What's great in wine, beer, fine dining,
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in California State

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 22:21

A Santa Ynez Valley Experience

TASTE News Service, September 12, 2018 — Fall in the Santa Ynez Valley is a time when the region's relaxed and welcoming wine country vibe is enhanced by the energy and freshness of the California Central Coast's harvest season.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 20:41

Highway 1 Marks 84 Years as Dream Drive

TASTE News Service, July 26, 2018 - The classic Highway 1 drive along California's Central Coast is now ready to welcome visitors for an uninterrupted road trip as the final repairs at Mud Creek in Big Sur mark completion.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 23:08

Wine Pick of the Week

hidden asset bottle Picmonkey

2016 Hidden Asset


Lucas & Lewellen

Santa Barbara County

Alcohol: 14.1%

Suggested Retail: $29

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:50

When is a Wine “Kosher” ?

By Steven Tincher

When is a Wine “Kosher,” and What Does That Mean?

Monday, 04 September 2017 16:31

Santa Barbara Event Benefits Arthritis

TASTE News Service, September 4, 2017 — The Arthritis Foundation Central Coast has named wine pioneer Doug Margerum, owner and director of winemaking at Margerum Wine Company as Honorary Lead Vintner for its 36th Annual Taste of the Town Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 15:15

Denmark in Santa Barbara County

TASTE News Service, June 7, 2017 - Solvang has a rich Danish heritage. Founded by Danish immigrants in 1911, this small city in the Santa Ynez Valley boasts authentic architecture, thatched roofs, old-world craftsmanship and traditional windmills.

Wednesday, 08 February 2017 19:54

Santa Barbara Names Official Drink

TASTE News Service, February 9, 2017 — Results of the inaugural “Official Drink of Santa Barbara” craft cocktail contest are in, and the winner is “Ginspiration Point” by Alcazar Tapas Bar.

Saturday, 27 February 2016 12:31

February 26, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Riverbench Claim Juper Rose Picmonkey

2014 Claim Jumper Rosé



Santa Maria Valley

Alcohol: 12.1%

Suggested Retail: $42


“This sparkling wine is made in the méthode Champenoise from 100% Pinot Noir grapes that were estate grown in the Santa Maria Valley of Santa Barbara County. The location on California’s Central Coast receives considerable marine influence and is cooler than many realize. As such, it is prime growing country for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Thursday, 03 December 2015 10:27

Wintry Holidays in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Courtyard PicmonkeyA typical Santa Barbara courtyard

TASTE News Service, December 3, 2015 — Looking for a unique way to celebrate the winter holidays? One way is to escape to Santa Barbara to rediscover your joy and cheer.

Voted “Best Beach Town” by Sunset magazine in its inaugural travel awards in May 2015 and one of Condé Nast Traveler's “30 Best Small Cities in America” in its Readers' Choice Awards, Santa Barbara is located 92 miles north of Los Angeles and 332 miles south of San Francisco, on the Pacific coastline.

Sunday, 22 February 2015 15:40

February 20, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

SeaGlass Pinot Noir Picmonkey

2012 Pinot Noir



Santa Barbara County

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $12*


“The 2012 SeaGlass is clearly a Pinot Noir. You wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. Lighter in color than most California red wines, it shows aromas and flavors reminiscent of plums and cherries in a way that no other variety would. We bought it in a supermarket for $9.99, which is a little less than the average pricing nationally.* While there are examples of Pinot Noir for ten dollars and less,  most of them have just the generic ‘California’ appellation listed on the labels. One could deduce that their fruit comes from warmer, interior regions of the state—o.k. territory for some grapes, though certainly not ideal for Pinot Noir. But this SeaGlass indicated it was made from grapes grown in Santa Barbara County, a prestigious region for this variety. Could this be that vinous example of the Holy Grail (a good bottle of Pinot Noir available for cheap)?

“Would that we could say it was. Our disappointment was more about what this SeaGlass was not, rather than what it was.  While there was absolutely nothing wrong with the wine, it didn’t exhibit any of the subtlety and nuance that can make wine made from this grape—whether grown in France’s Burgundy, California or Oregon—a sublime experience. But how could it? Really good red Burgundies and ‘New World’ Pinot Noirs don’t come cheaply. There are, however, bottles beginning around $15 to $20 that show hints of what this most beguiling of wine varieties can be. While the SeaGlass fell short of that standard, we’ll keep on the hunt for inexpensive examples of this variety.”

Food Affinity: “We drank the SeaGlass Pinot Noir with grilled New York steaks bought on sale for $3.99 a pound at the same store. Nothing really wrong with the meat either, but overall, a reminder that you usually get what you pay for.”

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