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Bites

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Gather and Grub

What to serve this holiday season? Makers of albariño, garnacha, and cabernet sauvignon, Verdad Winery in Arroyo Grande is your one-stop holiday wine shop! Good thing they just opened up a brand new tasting room at 134 Branch St. in the village of Arroyo Grande (learn more at verdadwine.com) ... It's totally cheese plate season, and moldy is best! Here are five fast facts to celebrate these complicated cheeses with wonderfully wrinkly rinds: Mold spores protect the cheese from bacteria so you want them on there and lots of them. Molds on the outside of cheese produce an enzyme that makes the cheese just inside the rind super ooey gooey. Be sure to eat the rind, because it holds a lot of the flavor. Molds have been added to cheeses for thousands of years and are added at various stages of the cheese-making process. Without mold, we might not be able to make aged cheeses at all, so if you like any cheese, give moldy cheese a try. Interested to learn more about serving moldy cheese this holiday season? Join Fromagerie Sophie's Cheese of the Month Club (not a bad hostess gift, either; fromageriesophie.com).

Feeding Friends

Make a difference now: Glean805 is the second joint effort between local gleaning groups throughout the 805 region including GleanSLO (a program of the SLO Food Bank), Santa Barbara's Backyard Bounty, Santa Ynez Fruit and Veggie Rescue, FOODShare Ventura, and others. Through Oct. 24 (National Food Day), Glean805 will host a lineup of events aimed at getting more folks involved in the gleaning movement. Now is the time to learn everything you'd ever want to know. Looking to feed your own backyard? Go to gleanslo.org! ... Mark your calendar: On Friday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m., Cal Poly Arts presents farm-to-fork advocate and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson at the Performing Arts Center for a far-ranging discussion titled Keeping It Local: Sustaining Your Community, delivering fresh perspectives on how we grow, cook, and shop for food. The presentation will be moderated by Hunter Francis, director of the Cal Poly Center for Sustainability, with an audience Q-and-A to follow. Get tickets atcalpolyarts.org.

Green and Purple

Thirty years of wine just got greener: Iconic, longtime Paso Robles winery Peachy Canyon is now a net-zero energy operation, meaning that its westside facility is now powered 100 percent by a solar array! Way to go, y'all! ... Tooth and Nail Winery, located off Highway 46 West in Paso Robles, is hosting some booty-shaking events this fall, including a Halloween Harvest Costume Ball on Oct. 27 (benefiting Must! Charties) and a performance by The Generationals on Oct. 22. For tickets, go to toothandnailwinery.com ... This Oct. 28, Zoo to You is again offering its popular Halloween Wine Passport fundraiser benefiting local exotic animals in need. Meet extraordinary animals at select tasting rooms across Highway 46 East, get discounts (when you wear a costume), and enter for a chance to win wine country prizes (go to pasorobleswinerieseast.com for info) ... Harvest Wine Weekend is unfolding across Paso Robles through Oct. 22, so don't miss out on all the sipping, swirling, picking, punching-down, de-stemming, and bottling (go to pasowine.com for info).

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