Cocktail Corner: The Wonderful World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

The word Pinotphile may not roll off the tongue quite as sweetly as say, a 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Fess Parker Pinot Noir, but the World of Pinot Noir—which features Fess Parker among the more than 200 top interpreters of the grape—is quite a delicious event.

The sixteenth annual World of Pinot Noir is taking place for the third time locally, March 4-5 at Bacara Resort & Spa. This indescribably fun weekend brings pinot noir producers and pinot noir enthusiasts together for an impressive line-up of educational, culinary and tasting events highlighting a veritable buffet of pinot noirs from California, Oregon, Burgundy, Champagne, New Zealand and Tasmania.

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Tasting Events

The World of Pinot Noir Friday Focus Tasting showcases 100 Pinot producers pouring a vineyard designate and library wine selection. The Saturday Grand Tasting features a different lineup of wineries and expands to 125 brands. Both tastings feature wine country appetizers from Bacara Executive Chef Vincent Lesage.

Pinot Focused Seminars

A Sparkling Evolution explores the grower-producer Champagne and Sparkling wine movement

The Diversity of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s Burgundy with Frederic Drouhin focuses on a tasting of wine from different “climats” and Burgundy’s recent designation as a World Heritage site by UNESCO

– Côte d’ Or March Madness is an educational Premier Cru wine tasting that pits the best villages from the Côte de Beaune against the Côte de Nuit

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Debunking the Myth: Cheese & Chocolate wine pairing seminars features fromagers and chocolatiers throwing down the gauntlet to winemakers

Featured Pinot Noir Dinners

Southwestern featuring “ranchero” style cuisine prepared by Frank Ostini of Hitching Post II

Pacific Northwest with guest Chef Jason French from Oregon’s Ned Ludd restaurant

Country French dinner prepared by Bacara Executive Chef Vincent Lesage

– The Rock Stars of Pinot Noir event honoring Josh Jensen with Calera Wine Company

Pioneers & Protégés dinner pairs wines and cuisine with winemaker mentors and mentees

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Pinot in the Movies

The winning films from the inaugural International Wine Film Festival will be shown on the big screen in the resort’s state of the art theatre. Somm: Into the Bottle will be screened on Saturday afternoon.

Trust me, this is a weekend pinot noir lovers won’t want to miss. And if you need any more incentive, a portion of the funds from the World of Pinot Noir silent auction benefit the Michael Bonaccorsi Foundation with Allan Hancock College and the Keith Patterson Memorial Endowment at Cal Poly University.

All events take place at the Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave. For additional information or to purchase tickets visit worldofpinotnoir.com.

Hope to see some of you there. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 26. 2016.

Photo Gallery: Sylvester Stallone at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Actor Sylvester Stallone and wife Jennifer Flavin attend the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9,. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Sylvester Stallone and wife Jennifer Flavin attend the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9,. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Carl Weathers attends the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Carl Weathers attends the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Sylvester Stallone attends the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Sylvester Stallone attends the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Sylvester Stallone speaks at the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Sylvester Stallone speaks at the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Sylvester Stallone signs autographs at the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Sylvester Stallone signs autographs at the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 12, 2016.

Cocktail Corner: Valentine-Themed Specials

For Valentine's Day, Eureka is featuring new specialty cocktails (L-R): It's Complicated and Facebook Official. Courtesy photo.

For Valentine’s Day, Eureka is featuring new specialty cocktails (L-R): It’s Complicated and Facebook Official. Courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Not sure of your relationship status? Just in time for Valentine’s Day (Feb. 8-15), Eureka! is offering two new specialty themed cocktails—amusingly dubbed “Facebook Official” and “It’s Complicated”—to help you figure things out (or figure out that you don’t really need to know …).

The FBO (Facebook Official) is designed to taste like a chocolate covered strawberry. Made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, a house-made strawberry simple syrup, lemon juice and chocolate bitters, it’s certainly perfect for the season.

Not in the mood for something sweet, It’s Complicated is a spicy cocktail made with Anchor Junipero gin, beet sumac syrup and fresh jalapeños.

Eureka! is located at 601 Paseo Nuevo.

Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 12, 2016.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Maltin Modern Master Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Film Critic Leonard Maltin attend the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Johnny Depp and Film Critic Leonard Maltin attend the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Excited fans packed the streets outside of the Arlington Theater anxiously awaiting the arrival of the recipient of this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Maltin Modern Masters award, Johnny Depp.

Depp greeted his screaming fans on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival red carpet. Once backstage, the montage rolled with some highlights from his illustrious career—from Benny and Joon to Edward Scissorhands to Pirates of the Caribbean and Black Mass, Depp has had an impressive and varied career.

Moderator Leonard Maltin covered the full span of Depp’s career, from his start as a struggling musician who fell into acting, all the way through his most recent performance in Black Mass. Depp kept the audience laughing, with funny stories from his many attempts at getting fired from jobs (including one particular time when he refused to remove a turban filming 21 Jump Street) and the many subsequent apologies to his agent Tracey Jacobs who was also in the audience. When Maltin attempted to redirect the conversation towards a more serious route, Depp quickly responded “Is Barbara Walters here? Am I gonna cry?”

At the end of the conversation, Depp’s Black Mass director Scott Cooper gave a heartfelt presentation as he gave him the Maltin Modern Master Award.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Actor Johnny Depp attends the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Actor Johnny Depp attends the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Black Mass Director Scott Cooper and Actor Johnny Depp attend the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Black Mass Director Scott Cooper and Actor Johnny Depp attend the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Johnny Depp speaks onstage at the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Johnny Depp speaks onstage at the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Film Critic Leonard Maltin and ActorJohnny Depp speak onstage at the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Film Critic Leonard Maltin and ActorJohnny Depp speak onstage at the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

 Johnny Depp signs autographs for fans at the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Johnny Depp signs autographs for fans at the Maltin Modern Master award tribute during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 10, 2016.

Cocktail Corner: Sip and Savor Valentine’s Day

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo.

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your true love, or a true friend, our local watering holes and restaurants are working overtime to make the holiday a memorable one. Here are a few ideas:

A Classic Valentine Weekend at Finch & Fork

Finch & Fork (31 West Carrillo St.) is honoring the classics this Valentine’s Day. On both Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, order from their regular dinner menu, or from a variety of specials. Try the Lobster Bisque, served tableside and sure to impress. Next, order Chef James Siao’s Beef Wellington served with wild mushroom puree, speck, brioche, grilled asparagus salad and roasted garlic peppercorn sauce. For the ultimate finale, indulge in their tableside Hot Fudge Sundae, prepared with all the toppings.

The Hungry Cat SB | Photo by Andrew Stuart

The Hungry Cat SB | Photo by Andrew Stuart

Tempt Your Catch at the Hungry Cat’s Ocean-Inspired Valentine’s Day 

Gems from the sea set the scene for romance in Chef/Owner David Lentz’s Hungry Cat (1134 Chapala St.). For Valentine’s Day, guests may select from a prix fixe menu that includes Peruvian Scallops with fennel, sambal and granny smith apple; Prawns with chili, lime, shrimp chip and egg custard; Smoked Salmon with crème fraiche, caper berry, heirloom beet and cauliflower; Lobster Raviolo with black garlic, king trumpet and spinach; and Grilled Branzino for two with chickpea, green romesco, cucumber and mint. Meat lovers will savor a rich and tender Stout- Braised Lamb Shoulder. In addition, the restaurant’s signature Ocean-Fresh Raw Bar is available à la carte along with two specially created Valentine’s Day craft cocktails —the Laws of Attraction (made with Ford’s Gin, Pamplemousse Rose, lemon and chocolate bitters) and Love Me Forever (made with rose petal infused vodka, ginger, blood orange juice and gran classico).

Love Me Forever, Hungry Cat, photo by Dona Bridges.

Love Me Forever, Hungry Cat, photo by Dona Bridges.

The Lark Presents Three Nights of Valentine-Inspired Specials

Set the table for romance at The Lark (131 Anacapa St.), where Executive Chef Jason Paluska and Executive Pastry Chef Jeff Haines present a weekend of Valentine’s Day dining with enticing specials designed to be shared by two for the ultimate romantic dining experience. Chef Paluska’s creations include Santa Barbara Sea Urchin Toast with Perigord Black Truffle Butter, Grilled Sourdough Levain, Breakfast Radish & Chervil; and Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Pink Peppercorn-Buttermilk Biscuits with Roasted Strawberry Duck Jus, Pickled Fennel & Tarragon.

The Lark, courtesy photo.

The Lark, courtesy photo.

Couples may also share the luscious Dungeness Crab & House-made Gnocchi with Spanish Chorizo, Navel Orange, Castelvetrano Olives & Lobster Roe. For dessert, Chef Haines prepares a Classic Chocolate Cake with Hibiscus, Olive Oil, Raspberry Meringue and Passion Fruit Ice Cream. Served with the dessert is a toast for two of Sparkling Gamay from Patrick Bottex, La Cueille, Savoie, France. The Lark also offers the complete market-driven menu that has made the restaurant so popular.

Les Marchands| Photo Credit Rob Stark

Les Marchands| Photo Credit Rob Stark

Wining and Dining at Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant

Les Marchands (131 Anacapa St.) and Chef Weston Richards have a romantic weekend planned with three seductive dishes that are passionately playful for couples seeking a relaxed and casual evening of courtship. Begin with Les Marchands Valentine’s Day aphrodisiac of Crispy Fried Oysters with Lemon-Caper Remoulade and House-Made Hot Sauce. Then savor Chef Weston’s definitive burger—“Royale with Cheese,” two 1/4-pound beef patties with caramelized onions, Taleggio cheese and housemade thousand island served with a side of garlic-herb pommes frites. For the ultimate in decadent desserts, try a rich Dark Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate-Pistachio Crisp, Marshmallow, Ancho Chile Powder & Olive.

The sommelier team at Les Marchands has selected three preferred picks to be paired and discovered with each of the Valentine’s Day specials: Gaston Chiquet Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc to enjoy with oysters; Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss as a match for the “Royale with Cheese” burger; and Domaine La Tour Vielle “Rimage” Banyuls to accompany the richness of Chef Weston’s dark chocolate mousse. Pricing is à la carte.

Vintage Love at Outpost

Celebrate a very special vintage Valentine’s Day at Outpost at the Goodland Hotel (5650 Calle Real, Goleta), where Executive Chef Derek Simcik has created the Vintage Love menu. It includes classic French dishes like Foie Tourchon with Sauternes, Beef Royale and Bouillabaisse. Pair your meal with the perfect cocktail, like the Novel Vintage with Woodford Rye, Maison Rouge VSOP, Earl Grey-Honey Syrup, Luxardo Maraschino, Orange Curacao and Lemon.

Outpost at the Goodland, courtesy photo.

Outpost at the Goodland, courtesy photo.

After dinner, stop by Goodbar and have lead bartender Chris Burmeister make one his newest creations. Try the Vendetta with Gran Lusso Vermouth, Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry, Amere Nouvelle, bitters and strawberry preserves, or the Handsome Haymaker with H by Hine Cognac, Avua Amburana, Masala Chai Syrup, milk and cream.

S.Y. Kitchen Presents a San Valentino Dinner Designed for Romance

The Courtyard at S.Y. Kitchen | Photo Credit Rob Stark

The Courtyard at S.Y. Kitchen | Photo Credit Rob Stark

S.Y. Kitchen‘s San Valentino Dinner features alluring holiday specials, a Valentine’s Day cocktail and stellar wine recommendations (1110 Faraday St., Santa Ynez). Starters include Black Truffle Ravioli with Burrata and Shaved Black Truffles; followed by main course selections of Filet Mignon with Mushrooms and Polenta and Grilled Giant Atlantic Prawns with Avocado Mousse, Local Tomatoes and Arugula. For dessert, there is a special additional dessert prepared by Chef Francesco—a rich Chocolate Terrine with Raspberry Sauce and Fresh Berries. Pricing is à la carte and reservations are recommended for one of the most popular dining nights of the year.

Rose & Hibiscus Martini | photo credit Alberto Battaglini

Rose & Hibiscus Martini | photo credit Alberto Battaglini

In addition, Mixologist Alberto Battaglini will make his special Rose & Hibiscus Martini: a stunning presentation of Rose-Infused Hendrix Gin with Fresh Rose Petals, Raspberry, Hibiscus-Blackberry Bitter, Lemon and Lime. Wine lovers will enjoy Sommelier Emily Johnston’s suggested bottle of Alma Rosa Brut Rosé ‘El Jabali’ 2013 among other recommendations to accompany dinner. Cuddle together in the courtyard at night or by the outdoor fire pit before or after dinner with an Aperitivo or Digestivo for a little extra flirting. In addition to the Valentine’s Day Specials, S.Y. Kitchen will offer their complete à la carte menu on Valentine’s Day for those that prefer the restaurant’s signature dishes. S.Y. Kitchen will also be serving their “Italian Breakfast” on Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. for couples that want to get an early start on Valentine’s Day. 

Rose, Reds and Truffles at Santa Barbara Wine Collective

Santa Barbara Wine Collective (131 Anacapa St.), offers a special all- weekend Valentine’s Day tasting featuring two flights to sample from the Collective’s five talented Santa Barbara County members. Choose a flight of two exceptional Rosé selections from The Paring and Fess Parker or a flight of five reds from Babcock, Fess Parker, The Paring, Notary Public and Ca’ Del Grevino.

Both flights include pairings of artisan chocolate truffles created by Santa Barbara confectioner Jessica Foster, and are available all day Fri. Feb. 12-Sun. Feb. 14. To purchase advance tickets, visit NightOut.com: sbwcvdayflight.nightout.com. Tickets are also available in person.

Santa Barbara Wine Collective, photo by Erin Feinblatt.

Santa Barbara Wine Collective, photo by Erin Feinblatt.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 5, 2016.

Editor’s Pick: The Producers

The-Producers

Courtesy photo

I’ve been a fan of The Producers since my childhood friend (and Santa Barbara local) Cady Huffman originated the part of Ulla and won a Tony Award for it in 2001. This Mel Brooks hit musical is still one of the funniest shows around. Just thinking about the geriatric Old Betties dance number with their walkers is enough to make me laugh. If you haven’t seen it before, you’re in for a treat! | Feb. 16–17, 7:30 p.m. The Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. 805/899-2222, granadasb.org.

–Leslie Dinaberg

This story originally appeared in the winter 2015/16 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

 

Rice dancer Chen Wei-an, photo by Liu Chen-Hsiang.

Rice dancer Chen Wei-an, photo by Liu Chen-Hsiang.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents leading contemporary dance company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performing Rice, a multimedia work of human drama and the story of a revered land, on Tue., Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre.

Renowned choreographer Lin Hwai-min, “the most important choreographer in Asia” (Berliner Morgenpost), created the visually stunning Rice in reverence of the land that has nurtured “Asia’s leading contemporary dance theatre” (The Times, U.K.). A work of devastation and resurrection, Rice is set to a backdrop of the living, breathing rice paddies that make up Taiwan’s expansive panorama; immersed in this landscape, Cloud Gate’s formidable dancers—described by The Globe and Mail as “One of the finest dance companies in the world”—enact a human drama parallel to rice’s life cycle: flooding, sprouting, harvesting and burning rice fields. On-site recordings of rustling grain, soughing wind and pealing thunder meet folk songs in Hakka—the oldest among the existing Chinese dialects—and operatic arias from the West to make up the soundscape.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's Rice, photo by Gio To.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s Rice, photo by Gio To.

A cinematographer spent two years on location documenting the cultivation of rice, capturing images of clouds reflected in the water, rice swaying in the wind and ravaging fire to provide the production’s essential visual elements. With this awe-inspiring multimedia production, “Lin attains a sharply moving synthesis of man and nature, east and west, death and rebirth” (The Guardian, U.K.).

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or purchase online at ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 1, 2016.