We are excited to share that the Far Western Tavern has earned the prestigious 2014 Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator magazine, an honor reserved for select restaurants with exemplary wine lists.
“We are thrilled to bring the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence to the Santa Maria Valley,” says Benjamin Chanler-Laurin, our general manager and sommelier. “We have invested considerable thought, effort and expense into developing our wine list, which makes this recognition all the more gratifying.”
According to the Wine Spectator, the award is given to restaurants “whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.”
Benjamin says that the Far Western Tavern was determined to take its wine list to the next level, with active input and support from restaurant co-owners. “Some of the family members are vintners and wine collectors themselves,” he says. “They understood the significance of creating a standout wine list.”
Consequently, in mid 2013, Benjamin began implementing a refreshed vision for the wine list, simultaneously deepening the focus on local Central Coast wines while adding a broader selection of global wines. All of the wines are stored in the restaurant’s multi-level cellar, which houses more than 2,500 bottles with controls for temperature and humidity.
“We really started to emphasize Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Rhône varietals—wines that excel in the Santa Maria Valley and across the Central Coast,” he says. “At the same time, we wanted to offer examples of these same varietals from regions such as Burgundy and the Rhône Valley, to provide context and offer our local winemakers some international flavors to enjoy. And most important, we wanted to offer a diverse selection of affordable wines that paired well with our menu, including Cabernet Sauvignon and other varietals.
Last January, Benjamin submitted the wine list to the Wine Spectator for Award of Excellence consideration. The submission process included providing details on the restaurant’s wine inventory, wine storage conditions, and wine list philosophy.
“There is no template for earning the award, and we weren’t chasing any specific criteria,” he says. “We simply wanted to create an exemplary list that fit our food and showcased our region.”
We have some events coming up in the next few months that we wanted to let you know about!
August 21, 2014 at 6 PM FLYING GOAT CELLARS WINEMAKER DINNER!
We continue our winemaker series with an exciting evening featuring the outstanding wines from Lompoc’s own Flying Goat Cellars. More information to follow
September 25, 2014 at 6 PM CHAMPAGNE DINNER
We are raiding our Champagne cellar and pairing up a selection of special bottles with some fun and interesting courses. Stay tuned for more info!
October 23, 2014 at 6 PM BARREL HOUSE BREWING COMPANY BEER DINNER
More details to follow.
November 20, 2014 at 6 PM FIGUEROA MOUNTAIN BREWING COMPANY BEER DINNER
More details to follow
Stay tuned for more details!