It never rains in Southern California and “Italian wine from local vineyards”

Tracie P and I headed north from Los Angeles yesterday afternoon up the Pacific Coast Hwy 1. We stopped for a light dinner at one of my favorite college-days haunts, the Reel Inn. Inexpensive, family-friendly, fresh grilled fish, casual and classic beach comber setting. Love it. Right next to the Topanga Canyon Inn. Get the picture?

We found that “golden hour” driving up the coastal highway, some Willie and Merle on our juke box. Snapped that photo about 40 minutes south of Oxnard. Simply gorgeous…

Woke up in Solvang and had breakfast with Eileen and Greg, who are also heading to Dan and Kate’s wedding this afternoon. Looking forward to celebrating with them (and I gotta sing at the wedding!) and seeing so many good friends from LA (where the couple lives now) and NYC (where Dan and I and Greg played in NN+ for all those years.

Even tasted some “Italian wine from local vineyards” in one of the many tasting rooms that pepper downtown Solvang. Honestly, the wines — made from Italian grape varieties — weren’t bad. Oaky (a big turnoff for me and Tracie P) but the Nebbiolo smelled like Nebbiolo. In other words, the wines were true to the variety. They just didn’t really excite me. I was a little nonplussed by the presence of Freisa in a “Super Tuscan.”

Gotta run: need to practice the hora (oy, the hora!) before we head up to the farmhouse in Los Olivos for the shindig… It’s bound to be a blast… Stay tuned… and thanks for reading…

O, and, btw, Alfonso on Calabria today at 32 Days of Natural Wine, not to be missed!

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