The 15th annual California Wine Festival saw an array of wineries, breweries and food purveyors gathered amidst a classic summer day in sunny Santa Barbara. Taking place in downtown Santa Barbara, literally steps from the beach, the festival attracted a fun-loving crowd that perused from tent to tent, different tastes in tow every step of the way.
Many familiar labels and storefronts from years past returned for repeat performances, accompanied by a few new faces. And as the festival’s name reveals, wines were the star of the show, with free-flowing red, white, rose, champagne and sangria. Wineries included 3 Steves, Miner Family Winery, Ferguson Crest, One Madrone, McGrail Vineyards, Rutherford Wine Company, Wood Family Vineyards and Vinemark Cellars among many others.
Beer lovers found themselves right at home as well, with breweries gaining a stronger presence year after year. Everything from Mexican lagers and red ales to hoppy IPA’s and avocado ginger compilations made for an intriguing and palate-pleasing addition to the wine scene. Featured brewers included Unibroue, Santa Barbara Brewing Company, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Island Brewing Company, The Brewhouse in Santa Barbara, Firestone Walker and M. Special.
While food isn’t a namesake feature of the festival, a scattering of culinary vendors kept libations in check. Enterprise Fish Co., Hippy Pop Popcorn, Oat Bakery, Hoppy Fused Food, and Santa Barbara Woodfire Catering represented some of Santa Barbara’s local food scene, joined by larger brands such as Kerrygold and Gelson’s.
Be on the lookout for the next California Wine Festival, with events taking place across Southern California year-round. Visit CaliforniaWineFestival.com for more info.
National Hot Dog Day is Wednesday, July 18 . To celebrate, Dog Haus, a casual hot dog concept known for gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers and chicken sandwiches, is celebrating by gifting everyone in the country a free Haus Dog.
This offer is valid for patrons who register on the Dog Haus Rewards app.
The Free Haus Dog offer is available for one day only, from 11 a.m. - close, at participating locations nationwide. Visit DogHaus.com to find the closest location near you.
Lunetta All Day has expanded beyond its fast-casual roots to Lunetta Dining and The Moon Bar, located right next door. The sophisticated concepts allow Executive Chef and former pro surfer Raphael Lunetta—one of the first chefs to popularize farm-to-table dining—to flex his culinary muscle, as well as provide an intimate setting for guests to enjoy an upscale meal in East Santa Monica.
Lunetta Dining unveils impeccably complex, yet approachable dishes that showcase everything about LA’s contemporary dining scene. Beverage Director and Sommelier Kristine Bocchino’s wine and cocktail program matches the same exoticism and attention to detail, with both food and drink boasting artistic presentation and a pleasantly reckless incorporation of flowers that puts a smile on your face.
Lunetta and Bocchino are joined by Partner and Proprietor Mike Garrett [Voda, Lounge 217, Falcon, Anisette, Pearl Dragon] and Daniel Weinstock [Spago, Maple Block Meat Co.] for a combined wealth of restaurant experience at the helm.
Farm-to-table continues to ring true at Lunetta Dining, with an ever-changing menu to reflect seasonal flavors. Summer brings dishes such as grilled nectarines with machego and prosciutto, ahi tuna tartare, New Zealand rack of lamb and wood-grilled loup de mer and Spanish octopus. Drinks such as the honey ryder, the tired but wired and the not your mama’s negroni allow Moon Bar to share Lunetta Dining’s motif of familiarity with exploratory nuances.
Lunetta Dining Room and Bar is located at 2424 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, next to Lunetta All Day. For more information call (310) 581-9888 or visit LunettaSM.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.