We celebrate California wine every month (almost every night really), but September is officially California Wine Month. And what better way to celebrate than by drinking just a small portion of the nearly 3.8 million tons of crushed grape juice that this wonderful state produces every year. Generating over $125 billion dollars a year, there are over 2,275 wineries and 4,600 grape growers. There are no shortage of ways to celebrate, here are just a few.
LA Times The Taste
LA Times The Taste is an annual celebration of wine and the Southern California culinary scene. Esteemed chefs Michael Cimarusti, Sang Yoon, Nancy Silverton and cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello will each join a member of The Times renowned Food staff to present one of the five distinctive events that comprise THE TASTE’s Labor Day weekend festivities, held again at Paramount Pictures Studios. There are multiple events throughout the long weekend. Tickets start at $65.
Tasting at Barsha Wines & Spirits
Barsha Wines & Spirits is a wine tasting room in Manhattan Beach which specializes in small production wine, spirits and craft beer. Their food menu consists of small plates with a Tunisian influence, cheese and charcuterie boards and a retail section that celebrates artisanal and local products. Each Wednesday, Barsha invites a new food truck to their tasting room to pair their cuisine with hand selected wine chosen by the owners.
September Sip and CRUSH
Temecula Valley celebrates California Wine Month with September Sip and CRUSH. Temecula Valley’s 35 wineries invite fans to explore the Southland’s premier wine country in style! Those with a taste for adventure can take advantage of the Sip Passport, which includes a full tasting flight at any four wineries for just $35; or, to experience the best of Temecula’s wine, food and entertainment in one spectacular evening (September 14), guests can participate in CRUSH, the Valley’s annual gastronomic gala, to be held for a second year on Callaway Winery’s hilltop patio. All-inclusive tickets are $75 per person; early bird tickets are $65 now through August 16; VIP Tickets are $100 and include admittance to the pre-event Winemakers Roundtable seated panel discussion and exclusive winemaker tasting.
Barnsdall Wine Tasting Fridays
Unwind and enjoy the beautiful Barnsdall Art Park as the sun is setting, from the gated gardens in the West Lawn of the historic Hollyhock House. Silverlake Wine will present four selections of boutique, small production, artisanal wines from around the globe. Grab a picnic and listen to music by KCRW DJs or enjoy delicious food from a selection of LA’s best food trucks. Tickets are $25, or $5 for kids and designated drivers. More info and tickets here.
San Antonio Winery
The San Antonio Winery is a true piece of Los Angeles history. It’s restaurant, winery and tasting room is a registered historical landmark. It’s tasting room offers free and pay tasting flights all week long. It’s usually bustling during the late afternoon hours, so getting there early is probably your best bet. Its wine education classes are a great value too, and offer a wide array of class types. From educational wine seminar luncheons to wine and food festivals at very affordable prices.
Meet the Winemaker at gLAnce Wine Bar
gLAnce Wine Bar at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE is hosting a “Meet the Winemaker” series as part of the month-long celebration. Each Wednesday, a guest California winemaker will host a complimentary tasting—allowing guests to experience and learn about a few of the vineyard’s varietals. The hotel’s chef will prepare a selection of light bites to complement the wine selection. Besides the amazing line up, best thing about this event, it’s free! The schedule of featured winemakers is as follows (6-8pm); Wednesday, Sept 4 & Sept 11 – Bonneau Wine; Wed Sept 18 – Honig Vineyards & Winery; Wednesday, Sept 25 – JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery.
Santa Ynez Valley Wine Month
There are several events taking place all month long in the Santa Ynez Valley area. Just a two hour drive from LA, several local area wineries are featuring special wine flights, cheese pairings, Vertical Tastings, Winemaker’s Tours, special dinners, classes and more. A full winery event listing can be found on their web site.
Learn About Wine features two special taste events in the month of September. Including California Classics on Sept 4 at 7th and Fig in Downtown LA. Then on Sept 18th, it’s everything Pinot in Hollywood at Space 15 TWENTY. Tickets start at a reasonable $50 to taste 30+ wines. They are always fun events.
LA County Fair Wine & Beer Marketplace
Step into the world of wine during the entire month of September at the LA County Fair! Their wine education center features classes, tastings and displays of award-winning wines from the Los Angeles International Wine Competition. Classes are taught by industry experts with extensive knowledge about wine growing and selection, wine tasting as well as wine and food pairings. More info and complete details on their web site.
Wine Wednesdays at Tam O’Shanter
Tam O’Shanter, a member of the Lawry’s family of restaurants and one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, is starting an exciting new “Wine Wednesdays” program on August 28. “Wine Wednesdays” will feature 50% off of select bottles of wine and the captains list every Wednesday from 5:00pm to close in the Tam’s Ale & Sandwich Bar and dining rooms. The promotion will run through Wednesday, November 13. Pair the wines with Tam’s celebrated cheese and charcuterie program, which features perfectly matured and tempered artisanal cheeses from every corner of the globe along with premier meats, all of which are freshly sliced to order at the restaurant’s cheese and charcuterie station.
California Wines at V Wine Room
This new-ish wine bar in the Heart of West Hollywood is known for serving boutique California wines. From little known wines in Ventura, to some fine small production wines in Napa. They feature a different flight almost every night, or you can purchase full wines by the glass. They also have a small selection of cheeses, meats, and olives to pair with the wines. Location and current wines available on their web site.
Going out for dinner these days isn’t as affordable as it use to be. Farm to Table, Nose to Tail, Farmer’s Market, local organic and imported ingredients all make going out more than it use to be. But bringing your own wine can sometimes cut the bill for dinner in half. Many restaurants allow you to bring your own vino. So check out our list of free and cheap corkage options, then grab a bottle of your favorite California wine and head out to dinner, you deserve it.
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