Tensley Wines Tasting Room
If you’re not watching for it, you’ll probably walk straight by Tensley and continue your life in ignorant bliss. But why not stop by and take your life one notch higher to enlightenment?
It’s located on Alamo Pintado just off Grand, about 15 feet beyond Panino. It looks small on the outside, but is spacious inside with two counters at opposite ends to distribute eager Syrah tasters throughout the room.
I came here with two members, so my tastings were gratis, I cannot tell you how much a session costs. But I do know you do not get to keep the glass because the pouring chickadee had to give that piece of bad news to some crestfallen British tourists next to us.
The selection is simple: four wines consisting of a rose and three syrahs. Now, we all know that everyone is crazy for the pinot in this area. It’s all pinot pinot pinot. Tensley is breaking free of this with syrahs to convert you in two sips. I happen to like wine on the sweeter side, I don’t care what people say about the drier stuff being better or that oak aged is the proper way to do it. Whatev.
My top pick was the 2006 Santa Barbara County Syrah, priced at $25 or $21.25 for members. And only 200 cases produced.
I need to also mention that this was my first day out after the Gap Fire had started and I was getting cabin fever from sitting around all day, wondering if this was going to be another Painted Cave, stressing about what to pack if I was evacuated and reading edhat for fire updates every freaking 5 minutes. What a *treat* it was to come up here with a good friend, meet some nice folks and try something new. Thanks for the memories, Tensley!