What is class? Is it white tablecloths and a pompous waiter? Is it pinkies swaying in the air and menu items you can’t pronounce? No way, buddy! Class is a state of mind, a way of honoring every aspect of your craft. At Grenada, class is relaxed. From their killer charcuterie boards with local meats from Alle-Pia and cheeses from Fromagerie Sophie to fried chicken Mondays (aptly called “cluck Mondays”), Grenada is one chill bistro hangout—made even chiller when you order a 40-ounce muscadet wrapped coyly in a brown paper bag. This chilled white wine isn’t just French, it’s fresh as hell. Drink to this wink and a nod and know that you are, indeed, a class act with impeccable taste. I mean, if you’re going to drink a 40-ouncer, make sure it’s muscadet, not malt liquor. And stay classy, San Luis Obispo.
• 2015 Julien Braud ‘Forty Ounce’ Muscadet—$14 a bottle; 1126 Morro St., SLO.
You know how you never do the “touristy stuff” until an out-of-towner comes to visit? Well, I recently made my way to Hearst Castle with my Bay Area sister, a soon-to-be resident of Germany. You could say the mansion is the Central Coast equivalent to the Empire State Building or Golden Gate Bridge—but you’d be wrong. How many public monuments are peppered with Egyptian sarcophagi dating back thousands of years or pools flecked with real gold? The entire experience was surprisingly new, all the way down to our lunch, which we ate at Sebastian’s General Store, just a stone’s throw from the castle. Next door we discovered the historic Hearst Winey tasting room, once the real old General Store (the building dates back to1852). I recommend tasting all the new wines, including this chardonnay, which tastes of honeydew, bright citrus, and crisp green apple. With an antique copper bar and black and white photos on the wooden walls, it’s easy to imagine you’re living out a sleepy seaside life where “the castle on the hill” is simply your neighbor.
• Hearst Ranch Winery’s 2014 Glacier Ridge Chardonnay—$10 for a tasting of new releases (fee waved with bottle purchase); 442 SLO San Simeon Road, San Simeon.
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