Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vine & Barrel’s Fourth Annual Italian Wine Tasting will be held this Saturday at 3pm.  If you are a fan of wine than you are probably a fan of Italian wine and if you are a fan Italian wine than Vine & Barrel is the place to be on Saturday afternoon.  If you have yet to call on their new location (113 Petaluma Blvd N.), you are in for a real treat.  V&B’s wine bar is casual and comfortable, and their events are always informative and lively.  Because of where we live, wine plays a big role in our lives so it is nice to have at least a working knowledge of wine, wine tasting and wine regions from around the world.  You won’t just taste some of the best that the old world has to offer; you will be learning how to better enjoy your future wine experiences.  Visit for more info.

Unfortunately, for yet another year, I will have to miss the V&B Italia event.  On Saturday, duty calls, and I will be at Lake Natoma (East Sacto) rooting on several teams from the North Bay Rowing Club.  You didn’t know Petaluma has a rowing club?  We do!  …and they offer everything from race training to beginners’ clinics.   Check them out at


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another great event this weekend is “A Walk in the Inverness Hills”, a “tour of six coastal gardens in a hidden valley… lying just below the Inverness ridge, provide opportunities for creative terracing and dramatic views of Tomales Bay.”  It is presented by the Inverness Gardens Club (IGC) (, a local institution since 1934.  Along with gardening articles, educational programs and preservation efforts, the IGC uses its fundraising to towards a scholarship program for youth looking to gain a higher education.  If you thought our coastline only consisted of wind bent trees and windswept beaches you have never been to a country garden in the Inverness area.  This event is a great way to visit some secret gardens, while donating to help a good cause. 

With sunny weather predicted for Sunday, the trip to the coast should be spectacular. 

Prior to your garden tour, visit the Tomales Bakery. They offer the freshest local ingredients and are well known for baking as they create.  I can’t give you an Interwebs link because they concentrate on doing one thing well, which makes them easy to find.  When you pull into the town of Tomales just look for all the people with smiles on their faces, but be warned; due to popular demand, they are known to sell out early (ish).

After your garden tour has built up your appetite, hit the Marshal Store for some of the best food on the bay.  (  With an excellent assortment of local cheeses and salads along with oyster in several configurations (I tried one with chorizo!), great clam chowder, ceviche to die for, and a new smoker promising tasty smoked meats, this is a great place to round out your day.  You can even bring your own wine (no corkage fee) as long as you sit at their outside, water view eating area.  And if you wanted some added scenery, drive home on the rarely used Petaluma-Marshal Road.  It is one of the most serene and beautiful roads in the North Bay and is traveled almost exclusively by bicyclist and dairy trucks.

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