The Ultimate May-mosa

Spring has officially sprung and with the weather warming up, we are going to be spending a lot more time out in the beautiful Santa Barbara sunshine. A favorite past-time of many Americans (outside of baseball of course!) is going out for crisp, refreshing mimosas on a warm day.

            The mimosa has become a cultural staple over the past decade, but let’s get real. It’s getting a bit stale. Cheap champagne headaches should be a thing of the past! At Intermezzo, we are elevating the time-honored champagne cocktail to new levels.

            Instead of drinking a traditional mimosa, try it with a splash of blood orange or papaya instead. Blood oranges possess a distinctive flavor that is different than other sweet oranges like navels. This citrus variety is considered less acidic than the traditional orange and often contains overtones of berries, making it a great addition to our Gruet champagne. Papaya is often compared to a mixture of mango, cantaloupe and pineapple, only less tangy.

            If you would like to try something completely new and forgo the mimosa entirely, there are other amazing champagne cocktails you can try. Adding a sugar cube and a few dashes of bitters with a lemon twist makes for a great, refreshing champagne cocktail. Ask your bartender for a Kir Royale before munching on a Cask burger! This pre-dinner aperitif mixes crème de cassis with champagne for a delightful cocktail! Stop by Intermezzo for lunch or dinner anytime this May-mosa!


The Finer Things: Wine Cask and Intermezzo

Some days you wake up and feel like a million bucks. You may decide to go shopping, have a massage or even get dressed up and treat yourself to a great meal at a nice restaurant. The finer things in life are always such a treat and usually well worth the price. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily must break the bank.

The Wine Cask family of Intermezzo and the original Wine Cask restaurant offer the best of both worlds. In our little slice of El Paseo in downtown Santa Barbara you can get a melt-in-your-mouth burger and a craft beer or treat yourself to an elevated, multi-course dining experience prepared by Chef Brandon Cogan  in the subtle elegance of the Gold Rom. Local wines flow from kegs at Intermezzo and bottles of Odette Cabernet Sauvignon are opened table-side by attentive servers in Wine Cask.

You may think that these two spaces couldn’t be any more different but surprisingly, that is not at all the case. The two share a kitchen, a staff, a whole network of intricate delicacies and fine wines. It is what makes us unique. Combining the worlds of elegance and affordability are our specialty. We cater to the desires of a multitude of personalities, from those who want to make new friends over locally sourced craft cocktails to those who would rather have an intimate conversation over a bottle of fine wine.

Tastes and moods fluctuate and evolve with time and occasion, which is why we offer such unique options within the beloved historic El Paseo. Come by Intermezzo after a show across the way at the Lobero theater, then come enjoy dinner by the fire with good friends and great drinks in the Gold Room or under the warm spring sky on our Mediterranean courtyard another day.

Whatever your mood, Wine Cask and Intermezzo satisfy.

Behind the Curtain: Meet the Chefs

Brandon Cogan- Executive Chef

A Palos Verdes, CA native, Brandon Cogan followed his passion for food up the California coast, attending the School of Culinary Arts at Santa Barbara City College.  After graduating in 1999, Chef Cogan spent the next 15 years working the creative culinary circuit, with stops at Bouchon, Café Luck and Wine Cask, where he took over as chef in 2016.  Ask Cogan ‘what style of food’ he likes to prepare and he’s likely to say ‘whatever makes the guest happy’.  Cogan adds that early in his career, he realized that simplicity and comfort, hospitality-based cooking that produces food guests crave, would be his driving force.

Louie Ramirez- Sous Chef

Louie has been with the Wine Cask team for over a year, and we are pleased to announce his promotion to Sous Chef. Louie loves being in the kitchen because it allows him to have fun and be creative in a professional environment. Very excited about his new role in the kitchen, Louie looks forward to creating nightly specials and working with the amazing seasonal produce that Santa Barbara has to offer. “I enjoy cooking food that people savor — it’s really rewarding when they love it. Right now, I’m playing with a couple of dishes that feature persimmons and pomegranates.”

The Rosé Revival

     As with all things, wine styles and tastes often change with the times. What is in vogue today might be old news tomorrow. One wine that has recently made extraordinary leaps in popularity is Rosé. With ties to the oldest growing region in France, Rosé has been a cultural staple since the ancient Greeks ruled their empire. Winemaking has changed, evolved and modernized since then but Rosé has endured. This delicious wine is being made in almost every major wine producing region in the world using an amazing array of varietals, from Pinot noir, Grenache and Syrah, to many lesser known varietals like Mourvédre, Cinsault, and Tempranillo.

     There are two primary production styles of modern Rosé: The first is called saignée (the French term to bleed) which takes place in red wine production. After maceration (the crushing of the grapes), the wine maker will allow the grape skins and juice to soak, extracting color, tannin and flavor. After several hours, the wine maker will then drain a portion of the juice into another vessel to begin fermentation. By draining some of the juice the wine maker achieves two goals. The first is to concentrate the flavors and color of the red wine and the second is to make a delectable Rosé from the juice that has been drained from the vat. Because these Rosés are in contact with the grape skins for a longer period, they tend to have more saturated color and flavor. The second production style is called direct pressing. The wine maker will press the red grapes and almost immediately transfer the juice to a fermenting vessel. Since the juice is only in contact with the skins for a short period of time these wines tend to be lighter in color with more delicate flavors and aromas.

     With the amazing diversity in varietals and with different production techniques it is no surprise that there are many different styles of Rosé. Everything from the beautiful floral strawberry notes of Pinot Noir, to the watermelon and lemon aromas of Grenache and the dark cherry and orange rind flavors of the Italian Aglianico Rosés, there is almost nothing better than enjoying a glass of Rosé on a warm spring day. Rosé also pairs exceptionally well with food. Try a light Rosé of Pinot Noir with a spinach and goat cheese salad or with scallops, or try a Bandol Rosé with more pronounced flavors like paella, olives, and charcuterie.

Stop in and try our two new favorites, Domaines Ott, BY. OTT 2016, Provence, France and Margerum Riviera Rosé, Santa Barbara 2015.

Amir & Stephanie – A Night of Comfortable Elegance

Amir and Stephanie Golshani tied the knot this past November in a ceremony one can only call a perfect testament to true love. Combining their two families to one, the Golshani’s have now combined a love that most can only wish for.

Amir  & Stephanie met in a coffee shop in Carlsbad, CA in 2015. Here, they shared stories of their daughters, common interests, and mutual careers in the military. After that chance meeting,  Amir couldn’t help but keep asking Stephanie to lunch for the next four weeks straight. Amir, an officer in the Marine Corps, was deployed shortly thereafter, and after about a month apart, Amir briefly returned and took the opportunity to pop the question to his soon to be bride. With a resounding yes from Stephanie, the couple started planning their wedding. The two celebrate their new bond with their beautiful and spirited little girls, who on the wedding day, could not wait to finally become sisters.



The couple was married in the iconic Santa Barbara Courthouse Mural room, an area steeped in history and culture. They then enjoyed some quiet moments in the clock tower overlooking the terracotta rooftops and sparkling coastline of the American Riviera.



Moving on to Wine Cask Gold Room for their reception, they enjoyed an intimate dinner with their closest family and friends. The room exuded a comfortable elegance, just like the couple. The staff at Wine Cask were incredibly honored to be a part of this special day, and were eager to serve the group. Close family and friends enjoyed local sourced cuisine, a fabulous drink selection, and danced the night away in front a roaring fire.

“We had the most magical wedding day…All of the servers and bartenders on hand that night were attentive, and pleasant, and seemed genuinely happy while working our event. They all went out of their way to ensure not only Amir and I had everything we needed but also our daughters. The wine and food was delicious and all of our guests couldn’t stop gushing about the event for weeks!”

-Stephanie Golshani








Photos by Clove & Kin





Kristin & Jason – A Night To Remember

Kristin and Jason’s wedding is one of the most magical Wine Cask has ever seen. Beautifully captured by Melissa Musgrove Photography, the photos show how every little detail came together to create a glamorous and extraordinary celebration. After a picturesque ceremony in the Santa Barbara Courthouse Mural Room, Jason and Kristin spent the romantic evening snuggled up on their sweetheart table love seat, surrounded by family and friends. Accents of purple and gold decorated the tables, and gorgeous tall taper candles accented the room with warm light. Shades of blue and fuchsia lit up the courtyard for the bride and groom’s first dance and cake cutting, and guests danced the night away!

Wedding Design and Floral Artistry: Hint of Chic // DJ/MC: DJ Zeke























Ryan & Amanda ~ Classic Santa Barbara Charm

This celebration takes us back to 2014, but it perfectly captures the ease, beauty and elegance of a wedding at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. With a very close group of family and friends, Ryan and Amanda celebrated their union with a private dinner reception in our Riviera Room. Cake and champagne followed an intimate ceremony on the Courthouse lawn. Thank you BE Photography for capturing these special moments!










Phillippe & Bailey ~ Wine Country Glamour

We are google eyed over this wedding from late summer last year. Florals in romantic red, pink and blush tones, along with  accents of gold and glitter dressed up our Gold Room and Courtyard for this wine country – inspired fete (complete with funfetti wedding cake!)

Here are some sweet words from the bride, Bailey:

We always knew we wanted to get married at the Courthouse and were looking for somewhere nearby for our reception, but had not come across anything that fit us.  A friend of a friend mentioned the Wine Cask which instantly sounded like a great idea because of our love of wine.  We had only looked at one other place, but once we saw the Wine Cask and met with Jennifer, we knew this was the perfect location for our reception.  

The staff at Wine Cask made our planning process SO incredibly easy.  Whenever I had a question, they responded almost instantaneously with multiple options and were wide open to everything we wanted to do. They provided pictures, floor plans, recommendations, literally everything I could ever ask for (which was a lot). 

Flash forward to the day of our wedding, when we first stepped into the Wine Cask for our reception, I was blown away! They took our vision for everything and made it ten times better. On top of that, Vienna and the day of staff were on top of every single detail and made sure the night went off without a hitch.  You could tell they truly cared about us and the guests and wanted to make sure we had a great time. 

I can’t forget to mention the food, because it was amazing. They time everything perfectly, which I imagine is tough to do with 100+ people, and you and your guests get to order off a menu like you are at a restaurant, another fun touch to the evening. I also can’t go without mentioning the butter, this was certainly a highlight of a many of our guests night – its that good! 

We wish we could re-live the day over and over again, it was full of delicious wine, dancing, lots of smiles, and a few happy tears! 















Anita & Matt ~ Dancing Under the Stars


This is a sweet love story about a surfer and a doctor. Their wedding celebration in our Gold Room and Courtyard was a heartwarming fete, full of happy tears, laughter, and of course, dancing under the stars. Utilizing the Chef’s Counter as seating for the wedding party, Matt and Anita had a wonderful dinnertime view of the special family and friends there to celebrate with them. These gorgeous photos from the gals at PieShoppe take us back to a very sweet day!

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A Year To Remember: 2015

2015 was filled with countless, gorgeous celebrations of love, laughter, and joy here at the Wine Cask. We have had the absolute pleasure of being witness to so many tender, romantic wedding festivities, and we are very lucky to have worked with so many great couples. We are very thankful for our Preferred Vendors that continue to contribute their fabulous talents to make our events here so memorable. We are so proud to have been a part of so many people’s special celebrations. The Wine Cask continues to be a premiere venue for weddings, receptions, holiday parties, business dinners. If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, Wine Cask offers multiple private venue spaces stellar service, exceptional food, and classic Santa Barbara charm. You can find more details on our website, and email with inquiries.

Here are a couple of our favorite memories from 2015!

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Carla Otness Photography (above & below)CAO_2491 wine-cask-karen-d-photography-23

Karen D Photography (above & below)wine-cask-karen-d-photography-26

Presidio Neighborhood: A Holiday Shopping Guide

The Presidio Neighborhood, nestled between State Street and Anacapa Street is a beautiful Santa Barbara gallery of restaurants, tasting rooms and offices. Tucked away from the bustle of downtown, the Presidio Neighborhood offers calm and quaint pathways, lined with shops and some of Santa Barbara’s premiere wine tasting rooms.

Tasting01So how do holiday shoppers navigate the Presidio Neighborhood to find local, quality gifts for their nearest and dearest? We’ve mapped out it out for your holiday shopping convenience!

First stop: Wine Cask! Restaurant gift cards allow the recipient to enjoy the value at their own convenience, and also give the gift of an experience. The Wine Cask focuses about high quality ingredients, superior service, and extensive wine knowledge to create an enjoyable, relaxing and exquisite fine dining experience. Better yet, Wine Cask gift cards can be used at Intermezzo Bar & Cafe as well, ensuring that the recipient will be enjoy great food and drinks no matter what!

Looking for a special bottle of wine for that friend with the perfect palate? Peruse Wine Cask’s awarded wine list for the small production, hard-to-find local selections for even the pickiest of wine connoisseurswinecask_giftcard_200x350_lighter

Meander through the tiny walkway on to the Margerum Winery and Vineyards “MWC2” Tasting Room for more wine and goodies! A wine club membership is a gift that keeps on giving year round with wine shipments. If you are looking for something smaller, the Tasting Room is full of neat treats.



The “Seven Fifty Wine Growler” ($24.95) is a standout gift that fits a whole bottle of wine, and keeps your whites chilled all day while you’re hanging on the beach. The MWC2 Tasting Room also has quality totes ($65 bottom right), woven picnic bags ($58 top right), wooden cheese boards and other locally made goods.

Margerum Amaro is the perfect gift for any cocktail enthusiast. It adds the perfect touch to the Wine Cask’s Margerum Manhanttan, and is a versatile addition to the home bar!




Next, stop in at Grassini Family Cellars, and you’ll be sure to find excellent local Bordeaux varietals and other festive goodies. Most of the time, empty wine bottles end up in the recycling, but Grassini has elevated wine culture with these fragrant wine bottle candles.


The tasting rooms for Happy Canyon Vineyards, Jamie Sloan Wines, Au Bon Climat are local favorites that can also be found in this little arcade. Whether you’re looking for great wines, tucked-away culinary delights, or locally-made products, the Presidio Neighborhood is a wonderful place to find holiday treats for all of your family and friends!



Monica & Robert ~ An Elegant Gold Room Celebration


This sweet duo stole our heart immediately. There was so much love bursting from our restaurant on this special day.

Living in the San Francisco Bay area, Robert and Monica planned most of their wedding from a distance. After choosing the Wine Cask for their reception venue, they quickly realized there was no reason to stress about being miles away. Monica says, “The Wine Cask seemed to handle everything! Flowers, wedding cake, set up, food, wine, I mean they handled it all. The flowers were beyond perfect, just what I wanted, beautiful, simple and timeless. The food! Oh my goodness, the food. It was amazing!! Everyone raved at how fantastic it was.”

The gorgeous bride and groom said their “I do’s” in a picturesque Santa Barbara Courthouse ceremony. The Wine Cask reception, complete with lush classic florals, warm candle light (and even a photo booth!) made for a beautiful, yet lively celebration.

Karen D Photography captured the sophisticated prettiness of the entire day. Monica and Robert, surrounded by family and friends, danced the night away in our moonlit courtyard, and the rest is history!