Wine & Beer

Foghat brings wine and music to Mid-State Fair

Foghat plays Friday night at the California Mid-State Fair.
Foghat plays Friday night at the California Mid-State Fair.

When Foghat takes the stage Friday at the Mid-State Fair, it will be a homecoming of sorts.

It was after the band’s fair appearance in 2007 that fan and longtime local winemaker Steve Rasmussen proposed making wine with the group. The result was Foghat Cellars, which has produced several vintages of pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon from vineyards in Santa Maria and Paso Robles.

Drummer Roger Earl — the only founding band member left — and wife and band manager Linda jumped feet first into the collaboration with Rasmussen, who had been Talley Vineyards’ winemaker for over 20 years and now owns SLO Bottling Services, with two mobile bottling trucks.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Rasmussen, a self-proclaimed wanna-be musician who estimates he’s seen the band more than 40 times through the years. The Earls come stay with him a few times a year to help with harvest or bottling, enjoy the area and talk wine and music.

For Rasmussen, it’s as much about the music as it is the wine. “I’ve gotten to meet a lot of famous musicians through these guys, as a person, not just as a fan,” he said.

But the wines have gained some attention as well. Stephen Colbert called on Fred Armisen to help him “review” the wines on the Late Show earlier this year.

To try for yourself, Foghat cabernet will be available at the concert. Patrons can also purchase a bottle that Earl is likely to sign during the band’s usual meet-and-greet following the show, Rasmussen said.

If you don’t make it to the fair, you can find Foghat wines at Tastes of the Valley wine bar in Pismo Beach and the Crushed Grape in SLO.