Santa Barbara County Wine: Close to Home Yet Adventurous in Spirit, Part One

Santa Barbara County Wine: Close to Home Yet Adventurous in Spirit, Part One

Southern California provides many opportunities for visitors and residents alike to be adventurous with wine, but Santa Barbara County provides an atmosphere unlike the rest of Southern California. While the city of Santa Barbara, known as “The American Riviera,” offers many surprises for the wine curious, Santa Barbara County is a true wine hub.

For a delightful California wine getaway not far from Los Angeles and San Diego, Santa Barbara County is the indispensable choice.

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes Recipe + Martellotto Chardonnay

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes Recipe + Martellotto Chardonnay

This is one of my favorite dishes to make. Potatoes are one of the greatest foods on earth. Since I’m sort of lactose intolerant, this version without butter, is perfect. People always ask for second servings of this. It pairs beautifully with Martellotto Chardonnay.

Martellotto Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes


3 lbs Idaho russet potatoes, peeled. 3-4 large potatoes.
6 garlic cloves, peeled 
Sea salt
1/3 cup high quality EVOO
Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano to taste

Bring enough water to cover potatoes to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt and garlic to the water. Cook on a medium boil for 20 minute until potatoes are tender. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the water.

Press potatoes and garlic through a potato ricer. The potato ricer is key to achieving a creamy consistency. Add EVOO to taste. Add reserved water as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in fresh grated parmigiano reggiano (1/4-1/2 cup)

*Note the secrets to success for this recipe. This is the basic recipe. If you master this, it will become a staple in your house. Buy a potato ricer. Your mashed potatoes will never be the same again. They will always be light and fluffy. I often use truffle salt and crushed red pepper. This easily becomes a quick main dish if you fold in sautéed sausage or chopped bacon. Serve with a side of greens or peas. Or, add gorgonzola to the potatoes with a steak off the grill. The angels will sing.