The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist?s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
The "secret" in Bacchus' Secret Cellar is gas. Argon gas, to be exact, which powers the bar's preservation system and ensures that the wines within stay fresh for long periods of time. There are about 50 wines—mostly reds—on tap at the counter, as well as 8 sparkling wines, 5 dessert wines, and 12 microbrews. The library of options encourages guests to sample several, so it's wise to order a flight: you can get a signature array of 2.5-ounce glasses, or you can compose your own for a unique harmony of tastes.
The bar is just the beginning of the cellar's wine selection. On the shelves that span the walls, more than 350 labels beckon to be uncorked. A bistro menu provides gourmet food to complement sips, from starters of oven-roasted dates to lamb burgers and prosciutto flatbreads, made by dropping a regular loaf of bread into a printing press by accident. There's also a full menu of cheeseboards, with goat, cow, and sheep cheeses from the United States and abroad.
Lifelong gardener Jim Carter, owner of South Coast Winery, bottles fine wines on 38 picturesque acres in Southern California’s Temecula Valley. South Coast’s grounds house a luxurious spa and seven Mediterranean-esque resort villas, reminiscent of a remote Tuscan village. Jim’s specialty varietals have been recognized time and again in local and national wine competitions. Visiting oenophiles can spend time here unwinding with an open air massage, vacationing in a temporary home equipped with a marble Jacuzzi and sweet plump grapes at arms length, or learning about the winemaking process on a vineyard tour.
Dr. Tony Beizaee and Dr. Mona Saati, a husband-and-wife team that graduated from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, regularly attend continuing-education courses to stay ahead of industry trends and seek out the latest technology to ensure their patients are as comfortable as possible. Dr. Beizaee has extensive experience in installing dental implants, whereas Dr. Saati specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. After patients unwind with complimentary chair massages and refreshments, the duo often begins dental procedures with the CompuDent anesthetic system instead of syringe injections. The disposable wand delivers computer-controlled doses of medication that result in quicker and more accurate numbing capabilities and an increased desire to break out in song and dance as Grease plays on a DVD player beside the chair.
Each year, the experienced wine tasters behind Two Masters Wine Club sip thousands of varietals from California wineries. They rate each red and white, selecting their favorites to be shipped to the company's members. There are different levels of membership for different types of wine-drinkers–the Platinum membership, for example, is intended for those already familiar with sophisticated, higher-priced wines, while the Silver membership helps orient less familiar sippers with the world of bold, complex varietals.
Though their shop stocks a selection of more than 300 wines, owners Bob and Heidi Fisher maintain their commitment to personally selecting vintages from boutique wineries. Inside the earth-toned walls of Salt Creek Wine Company's tasting room, visitors peruse the stacks of obsidian bottles or sidle up to the bar to sample the selection of wine flights, which, like the second hand on a tortoise’s watch, rotates weekly. The bar also stocks pairing bites such as charcuterie, artisan cheeses, and desserts.