BARGAIN BIN… If you’re looking for a good deal, check out Trailside Cafe & Beer Garden. At their discount bottle night, 6-8pm every Sunday, select bottles of beer and wine are only $10. Their selection is impressively varied, from local offerings to bottles from far-away countries. They also have a great happy hour (4-6pm daily), which includes tri-tip sliders for $3. 3 Del Fino Place, Carmel Valley. 298-7453, trailsidecafecv.com.
SIP-N-SING… Just down the road, Big Sur Vineyards is coming out of its pandemic cocoon and is now a beautiful butterfly serving all locally grown wine. Bonus? They also have live music. Their “Fresh Faces, Open Mic” events will continue through the summer. Check out facebook.com/bigsurvineyards for the latest dates on upcoming performances, or just stop by for a glass from noon-6pm Thursday-Saturday at 1 Del Fino Place, Carmel Valley. 652-3020.
GRAPE JUDGMENT… Sadly, there are no public events for the Monterey Wine Festival this year due to the pandemic, but they will be judging wines and giving you their top picks. Last year, Galante Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc 2019 won top pick. You can visit the Cachagua vineyard’s tasting room in Carmel, on Dolores between Ocean and 7th. 624-3800, galantevineyards.com.
BLENDING IN… Fun for an event, or just fun in general? You decide. The Wine Experience lets you blend your own wine (with help). Taste some vino, pick what you like and they help you create a batch that you can bottle and take home. A bottle will cost around $35. 381 Cannery Row, Monterey. 324-4974, wineexperience.org.
PERFECT PAIRS… Before you start thinking we’re too wine-centric, Fourth Street Taphouse released a June event calendar, and there’s a lot of great food on, err, tap, with vendors that include Quesabirrias Munoz (Saturday, June 19). Try their tasty quesabirria and birria tacos, and get a side of consome. Pair your food with one of the many beers on, err, tap. 25 Fourth St., Gonzales. 675-5095, fourthstreettaphouse.com.
ON THE GO… One success story during the pandemic was the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s decision to allow alcoholic drinks to-go. On June 3, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that will be extended until Dec. 31 – and legislators are looking at even longer-term ways to extend that indefinitely. Cheers.