Wine, Olive Oil, Gourmet Food, Oh My!

Last Wednesday I received a text from my friend Kim. “Wanna come with me to a wine bar opening in Thousand Oaks?”

I was supposed to go to the gym. But my workout buddies had shifted their workout to the early morning (when I’m stuck at home slaving away over blog posts to entertain the masses dozens), so I wouldn’t be flaking on anyone. (Except for myself and my new commitment to fitness – but whatever with that, right?) And I had run four miles the day before.

So blowing off the gym to go wine tasting (for free) – not even a dilemma, right?

But If you want to know the truth, I was really, really tired. What I wanted to do more than anything was blow off the gym and spend the night of loafing around on the couch.

Fortunately for Kim I am a good friend and a trooper. I couldn’t let her taste wine alone. So I changed out of my work clothes into something a little less officey, put on shoes that would have made my friends Tina and (a different) Kim proud, and went out for a little Conejo Valley mid-week wine tasting.

Michael-Kors-shoes
Pretend I don’t have fat ankles and these gorgeous shoes actually look cute on me!

Kim had been invited to the opening of We Olive in The Oaks Mall. Part wine bar, part gourmet food shop, part olive oil tasting (yes, olive oil tasting!) shop and 100% FABULOUS.

We-Olive-Thousand-Oaks
Thousand Oaks’ newest wine bar (plus so much more).

We chatted with the franchise owners of the store, one of the food vendors, and with the very cute Josh from the parent company.

We-Olive-Franchise
I never give up the opportunity for a photo with a cute boy. (Even if I am old enough to be his mother. Sigh…)

The wine bar features small-production, boutique California wines and every wine I tasted was excellent. I especially enjoyed a Syrah from the vineyard Niner in Paso Robles. (I will definitely be visiting them on my next trip to Paso.)

The olive oil was wonderful – yes there is a difference (and it’s huge) in taste and quality from the stuff I usually buy at Costco. Josh gave us a tasting of a lemon-infused olive oil with aged balsamic vinegar that was to die for. (You sip it out of a little cup – kind of like tasting wine, except you take a MUCH smaller sip.)

We-Olive-Extra-Virgin-Olive-Oil
Extra virgin Olive Oil (EVOO for those in the know) and balsamic vinegar tasting – yes please!

Plus, this happened…

cheese platter
The people at We Olive certainly know how to make a beautiful cheese plate.

I will definitely be heading out to We Olive during the holidays to pick up some delicious party food (unique pestos that can be used as a base for some amazing dips), stocking stuffers for my husband (blue cheese Dijon mustard – hello), and of course maybe a bit of wine tasting. You know, to reward myself for all the tireless and selfless shopping for others I’m sure to be doing.

We Olive is sounding pretty awesome, right? Of course it is. It’s located just across from Forever 21 (in the newish outdoor section between The Oaks Mall proper and Muvico). So the next time you drive your teenage daughter to the mall, give her twenty bucks and send her to Forever 21 to buy something inappropriate for school on her own while you hang out at a lovely wine bar. Sample some pesto. Treat yourself to some gourmet olive oil. Buy a nice bottle of California wine. And remember to thank me for blowing off the gym so I could hang out with my friend Kim and discover this wonderful gem.

(You’re welcome.)

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