Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Nicola Benedetti, courtesy CAMA.

Nicola Benedetti, courtesy CAMA.

CAMA’s International Series presents Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on Tuesday, February 13, at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre1214 State St.

The program includes: Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.4 in B-flat Major, Op.60 (1806) and Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op.61 (1806).

For the past 30 years, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has shocked, changed and mesmerized the music world by reinventing the orchestra. Working with several principal artists, not just one conductor, and performing repertoire from a variety of eras on period-specific instruments, the London-based ensemble stands for excellence, diversity and exploration. It has become the toast of the European touring circuit with annual performances at London’s most prominent arts centers including the Southbank Centre, BBC Proms and Glyndebourne.

Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 10, 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.

Local Dish: Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week returns Jan. 21-27 to showcase wine country restaurants at once-a-year prices.  Back for the eighth consecutive year, Restaurant Week features three-course meals prepared by the Valley’s most creative chefs for just $20.18 Foodies can savor a rare value to celebrate the food and wine pairings that have made this region a gem in California Wine Country.

Representing each of the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities, 26 restaurants—ranging from the region’s emerging establishments to long-time favorites—will participate in Restaurant Week this year. The list includes a Puerto Rican-inspired menu at Industrial Eats in Buellton, which is donating 100% of the proceeds to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

This year’s list of participating restaurants includes:

RESTAURANTS
Ballard

The Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, 2436 Baseline Ave., 800/638-2466

Buellton

 

Bottlest Winery Bar & Bistro, Bottle Branding photo.

Bottlest Winery Bar & Bistro, Bottle Branding photo.

Bottlest Winery Bar & Bistro, 35 Industrial Way, 805/686-4742

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.,45 Industrial Way, 805/694-2252

Firestone Walker Brewing Co., 620 McMurray Rd., 805/697-4777

Hitching Post II, 406 E. Hwy 246, 805/688-0676

Industrial Eats, 181 Industrial Way, 805/688-8807

Los Alamos

Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, 550 Bell St., 805/344-3000

Plenty on Bell, 508 Bell St., 805/344-3020

Valle Fresh, 380 Bell St., 805/865-2282

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

Los Olivos

The Bear and Star, 2860 Grand Ave., 805/6861359

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, 2879 Grand Ave., 805/688-7265

The romantic S.Y. Kitchen Firepit at Night , Photo by Rocco Ceselin.

The romantic S.Y. Kitchen Firepit at Night , Photo by Rocco Ceselin.

Santa Ynez

The Lucky Hen Larder, 1095 Meadowvale Rd., 805/691-9448

S.Y. Kitchen, 1110 Faraday St., 805/691-9794

The Vineyard House, 3631 Sagunto St., 805/688-2886

Trattoria Grappolo, 3687 Sagunto St., 805/688-6899

Solvang

Cecco Ristorante, 475 1st St., 805/688-8880

First & Oak, 409 1st St., 805/688-1703

Fresco Valley Café, 442 Atterdag Rd., 805/688-8857

Leonardo’s Ristorante, 632 Alamo Pintado Rd., 805/686-0846

Mad & Vin at The Landsby, 1576 Mission Dr., 805/688-3121

Petros Kafe, 487 Atterdag Rd., 805/686-5455

Root 246, 420 Alisal Rd., 805/686-8681

Santa Ynez Café, 606 Alamo Pintado Rd. #1, Solvang, 805/688-3543

Solvang Brewing Co., 1547 Mission Dr., 805/688-2337

Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, 1555 Mission Dr., 805/691-9444

The Ridge, 1618 Copenhagen Dr., 805/325-9820

For the latest updates on Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week, including menus and dining hours, visit www.DineSYV.com.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 20, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Toasting the New Year

Local favorite band King Bee performs at Dargan's on New Year's Eve, courtesy photo.

Local favorite band King Bee performs at Dargan’s on New Year’s Eve, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to the New Year!  By Leslie Dinaberg

There’s no shortage of great ways to ring in the New Year in Santa Barbara County! Here are a few options to start 2018 off in style:

King Bee at Dargan’s, courtesy photo.

King Bee Dance Party at Dargan’s

One of my favorite local bands, King Bee, performs a rare New Year’s Eve at Dargan’s. They’ll have a full menu available, including a champagne toast and a filet and shrimp special, as well as loads of dancing and loads of fun! This is a ticket-only event ($10), with limited dinner seating.

Dargan’s is located at 18. E. Ortega St. in downtown Santa Barbara. For more information, click here.

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

The Bear and Star’s Jazzy Celebration

The Bear and Star, Los Olivos’ hot new restaurant, which has been quickly embraced by food lovers for Chef John Cox‘s inspired, refined ranch cuisine, celebrates New Year’s Eve with a lively jazz quartet reminiscent of bygone days and a five-course menu.

Begin the evening with a flute of complimentary Fesstivity Rosé Sparkling Wine and Sunny Side Quail Egg, Black River Caviar and Tater Tot; followed by a Spicy Winter Greens with Smoked Lamb Bacon, Caramelized Apple and Pomegranate Vinaigrette; then a course of Shrimp & Grits with Santa Barbara Spot Prawn and Stone Ground Grits. The main course is a Petite Wagyu Filet with Cast Iron Sunchoke Hash, Brussels Sprouts and Bone Marrow Bordelaise. Top off the evening with Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake with Fuyu Persimmon and Speculose. Pricing for the prix-fix New Year’s Eve Dinner is $95 per person, with optional pairings by General Manager and Sommelier Robert Williams offered at $50 per guest.

For reservations, call The Bear and Star (2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos) at 805/688-7788 or visit OpenTable.com

Outpost at the Goodland, courtesy photo.

Outpost at the Goodland, courtesy photo.

New Year’s Eve 1920s Countdown Party at the Goodland

Party like its 1920 at Goleta’s Goodland and Outpost restaurant’s 1920s inspired countdown party! Wear your best flapper dress or pinstripe suit  and get into the speakeasy spirit. General admission tickets are $10, which gets you access to Goodbar and a champagne toast at midnight. VIP tickets are $20, which includes access to Goodbar and an exclusive speakeasy with a specialty welcome cocktail, passed appetizers specially a live jazz band and DJ, and a champagne toast at midnight.

The Goodland is located at 5650 Calle Real, Goleta. For tickets, go to https://nightout.com/events/new-years-eve-countdown-party/tickets.

DJ Darla Bea, courtesy photo.

DJ Darla Bea will spin into the wee hours on the rooftop at the Canary, courtesy photo.

Get Glitzed & Glammed Then Get Down at Finch & Fork and the Canary this New Year’s Eve

Kick off the New Year in style with dinner at Finch & Fork, where Executive Chef James Siao prepares a tasteful a la carte menu with specials set to festive décor and served with a champagne toast. Guests can also ring in the New Year by taking part in Finch & Fork’s New Year’s Eve tradition, where from 11 p.m.-midnight they’ll be serving complimentary passed bites and offering a midnight toast. Reservations: 805/879-9100

After dinner, head to the Canary’s rooftop for spectacular views and, starting at 9 p.m., the Canary’s Glitz, Glam & Get Down rooftop celebration, which includes a welcome cocktail, midnight toast and sweet bites from Finch & Fork. DJ Darla Bea will be spinning and setting the tone for the New Year! Tickets to the Glitz, Glam & Get Down party at Canary are $110, and can be purchased at NightOut.com.

 The Canary and Finch & Fork are located in downtown Santa Barbara at 31 West Carrillo St. Call 805/879-9100 for reservations.

Champagne, courtesy S.Y. Kitchen.

Champagne, courtesy S.Y. Kitchen.

Ring in the New Year at S.Y. Kitchen in Santa Ynez 

In dedication to the rich provisions found in the Central Coast, Chef Luca Crestanelli and his brother, Sous Chef Francesco, have planned a bountiful and elegant dinner to celebrate New Year’s Eve. 

In addition to S.Y. Kitchen’s dinner menu, start the evening off with a platter of freshly-shucked Kumamoto Oysters with Mignonette; or a Dungeness Crab Salad with Frisée, Mushroom, Green Apple and Pomegranate. For the Pasta course, try Francesco’s hand-made Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragout and Pecorino Romano. Main courses include fresh Wood-Fired Roasted Orata with Saffron-Braised Fennel, Tomato Confit and Roasted Castelvetrano Olives; and a tender Wood-Oven Grilled Delmonico Steak with Porcini Mushrooms, Polenta and Black Truffles. Finish the evening with an extraordinary Italian Tortino al Cioccolato crafted by Francesco Crestanelli.

Optional wine suggestions by Sommelier Bingo Wathen are also available by the glass or bottle, featuring Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut; Araldica Barbaresco 2014; and Ronco del Gelso Pinot Grigio 2015. The holiday menu items are offered à la carte and are meant to be enjoyed alongside other seasonal offerings and signature dishes from S.Y. Kitchen’s dinner menu.

S.Y. Kitchen is located at 1110 Faraday St. in Santa Ynez.  For reservations, call 805/691-9794. 

Chumash Casino Resort New Year’s Eve Dance Party featuring The Boogie Knights and The Spazmatics

Fill your New Year’s Eve with flashbacks from the 1970s and ’80s as you dance the night—and the year—away at the Chumash Casino.

The party kicks off at 9 p.m. in the Samala Showroom and is free for all Club Indulge members. The Boogie Knights were originally formed in 1992 as a Halloween gag in Los Angeles. Almost overnight, the group took the live music scene by storm. Complete with choreography, polyester, afros and bell bottoms, The Boogie Knights have been proclaimed “The greatest disco revival show in the world.” You can expect to hear covers from Disco sensations such as Heatwave, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, The Bee Gees, Kool and the Gang, the Village People, Rick James and Earth, Wind and Fire.

When The Spazmatics take the stage, you’ll find yourself feeling right back in the 1980s. Complete with skinny ties, brylcreem hair, and horn-rimmed glasses, The Spazmatics deliver the ultimate new wave ‘80s show. The band specializes in music from favorites such as Duran Duran, Men at Work, The Knack, Thomas Dolby, Men Without Hats and Devo.

The Chumash Casino is located  at 3400 Hwy. 246 in Santa Ynez, Tickets for all events are available at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Club Indulge or online at www.chumashcasino.com. 

For even more New Year’s Eve celebration ideas, Visit Santa Barbara has compiled a great list. Go here to to get the scoop!

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 December 22, 2017.

Cocktail Corner: Brunch at Finch & Fork

Finch & Fork Bloody Mary, courtesy photo.

Finch & Fork Bloody Mary, courtesy photo.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg  

While nothing says “bloody good brunch” like a Bloody Mary, Finch & Fork bartender Joe Dohany has bumped it up a notch with some cocktails designed especially for day drinking.

New to the menu is Dohany’s Breakfast of Champions, a bold drink with bacon–washed bourbon, pecan syrup and peach bitters. He’s also added a Guava Margarita with jalapeño–infused tequila, guava and lime as well as the Stinger with cognac and crème de menthe.  

There’s always the brunch time favorite Bloody Mary, which has also been upgraded, while a variety of mimosas, like orange, grapefruit, cranberry and peach are still available refills for just $1.

Chef James Siao’s midmorning eats are also top notch. Pair the cocktails with Siao’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken, served with kale slaw, pickles and smoked honey mustard, the Roasted Pork Belly & Egg with poached eggs, smashed avocado, toasted bread, chipotle hollandaise and home fries, or the Caramelized Banana French Toast.

Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday at Finch & Fork (31 W. Carrillo St.) from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Finchandforkrestaurant.com.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor ofSanta 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 February 17, 2017.

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.

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.

Cocktail Corner: Valentine’s Weekend Garagiste Wine Festival

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

2016 Garagiste FestivalWine and romance pair together so well, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend at the fourth annual Garagiste Wine Festival Southern Exposure 2016.

This fun and very unique wine festival takes place Feb. 13-14 at the Veterans’ Memorial Hall in Solvang. In honor of Valentine’s Day weekend, the festival features micro-production local sparkling wines, in addition to handcrafted red and white vintages poured by hard-to-find, cutting-edge commercial artisan garagiste wineries from Santa Barbara County, Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles, Napa and more.

Not only is this an ideal way to try hard-to-find, up-and-coming wines (and meet their makers), proceeds from the event benefit The Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund at Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department.

Courtesy Garagiste Festival.

Courtesy Garagiste Festival.

The Los Angeles Times calls this a “wildly exuberant and fun wine event,” and I couldn’t agree more. (Click here for a previous Cocktail Corner about the event.) The event features Grand Tastings of different vintages on both Saturday and Sunday. In addition, each Grand Tasting is preceded by a tasting seminar.

From 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday they’ll be Digging Deep into Mourvedre: This seminar explores different styles of Mourvedre and helps you understand why it is one of the most widely planted varietals in the world. Bob Tillman (Alta Colina Vineyards), Larry Schaffer (Tercero Wines) and Eric Mohsemi (Zaca Mesa Vineyards) will explain the joys of this under-the-radar grape as you taste your way through an amazing array of Mourvedre’s to showcase what this grape brings to the bottle.

Sunday’s seminar, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and sponsored by BubblyFest, is called Rise of the Bubbles – The New Breed of California Sparkling Wine: Start Valentine’s Day off right by tasting some of the exciting new bubbles—white, pink and red—that are being produced by small winemakers in California. You’ll explore the wines of Norm Yost (Goat Bubbles), Tyler Elwell (Halcyon Wines) and Dan Kessler (Kessler-Haak Vineyards).

 “We are proud to continue our mission of bringing the best new garagiste winemakers to our audience and, just as importantly, bringing the story behind the wines straight from the winemakers themselves,” says Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “Great wines and great winemakers in the beautiful countryside of the Santa Ynez Valley? We think this is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.”

Launched in Paso Robles in 2011, the nonprofit Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemakers, commercial artisan winemakers who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make. To purchase tickets and for more information, go to: http://garagistefestival.com.

Winemakers scheduled to pour include: Archium Cellars, Ascension Cellars, Baehner Fournier Vineyards, Bevela Wines*, Brophy Clark Cellars, Carucci Wines, The Central Coast Group Project, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Clos des Amis, Coda Wines, Cordon Wines, Dascomb Cellars, El Lugar Wines, Graef Wines, Halcyon Wines*, Iter Wine*, Kessler Haak Vineyard, La Montagne Winery, Larner Vineyard, Levo Wines, Mallea Wines*, MCV Wines, Millesime Cellars*, C. Nagy Wines, Pace Family Wines, Press Gang Cellars, Rhythm Wines*, Ryan Cochrane Wines, Scott Cellars, Seagrape Wines, small + tall wines*, Stirm Wines*, STANGER/JP3, Tercero Wines, Travieso Winery, Trojak-Knier Winery, Weatherborne, West of Temprance* and Workman Ayer.

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 January 22, 2015.

SB Style File: Santa Barbara Greeting Cards

The American Riviera postcard set by Santa Barbara Greeting Cards. Photo courtesy Donna Greene

The American Riviera postcard set by Santa Barbara Greeting Cards. Photo courtesy Donna Greene

Looking for a special gift this holiday season? How about a trip to Santa Barbara in a tin? Donna Greene’s new venture, Santa Barbara Greeting Cards, offers two beautiful sets of cards and postcards spotlighting iconic Santa Barbara scenes that will appeal to both locals and visitors.

“Living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we know how spoiled we are, and a new line of cards with a dazzling array of stunning colors is proof positive of the paradise that we live in. Having these cards is like belonging to an exclusive club — ‘You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave (Santa Barbara),'” says Greene.

Both the greeting card set and the postcard set, have 12 breathtaking photos, come in a custom tin beautifully printed with more scenes of Santa Barbara and come with an engraved bamboo pen.

The sets are available online at santabarbaragreetingcards.com. They are also available at Chaucer’s Bookstore (3321 State St.) and Santa Barbara Arts (1114 State St., Ste. 24 in La Arcada Plaza).

The Quintessential SB greeting card set by Santa Barbara Greeting Cards, courtesy photo.

The Quintessential SB greeting card set by Santa Barbara Greeting Cards, courtesy photo.

—Leslie Dinaberg

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