Outstanding in the Field at Bonny Doon Vineyards

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It was going to be my birthday and my friend Jessica, a food and wine writer had what she referred to as a "bucket list" assignment on that day. She was going to cover Outstanding in the Field's (a farm-to-table dining movement) visit to avante garde viticulturist Randall Grahm's latest pet project, a vineyard in San Juan Baptista; did I want to go? Did she really have to ask? I became familiar with some of the Bonny Doon wine (my favorite--Le Cigare Volante) while waiting on tables many moons ago and have always seen them as consistently outstanding "go-to" wines. The quirky labeling has been a long-standing curiousity--as is the be-specticuled man behind it. He didn't disappoint--with talk of aging one of his wines in large 5-gallon water bottles and stirring it with magnets.

Chef Jamie Smith of Foodmithput together a delicious menu sourced completely locally (the beef we ate was from a close-by farm). And I got to try something I thought I'd never eat; beef tongue. I had two bites. Mom, are you proud (or just a little skeeved out)? It was pretty darned tasty.

Jess and I got to eat some of the best darned strawberry shortcake we'd ever had (with lemon verbena creme to die for) and we even got a man who knew how to work my camera to take a bday photo of us. Score! Thanks Jessica, Foodsmith, Outstanding in the Field and Bonny Doon Vineyards for a birthday dinner to remember.

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