Unusual flavors will collide this weekend at Santa Barbara Bedford Winery’s fifth annual “Mushrooms Gone Wild” mushroom and wine tasting.

“It is basically just an afternoon of mushrooms and fun for everyone,” Tasting Room Manager Helen Daniels said.

Held in the Bedford Wine Club in Los Alamos this Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., the event features fare including pinot noir, cabernet and syrah wines as well rare mushroom appetizers from head chef and winemaker Stephan Bedford.

According to Bedford, the mushrooms are fresh, locally grown and from this season’s harvest.

“The ethics of mushroom picking encourage us to create unique and interesting recipes out of what is available locally,” Bedford said.

In step with the eclectic theme, Bedford said this weekend’s tasting will also include book and mushroom displays.

“People have a lot of different interests and these events are a good way for people to discuss a variety of subjects,” Bedford said.

Bedford has provided wine tasting events with a twist since the winery’s creation in 1993 — including last year’s “Garlic Fest” and the upcoming “New Deal Diner Dance.”

Daniels said the winery has featured a wide range of appetizers at previous events such as french fries with truffle oil, turnovers and zesty curries.
“We like to use the food for thought theory, and using a variety of food dishes as well as a variety of wines,” Daniels said.

Fourth-year communications major Allie Pickett said this weekend’s event will provide an alternative to the Isla Vista party scene.

“Wine tasting is fun because you get to be outside with your friends and actually see how the wine is made,” Pickett said. “Sometimes it is more fun to drink wine and relax with my girlfriends than party with cheap vodka.”

Daniels said the tasting will cater to both serious and first time ‘shroomers.

“Some of our guests are mushroom hunters who come simply to discuss mushrooms amongst themselves,” Daniels said.

For more information, call (805) 344-2107 or visit www.bedfordthompsonwinery.com.