A few years ago I attended a workshop on the health properties of wine and olive oil given by a local vintner and a cardiologist. Growing up as an Italian-American, I knew intuitively what they were talking about! I remember seeing those healthy staples of wine and olive oil nestled together in the cabinet right under our sink in my childhood home.
My parents were lucky to have North Beach Italian grocers where they would buy their wine and olive oil. I, too, am lucky. I live in a valley where there are many wine tasting venues and a wonderful olive oil shop called Quail and Olive.
Started by Dr. Stephen Brabeck, who was a part of that health workshop I attended years ago, and continued by his daughter Annelise, Quail and Olive is a delightful corner nook that has lots of California-sourced olive oils and vinegars. One can go in and taste away during store hours and even join their Covey Club–which I did– for periodic distributions of olive oil and vinegar.
I just attended their “Covey Club Pick-Up Party” last weekend that was held in the store and its surrounding patio area. There was music by a well-known local musician, gazpacho served with special olive oil and 25 Star Aged balsamic vinegar, a large table filled with cheese/cracker/appetizer goodies, wine by Mercy vineyards, and organic Bee’s Knees ice cream (oh, my) provided by Revival Ice Cream, another local peninsula business which I may just need to research soon!
The air was smoky and the conversations often turned to the California wildfires occurring north and south of us. Those tragic events made us all the more aware and appreciative of life and the blessings we were experiencing at this community gathering.
I met a nice mother-daughter pair from San Francisco/Palo Alto, and we enjoyed recommending favorite restaurants in our respective home areas. I smiled, watching the antics of a sweet little puppy brought to the festivities by one of the patrons. I poked around the store a bit. Along with the oil and vinegar tasting stations, there is a wonderful array of cookbooks, tea towels, table accessories, and kitchenware including some Deruta ceramics from Italy that brought up some nice travel memories.
And then I retrieved my “pick up” bag which included Winter Ambrosia Vinegar and a Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A few days after the party I received a club member newsletter with recipes for using each of these. A nice touch. I am anxious to put my new Quail and Olive products in my vintage cruets, pictured above, that are the very same ones my parents used for oh-so-many decades.
For information on all kinds of products, recipes, and Covey Club membership, please visit the shop’s website at quailandolive.com. It is filled with all kinds of healthy and fun inspiration!