Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara Wine and Food Festival

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

One of the very best wine fests—the 31st Annual Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival—returns to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on Saturday, June 30.

The Museum is a beautiful place to indulge in delicious wines paired with excellent bites along the shaded banks of Mission Creek. And you can feel good about going to this event because all net proceeds from the festival support the Museum’s nature and science education programs. I have fond memories of field trips to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History  back when I was in elementary school, as well as many more recent trips with my son.

It’s definitely a festival with a LOCAL feeling. Perhaps because of that, the Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival is also one of the few events that the winemakers themselves attend and pour their favorite vintages. “This is one of the very best tastings that we attend throughout the year,” says Richard Sanford of Alma Rosa.

“This is the most beautiful tasting, the most beautiful setting that I do anywhere in the country.” says Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat.

Jamie Slone at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Jamie Slone at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

More than 50 Central Coast wineries will be at the festival, including:

Alexander & Wayne

Alma Rosa

Marni Margerum at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Marni Margerum at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Andrew Murray Vineyards 

Area 5.1

Arthur Earl Winery

Au Bon Climat

Babcock Winery

Beckmen Vineyards

Bedford Winery

Blair Fox

Brander Vineyard

Brewer-Clifton

Buttonwood

Cambria

Carr Vineyards and Winery

Casa Dumetz

Cebada

Consilience

CORE

Cutler’s Artisan

D’Alfonso-Curran

De Paola

Domaine de la Cote

Epiphany Cellars

Feliz Noche

Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

Tim Snider and Brad Thomas at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Tim Snider and Brad Thomas at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Fiddlehead Cellars

Flying Goat Cellars

Foxen

Gainey Vineyards

Grassini Family Vineyards

Jaffurs Wine Cellars

Jamie Slone

Kalyra

Kaena Wine

Ken Brown Wines

Kenneth Volk Vineyards

Koehler Winery

LaFond Winery

Larner Wines

Fred Brander at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Fred Brander at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Longoria

Lumen

Mail Road Winery

Margerum Wine Company

Melville

Mosby Winery & Vineyard

Municipal Winemakers

Notary Public

Nielson

Oreana

Palmina

Potek

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

Qupé

Rancho Sisquoc Winery

Rideau

Sagebrush Annie’s

Sandhi Wines

Santa Barbara Winery

Savoy Wines

Silver Wines

Storm Wines

Sunstone Winery

Tablas Creek

Tatomer

Tercero Wines

Transcendence Wines

Whitcraft Winery

Zaca Mesa

Courtesy Santa Barbara Wine and Food Festival.

Courtesy Santa Barbara Wine and Food Festival.

Ian Cutler at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Ian Cutler at Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Also available are sweet and savory delectable delights from more than 40 of Santa Barbara County’s finest eateries and caterers, including:

• Barbareño

• Benchmark

• Black Bow Sweets

• Blue Water Grill

• Bob’s Well Bread

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

• Bottlest Bistro

• Brophy Bros.

• Ca’ Dario

• Corazon Cocina

• Country Catering

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival 2018, courtesy photo.

• Deux Bakery

• Enterprise Fish Company

• Farmer Boy

• Finch and Fork Restaurant

• Gelson’s Market – Santa Barbara

• Helena Avenue Bakery

• Hitching Post

• il Fustino

• Industrial Eats

• Jessica Foster Confections

Les Marchands

Loquita

• Michael’s Catering

• Oat Bakery

• Outpost at Goodland

• Pacific Pickle Works

• Pico

Guests enjoy Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

Guests enjoy Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival, courtesy photo.

• Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro

• Santa Barbara Popcorn Co.

• Savoy Cafe and Deli

• Scarlett Begonia

• Solvang Bakery

• The Bear and Star

The Lark

• Tondi Gelato

• Via Maestra 42

Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival tickets cost $75 for Museum members and $100 for non-members. VIP tickets, including access to the VIP Lounge, early entry at 1 p.m. (the regular festival runs from 2–5 p.m.), six exclusive tastings and food pairings with winemakers, chair massages, and more are $125 for Museum members and $150 for non-members.

Designated drivers are free to enter as long as they accompany a paid guest. Designated drivers can sign up by emailing Sarah at sclement@sbnature2.org and giving the names of their passenger(s).

The Museum is located at 2559 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Barbara. For more information, please visit www.sbnature.org/winefestival.

I 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 believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on June 3, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara Wine & Food Festival

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Food & Wine Festival.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine & Food Festival.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History‘s beloved wine festival, and they are commemorating the event with a new name—the Santa Barbara Wine & Food Festival—which more accurately reflects the bounty of sips and bites found at this signature fundraiser.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Food & Wine Festival.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine & Food Festival.

While the food and the wine have always flowed freely at the festival, this year events manager Meridith Moore has set a goal to have 50 food vendors on the roster this year to accompany the 50 wineries. “My hope is that the name change will help to attract even more of Santa Barbara county’s incredible food vendors and highlight the ones that have been participating all these years,” she says.

As of press time, food vendors include: BarbarenoBenchmarkBob’s Well BreadBrophy Bros.Buena OndaCa’ DarioCoffee Bean and Tea LeafChooket/Your Cake Baker, Corazon CocinaCountry CateringFarmer BoyFinch and Fork RestaurantGelson’s ~ Santa BarbaraHelena Avenue BakeryHippypopIl FustinoIndustrial EatsLa MousseLa SorelleLoquitaMichael’s CateringMr. E’s FreezeMulberry LovePacific Pickle WorksPicoRenaud’s Patissiere and Bakery , Slate Catering CoSolvang BakeryThe Bear and StarThe Berry ManTondi GelatoVia Maestra 42 and Whole Foods Santa Barbara.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Food & Wine Festival.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine & Food Festival.

Wineries pouring this year include: Alexander & WayneAlma RosaAndrew Murray VineyardsArea 5.1Arthur Earl WineryAu Bon ClimatBabcock WineryBeckmen VineyardsBedford WineryBlair FoxBrander VineyardBrewer-CliftonButtonwoodByron by NielsonCa Del GrevinoCambriaCarr Vineyards and WineryCasa DumetzCebada, ConsilienceCORECrawford Family WinesDierbergDe PaolaEpiphany CellarsFalcone Family VineyardsFeliz NocheFess Parker Winery & VineyardFiddlehead Cellars,

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Food & Wine Festival.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine & Food Festival.

Flying Goat CellarsFoxenGainey VineyardsGrassini Family VineyardsHilliard BruceJaffurs Wine CellarsJamie SloneKalyraKen Brown WinesKenneth Volk VineyardsKoehler WineryKuninLaFond WineryLarner WinesLongoriaLoring Wine CompanyLumenMargerum Wine CompanyMelvilleMosby Winery & VineyardMunicipal WinemakersNotary Public WinesOreanaPalminaPoint ConcepcionPotekPure Order Brewing CompanyQupéRancho Sisquoc WineryRefugio RanchRideauSagebrush Annie’sSanta Barbara WinerySilver WinesSpear WineryStar Lane VineyardSunstone WineryTablas CreekTatomerTercero WinesThird Window BrewingToucan WinesTranscendence WinesVogelzangWhitcraft Winery and Zaca Mesa.

The beautiful grounds of Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (2559 Puesta del Sol) are a wonderful spot to appreciate being out in nature, and what better way to enjoy a summer weekend than sipping wine underneath the oaks along Mission Creek? Especially when the proceeds go to support the work of the museum. The event takes place on Saturday, June 24.

Guests 21 and older may purchase admission on the Museum’s website (www.sbnature.org/winefestival). This event is always a sellout, so if you want to join in the fun, act quickly or you not get tickets.

Hope to see 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 on June 2, 2017.

Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara Wine Festival Gets Better With Age

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Santa Barbara Wine Festival—the first festival of its kind on the Central Coast—returns for the 29th year, hosted by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (2559 Puesta Del Sol Rd.) on Saturday, June 25 from 2-5 p.m.

The beautiful grounds of Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History are a wonderful spot to appreciate being out in nature, and what better way to enjoy a summer weekend than sipping wine underneath the oaks along Mission Creek? Guests will sip, swirl, and savor a variety of wine from 75 wineries complemented by tasty hors d’oeuvres and desserts from famed local restaurants, farm-to-table caterers, and other top shelf food purveyors.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

They’ll also be celebrating the museum’s 100th birthday with, what else … bubbles! As a commemorative presentation this year, Santa Barbara Wine Festival features Sparkling Way; a special area dedicated to sparkling wines and the perfect opportunity to raise a glass to the occasion. Also, new to the event this year is the VIP Redwood Lounge, where VIP ticket holders can enter the festival one hour early and enjoy a private tasting before everyone else arrives.

Winemakers Paul Lato and Morgan Clendenen will be in the VIP Lounge from 1-2 p.m. to pour their world class wines, along with savory bites from Chef Pete Clements. The lounge will also offer access to intimate seating, delectable treats, late , and complimentary chair massages throughout the festival.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

The Cork Pull raffle is always one of my favorite things at this festival. For $30 to pull a cork, participants are guaranteed to win a prize worth at least $30, many of which are terrific wines and other prizes valued at $50 and above. Plus, all proceeds benefit the museum’s exhibits and education programs.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Participating wineries include: Alexander & WayneAlma RosaAndrew Murray VineyardsArthur EarlAu Bon ClimatBabcock WineryBeckmen VineyardsBedford WineryBlair Fox Cellars, Brander VineyardBrewer-Clifton ButtonwoodByronCambriaCargasacchi/Pt ConceptionCarr Vineyards and WineryCasa DumetzCebadaCinque StelleCOREConsilienceCrawford Family Wines, Daniel Gehrs WinesDierberg/Star LaneDe Paola VineyardEpiphany CellarsFalcone VineyardsFeliz NocheFess Parker Winery & VineyardFiddlehead CellarsFlying Goat CellarsFoxenGainey VineyardGrassini Family VineyardsGypsy Canyon, Jaffurs Wine Cellars  and Jamie Slone Wines.

Also pouring are:KalyraKen Brown WinesKenneth Volk VineyardsKita WinesKoehler WineryKuninLaFondLarner Wines and General StoreLongoriaLoring Wine CompanyLumenMargerum Wine CompanyMelvilleMosby Winery & VineyardMunicipal WinemakersOreanaPalminaPotekQupéRancho Sisquoc WineryRefugio RanchSanta Barbara WinerySilver WinesSunstone WineryTablas CreekTatomerTercero WinesToucan WinesTranscendence WinesWhitcraft WineryWilliam James and Zaca Mesa.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The event takes place Jun. 25 at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

In addition, participating food vendors are: BarbarenoBenchmark eatery, Brophy Bros., Ca DarioCountry CateringCoffee Bean and Tea LeafDuoFarmer BoyFinch & ForkFreezerMonkeyIl FustinoIndustrial EatsJessica Foster ConfectionsMichael’s CateringMr. E’s FreezeMulberry LoveNectar Eatery and LoungePacific Pickle WorksThe Stonehouse at San Ysidro RanchVia MaestraVillage Modern Foods and Patxi’s Pizza.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the Santa Barbara Wine Festival, please visit http://www.sbnature.org/winefestival.

Hope to see you there. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

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 June 17, 2016.

Cocktail Corner: Swirl & Sip Series on the Canary Rooftop

The Canary Rooftop, courtesy photo.

The Canary Rooftop is home to the popular Sip & Swirl wine tasting series during the summer, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

I jump at any opportunity to hang out at the rooftop at the Canary Hotel, which is one of the most exquisite—and exclusive—360-degree views of Santa Barbara. The scenery alone is enough to make me leap at any invitation to visit the roof, add in some terrific wines and nibbles at the popular Sip & Swirl and it’s hard to beat.

This monthly summer series is held the third Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. starting June 15, and features a rotating collection of local wineries who will showcase their best vintages, while enjoying entertainment and tasty bites from C’est Cheese.

Here’s the schedule of local wineries:

June 15 Wineries             

July 20 Wineries               

August 17 Wineries        

September 21 Wineries                 

Tickets for the rooftop Swirl & Sip are $35 per person, and can be purchased the evening of at Finch & Fork. Hotel guests receive $5 off. Guests must be age 21 or older. For more information, visit FinchandForkRestaurant.com or call 805/879-9100. The Canary Hotel is located at 31 W. Carrillo St. 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 May 27, 2016.

 

Cocktail Corner: Cool New Cocktails at Finch & Fork

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Finch & Fork Restaurant at the Canary Hotel is right in the neighborhood (31 W. Carrillo St.) and one of my favorite places for happy hour, wine tastings on the roof and even to meet people for interviews (the bar couches are particularly cushiony and comfortable). Now they  have a fun new cocktail menu with a bit of the new age, a bit of the golden age and a bit of my personal favorite, the barrel age.

Barrel aged cocktails are all the rage these days because, … well, some things really do get better with age, and booze is definitely one of them. Finch & Fork’s new menu includes an Aged Old Fashioned made with Templeton Rye, sugar and angostura orange; the Classic Dark and Stormy, made with barrel-aged rum, cruzan black strap and ginger beer; and the Barrel Aged Bols Genever (typically a blend of rye, wheat and corn that is triple distilled in a copper pot still, then blended with the unique melange of botanicals that may include hops, cloves, anise, ginger and juniper, among others) served with ice and a bottle of fever tree tonic.

Fringillidae Mule, courtesy the Canary

Fringillidae Mule, courtesy the Canary

The golden age section of the menu includes a nod to one of my favorite cocktails, the Moscow Mule. Finch & Fork’s new version is the Fringillidae Mule (cleverly named for a bird that’s a cross between a finch and a canary), made with absolut vodka, lime, ginger beer and mint.  In another nod to the restaurant’s avian roots, they have the Hawaiian Honeycreeper (named for another member of the finch family, a small, passerine bird endemic to Hawaiʻi), made from appleton rum, sailor jerry, fresh lime, lemon, orange and orgeat.

The new age part of the cocktail menu includes the Bluebird of Happiness, made with tanqueray 10 gin, blueberry, lime, lavender and soda; the Flying A, with aviation gin, lemon, orgeat, egg white and atomized peach bitters; and the Barbareño, with herradura silver tequila, vida mezcal, lime, pineapple jalapeño agave and california ale.

The $5 happy hour specials are served from 4-7 p.m. every Monday through Friday, including a selection of beers, wine (Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon) and cocktails, including a fun Champagne Cocktail made with brandy, a bitter-soaked sugar cube and sparkling wine; Tommy’s Margarita, a Lemon Drop, a St. Germain Cocktail and a classic Manhattan. Also great for groups is the $20 Sangria & Bites special, which includes a pitcher of red or white sangria and three bites to share—warm citrus marinated olives, blistered shishito peppers, and honey roasted spiced nuts—all of which I can personally vouch for as yummy!

Finch & Fork's Blackberry Cooler, made with bulliet rye, blackberry, lemon, rosemary and maple. Courtesy photo.

Finch & Fork’s Blackberry Cooler, made with bulliet rye, blackberry, lemon, rosemary and maple. Courtesy photo.

For a delicious 360 degree view of Santa Barbara, don’t miss the popular Monday night wine on the roof of the Canary this summer every Monday from 5:30-8 p.m. Staring on Monday June 2 with Bratcher pouring, for $25 you can enjoy the view along wine tasting with local wineries, as well as nibbles from Chef James Siao. Andrew Murray is up the next week (June 9), followed by our friends from Beckmen Winery (June 16), Buttonwood (June 23) and Grand Places Selections (June 30).

The July lineup includes Westerly Wines (July 7), Zaca Mesa (July 14), Carr Winery (July 21) and Margerum (July 28).

August’s pours include wines from Lafond Winery (August 4), Demetria Estate (August 11), Summerland Winery (August 18) and Palmina & Brewer Clifton (August 25).

September sips include Standing Sun (September 8), Cluster Wine Group (September 15), Melville (September 22) and Cold Heaven Cellars (September 29), followed by Revel Wines on October 6 and the grand finale tasting with many of the wineries returning on October 13.

Hope to see some of you there.

Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns. Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on May 30, 2014.

Leslie Dinaberg

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.”

Cocktail Corner: Thirsty Birds Flock to the Canary for Wine Tasting

View from the Rooftop Fireplace at the Canary (courtesy photo)

View from the Rooftop Fireplace at the Canary (courtesy photo)

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

One of the most exquisite—and exclusive—360-degree views of Santa Barbara is from the rooftop at the Canary, and it’s also a great place to taste local wines this summer.

Quite frankly, the scenery alone is enough to make me leap at any invitation to visit the roof, add in some terrific wines and nibbles and there’s no reason not to start your work week with a smile. You can sip and swirl at the Rooftop Perch at the Canary Hotel every Monday night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. through mid-October.

Beckmen Vineyards (courtesy photo)

Beckmen Vineyards (courtesy photo)

Up this Monday (June 10) is Dragonette Cellars, whose delicious 2012 Rosé, Happy Canyon will most definitely put a bloom in your cheeks; followed by our friends from Beckmen Vineyards (June 17), whose innovative biodynamic practices we wrote about in SEASONS back in spring 2012 (From Biodynamic Vineyard to Brilliance in a Glass).

In addition to wine tasting, guests can also sample yummy bites from new executive chef James Siao of Finch & Fork restaurant downstairs. Tickets for the tastings can be purchased in advance or the evening of at Finch & Fork, and frequent tasters can bring back their reusable glass for a discount.

The rest of the winery lineup includes:

June 24: Semler

July 1: Fess Parker- Epiphany

July 8: Sanford

July 15: Carr

July 22: Kessler-Haak & Flying Goat

July 29: Jaffurs and Presqu’ile

August 5: Stolpman

August 12: Summerland Wine

August 19: Zaca Mesa & Palmina

August 26: Verdad

September 9: Demetria

September 16: Deep Sea-Conway

September 23: Margerum

September 30: Melville

October 7: Andrew Murray

And October 14 is the Grand Finale, featuring some of the favorite wines from throughout the season.

Sounds like Monday’s going to be Fun-day after all. The address is 31 W. Carrillo St., and FYI, now you can finally enter the building at the corner of Carrillo and Chapala Streets. For more information, call 805/879-9100 or click here.

Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

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 on June 7, 2013.