Archive for Food/Wine Travels and Reviews

The New Wine Exchange

I was excited for the opportunity to attend a media event to learn about the recent Wine Exchange acquisition as I have been a customer of the former Wine Exchange for years.





New owners, Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon, provided an overview of the acquisition, direction of the new company and their wine selection.





Here is a brief history:

  • Liquor Exchange, as it was called in 1982, quickly established itself  as one of the country’s premier independent fine wine retailers.
  • In 1991, the company changed names from Liquor Exchange to Wine Exchange.
  • Wine Exchange was one of the first retailers to establish an online presence ( and the company continued to offer an amazing array of wines at rock-bottom prices.
  • Both Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon worked at Wine Exchange.
  • In 2011, Tristen and Kyle left Wine Exchange to form Best Wines and bestwinesonline. com . Using multimedia platforms, including substantial video contributions, the pair quickly established Best Wines as one of the hottest wine retail platforms in the country.
  • In 2015,  Best Wines acquired Wine Exchange and to  create their idea of the perfect wine sales and education platform including their state-of-the-art website, brand new wine showroom ( Santa Ana, CA) , and the same rock-bottom prices.

So how are they able to provide rock-bottom prices? By purchasing wines directly from sources and purchasing future wine releases, thus eliminating the process of importer to distributor to retailer.

We also had the opportunity to taste some of their wines:

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  • Burlotto Vino Rosato Elatis ($17) 45% Pelaverga, 45% Nebbiolo, 10% Barbera and 100% Piedmont. Dry, with red fruit characters such as strawberry.
  • 2012 Varner Chardonnay ($45) From Spring Ridge Vineyard with notes of stone fruits such as apricot and peach and overtones of mint and honey. This is a quality Chardonnay worth the price tag.
  • 2009 Le Petit Haut Lafitte Pessac Leogna ($35)  75 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 % Merlot. Full bodied with notes of chocolate, black currants, plum with earthy undertones.




With over 2700 SKU’s, Wine Exchange is a great resource for all your wine needs.

If you are in the Orange  County area, make sure you stop by their showroom as they are open 7 days a week. . You can also  purchase on-line at  and pick up at the store in Santa Ana or have it shipped to you.




Wine Exchange 

1544 E Warner Ave

Santa Ana, CA 92705

(800) 769-4639



Cultivating Good: Connecting Farm to Family

I had the pleasure of attending a media event  in Temecula with members of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) to learn about Cultivating Good, the parent company of Extraordinary Artisan Table Marketplace (EAT), Harvest 2U and E.A.T@Home.

Owners Don Weber an Leah Di Bernardo treated us to a wonderful luncheon while we learned about the various companies, their mission and guiding principles: supporting local farmers, providing fresh/clean organic food and creating a phenomenal  workplace environment to inspire greatness. An example of inspiring greatness is that employees are required to work at a local farm to learn about the process of raising animals and source of produce provided to customers.

Another example of greatness: owners Don and Leah presenting a check for the International Food Wine and Travel Writer’s Association scholarship fund to IFWTA president, Linda Kissam.



Some pictures of the healthy and delicious food we were treated to:


Summary of the companies under Cultivating Good: 


E.A.T. Marketplace: a locally grown eatery, marketplace and catering.  Their goal is to provide genuinely friendly service and serve beautifully presented, locally sourced, delicious food. The eatery includes a deli, smoothie/coffee bar and creative healthy items from their kitchen and local artisans. I wishI lived closer so I can experience the amazing atmosphere, service and food more often!  We had an opportunity to meet Chef Matt Cassell, who worked besides Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsay in the past. We were provided a box of goodies to take home with us from the marketplace and I purchased some coffee to to try. Check out their website 


Harvest2U:  a home delivery CSA ( Community Supported Agriculture) bringing goodness and freshness of locally grown and organic  produce to customer’s door or convenient pick up locations. They currently work with 26 farmers and ranchers with produce picked locally within 24 to 36 hours of delivery within a 50 miles of the farm to ensure freshness and quality. There are serval packages to choose from which includes: Family Harvest, Couples Harvest and Juicer Harvests and more…For more information, visit: 

E.A.T@Home is an artisan farm to plate home meal delivery program which serves athletes ,the healthy life style conscious, trainers & busy professionals. They offer clean homemade meals delivered right to customer’s door or convenient pick up locations with foods that are freshly prepared, customized/healthy meals, measured (never frozen), and  free of artificial preservatives or additives to provide a stress free diet regime. There are several meal plans to choose from which includes: Healthy Lifestyle (10 meals & 10 power snacks, On the Go (5 meals & 5 power snack) and Keeping it Light (3 meals & 6 power snacks). For more information visit: 

Make sure you visit E.A.T. Marketplace the next time you’re in the area for fresh, healthy and delicious food, smoothies or coffee!


Address:  28410 Old Town Front Street, Temecula | 951-694-3663|