A few months back, in late February, many things were happening in my life all at once.
Mark was still only just my boyfriend.
We were celebrating our four year anniversary of being a couple.
We were visiting the wonderful city of Santa Barbara, CA.
And we were about to be in for some really bad headaches…
I kid you not when I say that this may have been the drunkest I ever been whilst wondering around an unfamiliar city at night…
…and it was divine.
Also, it was probably not even 8:00pm. Woops.
Word to the wise while wine tasting…drink slowly.
But let’s start at the beginning, now that you have seen the end.
We left our apartment in Los Angeles around 11:00 the morning of February 23 (our ACTUAL anniversary was the next day), and headed towards our anniversary vacation.
Amid gorgeous vistas of the ocean, we arrived into town around 1:00, and were awarded an early check in to our hotel, The Coast Village Inn. Great place by the way. The rooms were clean and quaint and it felt more like a Bed and Breakfast than a remodeled motel, and the staff was wonderful.
We told the woman at the front desk that we wanted wine tasting where we didn’t have to stray too far from the hotel (so we could both drink and cab it back).
They sent off to The Urban Wine Trail, even noting the “cannot miss” and the “you probably should avoid” tasting rooms.
Way helpful. They even called us a cab, and called the room when it arrived.
First stop: The Oreana Winery and Tasting Room. The inside of this place was awesome. I especially liked the colorful walls, and the wine lovers fair.We got some awesome bracelets that said funny things like, “Pickled,” and “Smashed.” The wine wasn’t bad either. My favorite was a medium bodied red called, “Tilly.” We even grabbed a bottle the next day to take back home with us.
Next up: Across the street at The Santa Barbara Winery. They gave us some bread sticks to cleanse our pallets, which was good since we were both starving. Our favorite wine here was a buttery and smooth Chardonnay. The wine sampling even includes the glasses we used for free! They let us pick these up the next day so we could stagger around all day without fear of breaking them. We also grabbed a bottle of their basil mustard, which is, by the way, delicious.
By this point we were already a tad stumble-y as we made our way over to the local recommended bar and tasting room, Corks n’ Crowns, or Corks as we heard it. At the time, this place was not officially party of The Urban Wine Trail, but I do think they are now.
We decided to switch things up, and taste some beer at Corks. I’m glad we did. Every single beer on the tour had great things about them, and it was probably the first IPA I have ever really cared for.
Mark and I brought a six pack of assorted beers home with us well.**Tip: Buying the six pack also snagged us a nice discount on the cost of the tour. Um…yes.
We rounded out our tasting experience at Municipal Winemakers. We found more free snacks (thank goodness) and another great assortment of wines, though if I’m honest, I can’t remember what my favorite was. I think I was starting to forget my own name at this point. The inside was awesome and trendy, and the women helping us was so much fun. We must have chatted for over an hour as she offered her congratulations on our anniversary.
She also took a few pictures of us.
We walked (basically fell) back to Corks for a couple more glasses of wine and some pizza (finally). The pizza was good, but we were starved and pretty much devoured it. I think it had toppings on it, and some cheese.
We ended up (hammered), down by the pier (taking rad self portraits) to conclude our anniversary wine tasting experience in Santa Barbara.
All in all, the Urban Wine Trail is a wonderful tasting trail for the younger wine drinkers. Pretty hip, trendy and easily walkable, the trail offers a great variety of really incredible wines…but be warned, the wine sampling is (way) more affordable than the single glass of wine we purchased. Skip the glass, and indulge in the variety at every spot you visit.