Cocktail Corner: Taste the Future of Wine at Les Marchands

Santa Barbara County Wine Futures TastingA spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg  |

After last year’s super successful first “Funk Zone version” of the Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding numero due, especially since an exclusive Friday evening event was added to the mix, taking place on April 18.

Unlike a typical Winemaker’s Dinner, this gathering will echo what has gone on for generations in Europe but was formally organized in the 1920’s by Count Lafon as La Paulee de Meursault with a celebration in Burgundy marking the end of harvest. With that in mind, this will be a harvest style celebration of bringing and sharing superb wines.  Les Marchands has invited several winemakers to participate and in generosity they have agreed to bring along Santa Barbara County wines from their cellars—fun, unique, aged, new, unreleased, large format—the variety will be truly memorable.

Confirmed winemakers and proprietors attending include Zotovich Cellars, Ojai, Tyler Winery, Wenzlau Vineyard, Sillix, Chanin, Storm Wines and Sandhi, with a few more in the works.

Expanding on the theme, Les Marchands is encouraging guests to bring a wine from Santa Barbara County to share since the evening is centered around sharing, enjoying, and learning about the expressive wines of Santa Barbara County.

SBCWFTDinner2014-2855The menu includes:

Farmer’s Market Crudite Platter with Seasonal Vegetables, Herbed Goat Cheese, Black Pepper Creme Fraiche, and Romesco Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower Soup, Chives and House-made Potato Chip

Grilled Tri-tip, Salsa Verde served with Rosemary Potatoes, Grilled Broccolini with Lemon Zest and Chili Flakes, Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad

Rori’s Ice Cream
Cost is $85 per person, and reservations can be made by clicking here.

That’s just the beginning of this delicious world of fun.

On Saturday, April 19, more than 50 of the hottest local wineries will gather for an exclusive tasting next door to Les Marchands at 131 Anacapa St., which will be transformed into an indoor tasting room. Attendees have the rare opportunity to be among the first to taste and purchase special cuvees available prior to release at a 20% discount off standard retail price. Historic producers like Au Bon Climat and Qupe are confirmed to attend, alongside upcoming stars like Tyler, Sillix, Zotovich, Tatomer, Habit Wine Company and Wenzlau.

Tickets for the 2014 Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant’s Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting are $70 with advance purchase on the Les Marchands website or $80 at the door. The event will take place from noon-4 p.m.


Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 21, 2014.

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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.”