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Pinkies up 

Bated breath: December marks Wine Spectator’s unveiling of its No. 1 Wine of the Year. Wondering if a local Paso Robles or Edna Valley winery took the cake in 2016? Go to winespectator.com and see for yourself which vino has proven victorious Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. has recently released its Sixth Anniversary Beer, aged in apple-pear brandy, grape brandy, and whiskey barrels. With notes of marshmallow, vanilla, whiskey, almonds, honey, pears, figs, and gentle toasted oak, prepare your tastebuds for a full textured fall medley explosion (figmtnbrew.com)! … Bang the Drum Brewery in SLO has released a fresh offering, Victoria Secret IPA (named after Victoria, Australia, not the skimpy lingerie brand). Brewed with Victoria Secret hops and dryhopped with Vic Secret and Chinook hops, this beer is full of pineapple, citrus, and tropical notes perfect for swatting away those winter blues.

Delicious deals!

Taco Tuesday at Luna Red in SLO is outrageously good for the stomach and the wallet! Snag half-priced tacos in your fave flavors each Tuesday, including shrimp, lamb, and—my personal fave—the crispy fish topped with herby chimichurri (lunaredslo.com) … Family fix: At Kuma Bowls in Los Osos, grown-ups can guzzle down ramen and gobble up sushi while kids get the choice between four entrees, a side of rice or miso, and a drink plus a super nifty coloring sheet (kumabowls.com).

Winter wowers

Not just pies: Avila Valley Barn is upping its game with awesome lunches made onsite like chicken noodle soup with smoked turkey stock, butternut squash, Spanish chorizo, and kale served over bruleed goat cheese crostini (you might also want to pick up a gift basket filled with jams and local treats, too; follow on Instagram @avilavalleybarn) … Forget holiday leftovers! Head to Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles where winter dishes include merlot braised short ribs and fresh market greens. Plus, thanks to a new outdoor heating system, you can dine outside overlooking Highway 46 vineyards all year round (ninerwine.com). 

Hayley Thomas Cain is looking for the best buttery winter bites! Contact her at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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