People have different opinions about the Santa Barbara area wines. This was my 3rd wine tasting trip to the area (with girls who’ve gone many more and definitely know their way around), and I’ve learned that it has its share of pretty damn good wines and can be a blast to go wine tasting in – in particularly if you’re close to LA. Oh. And if you have a lot to taste, but I figure that is a given.
One lesson I’ve learned over the years with wine tasting is to actually pour out the wines I don’t like. That may make you cringe, but many of these wineries have 5+ tastings and if you’re hitting up as many wineries as we do… well, let’s just say that you’ll definitely have more than enough.
A limo driver is a must, so is good food and even better company. I put together some of my favorite places during this trip, along with some of my favorite pictures so you can see all the fun we had… and the progression of silliness that came with more wine.
I met up with Noa and our friend Lauralee on Friday night, before the rest of the crew arrived on Saturday. We all stayed in Solvang (same as last year), which is essentially a little Denmark. It was nice being able to experience the town while still in the “willing” stage (see eye chart above). We had an amazing dinner at a highly recommended restaurant (even by SF foodie standards) called Root 246. I ordered the Wagyu sirloin and I was so buried into my food that I forgot to take a pic (the shame!) and I definitely can’t remember what my friends ordered. Noa and Lauralee also did a very colorful martini tasting there. So fun. We finished the night by going to a quaint wine bar called the Good Life, a great place to enjoy a quite glass of vino and chat. Good beer. Good friends. Good life. (a pic you can find on my Instagram)
The next day, we woke up refreshed and met up with the rest of the girls. The first few wineries we went to had beautiful scenery and were great locations for a picnic and wandering, but it was our last stop in Los Olivos where I really found many wines I liked. Or, was that when everything started tasting better?
Los Olivos is a little town with many different tasting rooms so we wine hopped and hit a few different places. Another great thing about this area (Los Olivos and the surrounding) is that you can get a bottle of wine for less than an entire tasting in Napa. I absolutely love Napa and recommend everyone to go there at least once, but just one tasting can be $30+ for not much. Oh, so in Napa I don’t throw out my wine. Each drop is just too pricey. By contrast, most of the bottles I purchased during this trip are much less than that and pretty damn good.
My favorite tasting rooms here are: Coquelicot (French for a certain type of red poppy, pronounced ko-klee-ko) for its pretty packaging (and all-round great wines), David Gehrs for a nice, not-too-sweet Riesling, and Carhartt for it’s cute and shaded patio and their Sangiovese, Rose, and Sauv Blanc.