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Kathy Marcks Hardesty: Despite the drought of customers, great savings abound
From the Vine

Kathy Marcks Hardesty: Despite the drought of customers, great savings abound

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It’s been a trying time for most Americans, the loss of jobs, and so many mom and pop businesses forced to shut down. But it gets worse, we can’t even dine out at our favorite restaurants nor join friends, not even family, at a bar for a toast to good cheer.

We also can’t visit our favorite wine tasting rooms to get a sample tasting so we can better decide which wines to buy. And that includes me, dear readers. Not even a wine columnist can simply call for a sample tasting to write about our fine Central Coast wineries.

But it’s not just about the consumers. Think of the hurt this put on closed restaurants and wine tasting room favorites that dearly need our regular business. I fear many such businesses will not be able to reopen, especially our great mom and pop shops. I pray that doesn’t happen. Thankfully, quite a few restaurants are struggling to survive by offering to go meals that are priced quite fairly. Admittedly it brings very little compared to their normal sales, but it keeps their heads above water in hopes of surviving a tsunami of bad news. I just hate imaging the ordeal the servers are going through with no hourly wages, let alone tips.

Thankfully, after 24-years of writing about our Central Coast wine industry, I know most of our fine winemakers very well. So in lieu of visiting tasting rooms, I can tell you about many great deals our best wineries are offering you, like the restaurants, doing what they can to survive the drought of customers they are used to serving.

As always in a storm there is a silver lining, the incredible deals wineries are offering for online sales. Most include shipping within the U.S., most offer discounts to everyone, which may be deeper (but not always) for their wine club members. Fortunately, I receive press releases and I stay informed of these sales through social media. I do it to share the news with my readers, who much like me, always appreciate a good deal when we find them.

In Santa Barbara County, at Bedford Winery in Los Alamos, winemaker Stephan Bedford is offering a spring wine sale with 30 percent off, and $10 GSO shipping on six to 12 bottles within California. He offers a chardonnay and chenin blancs well as many selections of reds including pinot noir, syrah, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, and more. Of course, you can also arrange for curbside pick up at the tasting room, but you must make an appointment. Visit Bedfordwinery .com to place orders and learn more.

At the Sanger Family of Wines tasting room in Solvang, this is one of the best deals I’ve discovered. If you buy a case, be it their Marianello 2013 Estelle Bianco or Converge 2013 red blend, or you can mix or match the two, if you buy one case you get a second case for only $1.00 more. That means a great deal of only $241.00 for two cases. That price includes shipping or set a date for you to pick them up. Simply visit www. Sangerwines .com.

In SLO County at Baileyana in Edna Valley, which is also home to their Tangent, True Myth, and Zocker brands, they have a specials page with many good deals to choose from. On their Facebook site as Baileyana Winery they have noted that that shipping on six or more bottles is included within California. The great deals range from $95 for three bottles of their prime chardonnay, and various kinds of mix and match offerings from their range of their brands, and prices are as low as $99 for three up to $399 for a case of mixed brands from Baileyana and True Myth, not bad for low prices and shipping included. Or you can pick them up, place your order at baileyana .com.

Anytime you’re headed to wine country it’s a good idea to check out the vintners’ associations and check the calendar of events. At slocoastwine .com, you’ll find thorough info about wine events at most of their member wineries. That way you can better make the most of your time in wine country. For instance, some tasting rooms are only open for pick up packages on weekends, while some are only available on certain days like Tuesday and Thursday. That said, many are open daily, while some say only open by appointment. Not only do you get important information about hours, you can easily click on the brand to visit their webpage where you can order their wine. Visit slocoastwine .com.

Don’t forget, the no tasting order is still being carried out throughout California, so these bargains are only had by ordering online, and making an appointment to pick up your favorite wines curbside. I know we consumers are getting fed up with these limitations, but give your sympathy and support to the wineries and craft brewers who are struggling to survive without their much needed consumers dropping in. Cheers!

Reach Kathy at kathymhardesty @ gmail .com

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