Christopher Columbus encountered the cacao bean on this date in 1502. He was on his fourth voyage looking for a route to the Indian Ocean. Old ships, bad weather and other problems made for a difficult trip. He ended up in Honduras and while exploring found out about cacao beans. He didn’t find a strait to the Indian Ocean but for chocoholics everywhere he made a much better discovery.
Imagination Theater is having its big fundraiser — A Garden Affair — on Friday, Aug 17 at 6 p.m. at the theater, located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The night will feature food, wine and desserts from local businesses with entertainment from the fall production of “The Secret Garden” and a live and silent auction. Tickets are $25 and can be obtained by calling 530-642-0404 or going to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A local favorite, the Empty Wallets is playing at the Sierra Nevada House, 835 Lotus Road in Coloma, on Friday, Aug. 17. The music is in the outdoor café at 7:30 p.m. with a nice breeze coming from the American River. There is no cover charge. For more information call 530-626-8096.
Holly’s Hill Vineyard, 3680 Leisure Lane in the Pleasant Valley area, is having its Patriarche Vertical Tasting on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18 and 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Taste all vintages of the Patriarche ever produced starting with the 2002 and ending with the 2010. This is the only time of the year to sample all vintages. Appetizers will be provided. It is free to club members and $5 per person for the general public. No reservations or advance tickets are required.
Colibri Ridge Winery, 6100 Gray Rock Road in Fair Play, is offering two days of tasting cheesecakes and its port-style wines on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jonny Mojo will be playing music on the patio. For more information call the winery at 530- 620-7255 or go to colibriridge.com.
For a really great time make a reservation to enjoy Pairings 2012 at Miraflores Winery, 2120 Four Springs Trail in the Pleasant Valley area. This is a four-course luncheon on the Vineyard Patio on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. created by different chefs each weekend. This Saturday and Sunday Chef Damon Barham returns to prepare a memorable feast. He is from the Technique Restaurant at the California Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco. For a menu and reservations call 530-647-8505. The prix fixe menu is $30 for Miraflores wine club members, $40 for non-club members.
Lava Cap Winery, 2221 Fruitridge Road in the Camino area, is having music every Saturday through Sept. 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. This Saturday, Aug. 18 Parallel Planes is playing. Have some Lava Cap wine and watch the sunset from the deck. Call the winery at 530-621-0175 or visit lavacap.com for more information.
David Girard Vineyards, 741 Cold Springs Road in the Gold Hill area, continues its Music and Vine 2012 series with guitarist Michael Chapdelaine playing from blues to Bach on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the opening act starts at 6 p.m. Seating is provided. Food and wine can be purchased at the event. Order tickets online at davidgirardvineyards.com/events or call 530-295-1833.
Fenton Herriott Vineyards, 120 Jacquier Court in the Camino area, is presenting Uncommon Ground on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Do some dancing, have some wine and bring a picnic and have fun. Wine will be available for purchase by the glass or by the bottle. For more information call 530-642-2021.