<b>BE THE BLENDER:</b>  Billy Dim's wineblending kits are an awesome gift idea for the oenophile on your list.

Paul Wellman

BE THE BLENDER: Billy Dim's wineblending kits are an awesome gift idea for the oenophile on your list.

Give the Gift of Wine Blending

Introducing Billy Dim’s Wine Apothecary

Saturday, November 30, 2013
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During the past six years, Billy Dim has worked almost every Santa Barbara wine country job imaginable, from tasting rooms to restaurants to kitchens to cellars, and he’s noticed a common refrain in all of them. “People are coming and tasting and buying and learning, but I keep hearing people say they want to be more involved in the process,” said Dim the other day while drinking a beer at Wandering Dog Wine Bar in Solvang. “You see people fascinated. It’s a romantic industry, and people love it. So how do you engage them in a fun and interesting way?”

Three years ago, Dim — a Chicago-raised, Austin-educated, and, for a couple of years, Los Angeles-based touring musician — stumbled upon a “missing niche market that no one had really explored” and, a couple of months ago, unveiled the Wine Apothecary, an easy-to-use, $120 kit in which stay-at-home winemakers can blend their own Central Coast cuvée from four half-bottles of different red wines. Recipes are then uploaded to, where you also design your own label and order anywhere from three bottles to multiple cases.

“We took the final stage of the blending process, which is the most exciting step,” said Dim. “The idea is personalized wine suited to your palate.”

Currently, in addition to the flask, pipette, and other blending tools, the kit includes a Santa Ynez merlot, Ballard Canyon grenache, and, from Paso Robles, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. “It’s fairly dummy-proof, because they’re fresh young wines with lots of bright fruit,” said Dim, but even little tweaks will change the finished blend. “If you change one of these by 10 percent, it’s going to be very dramatic.” As the vintages go on, Dim explained, “The hope is that it will take off so we have a library of wines for people to customize.”

Already “very thrilled” with the early response — his first 100 kits were bought rather speedily — Dim sees steady future growth in both weddings and corporate gifting, but believes Wine Apothecary is priced right to be simply a fun evening with friends yet extensive enough to offer a truly educational course in winemaking. Said Dim, “My whole passion is to get the everyday consumer to have a fun, informative experience with winemaking.”


Wine Apothecary kits are available for purchase at Wandering Dog Wine Bar in Solvang, at Lazy Acres, and online at Billy Dim will host a blending seminar this Saturday, December 7, 2-4 p.m. at Wandering Dog Wine Bar (1539C Mission Dr., Solvang;; 805-686-9126) for $25.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Oh, look. Another alcohol article.

RyanOSorress (anonymous profile)
November 30, 2013 at 10:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes it is. SO?

tex805 (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2013 at 10:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The "alcohol" related dollars, in terms of employment, tourism, & sales, are a huge boon to the SB economy. As long as it is consumed responsibly, I see no problem with touting it.

froggy (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2013 at 1:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's not responsible when people drink and drive--which many of them do. Also, the "boon" does not in any way change the fact that S.B.'s economy remains one where the average person cannot afford to buy a house here, but keep believing the lie that is propagated by the power-that-be.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2013 at 3:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Froggy, do you realized you are immortilzed in cinema? Please go to 1:04 of the following film clip to watch/hear you and Harvey Korman in the bathtub.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2013 at 8:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ha ha! Thanks for the funny movie clip. But back to the issue at hand.... this article by Matt is about someone who has come up with a fun & unique idea that features our local SB wines. It's a positive thing. Why do people feel it necessary to rant negatively about off-topic subjects like affordability of housing? Jees.

froggy (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2013 at 11:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Froggy: To answer your question, lack of housing is germain to the isssue of the economy.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2013 at 12:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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