DRINKS/ Local Joints

Once upon a midnight dreary, I showed up at Cuvee and became less weary….

I love Cuvee, it’s one of the coolest places I know. It reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “the Raven” crossed with a champagne and sparkling wine bar. Instead of pondering over quaint and curious volumes, I ponder over glorious bottles of bubbly. Cuvee is located in gorgeous Avila Beach, is owned by a wonderful woman named Starr Hall, and is run by her adorable daughter Savannah and her boyfriend Justin. It’s beautifully appointed in a rich Victorian design with velvet, and dark wood. The tables are dotted with ebony Raven’s feathers in little vases perched on old worn books. The bar is made of the riddling racks from Schramsberg vineyards known as America’s house of Sparkling wine.

I started the evening with a Mionetto Prosecco from Italy. It’s a pale straw almost white colored sparkling wine with a fruity, floral nose. The bubbles are small almost more fizzy than bubbly, with a light medium finish. It is fermented in the Charmat method which maintains the fruity quality of the grape. To eat I ordered the multi mushroom and shallots flatbread blended with sherry, topped by a pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese. The flatbread was very tasty and the Prosecco elevated the cayenne pepper up to a soft heat while pumping up the carbonation of the wine. It also picked up a bit of the alcohol flavor.

Following the Prosecco I ordered the Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi. This happens to be one of our favorite Sparklings when we go to Cuvee. It’s priced right at around $30 a bottle and is a very easy drinking sparkling that is good with or without food. It is made in the méthode champenoise and is a classic blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with just a trace of Muscat which allows for apricot, white peach and Kumquat flavors with herbal notes. It is a light golden color as shown in the above left picture with, in my opinion slightly larger bubbles making it seem less fizzy.  It acts a bit like a palate cleanser by diluting the feel of the cheese coating on the tongue. While picking out the shitake mushroom from the flatbread, allowing for the flavor to draw out and lightly linger which, since I love shitake mushrooms made me very happy. When the wine is placed at the tip of the tongue it almost dissipates and disappears in the mouth.

Cuvee has recently added a host of artisan beers to it’s menu which has Doug VERY happy. Justin is extremely knowledgeable and can point you in the direction of what ever beer will tickle your fancy best.

The raven’s quoth has changed to…”Evermore”, as Doug and I try to find every chance we can to go and visit Cuvee. In fact a couple weeks ago we celebrated our 20 year anniversary and had our party there. If you are in Avila Beach on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday make sure you stop at 550 1st street and don’t forget to tell them Doug and Hillary sent you!

Sadly since there are no good wine quotes from dear old Edgar, a quote from Dom Perignon shall have to do!

Upon tasting his first sip of Champagne:

“Come quickly! I am tasting stars!” Dom Perignon


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  • Reply
    April 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Another delicious evening. We love Cuvee, and I owe a special thanks to Justin (as mentioned) for turning me on to Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. I now know why it’s called “perhaps the best IPA in America” by Esquire Magazine.

    Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPACheck out Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA here.


  • Reply
    Starr Hall
    April 22, 2012 at 2:24 am

    LOVE this pics too and YUM on the beer- thank you for visiting and for these posts, I am so grateful.

    • Reply
      April 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      We are so glad you liked the post. We love Cuvee it’s a great place!

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