up mini cheese and crackers. It was not enough, let me tell you! So, from then on we decided to play it safe and have at least a small snack before going down there, so we weren't drinking a lot of wine on an empty stomach if no one was offering food. Still, if we'd checked the map, we would've gone to Envisions first, and tried their food and wine pairing. I'm hoping they'll do that again next time!
Still Waters Vineyards inside Wilwand Tea Co. & Healing Arts
Several businesses who participated in this event before weren't open this time, which was disappointing because I always enjoy browsing those shops, and a couple new businesses joined in. It's always nice to see new faces downtown, and I wish them all the best of luck!
Ancient Peaks at 805 Board Shop.
Trader Joe's Coastal Zinfandel inside Back on the Racks Consignment.
Pomar Junction's fantastic Picnic Chardonnay inside the Historic Carlton Hotel.
All in all it was a great event - good job, Downtown Atascadero Association! Looking forward to the next big event!