Updated: Nov 2, 2021
What a month I had! I finally got married after nearly two and a half years of engagement, so we decided that there would be nothing better than to honeymoon in wine country. So I thought to myself, "Where can I sit on a beach and relax with a delicious glass of local wine?"
Survey says... Santa Barbara, California.
Southern California isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when people thing of "California Wine", but make no mistake, the wines here are world class. Instead of the famous Napa Valley and Sonoma style of Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs, the specialty of Southern California are grapes that thrive in much warmer climates. Think grapes like Syrah, Grenache and Mouvedre. In fact, the Rhône varietals in general do very well here. You can find things like Marsanne, Roussanne, and even Viognier.
We visited a few (maybe more than a few) tasting rooms across Santa Barbara, and the wines were nothing short of phenomenal. Palm trees, beaches, and wine country! What more could I ask for?!
Here's what is open this month:
Barden Syrah 2018 from STA. Rita Hills
This particular wine is from one of my friends Doug Margerum who is based in Santa Barbara, but makes wines up in Sta. Rita Hills as well. Syrah is one of, if not, my favorite grape varietal of all time.
Famously grown in the Rhône, it is fun to be able to taste such a high quality wine far away from France.
With notes of freshly cracked black peppercorns and intense black fruit aromas, this red wine hit the spot even on a warm day. Served slightly under room temperature, it was an odd experience to have a refreshing glass of Syrah. In terms of structure, the wine showed off its acid backbone and supple tannins. It had a very long finish, which made it a perfect food wine as well.
We paired it with some spicy cured meats, freshly baked bread, and creamy goat cheese with a volcanic ash rind. This was truly an experience to remember.
Have any questions or comments? Don't be afraid to reach out and let me know what you have open this month.