I had the pleasure of spending my July birthday in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho. Following the gondola ride, scenic lunch mid-mountain, and bit of shopping, we were in need of a late-afternoon pick-me-up. For most Southern Californians, this entails Googling for the nearest Starbucks. Lucky for us there was one just around the corner, and the bonus of a Pokemon Go Stop. Our group consisted of six women ranging in age from 9 to 76, so accommodating each of our “wants” can be challenging. In a stroke of serendipity, Google gifted me a Starbucks Evening location for my birthday.
Starbucks Evenings launched in Seattle in 2010 and have expanded to other choice locations, including Orange County’s premiere spot in Rancho Santa Margarita in 2012. Starbucks “Evenings” means that in the later afternoon (the time varies per outlet), a slate of wine and beer is available for purchase as well as small bites, including truffle mac & cheese and flatbreads. Though the regular menu is still available, the vibe at these outposts transitions from a bustling café to a cozy bistro.
Our lengthy order was a hoot: “I’ll have a S’mores Frappuccino, the Rancho Sisquoc sauvignon blanc, a London Fog tea, hazelnut latte, an apple juice, chocolate croissant, cake pop, and a Talley chardonnay, please.” Though this Evenings location offered a helpful food pairing recommendation for each wine, I ordered the sauvignon blanc solo, happily knowing it heralded from the famed Foxen Canyon Wine Trail on the California Central Coast. The Rancho Sisquoc’s pear and stone fruit palate with fresh acidity was perfect for the hot July day. I even ordered a second glass. My mom’s Talley chardonnay, which hails from San Luis Obispo, was beautifully balanced with a tinge of pineapple, a bit of saltiness, and a squeeze of tart lemon. We were a happy crew—with coffee, tea, sugar-laden drinks, treats, and wine in hand.
Each Starbucks Evenings location offers a different wine and beer menu. Orange County Starbucks Evenings locations have recently expanded beyond Rancho Santa Margarita to include Ladera Ranch, Downtown Disney, Fashion Island, and Huntington Beach. To find a location near you, visit starbucks.com/evenings.