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.
After a visit to the wine-rich valleys of Santa Ynez Valley, the founders of Frisby Cellars Winery resolved to strike out on their own inspired winemaking venture. At their winery, they process top-quality grapes sourced from Paso Robles and Santa Barbara vineyards, transforming them into a roster of wines available to try at their Lake Forest tasting room. There, samples are the main draw, from an award-winning pinot noir to a lush, fruit-laden chardonnay with hints of oak. Frisby wines can be found locally at restaurants, and the team also works with nonprofits to help fundraise for good causes.