Cocktail Corner: Cheers to SBIFF!

A general view of atmosphere at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is always a fun and festive affair, and Wednesday night’s opener was no exception. Emilio Estevez‘s heartwarming and eye-opening film, The Public, was a great way to start the night.

On the red carpet to celebrate were SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling; Estevez and fellow cast members Alec Baldwin, Michael K. Williams, Jena Malone, Che Smith, Spencer Garrett and Jacob Vargas; as well as Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father), Mayor of Santa Barbara Cathy Murillo and Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

 

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The film was followed by a fabulous party presented by Belvedere Vodka at Paseo Nuevo.

The after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Santa Barbara will be pouring cocktails at celebrity studded events for the next week. Keep your eyes out for Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Gal Gadot and many more in the days to come.

Meanwhile, if you want to drink like the stars, here a few recipes, courtesy of Belvedere Vodka:

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

BELVEDERE CLASSIC MARTINI 

2 oz / 60ml Belvedere Vodka 

.25 oz / 7ml French Fortified Wine 

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Method: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a pink grapefruit twist.

BELVEDERE MODERN GREYHOUND 

1.5 oz / 45 ml Belvedere Vodka 

0.5 oz / 15 ml Aperol 

3 oz / 90 ml Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice 

1 oz / 30 ml Tonic Water 

Method: Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice. Roll contents and garnish with a grapefruit slice and a dash of salt.

Tickets are still available for some of the celebrity tributes. For more information, click here.

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 Feb. 2, 2018.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Opening Night

(L-R) Spencer Garret, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, Jenna Malone, Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin and Rhymefest at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

(L-R) Spencer Garret, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, Jenna Malone, Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin and Rhymefest (Che Smith) at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) kicked off Wednesday with the world premiere of Emilio Estevez’s The Public and the Opening Night Gala.

On hand to celebrate was SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling; Estevez and fellow cast members Alec BaldwinMichael K. WilliamsJena MaloneChe SmithSpencer Garrett and Jacob Vargas; as well as Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father), Mayor of Santa Barbara Cathy Murillo and Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Durling welcomed attendees at The Arlington Theatre and addressed the recent devastation from the wildfires and mudslides, saying, “The past few months have been some of the hardest for everyone in Santa Barbara. The devastation and the emotional toll it has taken on all of us is not quantifiable… Film has the power to unify us. To make us feel less fragmented as human beings. The events of the past weeks have fragmented this community—we’ve felt alone—but tonight and for the next 10 days we’re alone no more.”

The turquoise ribbons seen around town this week are a moving tribute in honor of the victims, representing clarity of thought, harmony, and healing. In an emotional opening to the Festival, Durling read off the names of each person that passed away or is currently reported as missing.

He then brought Estevez on stage who was joined by his cast to introduce the film.

Emilio Estevez and Alec Bladwin at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez and Alec Bladwin at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The film was followed by a fabulous party presented by Belvedere Vodka at Paseo Nuevo.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo and Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo and Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Throughout the festival, ribbons will be available for purchase at the Metro 4 Theatre with all proceeds going directly to United Way of Santa Barbara County. 

Michael K. Williams at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Michael K. Williams at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

DJ Darla Bea spins at the VIP after party for the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

DJ Darla Bea spins at the VIP after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Martin Sheen at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Martin Sheen at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Alec Baldwin (Right) and wife Hilaria Baldwin at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Alec Baldwin (Right) and wife Hilaria Baldwin at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Jenna Malone at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Jenna Malone at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

For more information, visit sbiff.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 2, 2018.

PuppetPalooza Kick-Off Fundraiser

Come play with the puppets this weekend when PuppetPalooza Central—Museum and Theatre  celebrates their opening with a fundraiser extravaganza on Saturday, January 27, from 4-7 p.m. in Paseo Nuevo.

The festivities  honor Santa Barbara’s beloved anchorman John Palminteri and the KEYT News Channel 3 team for going above and beyond with their coverage of the Thomas Fire and aftermath in Santa Barbara County. A special  “John Palminteri Puppet” will perform live with “The Palm.”

The Muppets will headline the Puppetpalooza Festival on Mar. 2 at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. Courtesy photo.

The Muppets will headline the Puppetpalooza Festival on Mar. 2 at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. Courtesy photo.

Guests also will enjoy a showcase of the puppetry attractions coming to PuppetPalooza, as well as live performances, and and light bites and beverages.

“We hope our joyous festival filled with music, puppets, families and fun can bring renewed hope and laughter to our entire community after a winter season that has been difficult for everyone and tragic for too many,” states festival creator Mitchell Kriegman. “Honoring those in our community who have been reporting about our tireless first responders and informing all of us about these pressing events seemed like the best way to kick off our festival.”

Featured at the fundraiser, and on display throughout the season at PuppetPalooza Central, is noted puppeteer—and Vice Chair and Director of Dance of the UCSB Theater and Dance Department—Christina McCarthy and her handcrafted puppets. 

The Paseo Nuevo headquarters also features the regional debut screenings of Handmade Puppet Dreams presented by Heather Henson, the daughter of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson. Handmade Puppet Dreams is a traveling film series that promotes independent artists exploring their handmade craft specifically for the screen. 

Fundraiser tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online here or at PuppetPalooza Central in Paseo Nuevo (301 Paseo Nuevo). For more information, visit puppetpaloozasb.com.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 25, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum from Eureka!, courtesy photo.

Hot Buttered Rum from Eureka!, courtesy photo.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg 

These colder days put me in the mood for warmer drinks, like Hot Buttered Rum, a sweet, sentimental favorite that brings the flavors of fall to life. Our friends at Eureka! (601 Paseo Nuevo) have a tasty version available through Nov. 23 (which is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving). 

They were also generous enough to provide us with a recipe to make Hot Buttered Rum at home.

Ingredients:

3 bar spoons of Hot Buttered Rum batter

2 oz White Rum

Top with hot water

1 unsalted butter slice (1/8 inch thick, 1 inch x 1 inch)

1 cinnamon stick

Hot Buttered Rum Batter Recipe:

1 quart vanilla ice cream

1 lb unsalted butter

1 lb brown sugar

1 lb powdered sugar

3 tsp ground nutmeg

3 tsp ground cinnamon

Procedure:

1. In a large mixing bowl allow the ice cream and butter to sit at room temperature until soft/nearly melted.

2. Add the remaining ingredients

3. Using a rubber spatula gently mix the ingredients together.

3. Once the ingredients are decently mixed, use a bermixer to continue to mix until the batter is smooth.

4. Batter can be stored in reach in fridges behind bar during the day but should be kept in freezer overnight

Creating the Cocktail:

1. Using bar spoon place three spoonfuls of hot buttered rum batter into cocktail mug. Leave spoon in mug and do not rinse off

2. Pour 2 oz of house white rum into mug

3. Add hot water from hot water carafe

4. Using same spoon used to scoop batter, stir the mixture together until frothy.

5. Take pre-portioned butter slice and place on top of froth.

6. Garnish with cinnamon stick placed across the top of the mug (see picture)

Eureka! recommends enjoying this cocktail alongside the Chocolate Torte or Apple Crisp for the perfect combination. Sounds good to me.

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 October 28, 2016.

CPK Celebrates 25 Years in SB

CPK's new Fire-Grilled Ribeye, photographed in the CPK Test Kitchen, Redondo Beach, courtesy CPK.

CPK’s new Fire-Grilled Ribeye, photographed in the CPK Test Kitchen, Redondo Beach, courtesy CPK.

It’s hard to believe, but CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo this week (located at 652 Paseo Nuevo, http://paseonuevoshopping.com/directory/california-pizza-kitchen/, 805/962-4648). For those of us who remember Piccadilly Square being where the mall now is, it’s hard to believe that the family-friendly favorite restaurant is actually a quarter of a century old! 

CPK is celebrating with special prizes and deals this week, like in-restaurant restaurant raffles with prizes, including a CPKids party, office catering, and dinner for two; free dessert on Thursday and Friday (their amazingly yummy butter cake or red velvet cake for guests who dine in) and double rewards for Pizza Dough Rewards members, which is a nice deal for regular customers.

CPK's Butter Cake, courtesy photo.

CPK’s Butter Cake, courtesy photo.

We dined there this week and sampled the new menu items from CPK’s “Next Chapter initiative,” which includes additional entree style dishes and a whole bunch of hand-crafted cocktails. Don’t worry, your old favorites like The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, Thai Crunch Salad and Spinach Artichoke Dip are still there, but there are also some tasty new main plates like a Fire-Grilled Ribeye, Hearth Roasted Haibut and Mahi Mahi Tacos, among others. We also loved the Bianco Flatbread with whipped truffle cream, gorgonzola, mozzarella and fresh sage.

Sangria Flight (L-R) Orchard, Red Berry, Harvest, courtesy CPK.

Sangria Flight (L-R) Orchard, Red Berry, Harvest, courtesy CPK.

Cocktail faves include the Moscow Mule, a Blueberry Ginger Smash (with Jack Daniels) and a seasonal selection of Sangrias—try the flight of three, smaller pours. My favorite Sangria was the seasonal harvest with rum, St. Germain, Chardonnay, mint and basil. This is definitely not your Abuelita’s Sangria, but it’s delicious, refreshing and perfect for summer!

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on July 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.

Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted

Twilight Zone UnScripted, courtesy photo

Twilight Zone UnScripted, courtesy photo

From the folks that brought us last spring’s laugh-out-loud hilarious performance of Impro Theatre’s Jane Austen UnScripted, Instant Karma Improv Comedy brings the group back to town with their wildly popular Twilight Zone UnScripted, directed by Jo McGinley and Stephen Kearin.

Hailed as “the greatest improvisational theatre company in the world,” Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted creates four brand new, completely improvised episodes at each performance—all in the style of the classic TV series The Twilight Zone.

The critically acclaimed ensemble returns with an eerie, macabre, entirely spontaneous show that begins with a single audience suggestion. From the darkest corners of reality, to the realm of the unexplained, Twilight Zone UnScripted enters a dimension of pure imagination whilst paying homage to Rod Serling’s award-winning sci-fi series.

Once they receive the audience suggestion, the lights go out, the theme music begins, and they, like you, enter into another dimension—a dimension known only as… Twilight Zone… UnScripted.

Performances are Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21 at 8 p.m., at Center Stage Theater, in Paseo Nuevo, upstairs at the intersection of Chapala and De La Guerra Streets. For tickets, please call 805/963-0408 or visit, centerstagetheater.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Twilight Zone UnScripted: Trailer “Fear” from Impro Theatre on Vimeo.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on November 18, 2015.

PizzaRev Revs up in Paseo Nuevo

PizzaRev Santa Barbara, courtesy photo

PizzaRev Santa Barbara, courtesy photo

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be anything new under the sun in the world of pizza, Santa Barbara has an addition to the local menu with a truly inspired idea: at the new(ish) PizzaRev in Paseo Nuevo, each pizza, no matter how many ingredients are selected, costs $8.25.

That’s right, no more agonizing over pepperoni vs. pepperoncini, or sweet fennel sausage vs. sun-dried tomatoes. Have them all, the only extras you’re charged for gluten-free dough or vegan cheese.

Not only that, we’ve been a few times and PizzaRev is quick and tasty. Perfect for a before or after movie bite, PizzaRev features a distinctive “Craft Your Own” pizza assembly process and Roman-style thin and crispy pizza.

PizzaRev Santa Barbara, courtesy photo

PizzaRev Santa Barbara, courtesy photo

Start by selecting your crust selection (original or gluten-free), then choose from four signature sauces, including a savory organic red sauce, a creamy white alfredo, plain olive oil and a spicy-sweet BBQ. Then, each personally-sized pizza is topped with favorite selections from an array of all-natural cheeses and 30+ fresh artisanal ingredients, ranging from traditional favorites to more unusual selections—they even have vegan sausage! Plus, they only take three minutes to flame fire each pizza. Pretty impressive.

Salads are also available, and don’t forget to try the Dessert Pizza, a decadent treat made with Oreo crust!

Interesting factoid: PizzaRev founders and longtime entertainment industry executives Irv Zuckerman and Rodney Eckerman were co-CEOs of Clear Channel Entertainment, and booked the likes of U2, RollingStones and The Who in their heyday. Rodney’s son, Nicholas, pitched the idea of “build your own” pizza after recognizing the void in the fast casual industry. His culinary and customer service background with Ritz hotels helped fuel the PizzaRev product. It was Irv and Rodney’s business sense that brought the concept to life—they opened the first three locations in the LA area in less than seven months.

PizzaRev is located in Paseo Nuevo at 12 W. De La Guerra St. (right next to the movie theater). For more information, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on June 17, 2015.

Cocktail Corner: Smile Sideways to Win, Friendship Center Wine Down, Bien Nacido Winemakers’ Dinner & More

Courtesy Visit Santa Barbara

Courtesy Visit Santa Barbara

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

The Sideways celebrations continue on this week with a special 10th Anniversary Sign Promotion September 5th – 14th in 100 different locations throughout Santa Barbara County. To celebrate the Oscar-winning film and its impact on the local wine scene, 100 six-foot tall signs featuring Miles and Jack are being placed at locations used in the film and other high-traffic areas around Santa Barbara County.

Fans can pose with the signs and then enter their photos to win the ultimate Santa Barbara Wine Country vacation (or staycation for those who are local). Photos must be tagged with #Sideways10 on Twitter or Instagram, or uploaded manually to Sideways10.com/Enter. Each daily winner takes home a copy of the movie on Blu-rayTM + Digital HD, while one lucky Grand Prize winner receives the ultimate vacation in Santa Barbara Wine Country, including four hotel night stays, wine tasting adventures, delectable dining, and ocean and land excursions.

Pose with these Sideways celebration signs and you could win big! Photo courtesy Visit Santa Barbara.

Pose with these Sideways celebration signs and you could win big! Photo courtesy Visit Santa Barbara.

Sign locations in Santa Barbara include: Au Bon Climat, AVA Santa Barbara, Conway Deep Sea Tasting Room, Grassini Family Vineyards, Kalyra by the Sea Tasting Room, Kunin Wines, La Cumbre PlazaMargerum Wine CompanyPali Wine Co., Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara Public Market, Silver Wines and Wine Cask.

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Solvang is calling all wine aficionados to participate in the Merlot Taste-Off event on September 13 as a tribute to the movie Sideways.

The event pays homage to the wine variety made famous in the Oscar-winning film, when Miles famously says, “If anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any (expletive) merlot!” Tracy Farhad, executive director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, has a rebuttal. “No more denigrating merlot! Come taste these marvelous wines for yourself.”  Participating wineries include Baehner FournierButtonwoodCarivintasCoreDascombHappy Canyon VineyardJ. LudlowLions PeakLucas & LewellenPoint ConcepcionSagebrush AnniesSevtap and Sunstone.

The event is a benefit for the nonprofit Solvang Festival Theatre (420 Second St., Solvang), which is also, conveniently, where it takes place. For information and tickets call 805/688-6144 or visit SolvangUSA.com.

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Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café (2879 Grand Ave., Los Olivos) hosts its first-ever “Rock Steady” Bien Nacido Winemakers’ Dinner on September 18  at 6 p.m. Three of Santa Barbara County’s winemaking elite—Jim Clendenen of Au Bon ClimatBob Lindquist of Qupe and Trey Fletcher of Bien Nacido Estate—will be pouring their specially paired Bien Nacido vineyard-designate wines with a six-course meal created by Café Chef Chris Joslyn.

For reservations call 805/688-7265 ext. 203 or click here.

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Friendship Center, the south coast’s only nonprofit, fully licensed adult day services program, will have its 5th Annual Wine Down, Friday, September 19 from 4-7 p.m. This casual yet festive event features local vintners pouring their wines for tasting, delicious Asian-inspired hors d’oeuvres by Spices N Rice and live music by Montecito Jazz Project Held al fresco in the courtyard of the lovely center in Montecito, this Friday after-work gathering will give guests a chance to enjoy a lovely late-summer evening and “wine down“ from the cares of the week. A small silent auction will offer carefully selected gift baskets featuring high-quality wine and wine-related items.

Participating wineries include: Andrew Murray VineyardsButtonwood Farm Winery & VineyardConsilience & Tre AnelliCottonwood Canyon WineryDemetriaFess Parker Winery & VineyardPali Wine Co.PalminaSanta Barbara WineryTower 15 Winery, and Vinemark Cellars. Beer from Surf Brewery will also be featured.

The Friendship Center is located at 89 Eucalyptus Lane in Montecito. To purchase tickets click here.

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Solvang’s Wandering Dog Wine Bar (1539-C Mission Dr.) has the first “Friday Night Wines” class of the season on Friday, September 5 at 6 p.m. In the September class, guests will learn about the history of Santa Barbara as a wine country, and will sample wines from the five distinct AVAs in the County. Reservations may be made directly through Wandering Dog Wine Bar, by calling 805/686-9126 or emailing jody@wanderingdogwinebar.com.

Hope to see you out and about! 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 September 5, 2014.

World Premiere of “Mission Blue” Opens SBIFF Tonight

Mission_Blue.1The 2014 Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicks off tonight with the world premiere of Mission Blue, a story of the ever-changing ocean, at Arlington Theatre on Thursday, January 30 at 8 p.m.

The documentary film highlights oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer Sylvia Earle’s life’s work and follows the increasingly urgent international effort, coordinated by the National Geographic Society, to build awareness about the state of our oceans. Called “Her Deepness” by The New Yorker and The New York Times, and a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, Earle has led more than 60 expeditions and logged more than 6,000 hours underwater.

The film features James Cameron and the late Mike deGruy. Both Earle and Stevens will be in attendance on opening night. Following the film, guests over 21 can attend a film-themed gala at Paseo Nuevo, including food, drinks, dancing, and entertainment.

To purchase tickets for these events click here.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on January 30, 2014.