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 Sips. . .


Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Annual Event

By Bonnie Carroll


Sponsors for the 2014 SBNHM Wine Festival included The Berry Man, Town & Country, Mission Wealth, Riviera Insurance Services, Whole Foods, as well as a bevy of media sponsors.


From the check-in by “Chad” the SBNHM Blue Whale Skeleton to the back of Boulder Alley the grounds of the beautiful natural history museum were alive with supporters, sponsors and purveyors providing sensational sips and delicious bites for the charity fundraiser. Victor and Rosalie Romo were among those waiting at the entrance to experience this year’s excitement. “This is our third year coming to this event and we really enjoy it. The grounds are so nice,” said Mrs. Romo. Many arriving guests enjoyed taking photos with the “Don’t Drink & Drive” bear, and sponsors walked a red carpet to have a photo taken with the Avelina Sponsor Bear in the Fleischmann Auditorium.


Food & Expert Vendors for 2014 included Bridge Brands Chocolate, Brophy Bros.Ca' Dario Casitas Valley CreameryC'est Cheese, Coveted Cakery, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Creative Services Catering, Finch and Fork Restaurant, Freezer Monkey, Georgia's Smokehouse, Il Fustino, Jessica Foster Confections, La Mousse, La Paloma Restaurant and Tequila Bar, Michael's Catering, Omni Catering, Pacific Pickle Works, Panera Bread, Renaud's Patissiere and Bakery, Rock Rose Provisions, SBCC School of Culinary Arts, Sorisso Italiano, The Shop, Truffle Gatteau, Via Maestra 42, Whole Foods Market, Santa Barbara

WINES POURED FOR CHARITY WERE: Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Kalyra, Ken Brown Wines, Kenneth Volk VineyardsKoehler Winery, Kunin, Larner Wines and General Store, Margerum Wine Company, Martian Ranch,Melville, Mosby Winery & Vineyard, Municipal Winemakers, Oreana, Palmina, Qupé, Rancho Sisquoc Winery, Refugio Ranch, Roblar, Sagebrush Annie's, Santa Barbara Winery, Silver Wines, Sunstone Winery, Tablas Creek, Tercero Wines, The Winehound, Toucan Wines, Transcendence Wines, Vogelzang, Westerly Wines, Whitcraft Winery, Zaca Mesa, Alexander & Wayne, Alma Rosa, Andrew Murray Vineyards, Area 5.1, Au Bon Climat, Avelina Wine Company, Arthur Earl Winery, Babcock Winery, Beckmen Vineyards, Bedford Winery, Blair Fox, Brander Vineyard, ,Brewer-Clifton, Byron, Cambria, Cargasacchi, Carr Vineyards and Winery, Cold Heaven, CORE, Daniel Gehrs Wines, Dierberg & Star Lane, Estate Vineyard, Epiphany Cellars, Feliz Noche, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Fiddlehead Cellars, Firestone Vineyard, Flying Goat Cellars, Foxen, Grassini Family Vineyards.Food & Expert Vendors for 2014 included Bridge Brands Chocolate, Brophy Bros.Ca' Dario Casitas Valley CreameryC'est Cheese, Coveted Cakery, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Creative Services Catering, Finch and Fork Restaurant, Freezer Monkey, Georgia's Smokehouse, Il Fustino, Jessica Foster Confections, La Mousse, La Paloma Restaurant and Tequila Bar, Michael's Catering, Omni Catering, Pacific Pickle Works, Panera Bread, Renaud's Patissiere and Bakery, Rock Rose Provisions, SBCC School of Culinary Arts, Sorisso Italiano, The Shop, Truffle Gatteau, Via Maestra 42, Whole Foods Market, Santa Barbara

All in all, it was a magical and delicious day at SBMNH. Next year’s date is Saturday, June 27, 2015. For additional information visit: http://www.sbmnh.org.


Special Beer Pairing Dinner Blends Distinctive Craft Beers

With Savory Four-Course Dining Experience at Rodney’s Grill

At The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

The culinary team, led by Executive Chef Kirk DeLong from Rodney’s Grill at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, believes nothing tastes quite like an ice-cold hand crafted beer to quench summertime thirst.

With that belief in mind, DeLong is taking beer to a whole new level with the resort’s  first ever Beer Pairing Dinner complementing a $79 per person (plus tax and gratuity) delectable four-course tasting menu with hand crafted beers from Orange County’s The Bruery.  A special $70 per person price is being offered to The Fess Parker Winery’s Wine Club and The Bruery’s “Hoarders and Reserve Societies” exclusive members.

The tasting dinner will be held on July 26th at 7 p.m. 

In attendance at the tasting event will be CEO & Founder Patrick Rue whose six-year-old company, The Bruery, will provide a brief overview to guests about the pairing of signature beers with each course.  Chef DeLong will share with diners highlights of American dishes and the use of fresh regional produce and ingredients which complement the beers.  The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery specializing in barrel-aged and experimental ales.  Founded as a small, friend and family run business in 2008, The Bruery takes its unique moniker from founder Patrick Rue’s family surname.

 “The Fess Parker family have a long time tradition in the wine and hospitality business in Santa Barbara County, and are delighted to be working collaboratively with the family-owned business The Bruery.  The two have worked collaboratively on the release of  “Confession,” a sour- style beer fermented with Riesling grapes that tastes like wine, and is ranked high among beer critics,” according to Director of Sales & Business Development Beth Olson of The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort. 

Advance reservations for the tasting event are required by calling the resort’s concierge at 805-884-8533 or via open table at www.Rodneyssteakhouse.com. 

The menu will feature:

Sea scallop, habanero-red pepper gazpacho, kiwi-dragon fruit chutney

Paired with Trade Winds Tripel 

Hoisin duck breast, pomegranate risotto, rainbow Swiss chard, port jus

Paired with Saison Rue 

Sea bass, heirloom tomato, tempura beech mushroom, saffron-fennel broth

Paired with Mischief 

Hawaiian sweet bread pudding, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery vanilla bean ice cream

Paired with Sucre 

About The Fess Parker - A DoubleTree by Hilton Resort

Set on 24 lush acres overlooking the Pacific, The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, offers 338 guestrooms and 22suites complete with patio or balcony views, a full-service spa, award-winning Rodney's Grill and 45,000 sq. feet of functional event space. Opened in 1986 by Hollywood legend Fess Parker, the property is set in a Mediterranean footprint with vaulted ceilings, airy courtyards, expansive gardens and seven mission-style guestroom buildings. The AAA Four Diamond resort embodies Santa Barbara's eye for elegance with a casual seaside charm. Ideally located just blocks from Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Harbor and the vibrant new Funk Zone, The Fess Parker offers immediate access to the Cabrillo Art Walk, beachfront biking/inline skating, sailing/kayaking, whale watching, volleyball and wine tasting. Nearby the destination features Mission Santa Barbara, downtown shopping/cultural venues, seven golf courses and Santa Inez wine country. Santa Barbara is located 95 mi. /153 km., north of Los Angeles and 315 mi. /507 km., south of San Francisco. Visitors can arrive via Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), Amtrak or scenic Highway 101. Free shuttle service is provided. Info: www.fpdtr.com; 800.879.2929. 

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 94 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of ten world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,000 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 678,000 rooms in 91 countries and territories, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors®. 

About Travel with Purpose
Travel with Purpose™ is Hilton Worldwide commitment to provide shared value to its business and communities around the world. As the driving strategy for Hilton Worldwide corporate responsibility efforts, Travel with Purpose focuses on creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening local communities where Team Members live, work and travel; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainably through the measurement, analysis and improvement of the use of natural resources. Visit

For more information.



A Passport to Sensational Sipping      by Bonnie Carroll

If you are looking to learn about the great wines in the Carmel area, you should contact the Carmel Chamber of Commerce to obtain a package of passport flight vouchers that will enable you to visit any nine of the twelve tasting rooms in Carmel … your choice. The Wine Walk brochure provides a walking map to help you find your favorite wine tasting destinations.

Wineries participating include Blair EstateShale Canyon, Scheid Tasting Room, Vino Napoli, Dawn’s Dream, Silvestri Vineyards, De Tierra VineyardFigge Cellars, Galante Vineyards, Carriccoli, Mansoni, and Wrath.

The cost for the Wine Walk Passport for visits to nine of the twelve tasting rooms is $65.00, and is a bargain at this price. You will find that many of the tasting rooms you visit offer wine club memberships that represent a great savings when buying wines. For information visit: www.carmelchamber.com.




Independent craft brewery to take Mavericks® brand national
The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company - known for its handcrafted beer, sustainable coastal cuisine, and scenic outdoor patio - today announces an exclusive partnership with Mavericks Brewing (mavericksbeer.com) to distribute its award-winning brews across the United States. Led by CEO Steve Morgan and launching originally in Northern California, Mavericks Brewing is an independent craft brewery devoted to creating innovative premium American craft beer in cans and is now the official licensee of the Mavericks beer brand originated by the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. 

After product development and testing throughout 2013 with assistance from Pete Slosberg of Pete’s Wicked Ale fame, Mavericks Brewing solidified its market position and focused its attention on creating exceptional canned craft beer. The Mavericks Brewing initial line of three full flavored/low alcohol craft beers will debut this month with distribution by Southern Wine & Spirits, the largest distributor in the United States.
“Southern Wine & Spirits has been expanding our representation of craft beers and is looking forward to an active partnership with Mavericks Brewing,” said Gary Wood, Beer Director, California. "We believe the time is right for high flavor, low alcohol craft beer, and I have been very impressed with the quality of the beers. The added value of being available in cans makes Mavericks an ideal beer choice for active outdoor lifestyles."
The initial three beers in the Mavericks product lineup are all designed to provide the fullest of beer drinking experiences, but with a low alcohol level of just 3.75%. The Belgian Style Wit is an easy drinking and refreshing white beer in the classic Belgian style; the Rye Pale Ale is made with 20% rye malt in addition to traditional barley malts, which imparts an angular mouthfeel and spicy, sour, and pronounced hoppy notes; and the Chocolate Porter is a rich and creamy dark beer that is brewed with a special blend of barley malts and roasted cocoa nibs.
Mavericks Brewing takes its name from the legendary big wave surf spot and invitational surfing contest, Mavericks, which is located directly offshore from the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and widely considered to be the most exclusive and daring in the world. 
Head Brewer Shane Aldrich leads the Mavericks Brewing team, with assistance from James Costa, Brewmaster at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.  With a combined total of more than 30 years of hands-on brewing experience at such legendary companies as Bear Republic (Racer 5 IPA), Moylan’s (Hopsickle Imperial IPA, Kilt Lifter), and Lagunitas Brewing Company (Lagunitas IPA), this brewing duo brings their incredible knowledge, history of creating award-winning beers, and deep passion for innovation to Mavericks Brewing.
Mavericks Brewing CEO Steve Morgan, who has a J.D. from the University of Tennessee and an M.B.A. from UCLA, has held leadership positions at Napa Smith, Beringer, and Gallo of Sonoma. Morgan’s decades of experience with distributors from all 50 states and close relationships with craft beer industry leaders makes him ideally poised to lead and grow the Mavericks Brewing line of beers into a widely distributed brand.
“Our new Mavericks beers really are the next wave in craft beer - brewed to be enjoyed wherever your adventure takes you,” said Morgan. “A maverick is someone who is innovative, a risk-taker, and unwilling to compromise.  At only 3.75% alcohol, these are full flavored beers that embody that spirit, come on draught and in cans, and truly taste like great American craft beers.”
Mavericks Brewing is harnessing this spirit of adventure by presenting its inaugural line of retail beers only in cans. Canned beers are eminently portable, offer superior freshness protection, and are an environmentally friendly option that is easily recyclable.

Recently selected by Coastal Living magazine as one of America's Best Coastal Breweries, by Men’s Fitness as one of America’s Top Ten Craft Breweries and by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of America’s Best Beach Bars, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is situated on picturesque Pillar Point Harbor overlooking the Marina in Princeton-by-the Sea. 

The Brewing Company expertly pairs a family-friendly, come-as-you-are atmosphere with a winning combination of fresh, sustainable seafood, craft beers, live music and an expansive, dog-friendly patio area with blazing fire pits to keep patrons warm on the waterfront. The Brewing Company is a casual coastal venue that has become an institution in the Half Moon Bay area for locals and visitors alike since opening in 2000. With its warm, wood-toned interior, expansive windows to the ocean, and walls dotted with surf memorabilia, the 6,000-square-foot restaurant and bar is reminiscent of a typical California surf shack. Behind the restaurant lie the 1,200 square-foot Mavericks Beer Garden and on-site brewery, where hand-crafted, award-winning Mavericks® Beers & Ales are piped directly to the bar. The Mavericks Amber Ale won a bronze medal in the 2012 World Beer Cup, and the Ocho Barril Saison won Best in Show for session beers and the gold medal in the Wood/Smoke Ale category at the California State Fair in June, 2013.
The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is located at 390 Capistrano Road in Half Moon Bay, Calif. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to close; Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to close. To book a reservation, please call 650-728-BREW (2739) or visit OpenTable.com. Additional information may be found atwww.hmbbrewingco.com.



Now Open at Santa Barbara Public Market


When the Santa Barbara Public Market opened recently at 38 W. Victoria Street, on the corner of Victoria and Chapala Streets, in Santa Barbara, among the unique specialty business’ sharing the multi-use space was Green Star Organic Coffee. Their delicious organic coffee varieties are already giving other well known local coffee vendors in the seaside city a run for the money. 

Dan Randall, co-owner of Green Star Organic Coffee, recently opened his first retail venture at Santa Barbara Public Market. He and his partner Werner Diaz are roasters, each with 22 years in the specialty coffee industry.  “The company was founded on principles of fair trade with the intention of making a great tasting cup of coffee. “We source only the finest certified organic fair trade coffees from premier growing regions around the world, and focus on supporting economic opportunity, improved environment and health for coffee farmers and their families,” says Randall. 

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in January as an organic specialty coffee company, Green Star Organic Coffee continues to meet stiff requirements for certification from a variety of respected organic organizations, and uses only organic and compostable products in their retail business. Visit: www.greenstarcoffee.com.


Taste of the Vine

 August 23rd, 2014 at the Santa Barbara Polo Club!

 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

(2:00 pm early admission for VIPs)



Wine Enthusiast Reveals America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2014

The leading publication in wine lifestyle announces their fourth annual issue of the best places to drink up while dining out.

Wine lovers: Look no further! Wine Enthusiast ’s annual August Restaurant Issue, dedicated to announcing America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants of the year, officially hits newsstands this week. The magazine’s editors have mapped out 100 wine-obsessed restaurants in every corner of the country, solving the age-old question, “Where should I drink (and eat) right now?” The issue also includes everything from interviews with star sommeliers and chefs, to essential pairing picks and top trends straight from the mouths of the wine-industry experts.

This year’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants list features 34 must-visit eateries that make their debut, plus 44 restaurants that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame for landing on the coveted list at least three times. Other special sections include a look at the best BYOB restaurants in the country; eateries that specialize in laser-focused wine lists; restaurants that serve the best biodynamic pours on the planet; and America’s five new foodie cities you must visit.

 “We’re very excited to announce America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants in our fourth annual August Restaurant Issue,” says Editor & Publisher of Wine Enthusiast, Adam Strum.  “ Wine Enthusiast is a voice of authority on wine and beverage, but this issue emphasizes our commitment to the importance of the wine-dining experience. These incredible institutions offer innovative menus, inventive beverage programs and a dedication to what’s in your glass. It is with great pride and pleasure that we present these one hundred deserved restaurants with this esteemed honor.”

To commemorate the release of the official America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants list, the entire Wine Enthusiast team will gather in Manhattan on Thursday, July 10, to host a party on the rooftop of one of the most buzzed-about winners this year, Narcissa.  The magazine team will toast the exploding culture of wine and food with restaurant industry stars and honor recipients of this year’s prestigious awards. An expanded digital version, featuring wine-and-food pairings, kitchen secrets and more, plus a searchable database of the list can be found at winemag.com/100best2014 . Be sure to join the conversation and follow @WineEnthusiast on Twitter with the hashtag #100BestRestos .

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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved