Hollywood has a way of making lasting impressions; having never traveled to California wine country, I’ll admit that visions of Falcon Crest (for those of you old enough to remember the show) painted a picture that wine was only for certain people – the uppercrust.


The movie ‘Sideways’ left a different perspective, but still one of exclusion rather than inclusion. One of the memorable lines from the movie was, ‘No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f-ing Merlot!’

Well folks – I’m drinking Merlot – and it’s really good!  If you watch the video below, you’ll hear winemaker James Foster talk about the flipflop wine philosophy. Wine does not need to be serious and pretentious. It can be fun, affordable and taste great – every time!

Pair a merlot with some blue cheese sliders, some mac-n-cheese or a batch of chili you threw together. And you know what? It still tastes really good.


Our visit to Livermore, California was incredibly beautiful and really did look like  a scene from Falcon Crest (only in Hi-Def). But the icing on the cake is that the people representing the flipflop brand are some of the friendliest, most laid back and dedicated people who love what they do – make really good wines – affordably and consistently. And I got a little verklempt when I heard about flipflop’s unprecedented partnership with Soles4Souls.



Moved to do something following the devastating Southeast Asia tsunami in 2004, founder and CEO of Soles4Souls, Wayne Elsey, watched the news as a single shoe washed up onto the shore and had an idea. He contacted a few executives in the footwear industry and a short time later, one-quarter of a million shoes had been donated to the victims in those devastated countries. The same happened when Hurricane Katrina came roaring to shore in 2005 and now the non-profit is helping victims of Hurricane Sandy.



Soles4Souls has partnered with flipflop wines who dedicates a portion of the sale of each bottle of wine to benefit the International shoe charity. ‘The flipflop team has taken the mission of Soles4Souls to heart and we are very proud to partner with them to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people,’ said Wayne.


Several years ago, The Professor and I enjoyed a memorable meal that paired grilled salmon and a berry sauce – we recreated that dish at home using the flipflop Merlot and some summer berries I stashed away in the freezer – a perfect meal that comes together relatively quickly, is healthy and still tastes decadent ~



  1. Finally, I’ve been wondering what kind of name was “flip-flop wines”, just had some the other day. Pretty photos!

  2. What a lovely outreach project. I’d never heard of Soles4Souls. So very cool.

    And this recipe would make my honey like me even more better … yum!

  3. This is just marvelous… I loved getting the behind the scenes look of the winery and your pictures are gorgeous. And you already know how I feel about this salmon! I want it in my belly!

  4. Deb, I remember Falcon Crest. Love this post and the recipe. Sounds so “entertaining-worthy” 🙂

    • Sandy, I remember planning my night around Falcon Crest – was completely smitten w/the vineyards, the lifestyle and that house!

  5. Enjoyed this post! Felt like I traveled with you, too – oh those grapes looked divine! And yes, I did watch ‘Falcon Crest’ regularly – wasn’t Jane W. just evil? Back to this post, I have never cooked salmon this way with berries and wine, and now I’m inspired. Can I try these condiments on other types of fish, too? Any suggestions? Thanks for the recipe inspiration. Happy 2013 to you and the Professor 🙂

    • Yes! Jane W was deliciously awful! This is a great recipe pairing and the sauce can definitely be used on other types of fish – something hearty/fatty is best – it would overpower a delicate fish; this would also work well on beef, like a cut of tenderloin.

  6. I’m all about flipflop wine and I’m all about this salmon! It looks amazing, Debra!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *