Everyone at my last dinner gathering raved about this wine—even my beer-swilling husband, who doesn’t drink red wine (every once in a while he’ll sneak a sip of my grenache, but that’s about it). What inspired the overwhelming fandom? It’s all in the mix. This blend of 75 percent cabernet sauvignon and 25 percent syrah is velvety, full-bodied, smooth, and spicy with flavors of pomegranate, blackberry, and—according to the winery’s website—pencil lead. The only thing better than sipping this wine with pork chops and friends in the backyard? Joking about how downright strange wine tasting notes can be (pairs great with eraser!). Want to have your own party with some killer Treanna wine? Stop by Hope Family Wines for Thirsty Thursdays, featuring food and music all summer long. Don’t worry: They’re friendly, down-to-earth folks who won’t mind giggling over the tasting notes, too.
• Hope Family Wines’ 2013 Treana Red—About $45; 1585 Live Oak Road, Paso Robles.
Root beer is a weird thing. Throw together some vanilla, cherry tree bark, wintergreen, molasses, anise, and sassafras. Doesn’t sound extremely delicious, does it? Somehow, it all comes together to make what is—in my mind—the best summer beverage under the sun. Add a scoop of French vanilla ice cream ... and it tops the list as best beverage, period. Local brewer Doug Martin of Einhorn Brewing Company is known for his small-batch sodas and beers. Now, he’s producing local root beer, and, my, is his special recipe tasty. Botanical, herby, spicy, and not too sweet, I love that it contains local Therabee honey. Word on the street, the first of his kegs will be available to the public at High Street Deli by summer’s end. This is the perfect excuse to check out the eatery’s expanded seating and to try a new special, like: “The Yupster,” packed with salami, provolone, pesto, honey mustard, arugula, and some other good stuff. I mean, c’mon. You’re drinking a “locally sourced soda made with organic honey.” You are totally a yuppie-hipster at heart!
• Einhorn Brewing’s Root Beer—Price varies, 350 High Street, San Luis Obispo.
Hayley Thomas plans to get a High Street Deli sandwich at 4:20 p.m. at email@example.com.