Sunrider Wine Tours' knowledgeable guides⎯all of whom are or have been local-winery and vineyard employees⎯cart tourists through Southern California wine country's rural terrain in open-air or covered Jeeps. The guides share information on Temecula's history and first-hand knowledge of vino-making processes while shuttling guests to tastings at local wineries and answering questions, such as what tannins are and who invented grapes.
Painted Earth makes it simple for amateur artisans and ceramic virtuosos to produce colorful pottery pieces using a variety of stencils, stamps, and patterns. Start by choosing your desired vessel from a vast selection of more than 500 ceramic pieces ($6–$70), including coffee mugs ($10–$17), dinner plates ($14–$20), and miniature figurines ($8–$30) to festoon with the likeness of a pet or distant relative. Pick a design from the store's volumes of idea books, select from more than 100 colors, and then create a design for an earthenware masterpiece. For artists suffering from painter's block, Painted Earth hosts an online inspiration gallery, and friendly staff members stand ready to assist with the pigmenting process. Glazing, firing, and vibrantly hued paints are included in the flat studio fee ($6 per person per visit), and polished objects are ready one week later.
Wine on a Dime's experienced wranglers of grapes and barleys preside over a range of themed tastings and events that flaunt the accessibility of fine libations. A rotating selection of featured wines parades an ever-changing lineup of pinot noirs, malbecs, and chardonnays, which greet taste buds with firm handshakes during tastings. Wine Lovers Wednesday furnishes participants with six sippables over the course of the evening, and Friday Night Flights rewards customers with five distinct wines and a pilot’s cap stitched together from grapevines. Tilt palates toward seven different grown-up grape juices on Sippin’ Saturdays, or meander into the sudsy wonderland of Thirsty Third Thursday, which arrays six craft beers to sample and savor. Viewings of wine-steeped films such as Sideways and I Was a Teenage Maitre d' surround guests with oenophile culture, and regional tastings focus on the products of Spain, Napa Valley, and other prolific vine strongholds.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Babydollz Lingerie suits up shoppers in alluring lingerie and come-hither costumes from more than 150 designer brands and custom creations crafted by the pair of seamstress owners. Co-owner Heather draws on her Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising degree to outfit customers in a classy selection of corsets and bustiers or sequined, rhinestone, and pinup-style high heels. The owners design their own line of custom tutus to fit adults and adult-size performing seals, and they make custom bridal garters and lingerie upon request to celebrate wives-to-be. A variety of costumes—ranging from pirates to princesses—can spice up a costume party, and the adult toy room stocks amorous accessories such as massage oils, accouterments for bachelorette parties, and furry handcuffs, ideal for apprehending bank-robbing ewoks.