The small Central California city of San Luis Obispo is about half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the very popular highway 1. Its close location to the ocean and the mountains is great for wine enthusiast, hikers, road trippers stopping off for a pit stop, and romantic retreats at one of their many B&B’s.

One particularly special event is held monthly at Apple Farm Inn, a B&B that is known for repeat customers, always returning for special occasions and anniversaries.

The Winemaker’s Dinner at Apple Farm Inn is just as special as the city. It’s small, intimate and outdoors, fully taking advantage of the beautiful weather that Central California is known for. Gathered around a long table, 20 couples of husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, sisters and friends, sit for a wine tasting of a nearby winery. The meal is specifically created to showcase each wine (usually around 5 different glasses a night) and changes every month to feature locally grown and seasonal foods.

I checked in to the Inn around 3pm on a beautiful but slightly chilly October afternoon. After being greeted with freshly baked cookies from their on-site bakery and a glass a wine from a nearby winery, I walked to my room for the weekend. Using a real, heavy gold key, something that looked like Cinderella would have used, I opened the door to find a larger than expected room, complete with a fireplace, gorgeous sled bed and beautifully updated bathroom. After sprucing up a little, I took my camera around the property and arrived early to the winemaker’s dinner.

The dinner is, in one word, heavenly. Small portions of appetizers, salads and soups tie you over before being served a family style main meal. Between each course you are served a different wine and while drinking and eating, you mingle with your new friends for the night.

Although you don’t have to be there on a date, the atmosphere lends itself to being super romantic, with farmhouse light bulbs strung overhead, a live musician playing nearby and sweet decorations. Conversations range from the typical where do you live and what do you do, all the way to how you got married and why you’re staying at Apple Farm Inn.

The entire night was very memorable. I have a feeling that Apple Farm puts a magic spell on visitors because it’s no wonder why people return year after year. They definitely have a repeat customer with me.

If you want to experience the Winemaker’s Dinner, be sure to reserve your spot with plenty of notice. This one of a kind dinner experience fills up quickly.