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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 56  |  July 14, 2020

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Wine Gallery’s Tasting Tuesdays offer great tips with tastes

Story and photo by Diane Armitage

For several months now, Wine Gallery’s Chris Olsen has been uncorking great wine-oriented events called “Tasting Tuesdays.”

Normally scheduled a couple times a month, “Tasting Tuesday” offers inexpensive entrée into a generous flight of lesser-known wines. And, just as any wine tasting at any winery, if you like what you try, there are bottles available to buy. 

Neighborly, chatty fun

It’s always a fun, chatty evening as locals tend to dominate the seats. The restaurant’s full menu is available, but the staff is happy to help with suggested food pairings and Chef Josh always drums up a few spectacular specials for the evening. And, although you always have a printed menu of what wines are to come, Olsen still moves from table to table, explaining each selection for that evening’s theme. 

Last week’s Tasting Tuesday focused on the best wines to choose for your Thanksgiving table. As an added Thanksgiving bonus, well known Master Sommelier Michael Jordan played host…and played the guitar, too. (Who knew we had a Singing Somm?)

Wine Gallery's wine

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Tasting Tuesdays at Wine gallery offer great, inexpensive tastes of lesser-known wines

Hollywood tends to profile sommeliers as somewhat stuffy or arrogant. Michael Jordan is the furthest thing from it. He ambles to the various tables, tells great stories about wine and grapes and where their dirt resides, and breaks off to sing another set of songs as he plays guitar. 

At Tuesday’s Tasting, we enjoyed six of Jordan’s top picks, two of which hailed from my favorite Willamette Valley in Oregon. (My family lives there, so I might be slightly biased.) Nearly three hours later, I said my goodbyes to my Wine Gallery buddies with Thanksgiving-designated bottles tucked under my arm.   

December’s dates still pending

With just a tiny window of options for Tuesdays in December, Chris says that he hopes to put at least one Tasting Tuesday in place, but the date is still undecided. The events will definitely return in January, so check in at and RSVP well in advance as Tasting Tuesdays are gaining significant momentum!

The best-selling author and blogger on The Best of Laguna Beach™, Diane Armitage is on an endless quest for the most imaginative adventures in Laguna’s restaurants, events and lifestyle. Check out chef interviews, retail and restaurant news, and favorite events at and follow on Instagram @BestOfLagunaBeach (look for Diane’s smiling face).


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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