The Wandering Wino Blog

Harvest Festival

Sea Smoke

Ahi

It's that time of year when the grapes are being harvested and wine is being produced. It's also a time of celebration of the harvest, to enjoy the outdoors with good food and wine, while we still have great weather.

On October 8th, the Santa Barbara Vintners Association put on the annual Celebration of Harvest, held at Rancho Sisquoc winery, in Santa Maria Valley. There was no shortage of media covering this wine event, and I saw many familar friendly faces. Chris Czar was out with his crew taking footage for a television show, while local photographer Bob ...

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Chamisal

This is a phrase many of us in the US have heard and used; so please anyone outside the US that might be reading this I am not a cross dresser. I have visted over 100 tasting rooms so far in 2011 from Washington State down to Temecula CA, and had the pleasure of venturing out to nearly a dozen wine festivals. This does not make me any kind of expert, other than I'll have to have a glass surgically removed at some point. This is a simple title to let you know these are some of the wines ...

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I've often said there are two kinds of people in the world; "those that get it," and "those that don't." Those of us that do "get it," have fallen into the other box at times. These are called our stupid moments in life, or as I like to play my "man card" as a momentary laps of reason. Most of a single year between my 19th birthday and 20th was also in the "those that don't" bucket.

I've seen some posts recently relating to social media which can be a form of customer service, and ...

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WIne & Fire!

WIne & Fire!

Just before the event started at the La Purisima Mission in Lompoc.Wine and Fire was a fantastic celebration of 10 years of the Sta Rita Hills AVA and recognized a legend in the industry, Richard Sanford. It was 3 days of open houses, panel discussions, wine dinners, and several other special events with the grand tasting held at the La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, California. There was llive music, lots of BBQ including the Hitching Post banging out some amazing grilled sliders topped with grilled onions & mushrooms and seared ahi tacos with fresh salsa and slaw. Rooney's Irish Pub in Orcutt took their sweet time smoking whole pigs all ...

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White Wine Pouring

Have you ever been stuck in a "wine bubble"? Do you know people that are? What's a "wine bubble"? These are the people that say, I only drink wines from this region, only reds, or only whites, no rose, or no merlot, desert wine, I only drink XY & Z. Sure, we all have our favorites, I do too! But step out, live a little. 

I was one of these people. For me it was rose and chardonnay. I was really, really picky about chardonnay almost to the point of saying ABC.....anything but chardonnay. I didn't start off ...

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Wine Festivals

Wine Festivals

It seems we are in full swing of what I call wine festival season! It is summer time and it's a great time to get out of the house even for just the day, but even better when you can turn it into a weekend away. 

There are so many to choose from it can be difficult to decide which one's to go to. In just the past few months I've been to three wine festivals and have at least four more that I'm planning to hit in the coming weeks/months. There are a lot ...

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Party Wine

Party Wines

Having a party? You want to have wine but don't want to break the bank? I know, but you still want something that is respectable right? If low cost is your yard stick, then not a problem, but you may need to think outside of what you normally drink. Your dollar can be stretched much farther if you are willing to be flexible. 

It will be impossible to cover everything but I'll share some guidelines that may help the masses. Who are your guests and what are they accustomed to drinking? Everyone coming knows its a party ...

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Tipping

How much to tip?Do you tip? Who do you tip? How much do you tip? When do you tip? Should the Starbucks crew be tipped the same as your fine dinning waiter? How about the pizza guy, bartender, how much do you tip them? The valet? Are all things equal?

I spent nearly 10 years of my life working for tips as a bartender, waiter, delivery guy, and night club door man. High society to coffee shop, LA to Dallas, I worked a big range of both demographics and restaurant types. The last 10 years have been on the other end of the ...

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Should children be allowed in wine tasting rooms? They are not allowed to sit at any regular bar legally. They are not legally allowed in casinos. Those places say 21 years and older. A grocery store cannot even allow anyone under 21 years old to handle alcoholic beverages in the store. Yet it is legal for a child or infant to be in a tasting room.

I struggle with this question. I am a parent of a 2 year angel. Every now and again she reminds me that she is in fact 2 years old. My wife and I spent ...

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Wine Movies

Do not ever mention the movies Sideways or Bottle Shock in a tasting room. Whatever interesting or funny comment you think you have, trust me, they do not want to hear it......and they have more than likely heard it before.

I have spent much time in the area where Sideways was filmed. I was excited when the movie first came out because I had heard they were at many of the places I know all too well and was excited to see the places on film. I am sure there was much excitement in the Santa Barbara County / Santa ...

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