I’m a pretty bubbly person (at least when I’m not thangry—that’s thirsty and angry mixed together). When I feel a bout of thanger coming on, I need to look outside of myself to bring my bubbles back up, and that’s typically when I reach for a Pellegrino ... or a beer. Lately, I have been slurping up a new carbonated beverage: SLO Comfort Sparkling Teas. Micro-brewed with fresh tropical fruit and crafted locally by Black Ty Brewing Company in SLO, this fizzy, fun, not-too-sweet afternoon delight gives me a reasonable punch of caffeine with just 50 calories per bottle. The mango is perfect—not like that overpowering fake fruit flavor you might get from some so-called “healthy” flavored teas. Guavaberry is juicy and tropical and smells like a day at the beach. Please don’t make me choose which I like best. I suggest having both on hand to tackle your own midday thanger issues. Seriously, get some help!
• SLO Comfort Sparkling Tea’s Amazing Mango—About $2 for a 12-ounce bottle; Brosh Sandwich Company, 785-A Marsh St., SLO.
Have you driven by The Station and wondered, “What’s happening there?” Well, I am happy to say the little art deco gas station-turned swanky wine market/pop up bar is open for biz! My first visit included a nice run-in with a few of my neighbors, sizzling street tacos, and an incredible lineup of wines poured by Scar of the Sea, a boutique Santa Maria winery that sources from unique coastal vineyards. I love that this modern mercantile is hosting casual cool events like this, and I hope they continue through the fall and winter. That being said, I’m not sure how many wineries could top what Scar of the Sea has going on. Their 2014 dry-hopped cider made with Paso Robles granny smith, Arkansas black, and Idared apples was absolutely epic, but it was their pinot noir that really stole my heart—hook, line, and sinker. Their 2013 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir is crafted from 40-year-old vines and provides a rare snapshot of Santa Barbara history (these are some of the oldest surviving vines in the county). It tasted like … well … history in the making.
• Scar of the Sea’s 2013 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir—$60 a bottle; The Station, 311 Higuera St. and scaroftheseawines.com.
Drink me under the table at firstname.lastname@example.org.