Above: the seemingly endless selection of sparkling wine at the Wine Country in Long Beach, California, where Samantha “Sans Dosage” Dugan has created one of the best programs in the country.
Why our nation’s mainline wine mastheads haven’t paid more attention to Samantha Dugan’s extraordinary sparkling wine selection at the Wine Country in Long Beach, CA has left me nonplussed.
In case you’ve never visited her and her team, that’s just part of the seemingly endless offering of bubbles, above at her shop, a legacy wine merchant in a community where there is a deep appreciation for fine wine, from the everyday to the collectible.
Some of you may remember her from the days of the wine blogging renaissance when she was one of the movement’s highest-profile and respected voices — under the handle “Samantha Sans Dosage.” Times wine writer Eric Asimov was among her biggest fans and she would ultimately be summoned to the Napa Valley wine writers symposium (which is happening this week btw) as a featured speaker, an exemplar among wine blogging paladins.
These days her aphoristic, observational, aesthetic, and philosophical ruminations circulate exclusively on the Facebook but they continue to wield powerfully compelling content, equally humoristic and poignant (and often both).
“We’re somewhere between Los Angeles and San Diego,” said her son Jeremy Dugan, who also works at the store as the outpost’s Natural wine slinger. “So no one pays attention to what my mom is doing here.”
Above: the beer selection at the Wine Country is equally impressive. These people CARE about what they do. They want to send you home happy.
Besides being a wonderful and generous friend, Samantha is one of the best tasters in the U.S. right now imho. And her sparkling wine chops, honed over more than a decade at the bubbly wine helm, are the definition of par excellence (look it up in your Webster’s).
I am thrilled to share the news that Samantha, Alicia Lini, and I will be leading a virtual Lambrusco tasting on Friday, May 28, at 5 p.m. PST. You’ll have to visit the store that day to pick up the food and wine. But I’ll also be sharing the link with non-So. Cal. sparkling geeks like me who want to get in on this one.
Just ping me here or wherever if you want me to hook you up with the bubbly good stuff.
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Awwww you are too kind sir.
She is fantastic. She has led us down a few great vine trails!!
Samantha is awesome at what she does, not just the sparkling, but with the small growers champagne, as well! We are so fortunate to have her! ❤️❤️
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