Master Sommelier Richard Betts - Wine Tasting and Book Signing


Take home a signed copy of his book--plus help storm victims!

Ever have a really great idea after a few glasses of wine that didn't seem so great in the cold light of day? Well, Master Sommelier Richard Betts was sharing wine with a friend when he jokingly came up with an idea for a scratch 'n sniff wine book. They had some laughs over it then, but it made (and makes) sense later. Negotiating one's way through the thousands of aromas in wine can be daunting. Richard has found a way to simplify by dividing the aromas into four categories and providing an easy way to compare aromas by scratching and sniffing examples.

NPR praised this book by saying, "Knock wine off its pedestal. That's the goal of wine expert Richard Betts. And he has come up with a brilliant way to do it: a scratch n' sniff guide to the aromas and flavors of the wine world. With beautiful illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton, the 10-page board book looks like it belongs with your kid's toys instead of next to The Joy of Cooking. But don't let the playfulness fool you. There's some serious wine science in Bett's new book: "The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert".

Here's your chance to get a signed copy of Richard's book and to have some fun while learning some of the wine science that went into the creation of his book. This special appearance of Master Sommelier Richard Betts will be with Master Sommelier Brian McClintic of Les Marchands wine bar. Included is a wine tasting of selections from Betts' label My Essential Wines, to illustrate the concepts in his book. 

Wednesday, November 20th, 6:00 pm
Broder Building (across the bridge), Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2559 Puesta del Sol
Santa Barbara, California

21 and older only. Just 40 people can attend this event, so buy your tickets now!

Our last events have sold out! The wine/food pairing was limited to 40, but ended up with 46 since we had people begging to get in at the last minute. For this event with MS Richard Betts, there absolutely cannot be more than 40--so get your tickets in advance!

*for those who asked--yes, we will have a light appetizer--baguette and a vegetarian spread to go with the wines.

About Richard: Master Sommelier Richard Betts passed the daunting Court of Master Sommeliers exam in 2003 after working as a sommelier at the Montagna at the Little Nell in Aspen, CO--a 5-diamond property whose restaurant has been a Wine Spectator Grand Award winner since 1997--and prior to that, Janos in Tucson. Richard was on course to law school, having received a Master's in Paleofluvialmorphology. But, a single glass of wine changed his life.

As Richard recounts: "In my last week of grad school, defending thesis, I had a glass of vino that vividly recalled a specific dinner many years earlier in Italy and that was it! I blew off law school and got a job cooking for two years before my first sommelier job at Janos."

Richard passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Masters Exam on the first attempt, the ninth person ever to do so. He co-founded his first wine label Betts & Scholl in 2003 and also co-founded Scarpetta Wines and “cc:” Wines. Today, Richard is guiding his highly-regarded mezcal project Sombra as well as this wine project which includes Saint Glinglin from Bordeaux and my ESSENTIAL from California and Provence.

Read more about MS Richard Betts in this article by Wine Spectator:

check out his website:

About Brian: Master Sommelier Brian McClintic brings 15 years of hospitality experience with him to Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, a career spanning the major restaurant hubs of Los Angeles, Aspen, San Francisco, and now Santa Barbara.  McClintic was one of four subjects featured in the acclaimed documentary SOMM, which chronicled his journey to the elusive Master Sommelier title -- becoming the 107th individual in the U.S. to attain this honor. SOMM, distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films, opened on June 21, 2013, receiving rave reviews by the public and film critics.  In addition to Les Marchands, Brian, and business partner Eric Railsback, have teamed up on a Santa Barbara Syrah project called Vallin, along with local winemaker Justin Willett and fellow Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson.


and their Facebook page:

Visit Inside Wine's Facebook page!

**Lila and I felt affected by the humanitarian disaster in the Philippines and wanted to do something to help. We've decided that proceeds from this event (minus our expenses) will go to the Red Cross to help feed and house disaster victims. Thanks for supporting this event and helping others in desperate need. 

cheers! Tama and Lila

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  • Susan

    Excellent! Richard was a wonderful host; his wines excellent, and his wheel chart a great guide. Thank you Tama and team for an excellent event.

    November 25, 2013

    • Tama

      Thanks, Susan! I think the wine wheel is very useful. I used it recently with a blind tasting--it's a great tool for understanding which wines have oak, earth and which reds have dark fruit or red fruit.

      November 25, 2013

  • Tama

    Inside Wine Santa Barbara used the net proceeds (plus extra) to make a donation to the Red Cross to help the Philippine typhoon victims. It's such a small amount going to a place with such great need...

    2 · November 25, 2013

    • Susan


      November 25, 2013

  • Pattie R.

    I so want to go to this event but I'm taking a Wines of California class at the College of the Canyons on Wednesday nights this fall. Darn!

    November 13, 2013

    • Tama

      Hey, Pattie, we'll miss you!

      November 13, 2013

26 went

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