Time in a Bottle Kimsey Vineyard’s 10-Year Retrospective Tasting
By Gabe Saglie   |   August 16, 2022

On a recent sunny afternoon, inside a cozy cabin enveloped by grapevines, a few dozen of us gathered to sip through 10 years of Kimsey Vineyard wines. “Not just any 10 years,” winemaker Matt Dees reminded us. “The first 10 years!” Indeed, sipping through the nascent decade of any wine project is a study in […]

A Taste of Wine and Nature
By Richard Mineards   |   July 5, 2022

Oenophiles and gourmands were out in force at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History when, after a two-year pandemic hiatus, it hosted the region’s premier wine and food event, attracting 1,000 supporters to the beautiful 17-acre Mission Creek campus and raising more than $200,000 for the museum’s programs and exhibits. Around 200 VIP tickets, […]

 

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Grill-Inspired: A Major BBQ Event – Plus BBQ Wines – for Summer
By Gabe Saglie   |   July 5, 2022

The Fourth of July this week has many of us thinking about one thing: the grill. Okay, two things: the grill and wine. For those who are lovers of all things fired and grilled, another major event is on the calendar this month. It’s a barbecue-inspired affair for wine lovers that is years in the […]

A Deliberate Approach to Making Wine
By Gabe Saglie   |   June 7, 2022

Michael Brughelli’s 2019 wines – out just last week – are more than just the second release of his eponymous label. They feel a lot like a rousing encore performance. The Brughelli wines received critical acclaim early. His inaugural launch, a 2018 pinot noir and a 2018 chardonnay, saw scores high in the 90+ stratosphere […]

The Magic of Smoke
By Ian Wickman   |   May 31, 2022

Grilling season is officially here, and summer is unofficially kicking off. It’s time to explore one of my favorite flavors to incorporate into summertime cocktails: smoke. The exquisite character of smoke evokes something ancestral in us, the smell of a wood-burning fire or the aroma of delicious food grilling away over a bed of hot […]

Wine is Food, Too: Julia Child-Inspired Culinary Fête a Must for Oenophiles
By Gabe Saglie   |   May 17, 2022

Santa Barbara’s big culinary takeover next week is actually two years in the making. Taste of Santa Barbara, presented by the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation, was originally scheduled for May of 2020, and then the world shut down. Rescheduled to this month – May 16 to 22 – […]

Have You Heard the Buzz?
By Ian Wickman   |   May 10, 2022

The temperature is starting to rise, beautiful garden gatherings are ramping up, and humming bees collecting pollen can be heard any time you step outside. It is music to my ears for so many reasons, and it instantly brings to mind one of my favorite spring cocktails: The Bee’s Knees. Let’s take a look at […]

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Finally, Pinot: New Releases Take Tercero Wines in New Direction
By Gabe Saglie   |   May 3, 2022

“People do tell me – ‘Wait, I thought you said you’d never do pinot!’” jokes winemaker Larry Schaffer. We’re chatting inside his sleek Tercero tasting room in downtown Los Olivos. And he’s pouring me his latest release: pinot noir. Schaffer’s Tercero label has always been a bastion for imaginative, thoughtful Rhône wines. And his approach […]

Mission Accomplished: New Rusack Visitor Center Redefines the Wine Tasting Experience
By Gabe Saglie   |   March 1, 2022

I’ve discovered the perfect afternoon sipper – Rusack Vineyards just released its 2021 Boundless Mission ($28), a wine that is, quite literally, history in a bottle. The mission grape was brought over to the Americas in the 1700s by Spanish Catholic missionaries who didn’t want to go without table and sacramental wine along the way. […]

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A Dozen Rosés: You’ll Love These Pink Wines for Valentine’s Day
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 11, 2022

It’s all about skin contact! An apropos start of a story about Valentine’s Day, I guess. But we’re talking wine here, and those pink sippers that look and smell and taste so pretty, they’re sure to be our go-to thirst quenchers this Valentine’s Day. That seductive hue is, indeed, the product of calculated contact between […]

A Bloom in the Air
By Ian Wickman   |   February 1, 2022

One of the things I love about Montecito this time of year is the incredible scents that start filling the air. Each week something new is wafting in the breeze. Today, as I walk out the door, a wall of jasmine greets me. Next, it will soon give way to the intoxicating aroma of orange […]

Calling All Pinot Lovers: Premier Wine Event Makes Santa Barbara Comeback
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 1, 2022

Pinot noir buffs from all over the world have their eyes – not to mention, their taste buds – set squarely on Santa Barbara. After a COVID-driven virtual-only experience last year, and a truncated live event at the pandemic’s onset in March of 2020, the World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) is making a big in-person […]

Sip Without the Buzz: Santa Barbara’s Miller Family Launches Alcohol-Free Wines
By Gabe Saglie   |   January 18, 2022

One of Santa Barbara’s most prolific wine producers just expanded its impressive portfolio. Miller Family Wine Company, with brands from high-end Bien Nacido to mainstream Butternut, premiered the Hand on Heart label earlier this month. What makes these wines unique is the alcohol – there isn’t any. Hand on Heart inaugural wines, with a launch […]

Year in Review: Wine
By Gabe Saglie   |   January 4, 2022

Wine Pioneer Jim Clendenen Passes Santa Barbara County lost one of its most prominent champions in 2021. Jim Clendenen passed away May 15 at age 68. His ebullient, electric personality was certainly a Clendenen calling card, much like his undulating blond hair and steady parade of loud shirts. “It’s funny, I always think that winemakers […]

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