Tara Jones Haaf: State Street’s Satellite Wine Bar Offers More Than Wine Tasting

Release Date: November 4,2017

Educational classes, complete with certification, set space-themed place apart from competition

The entrance to the Satellite wine bar at 1117 State St. opens to the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.
The entrance to the Satellite wine bar at 1117 State St. opens to the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. (Tara Jones Haaf / Noozhawk photo)
 

I feel like I’ve heard myself saying the same thing on repeat for well more than a year: “I wish Santa Barbara had more interesting, creative-type places; something different besides the typical wine bar. Especially on State Street.”

Maybe it’s because I’ve said it a hundred times, or maybe it’s because I’m not the only one in town who craves new and interesting places, but Satellite has been delivering that exact type of experience — on State Street, no less! — since June.

On the menu at this hip, space-themed bar that marks the State Street entrance to Impact HUB, at 1117 State St., are fresh farmers market bites, the ever-popular spritz cocktail, top-level obscure beers, and an extensive local and imported wine list compiled by the bar’s proprieter, Drew Cuddy.

Cuddy’s extensive wine knowledge isn’t found only in the finely curated wine menu featuring such well-known local boutique labels as Whitcraft plus newly debuted labels such as Simple Fish.

What sets Satellite heads above the rest is Cuddy’s fresh take on the wine bar experience by offering educational classes, complete with certification, for both wine enthusiasts and those in the beverage industry.

Cuddy’s history with wine goes back to his childhood, starting with a trip to Italy at 15 years old, which later blossomed into Italian homestays with winegrowers during his college years.

His knowledge of European and California wines alike, plus a penchant for learning, are what make this bar so gosh darn interesting.

The wine list and local farm eats are great to be sure, but one can taste wine and do the farm-to-table experience just about anywhere in this town nowadays.

However, not every place offers official wine education that most have had to travel to larger cities for.

Satellite features an outer space theme, but it offers so much more.
Satellite features an outer space theme, but it offers so much more. (Tara Jones Haaf / Noozhawk photo)

Satellite’s next six-hour intensive WSET class will be taught by Barbareño’s wine director, Lenka Davis, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3.

The course will cover such topics as food and wine pairing, wine tasting and service, plus a general knowledge of different grape varietals.

Those who complete the course and 30-question exam will receive the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines.

Cuddy’s commitment to quality and his forward thinking give me high hopes for this interesting and creative wine bar.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Membership Login