Taste of Solvang: Wine & Beer Walk

Pastries do rule at this popular yearly event, but so do libations with local flair.

BEYOND THE SWEETS: When it comes to food love and beverage passions, it never, ever has to be an either/or proposition. We're not only people who love sundaes, we're people who love sundaes and grilled cheese sandwiches and vintage cocktails and Cobb salads. For the truth is this: Passions run long when it comes to the pleasures of the table, and we can dig many different cuisine categories at once. Likewise, you can be a pastry person, and specifically an aficionado of the æbleskiver, the famous doughy delish ball much associated with Solvang. But you might not want to devour a dozen doughy, jam-laden balls in a row. (Maybe; we wouldn't judge, if so.) And that's the beauty of Taste of Solvang, the yearly, just-before-spring's-start event that fills out a few days with all sorts of palate-pleasing activities. Yes, there shall be æbleskivers, and cookies, and lots of 'em, but, for those buffs of regional beverages, there is the...

WINE & BEER WALK: No surprise, really, that the mid-March eat- and drink-tacular will pause again to spotlight regionally made/craft sips (this is, after all, the Santa Ynez Valley, a thriving heart of the wineverse). It's so central to Taste of Solvang that it happens on not one but two afternoons — March 18 and 19, a Saturday and Sunday — so you have your choice as to which one suits you best, though your pass is good for both days (that's right, BOTH, oh yeahhhh). A souvenier glass is part of the deal, as is the chance to jump into tastings at over 15 winery tasting rooms around the village. There are "beer bars," too, if that's more your favor (brews have been on the up, up, up around the wine-dominated region, too). Tickets? Finding your place to stay the night? Start here. And, yes, you don't need to forsake the pastries. As mentioned, we humans can have many loves of the foodie, foamy, straight-from-the-vine assortment.

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