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Art ,Wine & Friends in Santa Cruz- the perfect pairing

Updated: Mar 5

Poster of an impressionistic garden with a table of wine
Santa Cruz Mountain Wine Tasters - Celebrating the Arts & Wines of Santa Cruz

I recently started hosting the Santa Cruz Mountain Wine Tasters group on Meetup. The founder, a serious wine scholar and engineer who’d been living out of an RV, left Santa Cruz to buy a house in Lake Tahoe. The group had about 700 members and was about to expire so I decided to try my hand at hosting.


I’m not a wine scholar, but I figured I can learn, and it would be a great way to meet new friends. Plus, I’d love to create more partnership opportunities between the art and wine communities in Santa Cruz.


It all sounded good, until it came time to host an event and I remembered what an introvert I can be! It’s much easier to tuck away with my cat, painting in my wildflower garden. This is the year I'm supposed to show up I reminded myself. Ugh.

I flashed on the words my stepsister, who finished med school at age 50, wears engraved on a bracelet around her wrist—Keep Going, Damn it.

I gave myself a mental pat on the back. Does anyone really sign up for easy? I do know my limits though. After creating a quick brand wrap, I immediately set out to recruit co-hosts!

Janis Baldwin & Tracy Marie Oliver hosting at Birichino's
Janis Baldwin & Tracy Marie Oliver hosting at Birichino's

As good fortune would have it, Janis Baldwin, mentioned here in the Valentine’s cover story of Good Times, and I dotter and T crosser extraordinaire stepped up to cohost the group. She brings an elegant aesthetic along with a refreshing #GSD attitude to the whole enterprise.

We had our first private wine tasting event at a charming downtown spot called Birichino Winery Tasting Room. It was filled to capacity, and everyone squeezed into to make room at their tables. I was busy doing hosting things and about 30 minutes into the event I looked up and my heart grew in my chest. The whole place was alight in animated conversation. The energy was joyful. I was witnessing friendships in the making!

Tasting Room & Santa Cruz Mountain Wine Tasters
Birichino Winery Tasting Room & Santa Cruz Mountain Wine Tasters

This is an open invitation, whether coming near or far, everyone is welcome at Santa Cruz Mountain Wine Tasters! Sign up for updates to stay posted on upcoming events or join Santa Cruz Mountain Wine Tasters on Meetup. 

And next time you find yourself with a little time in downtown Santa Cruz, check out the wines and friendly vibe at the Birichino Winery Tasting Room.






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