Cocktail Corner: 2016 Live Downtown Art & Wine Tour

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Downtown Art and Wine Tour

Art and wine are always an excellent pair, and this year’s 2016 Downtown LIVE Art & Wine Tour is adding a fun new twist to the mix: Live Art!

Each of the participating venues north of Carrillo Street—including 10 West Gallery, Bella Rosa Galleries, Churchill Jewelers, Distinctive Art Gallery, Engel & Vӧlkers, Imagine X Functional Neurology, Indigo Interiors, The Painted Cabernet, Santa Barbara Arts, Santa Barbara Public Market and Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery—hosts a LIVE cultural event paired with a Santa Barbara restaurant and regional winery.

“Our ingenious venues are exhibiting everything from painting, spinning, live photo development—even aerialists, all performed LIVE,” says Maggie Campbell, Downtown Santa Barbara Executive Director.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

You can sip from your choice of ten wineries and one brewery along your cultural journey. Participants include: The Brander Vineyard, Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Cebada Wine, Fess Parker Winery, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co, Grassini Family Vineyards, Margerum Wine Company, Presidio Vineyard & Winery, Sanford Winery & Vineyards, Standing Sun Wines, Summerland Winery, Wine + Beer and Windrun Wines.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Food offerings included in the ticket price are from: Blush, bouchon Santa Barbara, Brasil Arts Café, C’est Cheese, Ca’Dario, Chase Restaurant & Lounge, Enterprise Fish Co, Finch & Fork, Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant, Nectar Eatery & Lounge, Nothing Bundt Cakes, opal restaurant and bar, Paradise Café, Pascucci, Patxi’s Pizza, Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria and Viva Santa Barbara.

Tickets, which are $65 for the tour and include the Final Party, may be purchased at, or at the Downtown Santa Barbara office (27-B E. de la Guerra St., M-F, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., check or credit card only). A limited number of tickets are available, so advance purchase is a must if you don’t want to miss out on the fun.

For more information, please call 805/962-2098, ext. 804 or visit The festivities take place in Downtown Santa Barbara on Thursday, May 26, from 5:30-10 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Cheers to art and wine together! 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 13, 2016.

The Art of Food at SB Public Market


Santa Barbara Public Market hosts “The Art of Food” this week: a photography exhibit featuring market merchants, painting class, food + photo tours, a food photography class and more!

As part of this special week of events, Public Market debuts a commissioned photography exhibit by renowned local photographer, Kim Reierson, featuring the stars of the Public Market… the merchants.

Additional scheduled events include:

Sip & Paint with The Painted Cabernet! – Thursday, August 13, 5:30 p.m. – $45

Calling art + wine lovers! Guests are invited to join The Painted Cabernet  for a painting class in The Kitchen at the Public Market! The Painted Cabernet’s instructional artist will walk guests step by step through the painting experience giving one-on-one instruction while giving you the time to sip a little wine, visit with your neighbor, listen to some great music and paint your very own masterpiece to take home at the end of the night! Tickets  include a glass of wine. Additional wine or beer and bites from The Culture Counter will be available for purchase. Call 805/963-9979 for details and to reserve.

Kid’s Corner with Knit Fit – Saturday August 15, 10 a.m.-noon – FREE

Knit Fit will host interactive arts & crafts for kids in The Kitchen, where children can learn how to make creative flower origami and can receive $5 glitter tattoos! Call 805/770-7702 for details! 

Food Photography Lunch & Learn with Chuck Place – Sunday August 16, noon – $45

Join professional photographer Chuck Place (a Seasonscontributor) for a “Lunch & Learn” at the Public Market! This hands on food photography class kicks off with a presentation on light manipulation and how to get the perfect plated shot. Guests will then put their new knowledge to use and turn their cameras to beautifully plated salads provided by Flagstone Pantry! The class wraps up with a Q&A discussion with Chuck, accompanied by a light lunch of fresh salads and complimentary champagne split. Participants are required to bring their own cameras, lenses and 24-inch reflector if they have one. Tripods and cable releases are also recommended but not necessary. Class includes lunch and a split of champagne. Advance reservations are required. Call 805/770-7702 for details and to reserve.

Eat This, Shoot That Food Photography Tour of the Public Market! – Saturday August 15 & Sunday August 16 – $39

Eat This, Shoot That!, the premiere food photography tour guide in town, will be hosting several exclusive tours through the Public Market! The brainchild of Tara Jones, a college photography teacher and local foodie, Eat This, Shoot That! tours are like no other, and this will be the first of its kind at the Public Market! The 45-minute tour will lead participants through the Public Market, stopping at various merchants for photo ops along the way. Participants will learn helpful tips and tricks on how to take better photos of food, and of course sample the food they shoot along the way! Two tours a day will be offered on both Saturday, August 15 (3 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.) and Sunday, August 16 (3 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.). Tours include food samplings from several Public Market merchants. Participants will also receive wristbands that grants them Happy Hour pricing at Wine + Beer all day! Call 800/656-0713 or visit Eat This, Shoot That! at the Public Market for details and to reserve.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on August 11, 2015.

Cocktail Corner: Downtown Art & Wine Tour

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

downtown art and wine tourGreat art & wonderful wine make excellent bedfellows, especially when you add in fabulous food (which they do) at the 2014 Downtown Art & Wine Tour, which takes place on Thursday, May 22 from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Stroll along State Street with fellow art lovers. Each venue is paired with a restaurant and winery for you to savor. Venues include: The Painted Cabernet; Artamo Gallery; Santa Barbara Frame Shop & Gallery; Bella Rosa Galleries; Oliver & Espig; Metropolitan; Indigo Interiors; Distinctive Framing ‘N’ Art; Santa Barbara Arts; Churchill Jewelers; Ca’Dario Gallery and Captured Spirit Photography.

Wineries include: Babcock Winery; Sanford Winery; Buttonwood Winery; Grassini Family Vineyards; Au Bon Climat Winery; Deep Sea Wines; Fess Parker Winery; Santa Barbara Winery; The Brander Vineyard; Armada Wine & Beer Merchant; Windrun Vintners and Presidio Winery.

There are also nibbles at every venue and still more tasty food at the Final Party. Participants include: Brasil Arts Café; Cielito Restaurant; State & Fig; Enterprise Fish Company; Blush Restaurant & Lounge; Chase Bar & Grill; Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant; Ca’Dario Pizzeria; Savoy Café & Deli; Chuck’s Waterfront Grill; Alchemy Café; Finch & Fork; bouchon Santa Barbara; Opal Restaurant & Bar; Sugar Cat Studio cupcakes, Caribbean Coffee and from the Santa Barbara Public Market: Crazy Good Bread Co., Culture Counter, Santa Monica Seafood and Wine + Beer.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour flyerThe festivities are followed by a Final Party at The Santa Barbara Club (1105 Chapala St.), featuring Cutler’s Artisan Spirits doing tastings, as well as pouring a specialty cocktail created just for the tour, the “A&WT’ini,” along with yet more wine, food, music, dancing and fun. AMS Entertainment will capture the memories and DJ Darla Bea will keep your feet moving and fingers snapping throughout the evening. Plus, a silent auction will showcase wonderful gifts and packages, all benefiting the 62nd Annual Downtown Holiday Parade.

Tickets are $75 for the tour and Final Party and are on sale now online at this link or in person at the Arlington Theatre Box Office or  the Downtown Organization office (27-B E.t de la Guerra St., open Mon.-Fri 9 a.m.-4 p,m.). A limited number of tickets are available and advance purchase is a must. Check-in begins at 5:15 p.m. at The Santa Barbara Club. For more information, please call 805/962-2098, ext. 24 or visit

Hope to see you there!


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 May 9, 2014.

Share the Gift of an Experience

GiftofExperience1-704x400Nothing beats the gift of a memorable experience…except perhaps one that you can share with your loved ones. Here are some holiday gift suggestions that can be appreciated together.

Santa Barbara Beautiful

When it comes to enjoying our gorgeous city, the options truly are endless. One of the best ways to soak in the soul of Santa Barbara is to get out on the water. In the early winter months, Condor Express whale-watching charters follow migrating California Gray Whales as they pass through the channel (805/882-0088, and Adventure Sailing Charters (805/794-8703, boats to the Channel Islands, as well as surf trips.

Landlubbers will love a membership to Lotusland, which provides priority access to 37 acres of spectacular collections of exotic plants (805/969-9990, Members of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (805/682-4726, not only get free entry to this living museum, but also support the garden’s mission of conservation, education and scientific research. Garden lovers, not to mention history buffs and architecture aficionados, will love a tour of the historic Casa del Herrero (805/565-5653,, an elegant Montecito estate and National Historic Landmark. For a truly adventurous gift, take to the skies with Santa Barbara Helicopter Tours (805/845-4500,, offering wine tours, whale watching trips and Channel Islands flights.

Wine and Dine

Oenophiles will appreciate the plethora of tasting and transportation options offered by Wine Canyon Tours (805/453-7047,, Sustainable Vine Wine Tours (805/698-3911, and Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours (805/646-3200,, among others. Got a sweet tooth? Santa Barbara Adventure Co.’s Tasty Cupcake and Wine Tour (805/884-9283, is simply delicious.

The Show Must Go On

Why not treat that special someone to passes for Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which runs Jan. 30–Feb. 9 (805/963-0023, and offers a variety of packages that include movie tickets, parties and tributes and awards ceremonies. Classical music aficionados will love series tickets to Santa Barbara Symphony (805/898-9386,, the “Met Live In HD Series” at Music Academy of the West (805/695-7931, or CAMA’s International Series (805/ 966-4324, If the play’s the thing, then the Broadway Series at The Granada is just the ticket (805/899-2222, for big musical performances, while the black-box intimacy of Center Stage Theater (805/963-8198, hosts a terrific variety of plays and performances, including the locals’ favorite Speaking of Stories (805/963-0408, reader theater series.

Catch Some Culture

Museum memberships make great gifts. Santa Barbara Museum of Art (805/963-4364, members have access to the museum’s renowned exhibitions, grand opening events and other special activities, as well as a connection to a vibrant community of art lovers. MCASB (805/966-5373, also cultivates a unique arts community. Its members form a society of contemporary art lovers, patrons and artists who actively participate in the intellectual and artistic life of the museum. Another great way to catch some culture is via UCSB Arts and Lectures Series (805/893-3535,, which has about a dozen terrific ticket series to choose from—or you can build your own.

Get Active

The gift of physical fitness is a gift that keeps on giving. Why not give golf lessons (805/968-1541,, try stand up paddle boarding (805/881-2115,, or yoga at Core Power Yoga (805/884-9642, or Yoga Soup (805/965-8811, Los Padres Outfitters offers beach horseback rides, day rides or pack trips for horse lovers (805/331-5961,, while Rancho Oso (805/683-5110, in the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains is a great place for beginning riders to get comfortable with gentle horses and on guided trail rides.


Learn to paint (and sip local wine) at The Painted Cabernet (805/963-9979,, a perfect place for a date-night gift. Market Forays cooking classes and culinary adventures are also a great gift for someone who would enjoy a guided shopping tour through local farmers’ markets and the fisherman’s market, followed by a hands-on cooking class and five-course feast (805/259-7229, Brooks Institute Extension (805/690-7629, offers a variety of excellent workshops for photographers of every level to improve their skills.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in the Winter 2013/14 issue of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.