The inside scoop: SLOcal Chef Maegen Loring is sharpening up her knives for a brand new gig at Niner Wine Estates. The best part? You can actually watch Loring as she creates her locally sourced goodies and pairs them with award-winning, estate-grown wines at the Niner Wine Estate kitchen (open every weekend for private and public events; for regular kitchen hours check ninerwine.com). How cool is that? Starting this week, stop by Monterey Street Wines in downtown SLO for the perfect GSM. No, it’s not a blend of grenache-syrah-mourvedre. Instead, it’s a Grilled Spanish Marcona almond and cheese sammy (get it?). Chow down and watch the world rush by. ... Did someone say, “Cupcakes?!” Cupcake Vineyards is gearing up for its 2014 Cupcake Truck Tour, and—lucky for us—the wheels will screech to a stop at Sunset Savor the Central Coast at the Santa Margarita Ranch Sept. 27 through 28. What better way to kick off all things Central Coast lifestyle, gardening, food, and wine, than with a sugary dollop of bliss in your mouth?
Are we there yet?
Any excuse to celebrate, right? Guzzle more brews than you can shake a shillelagh stick at thanks to the Second Annual Blarney at the Beach “Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day” celebration to be held at Avila Beach Golf Resort on Sept. 21. The fun is for all ages and rolls from noon to 5 p.m. with performances by The Young Dubliners, Real McKenzies, and Staggering Jack. Don’t miss out: Irish fare will be served up by Rooney’s Irish Pub to help absorb some of those fine libations (tickets $20-$40; more info at avilabeachconcerts.com) … The Point San Luis Lighthouse is gearing up for its anticipated Lighthouse Jubilee on Sept. 21, featuring live music, wines, tunes, and an old fashioned ice cream social you don’t want to miss (tickets are $65; more info at sanluislighthouse.org) … My idea of heaven is all about ham, prosciutto, and olives, so you know I’m dying to get to the Pianetta Blind Tasting with Antipasto Pairings event slated for Sept. 20 at the downtown Paso Robles tasting room. Sip full-bodied reds paired with the best Italian nibbles around and thank goodness for Genoa salami.
Not a bad idea
Adorbes: If you haven’t checked out SLO’s new Huckleberry Market yet, you are seriously missing out on gratuitous displays of cuteness. Get your behind down there and allow the crafty experts behind the bar to craft you a gorgeous, fresh-picked centerpiece for your next dinner party (or sign up for their weekly flower service!). Feeling creative? Sign up for their upcoming floral design class, kicking off Oct. 9 (more details at Huckleberrymarket.com) … First Airbnb and Zipcar, now: Mealsharing.com. Feeling old and bewildered yet? The online service that connects travelers and locals over home-cooked grub is now offering food-based connections in more than 425 cities. Check it out next time you’re up for a bit of out-of-town dining adventure. If you dare.