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March 26, 2008

Food and Wine and Pebble Beach

By Robert Farmer

TasteofCalifornia_RR.jpgDuring a recent trip to the Pebble Beach area it struck me - this place is actually pretty nice. Sure, postcard views of the rugged coastline and storybook houses in the hills are a dime a dozen here. But beyond that obvious stuff, there's a lot going on in Pebble Beach. I took time in between watching actors act like they know how to play golf (who am I kidding, most of them are a hell of a lot better than me!), to explore some of the region's finer establishments for culinary delights and the occasional beer. The list can take a month's worth of columns to fill, and I will devote the necessary time to that venture in due course. But in this case I wanted to tell you, faithful reader, that there's a simpler way to get up to speed on the region's best food and wine--during the first annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine Event, scheduled for March 27-30.

This all-encompassing four-day affair is held in four of Pebble Beach's premiere venues, including the famed Lodge at Pebble Beach and features the presence of the globe's top chefs and the fruit of the area's best wineries. Among the big names cooking for the event are Tom Colicchio, Gary Danko, Gérard Boyer, Thomas Keller, Jacques Pépin, Charles Phan, and Charlie Trotter. Wineries represented include Château Margaux, Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Opus One, PlumpJack, Silver Oak, and Veuve Clicquot. This heavy-hitter event, which was created to replace the wildly popular but now shut Masters of Food and Wine, is a rare opportunity to capture all this eating-and-drinking star power on a single peninsula. Numerous ticket packages are available in a range of prices. Check out www.pebblebeachfoodandwine.com, or call (866) 907-3663 to find the one that best suits your Pebble Beach palate.

March 5, 2008

Wither Wine Country Weddings?

By Courtney Cochran

The first part of the story is familiar:  Boy meets girl, boy buys ring, boy pops the question. Fanfare and general bliss come next, followed quickly by the other big question - where should we get hitched?

And while this new question can give rise to a dizzying set of considerations for any couple, those inclined to a wine country wedding are faced with their own unique set of sometimes overwhelming options. Will any wine region do, or is there a special area we're set on? Will our guests be up for a destination wedding, and - if so - is there adequate lodging nearby to house everyone? And, of course, How much does a wine country wedding cost? Will it amount to more or less than getting hitched somewhere else?

We here at WineCountry.com want to know how couples sort through these sorts of questions en route to planning their own unforgettable wine country weddings. If you have an experience, resource or tip you'd like to share, please post it here as a comment.

Not only will your feedback help visitors to the site - many of whom visit us for guidance in wine country wedding planning - it will also give us valuable insights into how we can improve our own wedding planning content. Cheers to that.