Friday, August 19, 2011

Beach Bling: What Wine is in My Beach Bag?

Today I am pleased to welcome paranormal romance writer Christine Ashworth as a guest blogger.  I met Christine through a self-promotion class taught by WANA guru, Kristen Lamb, last May.  I immediately became a faithful follower of Christine's Blog , Christine Ashworth--Wicked with a Side of Saucy, which is listed and linked to on My Blog list to the right of this post Christine blogs about a topic near and dear to my heart, inexpensive (as oppposed to "cheap") wines.   Today she entertains and enlightens us with recommendations of adult beverages for a day at the beach. 

Hi everyone! Jayne’s asked me to share what wine I’d sneak into my beach bag (not that I’ve ever actually done that...*hak* *koff*).  But if, say, you’re allowed to take alcoholic beverages onto the beach with you, and you’ve got some sort of designated driver… I think I can help you out from the tipples I have enjoyed at the beach throughout my life….

In the early 80s, as a young couple in the Los Angeles area, my hubby and I liked to watch the sunset out at Free Zuma. We’d pack our beach bag with some yummy cheese, crackers, and a nice bottle of chilled champagne, and watch, breathless and snuggling together, as the sun sank into the waves. Often we’d be there in winter, which meant no lifeguards and little policing of the beach. The champagne was, of course, on the cheap side, but the romance of it still lingers after thirty-plus years.

When the boys were of a rambunctious age and loved to boogie board, a friend of mine and I would merge our kids in the summer and take them to Rincon, where the sand is flat out into the ocean for what seems to be half a mile. She’d spent time in Japan when her husband, who works for Disney, was sent there for a year. I did the driving and she was in charge of snacks…and let me tell you, I had the better deal. She provided us with two small bottles of Saki – to be drunk cold – and I don’t remember who manufactured it. But that plus some easy sushi and spiced edamame, and we were happy under our umbrella, watching our boys, as they turned brown tumbling in the surf.

The boys, of course, grew older, as did my beloved and I. We switched out snacks for a hibachi, and grilled burgers out at Rincon, sipping at tequila from a plastic flask. Our beach days got further and further between, and half the time when we did go, we were there to kayak. Kayaking and alcohol just don’t mix, I’m afraid.

Then the boys hit college age and we were mostly on our own again for beach outings. We spent our thirtieth anniversary up in Cambria, where we rented a house for a week in February. Yes, it was chilly, but there was a balcony and we could see the waves crash up on the rocks, where earlier I’d found dozens of abalone shells.  We’d also visited the Harmony Winery, and I’d fallen in love with the 2007 Zinfandel, which had a peppery taste that I adored. We sat on the balcony, and sipped the Zinfandel, and watched the sun set into the waves. There’s romance for you.

I’m assuming that, as time and nature has their way with us, we’ll eventually go back to champagne in our beach bag, or perhaps the non-drinker’s champagne, sparkling apple juice. But whatever drink you bring, be safe, be careful, remember your book/e-reader and glasses – and don’t forget your sunscreen.

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About me: I’m old enough to know better and young enough to enjoy breaking some rules. I love cats, demons, witches, vampires and some angels. And gardening. Oh, and cooking, and wine. And I totally adore teenagers.

For some reason, I’m constantly drawn into conversations that start with protecting ourselves from a zombie apocalypse, and spiral out from there. So you can see why I’m a writer.

Twitter: @CCAshworth


Christine Ashworth said...

Thanks for having me, Jayne - what a pretty beach day it is today! or said...

Christine, thank you for the fun memories of young love and sunsets. I love a hot chocolate, snuggling with my husband, also of thirty + years, beneath a blanket, and whispering about everything so we don't disturb the tranquility of a sunset. Thank you for the stroll. said...

Oh, that makes me wish I lived nearer the beach. There's nothing I love more than feeling the sting of the sun and wind on my skin, smelling the briny sea air, and hearing the crash of the waves. Thanks for such a cool post.

About mystery writer Jayne Ormerod said...

Thanks again, Christine!

I'm off now to sip a wee bit of wine and watch the sun set over the Naraggansett Bay. I'll drink a toast to everyone who stopped by commented here! Cheers!

Christine Ashworth said...

Doree and Catie, thanks so much for stopping by! I got all caught up in real life work yesterday and couldn't hawk the posting as much as I wanted.

Doree, I'll have to remember the hot chocolate for the future. Sounds like a perfect beach sip!

Jolyse Barnett said...

Nice to see you here, Christine!

Wine and beaches, two of my favorite subjects! Thanks for sharing, and I'll be on the lookout for the Harmony Zinfandel 2007. ;)