San Juan Capistrano’s shining star on the culinary scene gets even brighter starting tomorrow as We Olive begins their Grand Opening Weekend for the We Olive & Wine Bar. Starting tomorrow, May 1, a full weekend of informative seminars and classes, fun tasting, music and free giveaways of Olive Oil Ice Cream will cap the list of events for the weekend. Kimberley Middleton, the owner of San Juan Capistrano’s We Olive and Wine Bar, spoke to me and said, “We are super excited for the wine bar to be a wonderful addition to our beautiful store. In line with supporting small farmers and artisan producers of olive oils, we are doing the same with our wines and wine bar as well”.
Yesterday, We Olive and Wine Bar held a media tasting of some of the dishes that will be available at the We Olive & Wine Bar. Not only will the Wine Bar be sampling, selling and providing a comfortable place to relax and enjoy boutique wines, but they will also have a menu of charcuterie, cheeses, sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and other treats to enjoy while sipping a glass or sharing a bottle of wine. Of particular note was the Stuffed Peppadews, a tasty sweet and mild pepper from South Africa that was stuffed with goat cheese and genoa salami and then drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar. The contrast of flavors was simply superb and a perfect dish to nibble while enjoying a nice glass of wine.
The flatbreads are baked onsite and are fresh and hot. Of everything I tasted, a standout was the Duck Confit, Gruyere and Sweet Balsamic Mustard Flatbread. The tender duck contrasted nicely with the crisp flatbread crust. This is a perfect dish for duck lovers, but also a very accessible way to try duck if you are not familiar with its mild flavor. The gruyere cheese added a nice touch and fresh arugula on top added extra flavor. For real fans of duck, there is also a Duck Salami on the charcuterie board, artisan made in Los Angles and served simply sliced. Kim said about the food, “The small bites really round out and show what the We Olive and Wine Bar really stands for”.
Kim highlighted some of her favorites, saying “I’m really excited about an Italian sandwich we’re carrying. We’re the only We Olive that carries this. We’ve had a lot of requests around here to have a really nice, really good Italian deli sandwich. We serve it with Italian salami and prosciutto, roasted tomatoes and our Blackberry Basil Balsamic, along with some basil pesto. Another highlight on our menu which I think is fabulous is our Albacore Tuna Spread. That is a pole-caught albacore tuna which is drizzled with a Sonoma Smoked Olive Oil. It’s fantastic!”. She also mentioned that the Artichoke, Tomato and Mozzarella flatbread was a particular favorite of hers.
Kim talked about the wine choices, saying, “A lot of the foods and many of the wines here are produced in case lots of under 500. They are very, very small production wines. We carry a Bellarina Meritage that has a case production of 325 cases. We have a Viognier which is just a 118 case production. So they are very nice wines, both white and red and then we do have a sparkling wine and a sweet option as well. The majority of the wines we carry are red wines though and we emphasize small production to support the small farmers, small artisan growers of grapes and olives. We sell a lot of small lot wines which people can’t find in stores”. The wines are also available at a discounted price to take home and enjoy.
Friday’s events will start off with a Wine Tasting and Small Bites Evening, led by a wine educator and sommelier. A solo acoustic guitar performance will provide music for the evening’s festivities. On Saturday, events range from free Olive Oil Ice Cream all day to two Olive Oil Classes, where expert Carol Firenze will teach all the basics of olive oil as well as sign copies of her book, The Passionate Olive—101 Things to Do With Olive Oil. From 5pm on, a Wine Tasting and Cheese Pairing will be held , with a Le Vigne wine representative. Acoustic Latin and Mediterranean music will provide a nice atmosphere for the evening.
On Sunday, there is also something for everyone as the Free Olive Oil Ice Cream continues to be served. A Culinary Demo “Fast and Easy Flavor with California Olive Oil” will be held. For both the culinary demo and Saturday’s Olive Oil classes, reservations are recommended because seating is limited. The day culminates in a Craft Beer and Cheese Pairing showcasing the Wine Bar’s range of fine beers and also Arista Cheese company’s offerings.
Kim talked about the Wine Bar’s atmosphere, saying that “This is a very quaint atmosphere. We don’t have a large space here, we wanted to have a very homey and cozy feel where people could come, relax and just enjoy an elegant atmosphere. But not pretentious! It is a beautiful place where people can come and relax, get delicious food, eat it here but also get ideas that they can take home with them and make the same at home”. She also mentioned, “All of the products that we serve here on the menu are made with products that we sell here in the store”.
We Olive is also known for their olive oil health related products. Olive oil, of course is known for its healthy properties and ability to help lower cholesterol. In addition to the opportunity to taste all the olive oils, We Olive carries a selection of olive oil soaps, body lotions and other products that are beneficial to the skin.
All in all, the We Olive & Wine Bar is not just a local’s place to go. Just a short drive down the coast from Los Angeles, the We Olive and Wine Bar is located across from the Mission San Juan Capistrano and within walking distance of the Camino Real Playhouse, the O’Neill Museum and the Zoomars Petting Zoo, the Wine Bar can serve as a focal point for a nice day in San Juan Capistrano and also enjoying the nearby beaches. With the We Olive and Wine Bar’s Grand Opening and this upcoming weekend’s warm but beautiful weather, this could be an excellent time to enjoy some nice time in San Juan Capistrano.
We Olive & Wine Bar
31760 Camino Capistrano, Suite B
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
PH: (949) 441-7279