Cottonwood Canyon

Published March 5, 2014

While the tasting rooms in Santa Barbara’s funk zone are completely unconventional and unlike any other, Cottonwood Canyon’s tasting room experience inspires. You’re greeted by Randy Carter who is not only an advocate of Santa Barbara County wines, he is an evangelist of Cottonwood Canyon wines. His palate is so versatile and creative that he has become an experimental gourmet chef, pairing and cooking with Cottonwood Canyon wines with his home grown recipes.

As if you needed more reason to drop into this tasting room when you have so many to choose from within short walking distance, here are a few more. Always keep a good Riesling in your refrigerator for those spicy Thai, Indian, or dishes that are on fire because the fragrant fruit and crisp acidity pairs so well. Their Bistro Classic Riesling has great balance of green apple, pear, and lemon curd with great body and an inviting price.  The second reason is their Pinot Noir, which is going to go fast so you may want to hurry. The reason for that is just yesterday they were pouring a Pinot Noir from 2001! Some may say this wine doesn’t age well but this one is like a true Burgundy style Pinot with dark brick and red crimson color. Many layers of smoke, caramel, and spice have emerged while it was cellaring that make it a Pinot to pair with meaty dishes like a hearty leg of lamb. Some may say you cannot blend Pinot Noir! But their Pinot, Syrah, Zinfadel is an enticingly rich festive wine. Perfect for a barbecue, it could stand up to any rich meats with their salty spicy barbecue sauces. Dang, doesn’t that make you hungry!


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