Letter: Laguna – Melting Pot of the Senses


The day begins for a tiny wine shop busily setting the canvas as a backdrop against the bustle of tourists on a warm spring day in Laguna Beach. It is the first nice day in weeks, and everyone is out to enjoy the warm sun and Mediterranean Laguna climate. 

The shop owners are busy setting up in anticipation of the afternoon festivities. Easter crafts and gnomes adorn the windows while the smell of paella wafts through the air in preparation for today’s Spanish wine tasting. A classical guitarist tunes his guitar in the corner of the small shop as a slurry of arpeggios rings out. Above the guitarist on the walls are impressionistic paintings celebrating the rich plein-air history of Laguna Beach. This may be what the founders of Laguna Beach had in mind over a century ago!

As the wine paints guests’ palates with bright delicate flavors, they tap their feet to the percussions of flamenco music. Meanwhile, a couple makes room at their table for another they’ve never met – and will likely soon become their new best friends. Across the room, a cork pops to the shouts of “salud” and the clinking of glasses.

And then it happens. A guitarist takes a break as a man from the street walks into the shop, sits down and starts strumming the guitar. The crowd whispers amongst themselves as they recognize the famous local classical guitarist in awe, his contemporary grinning in admiration. In just an instant, the small wine shop completes the masterpiece on canvas.

Laguna is a melting pot of the senses. It combines art and culture with amazing food and wine in the most picturesque, idyllic environment on earth. Many great experiences like this happen every day in Laguna Beach, and we are blessed to be part of it! All of us have the opportunity to be painters on the big Laguna Beach mural. Get out there and paint something!

Doug Vogel, Laguna Beach resident and owner of Wine Craft

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