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Tara Jones

Tara Jones: Dreamcote Wine Co. Leads Santa Barbara County’s New Cider Trend

If you grew up in the 1980s, like I did, then you’ll likely remember all of the trends that came and went with that decade.

One of the trends I thought was sure to stick around for the ages: giant bangs. As far as I was concerned, the higher they came off your scalp, the cooler the girl.

Having bangs as part of a woman’s hairstyle never really went away.

But thankfully most of us stopped curling them into odd shapes doused with gallons of hairspray that looked like a delicately cemented flower bouquet had attached itself to our foreheads.

We all know that, much like wine, brewing beer is a practice for the ages and will never go away completely.

But there’s a new brew that has been catching everyone’s eye in the Pacific Northwest and is quickly making its way south: hard cider.

Regardless of the three new tasting rooms that have recently opened in Santa Barbara (Third Window, Brass Bear Brewing and Draughtsmen Aleworks), I’m starting to wonder if the IPA fad will fade or have staying power.

Either way, beer’s new rival is here and with the ever-increasing popularity of all things gluten-free, it may very well end up being the next libation craze.

I recently stumbled upon Dreamcote Wine Co.’s hard ciders a few months ago in its Los Olivos wine tasting room and expected to be underwhelmed, as most U.S. ciders are usually comparable to syrup.

But Brit Zotovich and Anna Clifford, the cider-making duo at Dreamcote, are doing something right and pushing the boundaries on the typical West Coast cider.

Dreamcote Wine Co.’s Original Dry Cider delivers a cool, crisp apple flavor while straying from an overly sweet finish. Its second release, Chardonnay Barrel Seasoned Hard Apple Cider, colors outside the lines of a traditional dry cider and is intriguingly complex.
Dreamcote Wine Co.’s Original Dry Cider delivers a cool, crisp apple flavor while straying from an overly sweet finish. Its second release, Chardonnay Barrel Seasoned Hard Apple Cider, colors outside the lines of a traditional dry cider and is intriguingly complex. (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)

Dreamcote’s Original Dry Cider can’t miss and delivers a refreshingly cool, crisp apple flavor while straying from an overly sweet finish.

Its second release, Chardonnay Barrel Seasoned Hard Apple Cider, definitely colors outside the lines of a traditional dry cider and is intriguingly complex.

I would never have imagined that there would be a successful way to combine a wine and cider palate, but somehow these women have done just that.

If you like apple brown butter or the ever-popular combo of apples and caramel, you’ll likely enjoy the buttery finish on Dreamcote’s Chardonnay-inspired cider.

And keep an eye out this summer for new flavors coming to Dreamcote’s tasting room, because this is one trend that is just getting started.

Ciders are $24 for a 750ml bottle, 2 liter growler fills are $26, ciders are $10 per pint, and tastings are $10 and served with Dreamcote’s gourmet popcorn du jour.

Dreamcote Wine Co is located at 2933 San Marcos Ave., No. 107, in Los Olivos. Summer hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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