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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Enjoying Wine Tasting and Tapas at We Olive in San Juan Capistrano

We attended as a guest of We Olive

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Anyone who has been in my kitchen, knows I am somewhat of a collector of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I always have an assortment of both to cook with and I’ve even been known to do shots of balsamic plain when it’s good. I love the stuff! But it does have to be good and by that I don’t mean purchased in the everyday chain grocery store. No offense Ralphs. I’ve found my favorite olive oils and balsamics in vineyards and small shops who are selective about their sources.

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One such place is We Olive. Part shop and part wine and tapas bar, We Olive offers an assortment of locally sourced flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegars and other gourmet specialty items that will elevate the dishes you prepare at home. But that’s not all! While you’re there, relax and enjoy some tasty bites at the wine bar with dishes specifically created to highlight many of the items sold in the shop while sipping one of their carefully selected boutique California wines available by the taste, glass or bottle.

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With olive oils such as Meyer Lemon, Blood Orange, Arbequina, Fresh Garlic, Jalapeno, Fresh Basil and an assortment of balsamic vinegars including Aged Balsamic, White Peach, Pineapple, Mission Fig, Apple, Blood Orange, Blackberry and Strawberry your imagination can go wild with possible flavor combinations for marinades and dressings.

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While at a tasting recently, several of us were invited to sample from owner Kimberly Middleton’s assortment of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. One of my personal favorite combinations is the Jalapeno Olive Oil with White Pineapple Balsamic. Spicy and tropical! My culinary wheels are turning!

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We were also able to taste a few wines. I favor reds and sampled the Bordeaux Style Blend of 2011 Le Vigne “Nikiara” from Paso Robles, the Zinfandel Blend of 2011 Minassian-Young Vineyards “Black Saint Peter” from Paso Robles, and my favorite Sangiovese of 2011 Stolpman Vineyars Ballard Canyon, from Lompoc. Kimberly and her staff made excellent suggestions based on my preferences from their menu of about two dozen wines as well as seven craft beers.

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Along with the wine, we were served several delicious light appetizers from the menu featuring several products from We Olive including:

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Artichoke, Tomato, and Mozzarella Flatbread finished with Organic Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

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Duck Confit, Gruyere and Sweet Balsamic Mustard finished with Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar

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Fig, Apple, & Arugula Aalad with Fig Balsamic Vinegar and Mission EVOO

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Duck Salumi, North Hollander Cheese, Bent River Camembert, Olives, and Marcona almonds from the Charcuterie and Cheese Menu Boards

Conveniently located in historic downtown San Juan Capistrano, a light dinner with wine tasting at We Olive would make the perfect start to a casual “date night” followed with a movie just steps away at the nearby Regency Theater on Verdugo… and you can take home a “date night” souvenir of your own favorite olive oil and balsamic vinegar combo! Their website even offers recipe ideas for your purchases!

We Olive is located at 31760 Camino Capistrano and is open Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday – Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For special events, tastings, updates and more information be sure to check out their Facebook page.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen.

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