Monday, September 15, 2014

Where to Drink: The Outdoor Wine Tasting Room @ Malibu Wines

The Drinks: A variety of Saddlerock and Semler wines, enjoyed in an outdoor tasting room

The Location: Malibu

The Vibes: Picturesque, naturalistic, vibrant

Good for: Large groups, celebrations, wine aficionados

When-To-Go: Opens daily at 11 a.m.; closes at 7 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and at 9 p.m. on Friday/Saturday

The $ Factor: Flights of 4-5 wines are $12-$16; bottles are $22.40-$140. Member club prices available.

The 4-1-1: All guests must be 21+

Parking Situation: $14 Valet or complimentary parking at a nearby lot, with shuttles running frequently back and forth to the tasting room

I’ll Be Back…: For the Mimosa flight, with Peach Ginger, Watermelon Rosemary, Blood Orange and Passion Fruit!

Want to visit a good wine tasting room?

You certainly don’t have to drive to Napa, Santa Barbara or Temecula to do so, and you absolutely don’t have to hop on a plane to Europe or South America. That’s because we have an awesome wine tasting room right here in our own L.A. backyard, Malibu Wines.

Situated in the vast, rugged Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Wines is reachable by a commute on a long, windy road through mountains, which at times offers sweeping views of isolated valleys, rustic brown canyons and deep, endless ravines. Once there, you find yourself entering a lush, secluded outdoor oasis—a picture-perfect setting of towering trees that provide ample shade and wine-related artifacts, like a fountain made out of old wine barrels that spurts "wine" and large metallic letters that spell out "WINE." Mountains jet upwards on all sides of a vast lawn that sprawls out in every direction, at every twist and turn. It’s here that tables with chairs are set up and there’s plenty of open areas to lay down a blanket and kick back, relax, enjoy good company and great wines for a few hours.

Admission into the outdoor tasting room is free, and you can bring your own food—like the fantastic spread my friends brought on a recent trip this past summer, pictured below. You can also take your own nonalcoholic beverages, like juices, sodas and water (I highly recommend bringing your own water; or you can purchase refillable jugs of water for $3). Make sure not to forget blankets to sit on, or you can rent a table for $150 retail price/$120 members price and a minimum purchase of two bottles.

Wines at this tasting room hail from two wineries: Semler and Saddlerock. Semler is actually Malibu Wines’ own estate wine, grown in the vineyards directly across the street from the tasting room. Saddlerock is sourced from several different California Central Coast vineyards. Wines range from reds to whites, from dry to sweet and can be purchased by the glass, flights or the bottle (wine glasses provided). One bottle I particularly enjoyed and ended up purchasing was the Saddlerock Orange Muscat, 2012.

Bars (pictured below) are strategically situated throughout the area, where you can learn more about the wines and make purchases. There’s also a Members Wine Club you can join, not only to get wines delivered directly to your doorstep, but to also get discounts at the tasting room, starting right when you sign up.

For the rest of September, every Thursday there’s a movie screening; until the end of October, there are live music performances on weekends and food trucks on Fridays.

So the next time you’re in the mood for sipping wines and catching up with friends over snacks of your own choice, picnic-style, I highly recommend heading to Malibu Wines. The setting is gorgeous and the wines are quite delicious.

See you there soon!

For more information:


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