"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'" ~ Robin Williams
May has worked out to be a month of pick up parties. Between my husband and I, we are wine club members at Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, Opolo Vineyards, Peachy Canyon Winery, and PasoPort Wine, as well as a member of the Fromagerie Sophie cheese of the month club. Three of which are having their spring pick up parties this month.
For those unfamiliar, as a wine club member a winery will prepare a selection of wine at a discounted, or member price, and the winery will typically host an afternoon or evening of tastings, music, and food assortments. Each winery is different as to the format and type of food, but pretty standard is a taste of the wines you have purchased in your club shipment.
The first pick up party for the month was Opolo. Their party was on May 4th. The private event is pretty huge, and available to wine club members plus one guest. Their parking lots were overflowing, but they had little tram carts, a la Disneyland style, available to drive members up to the tasting room.
Inside the tasting room they were pouring a selection of their wines, but just like any visit to Opolo, they were more than willing to pour anything from their extensive list of wines (even if the bottle had not been opened yet). They also had another tasting area dedicated to the wines that were packaged in the member shipments.
The weather was perfect - mid 70's and sunny - the food was tasty, the pours were hearty, and the overall evening was pleasant and relaxing.
Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery
Pick up party #2 was at Pomar Junction. Their pick up parties are usually held on both a Saturday and a Sunday around the middle of the month. This quarter, parties were held on the 13th and 14th.
I attended the party on the 14th and being Mother's Day weekend, they went a little above and beyond. At the Saturday party they had craft and calligraphy classes and on Sunday they had chair massages and foot soak offerings for an additional cost.
Everything was well organized and they had open tasting areas that offered their full selection of available wines, not just the ones in the shipments. There were 3 tasting areas plus 1 specific to their new 2016 Rose release.
In addition to the wine and the mother's day pampering, there was a band (sorry, I can't remember the band name, but they were really good and sang familiar cover songs) and food catered by Stein's BBQ. They served a delicious Hawaiian chicken on a bed of rice, Asian slaw, and a roll. It was so good!
Pomar really puts on one of the best pick up parties and it is always a pleasure to visit their winery.
The 3rd and final pick up party for May was at Fromagerie Sophie. They are a quaint little cheese shop located in downtown San Luis Obispo. For more details on their shop and offerings, click here.
Fromagerie Sophie has a cheese of the month club and on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, for a flat fee of $40, you get a small selection of cheeses that add up to 1 pound. This month the cheese selections were:
Personally, I love feta over a Greek or Mediterranean salad with salami and pine nuts, but all of the cheeses this month were delicious.
This was my first shipment with them and I was a bit nervous about the portions and getting stuck with a lot of cheese that I wouldn't know what to do with. That wasn't the case at all. The portions were all manageable, whether you want to slice up the cheese and enjoy with crackers, or grate or crumble over a salad. Since there were 3 different cheese types, I probably received about 1/3 pound of each (to total 1 pound...see how quick I was with that math? Fractions, no less. My dad would be proud).
The pick up party itself was held on the back patio behind the cheese shop. As a club member, you are allowed to bring up to 2 guests with you. Paul and Sophie, the shop owners, prepared an assortment of cheeses, meats, crackers and pate along with some wine to enjoy with your cheese. They typically do not serve any of the cheeses that are included in your shipment, but I'm not sure why. That's just what Paul told me.
Despite a chilly, misty fog that came over San Luis Obispo that evening, it did not detour any members from coming to the soiree, picking up their cheese, and enjoying some wine and good company. I even bought a few extras before I left for the evening - some sea salt crackers and a butter blended with pepper. It sounds a bit odd, but it was quite tasty. I'm looking forward to putting it on garlic bread. I think it might kick it up a notch!
The Next Round of Pickups...
Our spring pickups have all sprung and our next round of pick up parties won't be until fall-ish. I will fill you in on the all the details of Peachy Canyon and Paso Port pick ups at that time!
I am Sandy Surprise, new to the blog scene, but anxious to share my adventures with you! Read more about me by clicking here.
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