If you are casting about for a good old, down home food, wine and music event for the Independence Day weekend, I'd suggest you take a trip to Solvang for anannual summer BBQ . Saturday July 3rd, 2010 is the date and the party will run from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Rideau Vineyard tasting room is at 1562 Alamo Pintado Road in Solvang, right in the heart of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Their phone number is 805.688.0717.
If you are not familiar with Rideau Vineyard , it was founded in 1997 by New Orleans native Iris Rideau. She dedicated her vineyard to Rhone grape varieties in part because they are well suited to the terroir. She also feels they go well with her beloved Creole cuisine.
Speaking of food, the menu for this shindig will feature BBQ chicken and ribs, red beans and rice with Andouille sausage, green salad, pecan cornbread and - a staple of any summertime get-together in the south - big, juicy watermelons. The music will be in the jazz/blues vein from Lenny Kerley.
All this and southern hospitality, too, will cost $50, $40 for Rideau wine club members. The price includes a wine tasting and a glass of wine of your choice. If you are from the south and miss this kind of summer treat, it comes highly recommended. If you are from some other geographical locale, this event will show you why people miss the south when they move away.
By the way, the Rideau wines are superb and the tasting room is as close to New Orleans decor as you are likely to find in the Central Coast.