Corkage Fees for Santa Clarita Valley Restaurants

Ever wonder what the corkage fees are around town?  Well if you live in the Santa Clarita Valley, has just made an updated listing available to us locals.  If you don’t live in this area, let us know which area you’re interested in getting a list for, and we’ll start working on it!

Reprinted with permission

Santa Clarita Valley Wine Corkage Fees
Updated for 2014
Source: Eve Bushman, www.Eve’

Beer vs. Wine – Vote Now!

I love Wine.  I love Beer.  Given the option to choose between one and another, I would choose… BOTH!  Let’s face it, it’s not fair to have to pick just one.  Life is short, let’s enjoy both!
Which do you prefer? To vote, leave a comment!
Facts and figures comparing popular wines and beers such as Estonian Beer and Malbec Wine as well as the most well-known festivals, like the Fete Des Vendages Wine Festival.
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Great Beer + Great Friends = Amazing Events!

I’m very fortunate, I have some pretty amazing friends.  They’re hard workers, passionate, enthusiastic, leaders, followers, visionaries, lovers, fighters, compassionate and funny. They support one another in times of need and are able to put on some AMAZINGly fun events.  Every year a group of us takes time out of our daily lives for a week of “work hard/play hard” event execution.  What I mean by that is that we take vacation time from work to get put on an beer hospitality suite like none you’ve ever seen.  Just to give you an idea, here’s what the invite looked like:

This invite went out to guests – many of whom have come to look forward to this particular night.  We transform a typical, boring hotel ballroom into a destination where business is conducted, people laugh, beer is poured, and memories are made.  It’s hard work, and yet it’s something I look forward to helping with every single year.

When your friends share your passion, anything is possible — even a vacation which some may confuse for “work”.  Someone once said that if you’re doing what you love, it’s not considered “work”.  I LOVE what I do!

If you need someone to create a unique wine or beer event that gives your guests something to remember – send me an email.

Birra Moretti – an Italian Beer with Perfect Timing

This weekend I had the pleasure of helping with the Italian Feast of San Gennaro.  More specifically my family were responsible for about thirty – yes 30! – children between the ages of 5 – 8 years of age as we prepped them for the parade and then tried to keep them in some sort of order until their performance on-stage to dance the Italian Tarantella and sing some songs.  All I can say is after 4 hours of 30 children + their parents — we definitely earned a drink!

Although there as a full bar at the festival, with no doubt some tasty wine, it seemed that the logical choice on a hot afternoon after a morning of wrangling children was an ice cold beer – Birra Moretti in fact!  Oh my gosh, it was perfectly cold and refreshing.  I can honestly say that the Birra Moretti showed up at my table at the most perfect time.  We had just polished off some pizza, we had gone through the ice water and then there it was – a clear plastic cup filled with an appetizing amber liquid placed right in front of me.  The taste can be described with a single syllable — “ahhhh”.

Who is the Duchesse de Bourgogne? (One tasty beer that’s who!)

The Duchesse de Bourgogne… Just saying it sounds so regal, so special, so elegant.  The Duchesse is all of those and more. It’s complex, refined, and exquisite.  It does not need another to stand out, as she is able to do that all on her own – but once complimented, she is ever more so intriguing.  Like a strong woman, the Duchesse represents confidence amongst those she shares the bar with, yet she is soft and supple in those areas that are to be appreciated.  Who is the Duchesse de Bourgogne?  You ask?  I’ll restate the question as WHAT is the Duchesse de Bourgogne?  The Duchesse de Bourgogne is hands down one of the tastiest beers I have ever had.

Duchesse de BourgogneYes, you read it right – a BEER!  I first tasted this red ale while preparing for the The Belgians Are Coming Belgian Beer Festival.  There we were, standing in what was to be the VIP area of the beer festival when the decision was made to taste some of the beers that had begun to arrive.  We probably tasted 15 beers maybe? I wasn’t really counting to be honest.  But of all the beers we tried, The Duchesse de Bourgogne is the one I remember.

Although this is a red ale, the color of it is actually rather dark, ruby like, and the head (the foam) reminded me of the color of sand on the beach. At first taste, I couldn’t help think of wine and thought that the appropriate way to drink it would be in a wine glass.  (Later I learned the proper vessel to enjoy this ale is reminiscent of a wine goblet.)  There was this oakiness in it, this sweetness, yet some sourness to it as well.  A balance that most chefs struggle to master in their dishes let alone a Brewmaster.  I vividly remember tasting hints of caramel, butter, cherries and malt.  The flavors seem to change throughout the tasting process and remain interesting up through to the dry, long finish.

I learned later that the wine, uh I mean beer, is actually aged in oak for 18 months – that made so much more sense to me now.  This explains that oakiness, butter and caramel flavors.  The beer is then blended with a younger beer, aged only for 8 months, and then bottled.  Hailing from Brouwerij Verhaeghe in Belgium, with approximately 6% alcohol, this craft beer is brewed with deep-roasted barley malt and hops.

Leave it to those Belgians to create something so tasty that if it weren’t for the head, could easily be mistaken for a sophisticated glass of wine.

Hangin’ with the “Hoe”s

Shhhh… don’t tell Peter!  We’re currently conducting an impromptu, unofficial non-voluteer meeting.  The topic — Beer appreciation.  We are evaluating the tested and true Belgian beers — Leffe and Hoegaarden.  The verdict.. yum! Come back for an in-depth eval later!