Unlike having bicycles, apartments, and guard dogs, having many small plates can be just as effective as one big one. Revel in appetizing addition with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of small plates and wine at Avant Tapas and Wine in Buellton.
Avant Tapas and Wine serves as the tasting room for more than 40 local vintners, whose grape ambrosias beg to be paired with tapas from a menu forged largely from locally sourced ingredients. Diners can taste wines poured by oenophiles at the tasting bar or choose from 40 wines ($2.50–$3.50/taste, $3.50–$15/glass) themselves by using the innovative, press-to-pour tasting dispensers worthy of a holodeck vending machine. Samples include the work of such vineyard veterans as Richard Sanford, Ken Brown, and Rick Longoria. Cold tapas such as the ahi crudo ($12), which accompanies sesame-crusted ahi with ponzu, green onions, and jalapeños, prance delicately across tongues and refresh palates. Wood-fired ovens draw the jealous tears of Chef Boyardee and ignite pizza combinations such as artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, basil oil, and feta ($14).
Live music on Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. fuels joviality with epic ballads that detail the meteoric rise of a local grape to fame. Groupon holders receive a 10% discount on bottled wine in the retail shop, where hundreds of different varieties crowd the colorful shelves.
Terravant Winery Restaurant
Instead of bellying up to a bar, visitors to Terravant Winery Restaurant & can savor ambrosial tastes—such as Inception chardonnay, Hitching Post pinot noir, and Falcone syrah—at the Wine Wall. Here, a dispensing system measures out exact pours of 52 wines hailing from California’s other wine country—the prolific central coast. Visitors immerse their taste buds in sips of diverse varietals from 20 regional wineries, such as Ground Effect Wine Co. in San Luis Obispo and Hoyt Family Vineyards in Malibu, all produced next door at Terravant Wine Company and enjoyed in Terravant’s industrial warehouse confines.
Guests can also pair wines with locally flavored cuisine, from hormone-free rib eye to produce picked from nearby organic gardens. While swirling vibrant reds or sweet whites in their glasses, diners take in live music three nights a week or peruse the establishment during tours.