To keep myself busy while caring for my injured-yet-again spouse, satisfied more by angry single malt Scotch than the doctor prescribed Vicodin, I called Tanya Green, the new owner of Wine 661 to find out what new things they are offering the SCV wine drinking public, myself copiously included.
Okay Tanya, I have been to this location before, when it was Wine Savor and now as Wine 661. Jeff Jacobson, chair of the SCV Wine Classic, suggested that I talk to you as he holds you in high regard as the new owner. Want to tell West Ranch Beacon readers what your wine story is?
My “wine story” is pretty simple…I love wine so I bought a wine bar, but my passion for wine began by going tasting. I love listening to the experts explain how the grapes were grown and fermented; why I’ll taste certain things because of the composition of the soil, that fruit grown on mountain tops develops thicker skins because of its proximity to the sun and therefore has more character than thin-skinned grapes.
I also have a strange fascination/respect for grapes that are difficult to grow, so those are the wines I’m most interested in. Everything about wine fascinates me from the farming of the grapes to the finished product, which makes owning a wine bar, like being a kid in a candy shop! I love it!
I understand you are serving beers as well as wine; what are some of your customer’s favorites from both?
To me, it was important to be able to carry something other than wine just in case a “beer guy” was dragged in by his wife. That’s why I spent months tasting beer from all over the world to put together, what I think, is the best beer list in town.
I carry rare, hard-to-get beers and artisan ales from Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Oregon, Santa Barbara and Maine. Each of my beers has won some sort of award from “Best Hefeweizen” to “Best Beer in the World.”
Schonramer Gold, for example, is a German Pilsner that won “Best Beer in the World” for 13 straight years and had to be removed from the contest to allow another beer the opportunity to win. I’m proud to carry a beer that good, and, I personally have grown to love beer as much, if not more, than wine.
My personal favorite is a cork-finished 750ml bottle of Belgian Farmhouse Ale called Saison Dupont. It’s gold and hoppy and has lots of personality. I pride myself on carrying beers that no one else carries and in most cases, beers that no one’s even heard of.
This may be off-putting to Coors Light lovers but I don’t mind. I want adventurous drinkers in here. Those that know what they like but can get excited to try something new. Nothing excites me more than transforming a Coors Light drinker into a beer snob!
What’s new now that you’ve taken over?
Wine 661 was a great spot long before I took it over. The ambience is comfortable and cozy and in my opinion, the best in the Valley, but I can’t take credit for that.
What I can take credit for, is a great appetizer list; including some amazing gourmet cheeses from all over the world (my fave is the five-year aged Gouda and the Spanish Blue cheese) as well as artisanal meats from near and far.
I’ve also changed the beer and wine lists and am proud of both. I promise to always rotate my beer and wine inventory so that my regulars never get bored and to carry both inexpensive as well as high-end beer and wines.
Tell readers what’s on your menu and any specials:
The most popular items on my menu are my cheese and chocolate flights. For the “Cheese Flight,” I’ve paired three red wines with gourmet cheeses that compliment them. Cave-aged blue cheese is paired with a phenomenal Merlot. The semi-hard, Manchego from Spain is paired with a complex and delicious Tempranillo and finally a 5 year aged Gouda is paired with a California Zinfandel. The “Chocolate Flight” is the same idea; three reds paired with three different E.Guittard chocolates with different cocoa contents. I think of it as delicious and fun.
Your employee Kirsten is a delight. She poured us some very different water to go with our wine, what’s that about?
The water at Wine 661 has taken on a life of its own. I’ve always loved spa water infused with various fruits (the combinations are endless) so I take filtered tap water and infuse it with cucumber and lemon. It’s refreshing and different and people freak out over it. I serve it chilled in a frosted 750 ml wine bottle over ice. I recently had a customer visit a resort in Hawaii where similar water was served by the pool. When she tried theirs, she told the pool-side waitress that ‘while it was good, it wasn’t as good as the water at Wine 661.’
Tell us what your customers can expect as far as service?
I don’t think anyone can possibly care about their guests as much as the owner so I try to be here six days per week to ensure that everyone who walks through the door has a good experience. I like to have a good time and not take myself too seriously, and I think the service here reflects that. We’re pretty down to earth so people will always feel comfortable and at ease. We get to know our guests and over time we become like family with many of our regulars. I try to remember everyone’s name although I usually find it easier to remember their wine preference. The service here is personal and nowhere near stuffy. There is a certain sophistication that comes with serving and selling wine but this is a casual environment meant for a having a great time and good laugh!
Well, now that now that your palate is whetted by the wine, beer and water at Wine 661, in the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Now…go!
Los Angeles, CA: A nondescript strip of Lankershim Boulevard, the kind with ample after-hours meters, Rock Star parking, that Angelenos only dream about. The dance studio before you is inconspicuous, and if it weren’t for the brick facade, it would be completely unworthy of a second glance and has you checking your phone for accuracy. This is definitely not the night to get lost in the sprawling urban jungle that is Los Angeles; after all, a Michelin-Star Chef is about to prepare you dinner. Yes, the address matches, and with a shrug and a swift prayer that you don’t have to return to the 101, you knock. Someone answers the door, with a tray of sparkling wine poised expertly in the palm of their hand. You are most assuredly at the correct place. Welcome to the hottest Secret Supper Club in Los Angeles. Welcome to INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table!
A smartly dressed man with a warm smile and a firm handshake greets you as genuinely as one would greet a dear friend you have not seen in many years. This man is Rob “Rob C” Ciancimino, one of the three masterminds behind INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table, along with Executive Chef Paul Shoemaker and Manny Marroquin, multi Grammy Award winning mixer/engineer, and owner of the famed Larrabee Studios. This amiable chap with a long history in hospitality is the evenings curator, host, Master of Ceremonies and DJ all rolled into one.
Escorting guests in, Ciancimino describes the undertaking that went on to transform the space from suburban dance studio to secret Supper Club chic. “The floor boards had to be lifted one by one, the dance mirrors were each individually removed, then finding the right colors, flooring, lighting; all of the little things that make or break an experience such as this,” says Ciancimino.
Your eyes then wander to the walls. Each of them featuring artwork that commands your full attention as INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table will be showcasing a rotating curation of artists whose work alone will be a feast for the eyes. The month of December will feature Artist Jens Schmidt, whose art is reminiscent of early 20th century abstract masters, with a heavy stroke of childhood whimsy on raw canvas, in aggressively opaque primary colors.
By contrast the music is upbeat, with a carefully constructed playlist that will keep your feet tapping ever so slightly to the rhythm. Ciancimino describes the music as “A well curated playlist based on the guests that come through the door. As the guests trickle in, the art, the music, and glass of Prosecco in each guest’s hand invariably allows me to strike up a conversation with each of them, and that is how I curate the background music every evening.”
Ciancimino then announces that it is time to dine and invites everyone to take a seat at the table. Yes, singular. This is a communal affair, no kiddie tables or name cards in sight. You relax and enjoy with your new friends and out of the kitchen appears Executive Chef Paul Shoemaker, the mastermind behind the outstanding 12-course culinary journey each guest is about to embark on. Executive Chef Paul Shoemaker rose to recognition at Alan Ducasse and French Laundry before proving he is worth his salt in kitchens at Providence, Water Grill, his own restaurant Savory, and Firefly, but most notably, Joe Pytka’s Bastide, where, in less than six months he earned himself a Michelin star. His aspiration for guests at INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table is elegant in its simplicity: “The pure essence of hospitality: engaging all of the five senses.” With that teaser, Shoemaker then disappears and service begins.
The First Course arrives as edible cocktails in three parts: Liquid Ravioli, Mojito comprised of mint, rum, lime, and mint carbonated sugar; Cold Fever, a Gin & Tonic with silver and gold fizz, and Green Apple Crisps, featuring Bourbon, green apple, and bourbon caviar. They are just the dainty aperitif to kick-off this once in a lifetime experience.
The evening’s Wine Director is then introduced and he or she gives a brief rundown of the three wines chosen for this dining adventure: a white to enjoy during the first half of the meal, a red for the latter half, and a port to imbibe in after the conclusion of the dinner. Guest Wine Director, Jolly Sood explains his approach to selecting the perfect wines for Executive Chef Paul Shoemaker’s menu as, “Choosing wines that allow the food to speak, as well as wines that are an excellent complement to each course.”
The service commences with the next course, the Amuse, featuring layered complexity within two small bites; the first comprised of Salmon Skin topped with citrus cured salmon, and Meyer lemon, while the other stars Smoked Steelhead Roe on a rice cracker with whipped honey and Togarashi. The Bone Marrow Ravioli with black pearl and truffle espuma leaves you practically begging Chef for a full-size serving, while next comes the Pork Belly Butternut Squash Soup, with whipped crème fraiche, maple syrup, and candy cocoa nibs finds you resisting the urge to lick the bowl.
Chef Shoemaker reemerges from the kitchen at the beginning of each course and in his soft and tender voice he introduces the components of every plate, each a masterpiece to be enjoyed in one or two bites. An inclusive chef, Shoemaker also takes time to describe the vegetarian version of each dish before scurrying back to the kitchen to create the next course. On the technical side of Shoemaker’s menu, he states that “The foundation is French in technique, but there are influences from all over the globe.”
Two seafood dishes subsequently follow, each drawn from different areas of the world, unique as they are flavorful: Big Eye Tuna, with baked avocado, yuzu ponzu, caviar, smoked sesame, and bean sprouts and Spanish Octopus, accompanied with Vadouvan cream, reduction of cocoa, ginger and black olive, and frisée. Then comes the Beetroot dish which proves that no one other than Chef Paul Shoemaker can transform a humble root vegetable into three intricately detailed bites: Red Beet Tartare, Beet Mellow and Beet Macaron with whipped goat cheese, and passion fruit.
There is a brief intermission that offers guests an opportunity to get up, admire the art, mingle, and perhaps exchange seats if they so wish. Mostly everyone continues their lively conversations with their newly acquainted friends, while discussing the food as red wine takes place of the white.
Dinner resumes with Carrots, an artistic plate of honey dates, carrot, tempura hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and pâte à choux gnocchi. The penultimate savory, Pasta Alla Chitarra is earthy and rich with burgundy truffle, porcini mushrooms, and Reggiano cheese, while the sumptuous Prime Hanger Steak is the perfect end of the savory courses, with Époisses fondue, garlic confit, parsley pistou, and sauce Bordelaise. Like the sure and steady paint strokes in each work of art hanging on the walls, there is not a single ingredient within these dishes that is out of place or misaligned. Every component is set with the utmost intention, not a single bean sprout nor pine nut out of its very purposeful place.
Two bite-sized palette cleansers arrive, a Nickel Bag with foie gras powder, Cocoa Puffs, pine nuts, candy Cocoa Nibs encased in a vanishing edible bag, and Gold Mine made with passion fruit, macadamia, and strawberry saffron fluid gel. For those partaking, the Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port from Portugal is poured while dessert is being served. Simply titled, Pumpkin is anything but simple, with torn pumpkin bread, toffee pumpkin seeds, pistachio ganache, and bay leaf ice cream.
With the last spoonful, the multi-sensory journey is at an end, leaving you equally sated and wanting more. Upon reflecting back on the night, and the likely photos you snapped as proof this experience was not merely a dream, you are driven to exchange cards and numbers with those whom you shared this one-of-a-kind experience. Walking to your vehicle, you try to assimilate the words adequate enough to describe the evening: “Art, music, food and wine together paint a picture-perfect moment in time,” explains Executive Chef Paul Shoemaker.
INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table operates every Friday and Saturday evening from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm and reservations are required. Door opens and Bubbles at 7:30 pm. First Course served promptly at 8:00 pm. The INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table menu changes seasonally and often due to the availability of the finest ingredients. INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table has a 24-hour cancellation policy and will do their very best to accommodate any food allergies or alcohol restrictions if communicated in advance upon making a reservation. For more information and to make reservations at INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table, please visit www.ExperienceIntro.com.
San Luis Obispo, Calif. – With an innovative seasonal menu that reflects the abundance of fresh, organic foods on the Central Coast, Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen works with local purveyors and farmers to source only the freshest organic and local produce, grass-fed and natural meats, as well as local fish. Breads are always crafted by local bakers who are celebrated artisans of their trade, wine lists are curated to showcase the diversity of the area’s wine region, and special care is taken to ensure the menu delivers bold flavors and innovative, seasonal offerings.
The Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen San Luis Obispo team is led by Executive Chef Justin Casey and Chef Elijah Blackburn. Chef Casey, who has trained under Michelin starred chefs and worked at such praised Bay Area restaurants as Aqua and Thermidor, brings his farm-fresh, seasonal culinary approach to the Thomas Hill kitchen. “I like to focus on using great products and treating them with respect and love,” shares Casey, who strives to create “simple yet elegant food that’s memorable.” Continues Casey, “San Luis has offered me a great place to cook and raise a family, and I am very excited to be working with a restaurant that puts so much focus on utilizing the best of what the Central Coast has to offer.”
In addition to a menu that changes weekly depending on the season and availability of ingredients, Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen in San Luis Obispo features a full bar serving innovative cocktails and Central Coast wines to complement the locally-focused, seasonal menu.
The much celebrated Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen in Paso Robles–established in 2009–was one of the first restaurants in the area to craft a menu dedicated to organic, locally-sourced ingredients. Following the success of her Paso Robles location, owner and visionary Debbie Thomas decided to open a second location in San Luis Obispo to accommodate the demand for her authentic, regional cuisine while furthering her passion for sharing fresh, locally sourced ingredients with the Central Coast. “I am looking forward to being a part of San Luis Obispo with its thriving and vibrant downtown,” says Thomas.
Having spent over four years discussing the possibility of a Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen expansion into San Luis Obispo, Thomas is confident now is the perfect time to carry out this growth. “People on the Central Coast have adopted the movement of farm-to-table and buying local,” says Thomas. And, with the development of the new mixed-use space in downtown San Luis Obispo’s Chinatown, the timing seemed right. Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen in San Luis Obispo is located on Monterey Street above the newly-opened Williams Sonoma, near Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.
Hours for the San Luis Obispo location are:
Brunch ~ Saturday & Sunday, 9am to 3pm
Lunch ~ Monday through Friday, 11am to 3pm
Dinner ~ Sunday through Thursday, 5pm to 10pm; Friday & Saturday, 5pm to midnight
SAMPLING OF THE FALL MENU
Tito’s Moscow Mule
Casamigos Silver Margarita
Crisp Pork Belly Benedict
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Baby Beet & Burrata Salad
Black Lentil Tacos
Main ~ Lunch
Painted Hills Hangar Steak Salad
Furikake Crusted Ahi Tuna
Main ~ Dinner
Jerk Spiced Maple Duck Two Ways
Niman Ranch Pork Tenderloin
Salted Caramel Panna Cotta
Negranti Creamery Sheep’s Milk Ice Cream
ABOUT THOMAS HILL ORGANIC KITCHEN
With a dynamic menu reflecting local abundance, Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen sources a vivid array of fresh ingredients to create bold, imaginative dishes. What began as a humble organic CSA showcasing the Central Coast’s bounty quickly evolved into a popular destination for honest food, creatively prepared. Owner Debbie Thomas and the culinary team believe in the significance of organic, regionally-produced food, working with local farmers and purveyors for poultry, seafood, grass-fed beef, lamb and exotic meats. Nearby farmers provide all fruits and vegetables, which are always straight-from-the-earth fresh, and breads are crafted by local bakers who are celebrated artisans of their trade. The new Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen in San Luis Obispo is located at 858 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, or call 805.457.1616. The Paso Robles location is 1313 Park St., Paso Robles, CA 93446, or call 805.226.5888. For more information about Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen or to make a reservation, please visit www.ThomasHillOrganics.com
Big Sur Health Center announced January 13 – 15, 2017, as the dates of its annual Big Sur Foragers Festival. This year’s partners include Carmel Valley Ranch, the sister property of longtime host Ventana Big Sur. Due to renovations at Ventana Big Sur, the Fungus Face-Off and the Grand Chef dinner will take place at Carmel Valley Ranch this year.
The event has traditionally served as a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center. The community’s non-profit health center will receive the proceeds from the foraging events to help support the continued presence of local healthcare services in the Big Sur area.
New events for 2017 include:
– A new Friday night winemaker dinner series held at select restaurants throughout Monterey County. Some partners include La Balena, Alvarado Street Brewery and more! Details to come.
– Post Ranch Inn will host a Friday night fundraiser for the second year! Details to come.
– Join us for a special evening in the legendary wine room at Hyatt Carmel Highlands. Chef Chad Minton and the culinary team will create a three course meal paired with wines from Bonny Doon Vineyard. The evening will begin with a reception of passed appetizers, wines from Bonny Doon and live music from Dino Vera from 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. enjoy a three course dinner in the legendary wine room. Meet the culinary team and Bonny Doon Vineyard! There are only 24 seats available. Tickets are $175 per person.
Back by Popular Demand:
– This year’s partners include Carmel Valley Ranch, the summer-camp-inspired sister resort of longtime host Ventana Big Sur that sprawls across 500 acres in the nearby Carmel Valley. Due to renovations at Ventana Big Sur, this year’s Fungus Face-Off and the Grand Chef dinner will take place at this playful destination resort that celebrates a deep connection to the land with passionate culinary, wine and farming artisans, and guest learning experiences ranging from organic gardening and foraging to wine making and lavender and beekeeping workshops. The “Fungus Face-Off” will take place in a beautiful tented setting on the Pete Dye-designed golf course at Carmel Valley Ranch. This popular event sells out early. There are 250 tickets available. Tickets are $65 per person.
– Grand Chef Dinner at Carmel Valley Ranch — details to be announced soon.
– Foraging walk led by local experts at Ventana Big Sur. “Wild Mushroom Walks and Talk” at Pfeiffer State Park led by expert mushroom foragers. This year hikes will be held on Sunday. There are 30 spaces available per walk. Tickets are $60 per person.
HALL, one of the leading Cabernet producers in the world, has announced plans to renew its premiere culinary offering, A Taste of HALL, for 2016. The wildly popular food and wine pairing workshop is designed to engage, inspire and educate guests about seasonal food and wine pairings while channeling ones inner chef.
We are thrilled to be able to offer our guests an unparalleled wine and food pairing experience in the Valley, says Director of Hospitality, Jocelyn Hoar. This program combines our passion for quality winemaking with exceptional culinary arts, and our chef team has garnered significant recognition for their dynamic approach with this series.
The monthly workshops will feature a different, seasonal theme each month as selected by HALLs In-House Chef / Wine Education team made up of Chris Quillen and John Pelham. The dynamic duo bring a modern perspective to Napa cuisine while aiming to engage guests by sharing a fresh approach to pairing workshops. Chef Quillen and Chef Pelham bring a diverse background to the program, combining two decades of luxury wine and culinary education.
Each guest attending A Taste of HALL will receive a recipe card featuring the courses and wine pairings discussed in the Workshop and have the chance to purchase HALL and WALT wines. A Taste of HALL takes place on one Sunday per month during the lunch hour and will include a three course meal paired with a combination of HALL and WALT wines.
2016 A Taste of HALL Schedule includes:
Sunday, March 13: LUCK OF THE IRISH
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, April 10: SPRING FLING
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Bergfeld Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, May 8: COOKING FOR MOM
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Ellies Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, June 12: CHILLIN & GRILLIN
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Jacks Masterpiece Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, July 17: RED, WHITE & BLUE
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Eighteen Seventy-Three Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, August 7: A FOODIES VACATION
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, September 18:KATHRYN HALL YALL
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, October 9: HAPPY HALLOWINE
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, November 13:THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunday, December 11: PERFECT HOLIDAY PAIRINGS
Feature Wine: 2013 HALL Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
Tickets are $125pp and are available to purchase at http://www.hallwines.com/hall-st-helena.
HALL Wines owns over 410 planted acres in Napa County, Sonoma County and Mendocino County that includes five California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Estate vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties.
HALL produces critically acclaimed artisan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, available to taste and buy at two tasting room and winery locations in Napa Valley. Owned by Craig and Kathryn Walt Hall, its vineyard collection features five Certified Organic estates producing classic Bordeaux varietals. Each vintage, Director of Winemaking Steve Leveque crafts distinct Cabernet Sauvignon wines which demonstrate the unique characteristics and diversity of Napa Valley. HALLs highly rated wines include two 100pt scores given by Robert Parker for its 2013 Rainin Vineyard Cabernet and its 2010 Exzellenz. HALL also earned the #2 spot in Wine Spectators Top 100 for its 2008 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon. Since the first vintage in 2002, over 170 HALL wines have been rated 90 points and above. HALL employs high-density plantings and small vine viticulture combined with two cutting-edge, gravity-flow wineries to produce the highest quality wines. The HALL St. Helena winery was the first LEED® Gold Certified Winery in the State of California in 2009 and earned another LEED® Gold certification for its high tech production facility and Tasting Room in 2014. Each of HALLs state-of-the-art winemaking facilities and tasting rooms combine modern art and architecture matched with spectacular settings. HALLs partner winery, WALT, known for producing premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from distinctive vineyards, is located in Sonoma, California. For more information, please visit www.hallwines.com, @hallwines, or by calling 707.967.2626.
The Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend is four days of wine, food and fun throughout Santa Barbara County.
Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 10:00 AM
– to –
Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 5:00 PM (PDT)
Santa Barbara Wine Country, California 93427
More details can be found at www.sbvintnersweekend.com.
Schedule of Events:
- Thursday – Sunday 11am-5pm, Vintners Visa at various participating wineries and tasting rooms
- Friday 6:30pm, Big Bottle Bash at Presqui’ile Vineyard & Winery in the Santa Maria Valley
- Saturday 10-11:30am, Santa Barbara Wine Seminar at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton
- Saturday 1-4pm (early entry at noon), Festival Grand Tasting at the River View Park in Buellton
The highlight of the weekend is the Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, April 23 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m (early netry at noon) at the beautiful River View Park in Buellton. Enjoy wine from more than one hundred members wineries; food sampling from more than twenty food purveyors; live music; wine and cooking demonstrations; local artisans; silent auction and free parking all included in the ticket price. Early entry is available at noon for a special price or experience our Connoisseurs Club for a more intimate festival experience.
Join us on Friday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m, for the Big Bottle Bash kick-off event featuring large format bottled wines and dinner at the beautiful Presqu’ile Vineyard and Winery in the Santa Maria Valley. In the style of a La Paulee, guests are invited to bring their own large format bottle to share with fellow guests.
The Saturday morning Santa Barbara Wine Wine Seminar moderated by Patrick Comiskey of Wine & Spirits from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton will feature an in-depth tasting of syrah featuring a panel of six local winemakers.
Want to visit up to twelve tasting rooms on an all-inclusive wine tasting pass? Get a Vintners Visa for unique and complimentary offerings at your choice of twelve participating tasting rooms from Thursday – Sunday. Typically 30 – 40 wineries and tasting rooms participate in this program. When you purchase your visa, you will select the pick-up location of the actual visa. You will print out the ticket receipt, take the receipt to your chosen winery/tasting room, and exchange the receipt for a Vintners Visa.
Throughout the four day weekend many wineries host their own events, including open houses, winemaker dinners, library tastings, new wine releases, and barrel tastings. Some of these individual events require reservations directly with the host winery.
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Only 21 or older are allowed into the Festival Grand Tasting.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
Free on-site parking and round-trip bus tickets available from Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
(805) 688-0881 or email@example.com
(Culver City, CA), November 2015: What is wine without the cheese? Culver City’s Wheel House Cheese Shop asks the same question. That is why it is a serendipitous time for the cheese epicenter of the Westside to announce that it is now offering an array of rare and exclusive retail Wine, Beer and Ciders to pair perfectly with its vast assortment of fromage, charcuterie and other tasty treats.
Wheel House Cheese Shop is excited to introduce a well-curated retail selection of small-production wines, craft beers and artisanal ciders that have been carefully selected to pair beautifully with Wheel House’s world-class selection of cheeses. “Every wine, beer and cider was specifically handpicked based on its ability to pair with our offerings of cheeses and charcuterie,” says Wheel House Cheese Shop owner Alex Josef. “When you walk into the store and peruse the wine and beer, you will find that every bottle we offer lists its own tasting notes below it, along with what it best pairs with. Additionally, our cheesemongers are always happy to make pairing suggestions. This is meant to be a non-intimidating experience for everyone, beginner to expert.”
With an always evolving assortment of cheese (more than 100 selections representing at least a dozen countries), plus 15 to 20 fine cured meats and charcuterie items, dozens of gourmet accompaniments ranging from jams and spreads to crackers and pickles, Wheel House Cheese Shop has been the definitive source for all things cheese since opening in mid-2014. From the beginning, the ability to sell wine, beer and cider has been a dream of Josef’s and, now a reality; Wheel House Cheese Shop has taken its concept to the next level.
Currently, Wheel House Cheese Shop’s new offerings include more than thirty Wines, over twenty Craft Beers and three Ciders, though Josef plans to continually rotate and grow this collection.
Get vivacious over the vino, as among the more noteworthy Wines are the 2012 Irreverence Vintners Reserve Merlot from Napa Valley, which boasts a complexity that, Josef says “will restore your faith in this oft-maligned grape.” He recommends the wine be paired with the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, a lactose-free cheese that is savory and slightly tangy with a smooth caramel finish; a combination that is sure to leave your palate pleased. Other wine and cheese recommended pairings from Josef are the sweet and mild Brabander Goat Gouda, whichgoes best with a light and fresh white wine like the Blondie Chardonnay because of the Gouda’s buttery flavor and texture. The best partner for the smooth triple crème Brillat Savarin, is the Ruggeri DOCG Prosecco from Valdobbiadene, a wine growing region that is located just below the Alpine areas of Veneto, which provides a perfect climate for a “cool” variety of grapes. This wine is light, bubbly and refreshing with a long fruity finish; the best relief from this Angeleno Autumn.
Pick a bottle (any bottle), because every kind of cheese goes well with any one of the new eclectic Craft Beer and Cider selections on offer. For blue-cheese fans, Josef likes to pair Stilton, one of the world’s most well-known and loved cheeses, with Galaxy White IPA, a spiced Belgian wheat beer from Anchorage Brewing Company in Alaska that is brewed with kumquats, coriander and peppercorns. A hearty cheese like Hook’s Ten Year Cheddar, with a full, rich and cheddar finish, goes best with the dry and tart Wandering Aengus Wanderlust Cider and the Maredsous 8 Brune, a Belgian Duvel from the Benedictine Abbey tastes great with Oma, a washed-rind cow’s-milk cheese from Vermont (a Wheel House staff favorite – and for good reason).
Wine and beer are not the only new things to consume at Wheel House Cheese Shop. A new menu includes a small set of made-to-order Sandwiches: a Caprese made with mozzarella, fire-roasted tomatoes and basil grown on the shop’s back patio; a Salami & Brie featuring Fromager d’Affinois and jalapeño jelly; and the Ham & Swiss made with French ham, Red Witch Alpine Cheese and grape mostarda. There are also three special Boards patrons can order to try out the shop’s special selections. Guests can enjoy the Cheese Board with two cheese offerings, quince paste and specialty baguette slices; a Meat Board with three charcuterie selections, pickles, mustard and baguette; or the Wheel House, an indulgent board that combines both the cheese and the meat boards. Broaden the “Board” experience and try any one of the Sides, which includes Marcona Almonds, a Spanish Cocktail Mix, Olives, Cornichons, Gluten Free Crackers, Quince Paste or Bourbon Cured Dried Fruit.
While the eclectic selection of wines, beers and ciders are available for purchase on their own, do not miss out on the complimentary Weekly Tastings every Friday from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. “We plan to mix it up,” Josef says. “Sometimes it will be wine, other times beer, but it will always be something that pairs amazingly well with one of our cheeses. At the end of the day, let’s face it, what better way to kick off your weekend.” Wheel House Cheese Shop will also incorporate their new retail beverage program into their scheduled cheese classes, special tastings and will also be offering lessons on perfect pairings for your special occasion (even if you are the only one at the party). The next session, Dairy and Vine 101, features a lesson on pairing wine and cheese (with plenty of samples of both) followed by Entertaining with Cheese: Building the Perfect Board hosted by Josef himself. Keep an eye on the Wheel House Cheese Shop Facebook and Twitter pages for announcements about future tastings and upcoming classes.
As the holidays approach, Josef plans to rotate his inventory frequently. “My goal has always been to be a pioneer with what is offered at Wheel House Cheese Shop. I want to keep the inventory ever-evolving, and always new and fresh so that guests have a reason to come back for more,” says Josef. Wheel House Cheese Shop will also be selling Gift Baskets and Specialty Platters with house-curated selections of cheese, charcuterie, wine, beer and cider that make great gifts or a perfect spread for a holiday party.
Wheel House Cheese Shop is very excited to introduce all of these new offerings and experiences. “We have been really well received by the community, and more people continue to discover us each day,” Josef says. Whether you are an expert or beginner who frequents fromage, vies for vino, is bent on beer or sighs over cider, Wheel House Cheese Shop is your one stop shop to impressing your friends, family, neighbors…or just you!
Wheel House Cheese Shop is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, Friday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from10:00 am to 8:00 pm; For more information, please visit www.wheelhousecheese.com or call 424.289.9167.
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Wheel House Cheese Shop
12954 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90066
A Bountiful Menu Filled with Traditions and Kobayashi Signatures
ARTISAN, the American restaurant in the center of Paso Robles, presents their 9th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 26, 2015. Chef Chris Kobyashi’s acclaimed à la carte four course feast is inspired by the holiday classics and prepared with outstanding products that are locally sourced, wild caught, organic or sustainably farmed and contain no growth hormones or antibiotics.
The Thanksgiving meal features first course choices that include Black Truffle Ravioli with Parmesan, Sweet Peas, Chestnut Cream; King Crab with Fried Green Tomatoes, Frisée, Poached Egg and Chili Hollandaise; Pork Cheek with Spaghetti Squash, Sage, Cayenne Spiced Pepitas. Second course selections showcase a Sweet Potato Soup with Duck Confit, Vadouvan Crème Fraiche and Pecan Brittle; and Kale Caesar with Roast Chicken, Red Onions and Bread Crumb among others.
For the main course, Artisan serves their traditional favorite – a Deep Fried Rocky Canyon Farm Heritage Turkey with all the Trimmings. Some may choose the Harissa Braised Lamb Shank with Smoked Tomato, Beans, Farro and Kale; Halibut with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Chestnuts and Ginger Butter; or Grilled Rib Eye with Creamed Oyster Mushrooms, Red Potatoes, Broccolini and Bordelaise.
For a perfect dessert ending, guests may choose from a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Honey Diplomat, Brown Butter Shortbread, Ginger and Raisins; Candy Bar Pie with Crème Fraiche Gelato or German Chocolate Bread Pudding with Pecans and Coconut Sorbet.
Pricing for the Thanksgiving Dinner prix fixe menu is $75 per person; menu only. In addition to Artisan’s extensive local wine list and craft cocktail program, guests also have the option of enjoying perfect Wine Pairings with each dish, sourced from the Central Coast vineyards, for a supplemental charge of $28 per person.
Be sure to enjoy Artisan and their new sister restaurant, Kitchenette in Templeton, on Black Friday for breakfast and lunch, with regular operating hours.
Thanksgiving Dinner at Artisan
Thursday, November 26, 2015
black truffle ravioli, parmesan, sweet peas, chestnut cream
tablas creek, grenache blanc, ‘13
king crab, fried green tomatoes, frisée, poached egg, chili hollandaise
domaine carneros, “brut”, ‘11
burrata, speck, tomato marmalade, smoked almonds, beans
giornata, friulano, “il campo white”, ‘13
pork cheeks, spaghetti squash, sage, cayenne spiced pepitas
tablas creek, syrah/grenache/mourvedre/counoise “patelin de tablas”, ‘13
salmon crudo, taggiasca olives, fennel, tangerine, calabrian chili
gloria ferrer, “blanc de noir”, nv
sweet potato soup, duck confit, vadouvan crème fraiche, pecan brittle
treana, marsanne/viognier,”white”, ‘13
kale caesar, roast chicken, red onions, bread crumbs
bodega de edgar, albarino, ‘14
butter leaf salad, pickled beets, blue cheese, candied walnuts, cabernet vinaigrette
desparada, sauvignon blanc, ‘14
9th annual fried rocky canyon farm heritage turkey with all the trimmings
tolosa, pinot noir, ”estate” ’13
harissa braised lamb shank, smoked tomato, beans, farro, kale
grey wolf, grenache “instinctual”, ‘12
halibut, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, chestnuts, ginger butter
talley, chardonnay, “estate”, ‘13
wood oven roasted pumpkin gratin, red quinoa, chanterelles, hazelnuts, ricotta
austin hope, syrah/zinfandel/grenache/mourvedre/petite syrah “troublemaker”, nv
grilled rib eye, creamed oyster mushrooms, red potatoes, broccolini, bordelaise
ecluse, cabernet sauvignon, ‘10
pumpkin cheesecake, honey diplomat, brown butter shortbread, ginger, raisins
pasoport, white port “angelica”, nv
candy bar pie, crème fraiche gelato
pasoport, “tawny”, nv
german chocolate bread pudding, pecans, coconut sorbet
zin alley, zinfandel port, ‘11
Pricing for the Thanksgiving prix fixe menu – $75
Optional wine pairings – $28
843 12th Street, Paso Robles, California 93446
Owners Chris and Mike Kobayashi bring neighborhood-friendly events to Artisan, their Paso Robles restaurant, providing a delicious experience that encourages socializing and community spirit.
Since its debut in 2006, ARTISAN has been embraced by locals, travelers and journalists around the nation. ARTISAN has successfully become a family business and integral part of the growing Paso Robles community which has developed into a richly diverse wine country destination. ARTISAN and the Kobayashi family remain committed to sourcing locally and serving organic, sustainable fare whenever possible. There is a long-standing relationship with local farmers as well as an ongoing project where they grow their own produce on a local organic farm in nearby Templeton (founded in 2011). These practices showcase Paso Robles and the Central Coast and have elevated the region to a respected culinary destination. In addition to produce from the ARTISAN farm, the restaurant features products from Windrose Farm, Rocky Canyon Farm and Charter Oak. The kitchen’s respect for local farmers and food artisans is enhanced by Kobayashi’s use of time-honored techniques that show reverence for the products. ARTISAN’s menus appeal to a broad audience of loyal locals and visitor’s far and wide with diverse tastes in dining.
Visit Artisan on the Web at www.artisanpasorobles.com
Become a fan of ARTISAN on Facebook at
Follow ARTISAN on Twitter and Instagram at @artisanofpaso
Follow Chris Kobayashi on Twitter at @ChefKoby
L.A. Weekly is proud to present Sips & Sweets 2015! In its second year, our now annual holiday party will feature over 20 of the city’s top bakers, over 15 of LA’s most respected mixologists and more than 25 artisanal craftspeople. Join us Saturday, December 12th from 8pm – 11pm and sample delicious confections, sip on handcrafted cocktails and shop for amazing holiday gifts and trinkets. Curated by the L.A. Weekly’s own food critic Besha Rodell and Roxana Jullapat, this eating, drinking and shopping extravaganza is one not to be missed.
This year’s pastry chef and baker lineup features sweets from Shannon Swindle of Craft LA, Clemence Gosset of The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories, Mariah Swan of bld Restaurant and ICDC, Ledlow, Luis Ayala of Broken Spanish, Paige Russell of Hatchet Hall, Elizabeth Belkind of Cake Monkey Bakery, Megan Potthoff of WP24, Sherry Yard of Helm’s Bakery, Courtney Reed of Belcampo Meat Co., Zenai Leal of Salt’s Cure, Monica May of Nickel Diner, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams and more to come!
Hand-made cocktails will be prepared by Mikki Kristola of The Varnish, Robin Chopra of Corazon Y Miel, Karen Grill of Sassafras Saloon, Ryan Wainwright of Terrine, Darwin Manahan of Osso and Cliff’s Edge, Ben Scott of Alexander’s Steakhouse, Avery Underhill of Butchers & Barbers, Christiaan Rollich of the Lucques Group, Josh Goldman of the Soigné Group, Michael Lay of Broken Spanish and B.S. Taqueria, John Kelly O’Hare of Sonny’s Hideaway, Gabriella Mlynarczyk of Birch and The Loving Cup, Jesus Gomez of 1886 Bar, Edwin Osegueda of Faith and Flower and Adam Nystrom of EP + LP, with more to be confirmed!
All pastry chefs will offer tasty samples of their famous sweet and savory treats, while each bartender will present sips of their signature holiday drinks.
Tickets – http://ticketf.ly/1MLJ5M9.
General Admission tickets include: entry into the event, unlimited food samples from over 20 LA pastry chefs, beer, wine and artisanal cocktail samples and access to our handcrafted vendor village with 20+ vendors. VIP Admission ticket includes: all of the General Admission perks plus 1 hour early entry into the event and a special VIP Gift Bag.
A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to Food Forward. Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same.
Follow L.A. Weekly on Facebook facebook.com/LAWeekly, Twitter @laweeklystreet, Instagram @LAWeekly and Foursquare for updates as they unfold.
We hope to see you there!
About L.A. Weekly:
L.A. Weekly, and more recently LAWeekly.com, has Los Angeles covered, with investigative reporting, comprehensive calendar listings and forward-thinking cultural coverage, including daily blogs like the highly regarded Squid Ink, which covers the city’s food scene. We keep our readers loyal with stories by some of the country’s finest writers—now accessible through our mobile platforms. In 2007 L.A. Weekly was the first newspaper to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its food criticism. This year, restaurant critic Besha Rodell was honored with a James Beard Award, widely considered food writing’s top prize.