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Archive for the tag “Wine Bars”

Wine and Fire, Ha-cha-cha-cha…

Wine and Fire Santa Rita Hills

Sometimes one needs to step away from the familiar of one’s immediate surroundings and spend some time exploring areas that are close but oft forgotten. So when the opportunity came up to go to Wine and Fire put on by the Santa Rita Hills Wine Alliance and region, located about an hour south of us, in Lompoc, it was a no brainer. First it helped get my bearings as I was always confusing Santa Lucia Highlands (north in Monterey County) and Santa Rita Hills (south in Santa Barbara County) with each other. Aside from the directional confusion, I realized that the Highlands focus more on Bordeaux and Southern Rhone with some Burgundian varietals thrown in, where as the Hills focus on Burgundian and Northern Rhone varietals with a little Bordeaux thrown into the mix. Read more…

A Heavenly Emporium Experience

Heavenly Emporium

I had the good fortune of attending an awesome brownie and wine pairing evening at the Grape Emporium owned by David and Annie Wilson in Atascadero and Heavenly Squared Brownie Company. You may remember I’ve written about David before as he was my Greek Ambassador counterpart, and I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed on his radio program on several occasions. The thing about doing a tasting event like this at the Grape Emporium, is that David is a brilliant mad scientist when it comes to blending various wines and creating something all together new, which is an unusual experience in any wine shop. Read more…

Bella View from Bella Vino’s

View  from Bella Vino, a mirror image of the Sunset and Morro Rock

View from Bella Vino’s, a mirror image of the Sunset and Morro Rock

There is a charming wine bar in Morro Bay, called Bella Vino’s Doug and I visited on a “Lets get out of the house and do something ” day. There was a flurry of activity at the bar because as part of celebrating its 1 year anniversary they were doing a fundraiser in conjunction with the  UFC for the Wounded Warriors Project later in the day, and several well-known champions were there. Although we couldn’t stay for the fundraiser we decided to stick around and drink some wine. When we walked in the first thing we noticed were the great views of the Rock and Morro Bay out of the large picture windows along the far wall. Read more…

My Man Manny!

Avila Wine and Roasting Co

My friend Manny made his life long dream a reality when just over a year ago, he bought a little wine and coffee bar in Avila beach called Avila Wine and Roasting Company. One of the things about Manny is he is probably one of the most knowledgeable wine bar owners you will ever meet. He spent 25 years in the industry and has worked as a wine rep for distributors and wineries alike, every time I go in there I learn something new. He has an ever changing wine list where he mostly focuses on Central Coast wines but often has some unusual finds from around the country and the world sitting around. Read more…

Flight over Taste of the Valleys

Taste of the Valleys Pismo Beach

Taste of the Valleys Pismo Beach

There is a little wine bar and shop in Pismo beach called Taste of the Valleys. It’s owned by Ash Mehta a charming fellow, and worked by his lovely partner Lissa, although you can usually find Ash behind the bar too or milling around chatting it up with regulars. ToV actually has a flagship location in Solvang as well, but we are going to discuss the Pismo location since that is were we go. Read more…

Once upon a midnight dreary, I showed up at Cuvee and became less weary….

I love Cuvee, it’s one of the coolest places I know. It reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “the Raven” crossed with a champagne and sparkling wine bar. Instead of pondering over quaint and curious volumes, I ponder over glorious bottles of bubbly. Cuvee is located in gorgeous Avila Beach, is owned by a wonderful woman named Starr Hall, and is run by her adorable daughter Savannah and her boyfriend Justin. It’s beautifully appointed in a rich Victorian design with velvet, and dark wood. The tables are dotted with ebony Raven’s feathers in little vases perched on old worn books. The bar is made of the riddling racks Read more…

Ah Luis, Luis…You gotta GO!!!

I know, we’ve blogged about Luis before, but get used to hearing about it because we are LOVING this place! Vanessa is terrific and really knows her stuff, not to mention I have been craving Maegan Loring’s chicken and duck fat pate since I wrote about it in my Going down in Gluttonous Glory blog. Today we went to Luis and decided to try the flights, I got the red GSM (Grenache/Syrah (Shiraz)/Mourvedre) blend and Read more…

Luis Bites. In a Really Good Way.

Creamy, crunchy, savory and soft. Luis Wine Bar serves up bites for any biter.

I have never been one for massive food orgies on my plate. I’m more of a nibbler. I like lots of flavors to dip and combine, experiencing a mix of textures, sweet, salt, heat, herbs. I also don’t constrain myself to simply loving all of my meat smoky, or all of my corn buttery. Ever put a little gruyere cheese on a pork chop? Ever put basil on your corn like I mention on the Try This At Home page? Read more…

Going down in Gluttonous Glory

Bruce and the Boss

Saturday started out just like most other Saturdays, sleeping in and hanging out in jammies for the better part of the morning. Then I reminded Doug that it was pick up party day for Hansen Vineyards and Winery up in Templeton. Bruce Hansen makes some of the best Cabs in the area and we love going up to see him, his long suffering girlfriend Sheila and their adorable dachshunds. If you are ever lucky enough to meet these two, you will know what I mean when I say “long suffering” and that I say it with all the love and humor in the world. One of these days I will find the time to write about our very first experience going to Hansen Vineyards about Read more…

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