A new canned sparkling wine project, Best Coast Beverages, recently debuted at Babi’s Beer Emporium in Los Alamos. The brainchild of Caroline Juen, creator of the popular Love & Loathing LA blog, BCB’s first Fizzy White and Fizzy Red 2021 vintages were crafted by winemaker Sonja Magdevski using grapes sourced from the Santa Ynez Valley’s Mora and Kaerskov vineyards.
“Sonja is truly one of the best winemakers I know,” said Juen. “The level of respect I have for [her] and the joy she and her wines bring to people, who wouldn’t want that kind of energy on their side?”
Magdevski was among the many female winemakers from Santa Barbara County who inspired Juen to pour her entrepreneurial energy into the wine world. After countless visits to this region over the years, the current Angeleno and Bay Area native considers the Central Coast her “home” wine region. “Even though I have family in Napa, living in L.A. and being so close to Santa Barbara wine country, [this] has always felt more my speed,” Juen said. “My place. My people. My wine.”
Helping clients bring their custom wine projects to fruition is a rewarding endeavor for Magdevski, who also makes her own Casa Dumetz, Clementine Carter, and Feminist Party labels. “Caroline has been extremely focused on what she wants to achieve, and our combined goal was to make the most delicious wine that happens to be in a can,” Magdevski explained.
That they did. I’ve had the pleasure of sampling more than a few cans of the Fizzy White (albariño) and Fizzy Red (50-50 blend of grenache-mourvèdre), which not only go down very easily, the good looking, slender silver cans are almost too cute to recycle. “Delicious, unexpected, and defiant,” is how Magdevski summed up the tasting notes.
Next year’s releases — a grenache rosé and skin-contact viognier — are currently fermenting in Magdevksi’s Lompoc production space, and every year will bring new flavors. “Exploring different wines from different grapes is the name of the game,” Magdevski enthused.
The wines reflect Juen’s colorful personal style and effervescent energy, from the sunny California branding to the accessible yet refined bubbles. Juen is firmly committed to the sparkling niche. “Cracking open a can of anything flat is a bit anticlimactic to me,” Juen explained. “When you crack open a can of something chilled, you’re expecting those gentle bubbles to tingle your nose and mouth and satisfy a quench, so a fizz was mandatory.”
For her, bubbles signify celebration. “I want every can of Best Coast that people enjoy to be a party,” she said. “I want it to add to every single happy moment you’re having. Whether that’s at a concert, on the beach, by a pool, at a social gathering, doing a face mask on the couch — whatever it is, it’s a moment worth celebrating.”