Book Reviews

Sipping Santa Barbara

This Book Makes Me Miss Santa Barbara

Those who know me, know I love wine and books. I also happen to love Santa Barbara. Who doesn’t though? It’s so beautiful! I’ve only visited a handful of times but with each visit, I sigh,”Why don’t I live here?” Then, Realistic Rita who lives in my head, deadpan, chimes back “Because you cannnn’t and you know Arizona is much more affordable.” And, dang it, she’s right. But still…

Santa Barbara 2012

Santa Barbara is for Wine Lovers

I decided to share a few of my old photos, all from an ancient iPhone and unedited. Shamefully, I’ve never truly explored the wine region itself, so there’s no pictures of scenic vineyards or drool-worthy bottles. Sipping Santa Barbara is inspiring me to revisit this gorgeous place so I can focus on the wine. This e-book (not yet available in print) will be my go-to guide. It’s packed full of wineries to visiteach summarized with useful tips, types of wine and styles each producesincluding contact details and where to eat (this is important!). At the end of each quick summary there are also helpful wine hints like this:

“These wines are for you if: You enjoy unbashful fruit bombs.”

The stunning Moreton Bay fig tree. The photo just doesn’t do it justice.

It’s not all Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

According to the Santa Barbara Vinters website, there are approximately 125 member wineries and over 55 grape varieties grown in this region. The two most widely planted grapes are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Of course, Pinot Noir was Miles’s favorite in Sideways. This movie had such an influence on the wine community and is still impacting sales over a decade later. And, it’s rightfully mentioned in this book.

“Sideways fans will be familiar with this winery as it is the setting for where Miles tries to teach Jack to taste and appreciate wine. That popular scene ends when Miles asks Jack, “Are you chewing gum?” 

The Santa Barbara Courthouse is a gorgeous place to visit. If you climb to the top of the tower, you get these 360° views.

One Must Explore the Wine Scene When Visiting Santa Barbara

I didn’t explore Santa Barbara’s wine region years ago because my time was limited and I remember there being quite a few tasting rooms near State Street, downtown. But, I also realize how much I missed out on! With there being so many wineries and tasting rooms, it’s overwhelming to figure out where to even start, especially if you only have a day or so. This is why I like this book.

It gives you an idea of the types of wine each producer makes, with first-hand experience tidbits. So, if you’re into bigger, Bordeaux style reds, you can quickly find one they’ve tried and start from there. Or, get adventurous and try something completely new!

The breathtaking Moreton Bay fig tree, near downtown, was said to be planted in 1890. I love this tree. 

“This book is meant to be a practical guide, designed for people who enjoy wine either casually or with great curiosity and vigor. The most common problem encountered by wine lovers when visiting a new region is how to spend their limited amount of time sifting through all the wines and producers. This is why we’ve created this book, which will provide you the information to maximize your time in Santa Barbara County.” ~Sipping Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara may be the only city you can walk along random roads, stumble upon train tracks & feel completely safe.

Worth Every Penny

Even if you never plan on visiting this wine region, it’s an interesting, quick read. The information is condensed, and in easy to digest chunks. But, if you do plan on visiting, you can get a free tasting with Moretti Wines by showing them you’ve purchased a copy! That’s maybe a good place to start your Santa Barbara wine tasting trip?? This book is less expensive than a typical tasting, which is anywhere between $10-$20 per person, so you can’t go wrong with buying it. Plus, you’ll be supporting these nice wine lovers, and, isn’t that reason enough!?

I’d love to see this in print!



I write about wine as well as the unique stories behind each label. I'm a R.D.H. with an applied science degree in dental hygiene, and have been geeking out about wine for over 20 years. Before obtaining a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certification, I learned about wine just by trying different styles and regions. I've also worked with a local distributor in wine sales. Wine brings people together and makes the world a smaller, friendlier place... Cheers!



I LOVE Santa Barbara too!



I’d be shocked if someone said they didn’t love this area… it’s so gorgeous. And, besides it being a great wine region, the historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree is there and I’m always in awe.


Exotic Wine Travel

Thanks for the mention, Misty!


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