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When it comes to wine, it’s hard for Southern California to compete with Napa Valley up north. Los Angeles is home to Malibu Wines and a few other fun wineries to spend a drunken afternoon but Santa Monica Wine Fest brought the best of both worlds late last month.

In Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar, the event hosts a range of wineries from all over California, Germany, Spain to really exercise one’s pallet. At the start of the fest, attendees are given a complimentary glass that can be engraved for a donation, an unexpected treat for anyone. Walking around, each winery can be tasted in about an hour’s time but there is more to explore at the fest. The silent auction contains a mix of fun memorabilia from musicians, athletes and artists such as The Beatles, Magic Johnson and Salvador Dali. After perusing the silent auction anyone can sit it on the live podcast recordings happening during the whole weekend hosted by the folks from Vine Pair who make all things wine-related hilariously intelligent. There were three seminars per day that festival-goers could attend. A few included the history of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that taught audiences that it’s the “Netflix and Chill” of wine. Best part, as audiences listen they are given tastings of the wines they’re learning about.

The Santa Monica Wine Fest is put on by a husband and wife team that is involved with Los Angeles’ Comic Con. Some proceeds from the event help benefit the Surfrider Foundation that is dedicated to protecting oceans, including Santa Monica’s, through activist initiatives. It is a wonderful two-day event that makes wine accessible for newbies and connoisseurs alike. This latest turnout was a wonderful size that never felt too crowded. It’s definitely a great way to learn more about local and foreign wines all while enjoying the great Santa Monica Barker Hangar. Look out for the next one this upcoming July.

Santa Monica 2019 Wine Fest