The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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snApshOT Girls, Grapes & Grains THE WInEyARd Is A cOnnOIssEuR's gAThERIng plAcE photos by Rob brown Lisa Pearl and Stacey Minar own The Wineyard in Thousand Oaks, California. "G irls Just Want to Have Wine," a sign hanging on the wall, was the first thing I locked eyes on upon entering The Wineyard, a locals wine and beer haven in the upscale suburbs north of Los Angeles. I wanted to focus on owners Lisa Pearl and Stacey Minar, but they jetted up and down the bar so rapidly they reminded me of superheroes at their faster-than-the- speed-of-light pace. After all, the place was packed, and there were customers thirsty for knowledge and drink. No one has to ask if the building, now owned by the city of Thousand Oaks, was a former Taco Bell. The "architecture" is obvious, but previous tenants, which included a dive shop and a carpet store, would never match the popularity or cachet of the present occupants, who have experienced success here for seven years. Although Pearl and Minar like to refer to the place as "a Cheers bar for wine and beer" because of the familiarity of its loyal fans, it is also a convenient stopping point on the way to Central Coast wine country, which is less than an hour-and-a-half drive north. The Wineyard also sells bottles at retail. Winemakers have been known to spend entire evenings here offering information and insight, pouring their juice for customers whose eyes, ears and palates are fixed on their every word. It's good for the industry to see the interaction among consumer, buyer and producer. With a name that unites the words vineyard and winery, The Wineyard acts as the go-between that brings connoisseurs together. ─Meridith May Rack & Roll Without a kitchen, The Wineyard calls upon licensed food trucks to feed its hungry customers on nights when spending two or more hours at the wine store/wine bar is part of the routine. On this special Thursday evening, with a visiting wine producer, the ladies summoned Josh's Rolling Rib Barbeque Joint. The choices of ribs, chicken and pulled pork kept the red wine flowing. Duncan O'Sullivan is chef, manager and driver of Josh's Rolling Rib Barbeque Joint. 30  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_001-33.indd 30 9/23/13 10:34 PM

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