Here's info for OC tastings.
I think since we are such a young state filled with immigrants there is a little lack of pride from being from California.
Zinfandel is a California wine through and through. When it is good it is recognized as being one of the best wines in the world.
In reality I am not much of a wine connoisseur but I believe in local products. That is why I go to the farmer's market every weekend and drink CA wines!
I'll echo your sentiment on the farmers market. There's nothing better!!
Wine aside, I'm extremely proud of my Californa heritage. I think it's a very unique place in the world. And as such, we produce wines equally interesting and diverse.
Good Sonoma Zins and Pinot's (esp. the russian river valley) are maybe my favorites in the world. But when you drink as much as I do there's plenty of time to enjoy ours--and everyone else's too. Don't worry, go. We all love deeply our cali wines. It's just fun to try different stuff, and anyway what I'm eating will always determine what is uncorked. The harmonious pairing of tastes is the goal, and it stretches beyond geographical inclinations.
I usually don't pair up when I drink wine. I drink it sans food mostly. That is why I like merlot. I am not really against buying foreign wines but for the price I pay mainly California wines are good enough.