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Ballast Point's Calm Before the Storm and Shale Oak's 2013 Sui

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Adults deserve dessert, too! Didn’t get enough good candy this Halloween? Treat yourself to the creamy, smooth flavor of this vanilla-flavored ale crafted by Ballast Point of San Diego (it’s on tap at Santa Margarita’s Dunbar Brewing Company while supplies last). Created as a lighter, low-alcohol alternative to Victory at Sea (a bold coffee and vanilla-tinged imperial porter), this graceful un-bitter brew is a playful riff on cream soda—and, because it’s all grown up, rich coffee flavor flows throughout. Creamy flavor + vanilla goodness + luxurious coffee = one happy adult human! To quote Parks and Recreation: “Treat yo’self.”

Ballast Point’s Calm Before the Storm—$5 for a pint; 2200 El Camino Real, Santa Margarita.

Shale Oak Winery can be described in one word: “swanky.” With a 1960s teardrop fireplace, modern green couches, brightly colored geometric stained glass window, and a dramatically vaulted, angular roof, there’s absolutely nothing “old country” about this tasting room. The wines—a few of which are named after Japanese philosophical terms, of course—are a breath of fresh air. The 2013 “Sui” represents water, fluidity, suppleness, and magnetism. With melon, honeydew, and bright acidity, this white blend lives up to its name. Now if only the folks at Shale Oak could feng shui my house …

Shale Oak’s 2013 Sui$42 per bottle; 3235 Oakdale Road, Paso Robles.

Send your latest drink obsessions to hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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