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Steynberg Gallery's Maui Mocha Latte and J Dusi Wine's 2011 Zinfandel 

Friday means deadline day in the world of this writer. On a recent Friday, I attempted to combat the crazy by tricking my rather gullible brain into thinking I was actually embarking on a Hawaiian vacation, instead of hours of typing, audio-transcribing, and Facebook distractions (needless distractions are an important part of my creative process). Lo and behold, the self-induced hoax actually worked, thanks to Steynberg Gallery’s Maui Mocha Latte. The dreamy, creamy mix of espresso, coco, coconut milk, and whipped cream gave me that “chillaxin’” feeling I needed to tackle the day with grace, good thoughts, and deep breathing.

• Steynberg Gallery’s Maui Mocha Latte: About $3.75 for a small; 1531 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo.


I just love meeting powerful, confident, self-actualized women who aren’t afraid to go for it. J Dusi Wines Owner/Winemaker Janell Dusi is such a woman, and I had the pleasure of digging into expertly cooked venison with her at a recent dinner held at Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles. The third-generation farmer may have grown up bailing wheat, manning tractors, and picking fruit in the wee hours of the morning, but her wine—and especially her 2011 J Dusi Zinfandel—has the touch of a velvet glove. Restrained, not too oaked, and bolstered by her family’s old-vine fruit, this wine is distinct, complex, and proudly feminine. Pick up a bottle at the Dusi tasting room (where you can also enjoy complimentary cheese with your tasting) at 1401 Highway West 46 in Paso Robles or stop by your local Vons or Albertsons. At the tasting room, you can say hi to Dusi herself—as well as her equally compelling grandmother, known for holding down the fort and spinning yarns for anyone lucky enough to listen.

• J Dusi Wine’s 2011 Zinfandel: $32 for a bottle; 1401 Highway 46 West, Paso Robles.

Drink, drink, and be merry! Send your drink suggestions to hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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