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Central Coast Wine Insider Blog

Central Coast Wine Insider Blog

Champagne Cocktails: A Festive way to Dress up your Bubbly!

Champagne Cocktails: A Festive way to Dress up your Bubbly!

champagne cocktail2An LBD for your Champagne!


Die hard champagne enthusiasts may consider us sacrilege to add other ingredients to such a beautiful wine, but here at Breakaway Tours, we just love to experiment. Including champagne in a recipe can make a great cocktail really spectacular, especially around the Holidays. After all, you shouldn’t be the only one dressing up for those amazing parties. Let your favorite sparkling wine in on the action!

Champagne is a sparkling wine of great distinction – turning any occasion into something a little more special. There are various styles of champagne: for example Brut (very dry) and Demi Sec (sweeter) as well as vintage (made from grapes of one specific year) and non vintage (grapes from blends produced in various years). To earn the right to have the word champagne on the bottle label however, the liquid inside must be entirely produced from Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes grown in the Champagne region of Northern France around the cities of Reims and Epernay. The champagne producers guard their exclusive name vigorously and have in the past been to court to protect it as in 1993 when they went into battle to prevent the Yves Saint Laurent company producing a perfume called “Champagne” and won their case. It is one of the few “white wines” in the world produced from red grapes – due to the way they are gently pressed so as not to bruise the champ cocktail3skins. There are also extraordinarily strict limits on the amount of juice that can be squeezed from a certain weight of grapes to maintain the highest quality of champagne produced.

Here we have selected a few of our favorite champagne cocktails for you to try out – we hope you enjoy making them. If champagne isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to use Prosecco, Cava, or your favorite California Sparkling Wine for the occasion. We recommend: Laetitia Vineyards’ NV Brut Cuvee $25, or Vina Robles Sparkling Brut NV $23. Serve all champagne/sparkling cocktails in a flute glass which allows the bubbles to move from the bottom to the top of the glass. The more space the bubbles have to move around in within the glass, the longer it will keep its fizz!

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Known as the ‘Classic Champagne Cocktail’, this libation is thought to have first originated from the winner of a New York Cocktail competition in 1899. A unique combination of ingredients – you’ll be surprised by the result. Drip 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters on a sugar cube and place in the bottom of a champagne flute. Cover the cube with cognac and top up with champagne. Perhaps what seems most strange is that as you drink it the flavor changes from dry to sweet as the sugar cube slowly dissolves.

champagne cocktail1Champagne Charlie

This cocktail recipe is believed to have been named in tribute to the original ‘Champagne Charlie’ himself – Monsieur Charles-Camille Heidsieck who first launched the champagne brand bearing his name in 1851. Through his extensive travelling around the world to promote his champagne, he became well known for his charm and his adventures. This cocktail recipe is a fruity combination of Apricot Brandy topped up with champagne.

Emma Peel

A blend of Cherry Brandy and pineapple juice and yes you’ve guessed it – topped up with champagne. The Cherry Brandy and pineapple juice mix together to make a dusky pink colour and give it an exotic fruity tang. We think it’s just like it’s namesake Emma Peel , the British spy from the 60’s classic TV romp, The Avengers!

The Kir Royale

Perhaps one of the best known champagne cocktail recipes is the Kir Royale. Named for it’s inventor Felix Kir, mayor of Dijon in post-war France. It consists of a measure of  Crème de Cassis in a flute glass topped with champagne for a subtle pink hued cocktail.

Wine Cork Crafts for the Holidays!

Upcycle those wine corks for amazing Holiday Décor!

With the Holiday Season in full swing, the timing is perfect for an amazing day in wine country with Breakaway Tours! Whether you use the trip as a way to find the perfect bottle of wine for that festive gathering you have on your calendar, you decide to take your Holiday Party on the road (no cleanup-yay!), or you simply want to escape the chaos of shopping and baking with a special someone, we have you covered!

It’s no secret that we love wine! We love tasting it, talking about it, drinking it, and remembering that special sip long after the glass is empty. But how can you treasure the memory of that amazing bottle you bought on your wine tasting trek with Breakaway AND get into the Holiday? We’re so glad you asked!

Here are some amazing DIY projects to help you turn wine corks into wreaths, jewelry, and ornaments that will impress your friends and make your home feel Merry and Bright:

Wine Cork Knives

Wine Cork Knives

Wine Cork Cheese and Canape Knives

What goes better with wine than cheese and canapes? We cant wait to use these quirky cutters at our next Coaktail Party. To make them yourself, follow the link HERE. And be sure to invite us!



Wine Cork Stamps

Wine Cork Stamps

Wine Cork Stamps

We love the versatility of these cool Cork Stamps. Whether you use them to decorate wrapping paper, or to seal your holiday cards with a flourish, they are sure to make an impression. Fun for kids and adults – just make sure you leave the cutting to the adults.



Wine Cork Pendant

Wine Cork Pendant

Wine Cork Pendants

What do you get for the wine loving gal who has everything wine-related? A custom made wine cork necklace. With a few items from your local craft store, you can easily upcycle that cork into the statement necklace of the season. Check it out HERE



Wine Cork Wreaths

Wine Cork Wreath

Wine Cork Wreath

Greet your guests in style with this Wine Cork Wreath! Some hot glue gun and a wreath frame, and you’re in business. Warning: this one requires more than a few corks, so you may have to enlist the help of some friends…or simple drink more wine yourself!



Wine Cork Ornament

Wine Cork Ornament

Wine Cork Ornaments

Have a few corks laying around? Looking for a way to gussy up your tree this year? HERE are some whimsical ideas on how to kill two birds with one stone and feel like a vino-inspired Martha Stewart in the process.

The Shape of Things – which is the best Wine Glass?

Your WINE GLASS really can make a big difference in how your wine tastes!various shaped wine glass stemware

In principle, you can use anything to drink wine out of and depending on the situation, the vessel you employ to help the nectar reach your lips may not make much difference. But enthusiasts will tell you, you should pick your wine glass with care and attention; the more care you give to buying and tasting wine, the more care you should give to having the right wine glass, just ask Riedel Glassware.

Wine Glass Best Color

Although the color of a wine glass seems like it should be irrelevant to how wine tastes, it does impact how the wine appears when you look at it. Because proper enjoyment of wine begins with appreciating the wine’s appearance. To understand its color, clarity, and consistency, then we need a wine glass that doesn’t  alter the wine’s color.

What this means is that some of the most visually appealing wine glasses are also some of the worst wine glasses for wine tasting. Colored glasses will completely alter the wine’s color. Etched glasses or glasses with any sort of pattern will interfere with your ability to get an accurate picture of what the wine looks like. Angles around the wine glass aren’t quite as bad, but they should also be avoided for the same reasons. The best glasses for tasting wine are therefore completely clear, round glasses — wine glasses with no coloring, no designs, not angles, and no patterns. Plain, boring wine glasses are the best wine glasses.

Wine Glass Best Material

Although it might seem like nothing more than an excuse for snobbery, experience has shown over and over that higher quality glasses can have a big impact on how wine tastes. Apparently, it’s possible for the exact same wine to taste completely different to people if simply served in wine glasses made from different material.

No one has been able to determine if this is merely a matter of aesthetics or if there is an actual physical reaction between wine and quality glass that doesn’t occur with wine and plastic or wine and lower quality glass. The best explanation offered so far is that crystal is rougher than regular glass and this roughness creates turbulence in the wine which, in turn, causes more of the aromatic compounds in the wine to be released.

You may need to use plastic glasses in some situations, like picnics, but otherwise you want to stick with genuine glass — and, preferably, higher quality crystal glasses if possible. You want to avoid lead crystal, though, because research has shown that wine can leech the lead out of the glass very quickly. Lead crystal glass is especially ill-suited for decanters and other containers which will hold wine for any length of time.

Although you will certainly have a better wine tasting experience with the highest quality, thin crystal glasses, they probably cost too much for most consumers — and that’s before taking into account that their fragility almost guarantees that they will break regularly.

Fortunately, you can find good, quality wine glasses at reasonable prices — and this includes crystal glasses as well. They’ll cost more than the average drinking glass and even more than wine glasses at discount retailers, but it’s worth a little extra expense to get the most out of every bottle. You should be prepared to spend around $50 per dozen for standard glasses and perhaps $75 per dozen for crystal glasses. If you’re looking for the best wine glasses, though, you’ll be spending between $50 and $100 each.

Wine Glass Best Thickness

It’s a lot easier to appreciate what your wine looks like if you use thin glasses. Even if the qualify of the crystal is very good, there’s no avoiding the fact that a thicker wine glass creates distortions which will impact what you see when looking for color and clarity. The thinner the glass, the less you’ll have between you and your new best friend.

Additionally, thinner glass helps create a finer stream of wine to run across the taste buds on your tongue. A finer stream means more mixing with the air in your mouth and also interacting with your taste buds. Taken together, these factors ensure that you’ll get the most out of what you’re drinking.

Wine Glass Best Size

Yes, even the size of the wine glass plays an important role in what your wine tastes like. Whatever you’re drinking, don’t use small glasses. You want larger glasses because you want to be able to only fill them a third to half way and still have room to swirl. If you try to do this with a small wine glass, you’ll barely have a sip to drink before having to refill. Small glasses should be used only for sherry, port, and desert wines.

That said, you ideally need larger glasses for reds than you do for whites. Reds are best served in glasses that are 12 to 16 ounces, though you can get them as large as 24 ounces. Whites are best served in glasses that are 10 to 12 ounces. Because few people can afford good crystal glasses for every sort of wine, most compromise. You can manage well with most varietals by using a wine glass around 12 ounces.

stemless wine glassesStem Glasses vs. Stemless Glasses

Stemless tumblers have become very popular in recent years and there is no denying that they can look very nice. However, there are good reasons to avoid them if you want to get the most out of your tasting experience — as opposed to simply wanting to look hip and stylish.

Stemless wine glass forces you to hold the glass by the bowl which creates two basic problems. First, the warmth of your hand will heat up the wine, changing its temperature. Your body is around 98.6 degrees F. Wine is best served around 55 degrees depending on the varietal. Do the math. No bueno. Wine glasses have stems not for the sake of looking elegant, but precisely so you can hold them by the stem. This ensures that the heat of your hand isn’t transferred and keeps the glass bowl from being smudged.

Wine Glass – Best Shapes

Although the material, color, size, and thickness of  your wine glass is all important, the single most important aspect of a proper wine glass is its shape. Different wines require different sorts of shapes to best appreciate the varietals flavor.

Holiday Wine Pairing Inspiration

You have slaved away for days to create the perfect Holiday meal. The sweat, the tears, the last minute runs to the market because you apparently *don’t* have baking powder in your cupboard. Now what? Wine, of course! The good news is that this may be the easiest part of your Holiday celebration. Follow these helpful hints and suggestions for pairing your most delicious dishes with their perfect adult-beverage companions. And don’t worry – we won’t revoke your foodie card for going off the grid and bucking tradition. You will find no rules here, only a world of possibilities!


Ham & Pinot NoirPinot Noir wine pairs with Ham

Every Thanksgiving my dad cooks a ham. It is magical. It is basted in sugar and spice and everything that is good about the world. My favorite wine to pair with this ham is an Edna Valley Pinot Noir. Edna’s Pinots tend to be spicy and berry-rich, and light on tannins. A great partner for ham. Try pairing with Baileyana Winery’s Halcon Rojo Pinot Noir/ $33

Viognier wine pairs with turkeyTurkey & Viognier

The star of the Holidays, this roasted bird is succulent, rich and delicious. It lords over the rest of the table like Brando in The Godfather, making our taste buds an offer they can’t refuse. Traditionally paired with Chardonnay, I think its time we switch it up a bit and set Turkey up on a little date with my good friend Viognier. California is producing some amazing Vio’s these days:  complex with hints of stone fruit, honey and minerals. Try pairing with Jaffurs Bien Nacido Viognier / $27

Don’t hesitate to switch these two wines up, yummy either way!


Brussels Sproutsb & Dry ReislingDry Riesling wine pairs with brussel sprouts

I prefer mine roasted and crispy, with bacon, onions and toasted nuts. However you prepare them, these green machines are packed with flavor and just a hint of sweetness. I love a great Dry Reisling with some good acid and maybe a hint of effervescence. Try pairing with Claiborne & Churchill Winery Dry Reisling/ $22

zinfandel wine pairs with sweet potatoesSweet Potatoes & Zinfandel

Paso Robles Zinfandels are a natural for this earthy yet sweet root. The moderate tannins and deep fruity flavors of zinfandel hold up well in this duo. Try pairing with Shale Oak Winery’s Zinfandel/ $45



Quinoa Stuffing & Grenache RoseGrenache rose wine pairs with Quinoa stuffing

For those eschewing gluten for any reason, quinoa stuffing is a scrumptious alternative to bread based stuffings. For this particular dish I love a Grenache Rosé. It has enough sweetness to bring out the richness in the grain, but also balances with bright acid and fruit.  Try paining with Sextant Winery’s Grenache Rose/ $21

Teroldego wine pairs with celery rootCelery Root Puree & Teroldego, 2 standards to be sure!

Ok, so you probably didn’t grow up with Celery Root around your Holiday table, but there’s no reason not to invite this amazing side dish to this year’s festivities! What’s it taste like, you ask? It tastes like celery, yet heartier and earthier. It tastes like earthy Autumn. Because of the depth of the flavor here (did I say earthy enough?) Try pairing with Wolff Vineyards Teroldego/ $29. This wine matches the Celery Root step for step, bringing notes of forest fruit and black minerality.

Thanksgiving table in wine countrySo, when you gather round with family and friends this Holiday season, enjoying your sister Hilary’s perfect mashed potatoes, or Uncle David’s classic Banana Cream Confection, you can start a new tradition: Bringing that incredible bottle of wine that everyone will still be talking about come New Year’s.  Grab a bottle of wine listed above – you can do it without ever breaking a sweat or the bank! Drink up and let us know your thoughts, Gobble Gobble!

Hot Topic: Stem vs. Stemless glassware

Stemmed Wine Glasses vs. Stemless Glasswarestemless

Stemless wine tumblers have become very popular in recent years and there is no denying the aesthetic appeal of their design. Not to mention the countless times I’ve knocked over my top-heavy glass of vino while reaching for something across the table. However, there are good reasons to avoid them if you want to get the most out of your wine drinking experience — So, what’s more important – that perfect sip or looking hip and stylish? Ahhh….decisions.

Stemless glasses force you to hold the glass by the bowl which creates a very basic problem. First, the warmth of your hand will heat up the wine, changing its temperature. Your body is around 98.6 degrees F. Wine is best served stem glassesbetween 40- 55 degrees F depending on the varietal. Glass transfers heat very well. Do the math. No bueno.

Wine glasses have stems not for the sake of looking elegant, but precisely so you can hold them by the stem. This ensures that the heat of your hand isn’t transferred to the wine and also keeps the glass bowl from being smudged.

So – for my two cents, I have to go with function above form on this one. Stems are a necessary part of a wine glass. Tradition is born of what works, and I like my wine to stay cool. I’m okay if that means I’m not.

Here are some fun options for both stem glasses and stemless glassware: Stemless Glasses, World Market , Classic Wine Glasses, Bed, Bath & Beyond

What are your thoughts on the Stem vs. Stemless debate?

How to Store Wine like a Pro

So you bought some wine that you’re not planning on drinking right away. Now what do you do with it?winerack2

First off, it’s useful to remember that only a small percentage of fine wines on the market benefit from long-term aging. Most wines are best enjoyed within a few years of release. A vineyard worth it’s salt won’t sell you a bottle of wine you can’t drink that evening if you wanted to. If you’re looking to buy wines to mature, you should really consider investing in professional grade storage—a totally different ballgame.

For us mere mortals, however, following a few simple guidelines should keep your wines safe until you’re ready to drink them.

Keep It Cool

Heat is enemy number one for wine. Temperatures higher than 70° F will age a wine more quickly than is usually desirable. And if it gets too much hotter, your wine may get “cooked,” resulting in flat aromas and flavors. The ideal temperature range is between 45° F and 65° F (and 55° F is often cited as close to perfect), though this isn’t an exact science. Don’t fret too much if your storage runs a couple degrees warmer, as long as you’re opening the bottles within a few years of their release.

… But Not Too Cool

Keeping wines in your household refrigerator is fine for up to a couple months, but it’s not a good bet for the longer term. The average fridge temp falls well below 45° F to safely store perishable foods, and the lack of moisture could eventually dry out corks, which might allow air to seep into the bottles and damage the wine. Also, don’t keep your wine somewhere it could freeze (I have personally forgotten wine for hours in the freezer). If the liquid starts turning to ice, it could expand enough to push the cork out or break the bottle.

Steady as She Goes

More important than worrying about achieving a perfect 55°F is avoiding the landmines of rapid, extreme or frequent temperature swings. On top of cooked flavors, the expansion and contraction of the liquid inside the bottle might push the cork out or cause seepage. Aim for consistency, but don’t get paranoid about minor temperature fluctuations; wines may see worse in transit from the winery to the store. (Even if heat has caused wine to seep out past the cork, that doesn’t always mean the wine is ruined. There’s no way to know until you open it.)

Made in the Shade

Light, especially sunlight, can pose a potential problem for long-term storage. The sun’s UV rays can degrade and prematurely age wine. One of the reasons why vintners use colored glass bottles? They’re like sunglasses for wine. Light from household bulbs probably won’t damage the wine itself, but can fade your labels in the long run. Incandescent bulbs may be a bit safer than fluorescent bulbs, which do emit very small amounts of ultraviolet light.

winerack1Lay Down the Law…er, Bottle

Traditionally, bottles have been stored on their sides in order to keep the liquid up against the cork, which theoretically should keep the cork from drying out. If you’re planning on drinking these bottles in the near- to mid-term, or if the bottles have alternative closures (screw caps, glass or plastic corks), this is not necessary. We will say this, however: Horizontal racking is a space-efficient way to store your bottles, and it definitely can’t harm your wines.

Handle with Care

There are theories that vibration could damage wine in the long term by speeding up the chemical reactions in the liquid. Some serious collectors fret about even the subtle vibrations caused by electronic appliances, though there’s little evidence documenting the impacts of this. Significant vibrations could possibly disturb the sediment in older wines and keep them from settling, potentially making them unpleasantly gritty. Unless you live above a train station or are hosting rock concerts, is this likely to be a problem for your short-term storage? No.

So… Where Should I Keep My Bottles?

If you haven’t been blessed with a cool, not-too-damp basement that can double as a cellar, you can improvise with some simple racks in a safe place. Rule out your kitchen, laundry room, or porch, if possible. Hot temperatures can affect your wines, and look for a location not directly in line with light pouring in from a window. You could also buy a small wine cooler and follow the same guidelines: If you keep your wine fridge in a cool place, it won’t have to work so hard, keeping your energy bill down.

Perhaps there is a little-used closet or other vacant storage area that could be re-purposed to store wine? (my sister keeps her’s in the closet in their spare bedroom) If you have a suitable dark, stable space that’s not too damp or dry, but it is too warm, you might consider investing in a home wine cooler. There are some inexpensive systems for small spaces, but in most cases, this is getting into professional wine storage.

When is it time to upgrade your storage conditions? Ask yourself this: How much did you spend last year on your wine habit? If a $300 cooling unit represents less than 25 percent of your annual wine-buying budget, it’s time to think about it more carefully. Might as well protect your investment.

One other piece of advice from collectors: Whatever number you’re thinking of when it comes to bottle capacity, double it. Once you’ve started accumulating wines to drink later, it’s hard to stop. And really, would you want to?



Wine Club: 15 Reasons to take the Plunge and Join Today!

Wine Clubs: 15 Reasons to take the Plunge and Join Today!


Wine Club Benefits

Wine Club Benefits

1. Convenience –

What’s more convenient than having wines show up at your door on a regular basis? Not much. A wine club offers the convenience of having a variety of exceptional wines delivered to you or available to pick up on your next visit to the winery. 

2. Regular Delivery of Wines –

A wine club guarantees that a regular delivery of superb wine is delivered within a consistent time frame (usually monthly or quarterly shipping), without the burden of having to select each wine yourself. It’s a curated collection of wines from your favorite


3. Try New Wines –

Who doesn’t like trying new wines? Sure we all have our favorites, but a wine club ensures that you are getting new and varied wines each shipment. It gives you a chance to find a new experience that you may have not have tried otherwise.

4. Larger Selection than at your local grocery or wine store –

Grocery stores usually have a nice selection of wines, but these are the same commercial wines that they know will sell. A wine club often provides a much larger and broader selection of wines than you would typically find in the store. This is done because the wine club curator has more flexibility to select unique, fun, or rare wines, and not be burdened with taking up expensive shelf space. Most wines available through clubs won’t be found in your grocery and store, unless you live close to the winery.

5. Broaden Your Horizons –

Wine Club-Special Perks

Wine Club-Special Perks

If you’re like many, you tend to stick to your tried and true wine varietals. It took a long time for a friend of mine to venture out from big, bold, cabs, but he took a leap of faith and really discovered that he likes Sauvignon Blanc & Riesling almost as much. With a wine club, it encourages you to broaden your horizons, and try new varietals you may never have even known you loved.

6. Perks of Joining a Wine Club –

Membership has it privileges, and joining a wine club is no different. Joining a Winery’s wine club will get you exclusive invitations to events, discounts on regular purchases, and more. You receive complimentary tastings on visits to the Tasting Room for you and your guests. This is just a few of the perks you can get.

7. You Get the Best –

By joining a wine club, you are putting your money in someone else’s hands to select wines for you. But this isn’t a bad thing. By letting professional select wines for you, you increase your chances of receiving a superior wine. The winery knows their wines like no one else, and you get the benefit! When your Winemaker or Wine Club Manager selects wines for the club, they have to be certain that it’s an exceptional wine that represents the best they offer. It’s good to know that someone who really know wine took the time to carefully try many wines to choose one that meets the club level expectations.

8. Excitement of New Delivery –

Remember how excited you got for Christmas as a child? Rushing down to open your gifts. A wine club is like that except it’s for adults and it happens more than once per year. When you join a club you have new wines to enjoy but also know that you have another shipment on its way to look forward to as well! 

Peachy Canyon, Beckett family

Wine club-behind the scenes access

9. First Look at New Wines –

One of the best perks of belonging to a wine club is first looks at new wine releases, limited production releases, and special offerings. Many times these wines are not even available to the general public at all. Wine Club membership will ensure you don’t miss out on these special wines.

10. Discounts on Regularly Priced Wine –

Wine Clubs offer discounts on regularly priced wine a few ways. Sometimes you are getting 3 wines for less than you would pay if you bought them individually, sometimes the wine is discounted for members only, and other times you get special offers on wines from the winery.

11. Select a Type of Club for your Preference –

Wine preferences is another great benefit. Clubs come in many shapes and sizes. Some clubs may be low cost, some may be for the seasoned collector, some may focus on a region, and some on a varietal. They key is, you can find a club that focuses on your favorites, or pick one that features wines you aren’t familiar with. Life is better with wine, and clubs are a tool for better enjoyment. Currently we feature 3 clubs to choose from.

12. Education –

One of the benefits of joining a wine club is the exposure to wine in general. Reading up on the wines you receive, you’re going to find out more about the winery, the vineyards, the regions, the varietals, and the vintage. And on and on. You’re also going to learn about yourself and your personal experience with wine. 

13. News Letter –

Most wine clubs offer a newsletter. Here you will find out about the comings and goings of the winery, the wine world, etc. Central Coast Wineries newsletters show wine club members were you can find out more about the wines featured, and what is going on in the Central Coast Wine Community.

  1. Make Friends who also enjoy wine –
15 Reasons to take the plunge and join a wne club today

Wine Club

I have made some incredible wine-loving friends at pickup parties, winemaker dinners, and other Wine Club events. These are awesome people who share your passion for wine and can be an amazing resource on expanding your wine experience. They can join you on your next wine adventure!


Probably the Number One benefit of joining a wine club… You Get Wine! IF that isn’t reason enough to join, I don’t know what is. So let Breakaway Tours take you for an adventure in Central Coast Wine Country, and start discovering for yourself!

To learn more about Central Coast WIneries and the amazing Clubs they offer visit: Paso Wine , SLO Wine , or Santa Barbara County Wines today!

Central Coast Bride Mixer at Tooth & Nail

Bride Mixer

The Castle

What a marvelous time at the Central Coast Bride Mixer!

Tooth & Nail Wines

Tooth & Nail Wines

Music, Wine, Food, seeing old friends and meeting new.  Thank you Tooth & Nail Winery for hosting. Can you imagine getting married in a CASTLE?! Well, now your dreams can be a reality. Breathtaking bites provided by Foremost Wine Co.

The venue was decked out beautifully with florals by Flowers by Kim. and sweet treats from Christine’s Cake Creations.

When planning a Wedding or Event on the Central Coast, Central Coast Bride is an amazing resource to find amazing local professionals who are the best at what they do.

Bride Mixer

Bride Mixer

Bride Mixer


Bride Mixer

Delicious Eats!

Whatever your Wedding dreams, the Central Coast is the ideal location and Breakaway can take you there! So, remember to include an amazing Wine Tour with Breakaway Tours & Events as part of your Wedding Weekend experience.

Wine Label Wins!

Wine label

Wine Label

The Best of the Best Wine Label

Wine Label News: It’s not often that I scoop Forbes. Alright, it’s never happened…..til now. Congrats to our local winery Tooth & Nail for being featured in this article in Forbes about their super cool wine label and the impact it can have on wine purchasing. I wrote about their imaginative labeling in my post on the winery last month. Check out the full spread in Forbes for this local mention along with some other creative gems!

Never underestimate the powerful impact an amazing label can have. Along with incredible wines, this winery consistently produces labeling that will be as fun to discuss as it is to drink!


All the Right Elements : Tooth & Nail Winery


Tooth & Nail wines popped up on my radar a few years ago.  Their creative naming and sure handed winemaking have put them on many local shelves and wine list to be sure.

For me, it was all about the labels. Created from hand carved wood blocks, they are creative, classy, whimsical ,and  just plain fun to look at. My husband and I quickly began referring to the wines by the art on the bottles – scenes including all the major elements : Air, Fire, Earth, Water…and Dragon? I know now that its their yummy Pinot Gris, but I will always love a good glass of ‘Dragon’.force-of-nature-pinot-gris__82305_1410645738_1280_1280

Last Friday a friend and I were looking with something new and fun to do with our Friday evening when I remembered hearing about a new event at Tooth & Nail Winery. A quick google and a phone call later and we were on our way to check it out.

Newly ensconced in their imposing castle off 46 West (the barely recognizable former home of Eagle Castle Winery), Tooth & Nail is doing it right. The décor has been re-designed with a streamlined look that is both modern and a bit sumptuous. Tufted leather sofas and gilt mirrors surround a huge fireplace. Think ‘Game of Thrones’ without all the murder.


The outside space has been reworked with a mind to events and music. On Friday we were treated to a show by local band Proxima Parada. Give me a California soul band in mint green skinny jeans and I’m a happy girl.


Food is being provided by Spencer Johnston’s Danior Kitchen. As a food/wine pairing geek, I was pleased to observe the thought and consideration that went into our provisions. I know Spencer sources everything locally, and the effort shows. The flavors were complimentary to a variety of the wines offered, so we weren’t locked into one specific pairing. Our favorites included the Burger, seasonal salad (white peaches were PERFECT), and the truffle fries.

Currently Tooth & Nail is offering Food on Friday evenings 5p-8p with live music, Saturday Lunch 12p-4p, and Sunday Brunch and Lunch 10a-4p. Call or check website to confirm Tooth & Nail Winery .


We certainly lucked out with our Wine Steward Dakota. Not only knowledgeable and friendly, she was actually someone with opinions, which I love. I was able to let go of my list and be guided through wines that she obviously cared about. A few favorites include: Amor Fati Grenache 2011, Force of Nature Tempranillo 2013, Tooth & Nail ‘The Fiend’ 2012 (a T&N1Malbec/Syrah blend) and the newly released dessert Viognier Demi-Lune 2013. The tasting room is open 10-6 Weds through Monday (closed Tuesday).

Do yourself a favor and plan a visit today to check out all the wonderful things this Winery has to offer. Call breakaway-tours today to schedule your experience. And don’t forget to raise a glass of ‘Dragon’ to the Central Coast and all it has to offer!