Bernard's Wine Gallery, a wine store with thousands of old and rare fine wines for sale, welcomes both wine neophytes and grizzled oenophiles to sip from its fine vat of liquefied vinefruits. Bernard Rosenson, who owns Bernard's Wine Gallery with his wife Cynthia, also owns Coquelicot Estate Vineyard, the organically farmed vineyard featured in this tasting. Six Coquelicot wines preside in the elegant tasting room, including the 2006 Bordeaux Blend, which won a gold medal at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition for its dark, complex taste. Guests will swirl and sip in luxury, blissfully whisking away memories of Twilight Zone episodes where clubs of giant wine bottles attended a human tasting. Tastings run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
The impressionist painters who inspired winemaker Bion Rice raised shimmering mirages in which soft-edged daubs of paint seem to grant motion to ballerinas or swaying river rushes. At Artiste, Bion draws inspiration from their work, attempting to raise distant landscapes with grapes rather than rough brushstrokes. Cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes call up the sun-steeped fields of the Napa Valley, and chardonnay grapes carry one away to the Russian River Valley on straw-hued sweetness. Bion calls the blends “impressionist cuvees,” and he produces small batches of them, their corks sealed beneath thick, hand-dipped cloaks of crimson wax.
The bottles are labeled with colorful impressionist paintings, and in a tasting room and studio, the harmonious relationship between wine and art is even further cemented. The whisper of brushes on canvas drifts from paint-dappled tables, where guests bring to life sweeping forest vistas or criminal lineups of pine trees. A rotating array of paintings lines the walls, including works from artists such as Aldo Luongo, an Argentinian artist whose contrasting colors and rippling brushstrokes seem to gaze up from a clear lake. Wine glasses chime together, punctuating the lilting rhythm of classical guitarists or the constant weeping of trombone players during live music events.
Eighty-one-thousand vines grow across Malibu Family Wines' 90-acre vineyard, producing eight varietals in total, including cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, and malbec. Once bottled and corked, many of the vineyard's Semler and Saddlerock wines end up at the tasting room in Los Olivos, a homey space with indoor and outdoor seating, occasional live music, and a large wooden tasting bar where customers are free to smell, sample, and swirl away. Those who enjoy the wines can rejoice knowing there's more where that came from?the vineyard expects to increase its vine total to 100,000 in the near future.
Grab a local brew, and take a seat. This brewery has everything you’ll need for a great night out. Try the Centennial Ale (6.5% ABV), which takes the traditional IPA and turns it on its head with a spicy hop flavor. If you’d like something a bit stronger, the Zeus Imperial Ale (9.7% ABV) is aged to perfection in empty bourbon barrels to add a unique, smoky flavor. Why not grab a bite with your brews? A full menu of delicious entrees are available. Check out the Stinky Chili Mac n Cheese, which is a spicy all-meat chili on top of a layer of homemade macaroni and cheese, covered with the house specialty Stinky Fries.
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse is the place to go for a pizza and a craft beer in Bakersfield. Of course, pizza isn't all BJ's has to offer: you can find fresh salads, juicy steaks, and winsome appetizers, too! Serving up deep dish pies in the Chicago style, BJ's offers a hearty meal for a decent price. Pair your pizza with one of the many beers that BJ's offers, or try a specialty cocktail or the refreshing signature sangria for something sweet and different. BJ's has a sizeable kids' menu, too, making it the perfect place to bring the family for an evening of good food and good times.