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Oct 07th
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Vine & Dine

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Half Moon Bay Food & Wine Fare

Get away to the Oceano Hotel & Spa in Half Moon Bay, known for its beautiful views and great food, to an annual food and wine event organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

Purchase tickets for the food and wine you wish to sample—wine is by the taste or by the bottle. Local Half Moon Bay restaurants will be cooking up some delicious food for sale, so it’s a good opportunity to try bites from different places. The event is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Visit

Mustalevria—Grape Must Pudding
Grape must is the juice from pressed grapes before fermentation. In Greece, a delicious pudding called mustalevria is made from grape must and semolina. It is so popular that people walk around selling it in the streets, coffee shops, bars and other places. This pudding is a favorite, especially at harvest time when grape must is fresh. I lived in Greece for 13 years and looked forward to the time of year when it appears. I don’t think it is made here in this country—I have certainly never seen it.

Big Sur Food & Wine Festival
The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival, which runs Nov. 1-4, will kick off with a Gateway to Big Sur event on Thursday, Nov. 1 at one of the most beautiful hotels on the California coast: the Hyatt Carmel Highlands. Gateway to Big Sur runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and will include around 20 upscale restaurants offering imaginative delicacies, and will feature more than 30 different wineries. Check out the whole program of this four-day fest—there are many delicious events in all price ranges—and then head to Carmel for some of the best food and wine that California has to offer. The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival is a unique treat for the palate and the senses. Visit

Wine News
A note about wine in Great Britain: More and more is being produced, even though the weather in summer is very unpredictable and grapes need a lot of sun in order to ripen. Meeting up with friends in London in August at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, we had lunch in the gallery’s restaurant, and I was pleased to try a splendid British wine—an Ortega 2010 made by Biddenden Vineyards of Kent. The winery has been around since the ’60s and is open to the public for tours. So the next time you’re headed to London, you can certainly find British wine in the National Gallery and quite a few other places. Or take a side trip to beautiful Kent and visit Biddenden Vineyards. Info:

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The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.
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