Tag Archives: Wine

Fifty Barrels Winery

Wine lovers rejoice

 Fifty Barrels Winery comes to downtown Vista

fifty barrels

Fifty Barrels is a grassroots, urban winery in downtown Vista, featuring handmade, artisan wines from California’s finest grapes. Brian Vitek & Brent Wells have been making wine since 1999 and have answered the demands of the labels followers and decided to increase production of their popular brand. This required moving from their prior coastal location, to the new larger space on Main Street and immersing themselves in the community of Vista.  General manager Denise Wells says ”the move was the right choice and our daily encounters with fellow business  owners, new clientele and residents  have made us feel especially welcome.”

Fifty barrel bar

dog friendly, resident Trixie can attest

The tasting room is open 6 days a week and features bar and lounge seating.

fifty barrels lounge

Fifty barrels is a fully functioning production facility, handling everything on site.The bulk of their red grapes come from Paso Robles and white grapes are sourced from all over California. They welcome guests to come and watch or help any time during production activities.

Art design

Fifty Barrels encourages local artists to create art on the barrel heads, paint one and you receive a gift of a bottle of wine. fifty wine

fifty barrels front

Meeting new people, making new friends and enjoying good wine is what it’s all about. Come and join the Grand opening celebration of Fifty Barrels Winery

fifty barrels grand opening

For more information check out their website


Special thanks to,

Kevin Ham, Director of Economic Development for Vista who was intrical in helping Fifty barrels find the perfect location for this endeavor.



This Saturday Night, more than 700 people including business owners and community leaders attend this annual event.  A great summer evening of delicious local food, wineries, breweries, socializing, auction and music at the beautiful Optimist Club of Vista. Taste what Vista has to offer this summer while supporting our local youth, a very worthy cause. Get your tickets today!


Wine Tasting

table winesb

I had the pleasure of attending a private wine tasting at the beautiful Vista home of Lynne Clarke and her husband John Katopodis.  Both of whom are in the industry.  Lynne is a level one sommelier and national sales director in the hotel channel for Jackson Family Fine Wines.  John is a Regional Manager for Justin & Landmark Vineyards

Lynne & John2

The evening started with John serving a Solletico Prosecco from Italy aperitif on the veranda while we enjoyed the stunning views of Vista


We then moved inside for the tasting of 6 lovely wines

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Lynne’s presentation was interactive, informational and fun.

We tasted each wine on its own and then with various proteins, sauces, fruit, cheese, nuts and chocolate. Each of us learning, while enjoying the interactions of wine and food , how our palates (and Lynne) guided us through the best pairing combinations.

Here are some of my notes: bear with me, as they got shorter as I moved on to each glass of vino

The Whites…..

Kendall- Jackson Riesling 2011 Great with salads because of the viscosity. Deep gold color with great acidity. Always a citrus and apple notes. Good for cleansing the palette

Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Light in color, clean herbaceous notes (think fresh cut hay), and flavors of grapefruit and granny smith apple. High acidity. Pairs well with shrimp, oysters, fresh fish, calamari, olives and feta cheese.  Comes from the beautiful Matanzas Creek Winery surrounded by acres of spa & culinary grade lavender fields.

Kendall -Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2010 A most versatile wine with long finish. Balanced oak, butterscotch and caramel notes present in this Chardonnay.  This wine is wonderful with lobster, capresse’ salad, parmesan cheese, and even brown gravies with caramelized onions.


On to the reds….

Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 a nice light red burgundy, garnet color. Good earthy smell. This is a good food wine and goes with many dishes, lamb, veal, and salmon. Don’t skimp pay good money for Pinot Noir; the grapes grow good on the coast.

Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 dark color, notes of cherry and clove. This is a perfect match with a rib eye steak, burgers or meat pizza.  Also, pairs really well with marinara sauce touched with parmesan cheese, and dark chocolate.

Murphy-Goode Liars Dice Zinfandel 2009 blueberry and blackberry under notes. Pairs well with turkey, barbeque, raspberry chipotle sauce, brown sauces, raspberries and chocolate.

table of friends21Tannin = the pucker, dry sensation you feel after a taste

The perfect temperature for storing red wine is 56 – 58 degrees

A good time was had by all, if you ever have the chance, I highly recommend a tasting event with friends.