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Downtown Santa Barbara was not a city I was very familiar with despite its proximity to Los Angeles. Typical weekend trips usually consisted of bypassing the city to go to wine...

Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, located in the Funk Zone in downtown San Barbara, is a wonderful wine bar/retail shop that features local and international wine selections that each tell a story. It is a popular place for a glass or two of wine and a plate of cheese or small bites from afternoon to night. But now you can start earlier in the day with brunch as Les Marchands offers brunch beginning at 10am on Saturday and Sunday. A friend and I met for brunch at Les Marchands on a Sunday morning. We sat on the patio and ordered glasses of bubbles. It was Sunday brunch. bubbles But we also ordered a flight of wine, which includes three two-ounce pours of white, red or progressive (sparkling, white and red). After all, Les Marchands is a wine bar. We selected the white flight and enjoyed tastes of Chateau de Chasseloir melon de bourgogne from the Loire Valley in France, Bruna pigato from Italy and Tyler chardonnay from Santa Barbara. Varying levels of acidity and minerality, these wines were lovely to sip along with our meal.
Wine tasting rooms are popping up in downtown Santa Barbara right and left. No longer do you have to drive an hour north into wine country to taste the wines of the region. There are tasting rooms in the Funk Zone, on State Street, the new Presidio neighborhood and even on the pier. So head to the Funk Zone to one of my favorite places.....Les Marchands Wine Bar & Retail. Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant Les Marchards is a wine bar and a wine shop. You can taste/buy wines from local producers but you can also find wines from France and Italy and other international destinations. It's a wine lovers dream. After a day of wine tasting, shopping or hanging at the beach, Les Marchands is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner or post-dinner glass of wine.