Mo Wine Please...A Guest Post from Mocadeux

Today my friend, Mo, of Mocadeaux is guest posting on two of my favorite topics - travel and WINE! If you enjoy hilariously funny posts on all aspects of life, in particular - wine, food, travel and family, then be sure to add Mo to your daily reading list.

Mo Wine Please

I love wine tasting. I love hearing the story behind each winery, the passion of the folks behind each brand and the incredible variety of experiences.

Recently, Peter and I spent a long weekend in Santa Barbara to celebrate our anniversary, check another item off our California To Do List and, of course, taste some wine.
Here is the rundown of some of our favorite stops while wine tasting in Santa Barbara.


Yes, Fess Parker, aka Daniel Boone. They served some lovely wine, had lots of coonskin cap themed kitsch in the gift shop and, most importantly for us, opened at 10 a.m.
I only occasionally dip my toe in the land of Chardonnay. I’m just not a big fan, particularly of the typical Napa Chardonnay.  I have to give big props to Fess and his crew. Their 2012 Chardonnay from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley was scrumptious!

Fess Parker Bien Nacido Chardonnay
 The surprise of the day and it was only 10:15 in the morning.
This wine scored 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. Less than 400 cases were produced so you won’t see it on the shelves of your local store. As is often the case with these small productions, the wine is only available at the winery and to wine club members. But I mention this wine to highlight the Bien Nacido Vineyard. Remember when I talked about the single vineyard Pinot Noirs from Oregon? Well, the Bien Nacido Vineyard is one of the rock star locations in the Santa Barbara wine country area.  The folks at Bien Nacido make some of their own wine under the label of Bien Nacido Vineyards.  But they also sell grapes to a handful of carefully selected wineries who, in turn, make some pretty awesome wines. So if you see the name “Bien Nacido Vineyard” on a wine label, you can be pretty sure that the wine will be a treat.


At Brewer – Clifton we tasted exclusively Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  These folks make some darn good, high scoring wine and they know the secret to a very special wine tasting experience:

 the cheese plate.

As my friend, Pete, says, “If you are buying wine, taste it with bread. If you are selling wine, serve it with cheese.”
Taste wine with bread


We have been fans of Foxen wines for some time and were delighted with the opportunity to visit their lovely winery.  These guys make a nice array of wines, ranging from Chenin Blanc to Syrah. They even make a Chardonnay with grapes from the Bien Nacido Vineyard and a Pinot Noir grown in their own vineyards of a Bien Nacido clone.

 My favorite of the wines we tasted – although it was very hard to choose – was the 2011 Foxen Cuvee Jeanne Marie Red Wine from the Williamson – Dore Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Vineyard.

Foxen Cuvee Jean Marie
If you can’t find Foxen wines at your local wine store, you can shop online. If you are visiting Santa Barbara wine country, you should absolutely plan to stop by their winery.


 We discovered Coquelicot a few years ago at The Family Winemakers of California tasting event. Coquelicot is the French word for “poppy” hence the colorful and distinctive labels.
Their storefront tasting room is smack in the middle of downtown Los Olivos.
The high point of our visit was tasting their wonderful Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc.

Coquelicot Sauvignon Blanc
The low point was encountering a very, very drunk couple who had clearly “tasted” way too much wine already and proceeded to shatter their glass on the tasting room floor. Then they walked out without paying while the horrified staff cleaned up the mess.
Not cool, drunk couple. Not cool.


The most unusual experience of the trip was our private tasting of Jonata wines. Jonata is the sister project of the legendary (and impossible to get, even at thousands of dollars per bottle) Screaming Eagle.  The Screaming Eagle philosophy of wine making at a mere fraction of the price!
Jonata does not have a tasting room. You have to make an appointment and you have to be really good at navigation. The wine storage facility in which the tasting takes place is in an unmarked warehouse in the middle of an industrial park.  Very mysterious but worth the trouble!
Jonata wine tasting
We tasted about ten wines including the El Desafio de Jonata Cabernet and their red blend, aptly named Todos because it includes every varietal they grow. Each wine was just as delicious as the last.
Santa Barbara wine tasting is a delightful experience. From the larger wineries with on-site tasting rooms like Foxen and Fess Parker to the “by appointment only” tasting in the Jonata storage facility, the experiences – and the wine! – are worth the trip.
Thanks for stopping by,
Mo photo signature_zps14e6c366.png
Thank you SO much for guest posting, Mo...I just added Santa Barbara to MY bucket list!