Thursday, September 29, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 31
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Santa Maria Sun / Eats

Actor and budding winemaker Sunny Doench Stricker opens Future Perfect tasting room

CALEB WISEBLOOD


The time traveler’s wine
To find out more about Future Perfect Wine, call (805) 697-7162 or visit futureperfectwine.com. The winery is located at 2933 San Marcos Ave., suite 101, Los Olivos.

On the back of every bottle at Future Perfect Wine, a dedication reads: “For the fearless, dreamers, scallywags, dazzlers, explorers, and incurable romantics. We are all connected and this is for you.”

These are the deities Sunny Doench Stricker, founder of the label, aims to please with her newly released libations. The public was invited to enjoy Stricker’s wines for the first time over Memorial Day weekend, which marked the grand opening of her tasting room in Los Olivos.


PAST, PRESENT, AND PERFECT
Future Perfect Wine owner and founder Sunny Doench Stricker (pictured) celebrated the grand opening of her new tasting room in Los Olivos during Memorial Day weekend.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FUTURE PERFECT WINE

“People were very enthusiastic and excited that we were finally open,” said Stricker, a nearly lifelong film and television actor (Beverly Hills, 90210; Las Vegas; Remember the Daze) who quickly embraced the wine scene after moving from Hollywood to the Central Coast.

“When my husband had a job opportunity to relocate to Los Olivos 3 1/2 years ago, we jumped at the chance. We bought a little farm with goats and chickens, just two blocks from the center of town,” Stricker said. “When we had just moved to our little farm, we hosted a dinner with a handful of winemakers, and at the end of the meal, we went around the table and each person said one thing they wished they could be or do. When it got to me, I said, ‘I would love to be a winemaker,’ and immediately felt absurd for saying such an outrageous thing.


COLORFUL DEBUT
To celebrate the tasting room’s grand opening, Future Perfect Wine enlisted the De Luxe Balloon Company to install a plethora of biodegradable balloons around the location, including a giant rainbow arch, based on the venue’s rainbow logo, over the front door.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FUTURE PERFECT WINE

“But everyone was very encouraging and kept saying you can do that,” she continued. “If you had told me that day that I would eventually be a winemaker and have my own label and tasting room, I would have never believed you.”

Prior to the move though, Stricker was already passionate, and eagerly studious, about wine and various aspects of winemaking. She passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) (Level 2) while still living in Los Angeles. 

Shortly after moving to Los Olivos, Stricker gained both a friend and mentor upon meeting Jessica Gasca, winemaker and owner of Story of Soil, who she’s been collaborating with over the past three years. Stricker credits both Gasca and the husband-and-wife team behind Holus Bolus, Peter Hunken and Amy Christine, for fanning her winemaking passion “into flame,” she said.


FROM LA TO LO
After moving from Los Angeles to Los Olivos a few years ago, actor Sunny Doench Stricker (pictured) quickly embraced the local wine scene and befriended local winemakers who became her mentors, eventually creating her own label.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FUTURE PERFECT WINE

“They [Peter and Amy] invited me to make my wine at their winery and made the time to give me hands-on mentorship, from the vineyard to the bottle,” Stricker explained. “Amy relentlessly encouraged me to have a tasting room, and she gave me the confidence and courage to be hopeful and just go for it.

“Future Perfect Wine would not be opening if it weren’t for Amy—she’s a unicorn,” added Stricker, who described the journey of starting her own label and tasting room as “one of the most extraordinary and fulfilling adventures I could have ever hoped for, truly a dream come true.”

To celebrate the tasting room’s grand opening, Stricker enlisted one of her friends from down south, the owner of the De Luxe Balloon Company, to drive up and install a plethora of biodegradable balloons around the venue, including a giant rainbow arch, based on Future Perfect Wine’s rainbow logo, over the front door.


THINK PINK
A few of Sunny Doench Stricker’s personal favorite wines at the moment are sauvignon blanc and rosé (pictured). “I’m drinking a lot of rosé these days,” she said. “One of the focuses of my wine is to keep it lower in alcohol, and my rosé comes in at 12.4 percent ABV.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF FUTURE PERFECT WINE

“Lots of photos were taken under the rainbow arch by all the guests throughout the weekend,” Stricker said. “It was so exciting to see people leaving with bags of bottles of wine and merchandise. I’m so grateful that the response to the wine has been so encouraging.”

A few of Stricker’s current favorite wines are her sauvignon blanc, which she’s nicknamed her “breakfast wine,” and her rosé.

“I’m drinking a lot of rosé these days. One of the focuses of my wine is to keep it lower in alcohol and my rosé comes in at 12.4 percent ABV,” she said.

To any aspiring winemakers who might be reading this—or those aspiring to leap into any industry, for that matter—Stricker’s advice is similar to that of fellow actor Shia LaBeouf: Just do it.

“If you love it, if you have a passion for it, I always say, ‘Go for it.’ Go and do what you love, what sets your soul on fire, what keeps you from sleeping and yanks you out of bed before dawn. The thing that thrills you and scares you. Do not let that go,” Stricker said. “What is life if not to live fearlessly and with great hope?”

Send your fearless hopes and breakfast wines to Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood at cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.










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