I recently had a few friends over for mimosas in the backyard (putting to use a few pounds of oranges harvested from my garden). You can’t have mimosas without something bubbly, and thankfully, we had a chilled bottle of Tobin James Dream Weaver on hand. Ripe, rounded, and light enough for a dreamy a.m. brunch, this famous Paso Robles wine easily found in local markets pairs perfectly with fresh blueberries, goat cheese quiche, and smoked salmon. My motto: When life gives you oranges, always make mimosas! And always invite your friends over to enjoy them with you.
• Tobin James’ Dream Weaver Sparkling—About $15; 8950 Union Road, Paso Robles.
I love seeing elegant stalks of lemongrass at the SLO Natural Foods Cooperative—they always inspire me to create a whole meal around them, usually with spicy peppers and coconut milk. What goes great with spicy Thai treats? A riesling of course! Full of melon and green apple goodness, this dry riesling produced by Cambria-based Cutruzzola Winery (also known for awesome pinot noirs) provides a smashing counterbalance to whatever heat you throw at it. Stop by their cute tasting room in the pastoral town on your next visit and taste for yourself. Who knows, you may even build a whole meal around your inspiration.
• Cutruzzola Vineyard’s 2011 Riesling—About $26, 555 Main Street, Cambria.
Hayley Thomas is looking for new inspirational drinks at firstname.lastname@example.org.