2012 VINTJS gewurztraminer
I’ll admit it. I’m a pretty cheap date. Just ask my hubby, Dr. Cain: A really good homemade salad (with plenty of crumbled goat cheese), an expertly-cooked piece of fish, some crunchy green beans, and a $6 bottle of wine and the world is perfect. However, it’s got to be the right $6 bottle of wine. Like Trader Joe’s 2012 VINTJS gewurztraminer, which—when you overturn the bottle and search the fine print—reveals that it is actually produced and bottled by award winning Paso Robles winery Castoro Cellars. Gold stars for all of you that do your wine research! This soft, straw-hued beauty is a steal of a deal that would be absolutely sinful with pineapple-topped pork chops or a fresh pear dessert drizzled with dark chocolate and caramel. Although the varietal is known to be quite sweet, this bottle is only very subtly so. Yes, the bouquet initially opens up with bright aromatics of candied peach, but VINTJS is no innocent schoolgirl. She is more of a lady in yellow. Demure, fresh, and elevated by a bit of citrusy-lime zest, it’s the kind of lazy, early evening wine that you want to bring into the backyard with you after dinner. And it costs less than your dog’s last chew toy. How sweet is that?
• About $6 a bottle at Trader Joe’s, 3977 Higuera St., SLO.
Black Horse Coffee’s Generra
Have you checked out Black Horse Coffee’s newest location, on Los Osos Valley Road? I know, it can be hard to keep up—they seem to be multiplying lately. This clean and friendly coffee joint is just a quick bike ride away from my home and offers a handy alternative to the bustle of downtown. Aside from its cozy fireplace and serene outdoor seating areas (perfect for deadline days), I am now 100 percent enamored with their Generra, which is basically a decadent mocha espresso mixed with tangy orange zest. Mine, which I ordered “for here” came with artful chocolate drizzles atop fluffy foam. To get the whole experience, I suggest you enjoy this one with a real mug, not a to-go cup. As I sipped, I was delighted to bump my upper lip into an actual orange peel hiding under the billows of froth. There is no “orange syrup” clouding up this concoction, just energizing true orange bliss and oh so sophisticated luxurious mocha.
• About $3.75 for a small, 12300 Los Osos Valley Road, SLO.
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