Showing posts with label Urban Wine Trail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Urban Wine Trail. Show all posts

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Oreana Verdelho

That calamari and scungilli salad at Fabrocini Beverly Glenenticed me again.  I won’t bore you with more raving on that subject, (see here, and here) but I will tell you about the wine I had with it.
Oreana Winery is in Santa Barbara - not the wine country around Santa Barbara, but right downtown.  It’s one of the stops on the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail.  Housed in a converted garage, Oreana’s cement floor tasting room may not land them in House Beautiful, but it really fits in with the slightly funky vibe of downtown Santa Barbara.

Verdelho is a Portuguese grape, not to be confused with the Spanish Verdejo.  There’s a rich, floral nose here and a palate that’s full and tropical.  Guava and pineapple emerge from the mix.  The winery recommends pairing it with spicy Asian cuisine and sushi.  I’ll throw my two cents in and say it was great with the seafood salad, too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kalyra Black Muscat 2005

There are certain places in the wine world to which I seem drawn back over and over.  The Santa Ynez Valley is one of those places.  Its rolling terrain, sprawling vineyards and bounteous farm land beckon me each time good fortune takes me there.  Denise and I have stopped so many times at fruit stands there for unbelievably delicious strawberries and blueberries.  We've even stopped at a winery or two.  Insert smiling emoticon here.

Kalyra Winery is one of those places in the Santa Ynez Valley from which I can't seem to stay away.  They offer a full line of wines, but I am very partial to their dessert wines. Kalyra's 375ml bottle is adorned by label art which I think of as Australian Surfer Hieroglyphics. The surf motif is in full effect at their winery tasting room in the Santa Ynez Valley as well as at their more recently opened tasting room on Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail.

The Kalyra Black Muscat looks rather like a rosé when in the glass. The nose is aromatic and rich. There are notes of licorice candy and candied fruit flavors in there too. The wine tastes somewhat like a port, maybe a young one. It's a very nice and sweet berry flavor that makes a fine dessert on its own, or drizzled over ice cream. It could accompany an aged cheese fairly well, too. It's not as strong as a "real" port, but at 15% abv, it's not weak, either.

Winemaker:  Mike Brown
Variety:  Muscat
Appellation:  California > Central Coast > Santa Ynez Valley
Vintage:  2005 
Alcohol Level:  15%
Price: $15
Acquisition disclaimer:  Purchased by the author at the winery

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Summerland Winery Orange Muscat 2008

Summerland Winery, just east of Santa Barbara, is better known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay than Orange Muscat, but after tasting this one in their tasting room I had to bring a bottle home.  The tasting room is "seaside cute" on the outside, and "Santa Barbara rustic" on the inside.  Summerland Winery is the easternmost point on Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail, and is well worth a stop when you're passing by on your way to some other place.

The Orange Muscat's clear bottle has a label full of sunflowers, giving the look of a perfect invitation to summer.  The nose features apricots, or maybe a basket of overripe peaches.  It's lush, but not overly sweet.  Floral notes abound on the nose and the palate, with some honeysuckle and oleander. 

I know I'll be back in Summerland sometime during its namesake season, and I'll be looking for this great summer wine when I'm there.

Variety:  100% Orange Muscat
Appelation:  California > Central Coast > Santa Barbara County
Vintage: 2008
Alcohol Content:  12.5% abv
Price:  $17
Acquisition disclaimer:  Purchased by the author