Monday, May 29 , 2017, 6:26 pm | Fair 61º

 
 
 
 

Tara Jones: Renegade Wines Is Santa Barbara’s Best Kept Wine Shop Secret

From swanky to budget-friendly, hand-selected local and imported "hard to find" offerings are front and center at the Haley Street store

Steve Wayne, owner of Renegade Wines, has artfully hand-selected an array of boutique labels from Santa Barbara County and around the world. Click to view larger
Steve Wayne, owner of Renegade Wines, has artfully hand-selected an array of boutique labels from Santa Barbara County and around the world. (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)

Looking at an empty wine rack after the holidays are over is the saddest thing.

I thought it would be throwing out the Christmas tree and taking down the decorations, but I was wrong.

Coming home to that empty wine rack had me looking a little down in the mouth and inspired me to make a resolution to never let my wine rack be empty this year.

A new year calls for new wines and restocking the ol' wine rack.

Like everyone else, I love picking up a bottle or two of the top-shelf wines when I’m out tasting, but I always like to keep a good amount of affordable everyday wines on the shelf.

And sometimes the random selection at Trader Joe’s just doesn’t cut it for me.

Steve Wayne, owner of Renegade Wines at 126 E. Haley St., Suite A-6, has artfully hand-selected an incredible array of boutique labels from around the world, including organic and biodynamic European wines as well as some of Santa Barbara County’s top labels.

While the shop may seem small upon entry, you’ll quickly find yourself treasure hunting the aisles for the perfect red, whites, sparkling and champagnes to go with all your upcoming winter and spring dishes.

From the swanky to the budget-friendly, Renegade boasts an incredible selection of local and imported “hard to find” wines.

The champagne selection at Renegade Wines features some of the oldest wineries from France.
The champagne selection at Renegade Wines features some of the oldest wineries from France. (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)

Here are a few wines you can’t afford not to have on the shelf this winter:

» 2014 Romano Clelia Fiano de Avelino: An incredible value for a well-balanced Italian varietal, this $30 white has a nice balance of apples, pears and ginger spice with a Meyer lemon minerality.

» 2015 Verso Primitivo: This $13 Italian red over-delivers with dark berry and plum notes perfect for pairing with game meats or stew.

» 2013 Potek Grenache: If you haven’t tasted the Potek wines yet, you’re missing out. This beautifully elegant Santa Barbara County wine is bright with red berry notes and comes at a steal for $32.50.

If you’re not done celebrating just yet, pick up a bottle of the affordable Spanish sparkling Mas Fi or indulge with a bottle of the buttery, toasty Pierra Gerbais champagne.

And before those hot summer months strike again and spoil all those good wines, take advantage of the 3,500 square feet of bottle storage offered at a starting price of $20 per month.

Because breaking this resolution and letting good wines go to waste would be the saddest thing.

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.

Upon entry at Renegade Wines, you’ll quickly find yourself treasure hunting the aisles of local boutique and imported family-owned wines. Click to view larger
Upon entry at Renegade Wines, you’ll quickly find yourself treasure hunting the aisles of local boutique and imported family-owned wines. (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)
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