The new year is young, but it’s not too early to make plans for spring, especially if those plans involve friendly local merchants that serve tasty foods and good spirits.
From David Cecchini of Cecco Restaurant, to Brooke Stockwell at K’Syrah Catering, to Bent and Susy Olsen — owners of Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery — Solvang is brimming with expert chefs and bakers. All are eager to welcome visitors and locals with discerning taste buds.
The 26th annual Taste of Solvang food and wine events will offer sweet delights and savory flavors from Wednesday, March 14, through Sunday, March 18.
This popular celebration features a variety of modern and traditional food and beverage experiences including iconic Danish pastries, farm-to-table fresh dishes and rustic country cuisine. In addition to award-winning wines, beers and spirits, the multi-day event features chefs, bakers, farmers, winemakers, brewers, distillers and artisans showcasing the bounty of the Santa Ynez Valley region.
The signature Taste of Solvang Weekend Passport costs $110 per person. It includes tickets to Sip + Savor Opening Night with VIP Access, Saturday’s Tasting Trail and Wine & Beer Walk, a souvenir wine glass and collectible item, map and tote bag. Individual events are available at a la carte pricing. All events will be held rain or shine and tickets are nonrefundable. Advance purchases of passports or a la carte tickets are available online at www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang/.
The 2018 Taste of Solvang is presented by the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau. It’s produced by Cultivate Events, with sponsorship support from Visit Santa Ynez Valley and the City of Solvang. Additional events are expected to be added as the celebration approaches.
Wednesday, March 14: 4 to 7 p.m. “Farmers Market Dinner.” Experience this new, family-friendly farm-to-table event during the weekly Farmers Market. Dishes with fresh ingredients prepared by chef Cecchini of Cecco Restaurant and the staff of Fresco Valley Cafe will be featured. Savor hearty seasonal stew and small bites. Bring your own beer and wine and dine al fresco at communal tables in Solvang Park, located at Mission Drive and First Street, while enjoying the sounds of the Bryan Titus Trio. Pricing: $15 for adults, $5 for children under age 12. Space is limited and reservations are required online at www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang/. (Net proceeds benefit Santa Ynez Valley Veggie Rescue.)
Friday, March 16: 7 to 9 p.m. “Sip + Savor Opening Night.” Join 25 Santa Ynez Valley chefs, bakers, caterers, winemakers and brewers accompanied by live music from the Sean Wiggins Band. Early VIP entry at 6:30 p.m. (only available with Passport Weekend package). Pricing: $45 a la carte. Purchase tickets in advance at www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang/ or at the door at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall.
Saturday, March 17: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Tasting Trail.” Features more than 30 taste stops at restaurants and retailers around the village, with delicious bites and sips. As a bonus, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Elverhoj Museum of History & Art and Wildling Museum will offer free admission for Tasting Trail ticket holders all day. Pricing: $30 includes detailed map and menu. Reservations recommended online at www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang/ or on the day of the event, if available, at Taste of Solvang registration tent, adjacent to Solvang Visitors Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive.
Saturday, March 17: 2 to 7 p.m. “Taste of Solvang Wine & Beer Walk — Day 1.” Offers 15-plus stops at downtown tasting rooms, pouring their vintages and samples of craft beer into Taste of Solvang souvenir glass. Participants must be 21 years or older to enjoy this event. Pricing: $45. Wine & Beer Walk ticket is valid for both Saturday and Sunday. Reservations recommended online at www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang/ or on the day of the event, if available, at Taste of Solvang registration tent.
Sunday, March 18: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Sunday Brunch.” Features Bottomless Mimosas or Bloody Mary Bar or Bottomless Coffee. This new event is created and served by Brooke Stockwell, executive chef at K’Syrah Catering Events Center at 478 Fourth Place. It includes a brunch buffet, featuring seasonal veggie frittata and sides, house smoked goat cheese and lox crostini. Pricing: $65 with alcohol; $50 with coffee. Participants must be 21 years or older to enjoy this event. Space is limited; reservations are required online at www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang.
Sunday, March 18: Noon to 4 p.m. “Taste of Solvang Wine & Beer Walk — Day 2.” Offers 15-plus stops at downtown tasting rooms, which will pour vintages and samples of craft beer into the Taste of Solvang souvenir glass. Participants must be 21 years or older to enjoy this event. Pricing: $45. Wine & Beer Walk ticket is valid for both Saturday and Sunday. Reservations recommended online at www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang/ or on the day of the event if available at Taste of Solvang registration tent.