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The West is a big, big place, and every week our staff is all over it, digging up the shops and restaurants, beaches and trails, performances and, well, phenomena that make the region so vibrant. Here’s the Best of the West this week

Sunset Staff  – November 4, 2019

Wine Smarts

Courtesy of Bergamot Wine Co.

I enjoy a nice bottle of wine, but I’m not super-educated on vintages and such. In the end, I just want someone with more knowledge than me to curate a nice list of recommendations, at price points I can stomach. Enter Bergamot Wine Co., a wine subscription that delivers fantastic bottles of Italian wines every month in a range of varietals—including grapes I’d never heard of. Run by Kevin and Sarah Wardell in Healdsburg, CA (Kevin was a sommelier for such esteemed restaurants as SF’s A16), Bergamot presents three savvy monthly packages. One model offers 3 bottles of California varietals, another 2 bottles of bubbly, and a third option provides 4 bottles of Italian wines. I have more of a background in French wines (having lived in France for a spell and made many return visits) but I know almost nothing about Italian wines, so this third option is a godsend for mixing up my typical choices and allows me to more easily decode the wine list at Italian restaurants. Thanks, Bergamot! Or should I say, Saluti? —Jessica Mordo, associate digital director

Bergamot Wine Co. Wine Club from $100/month
   

 

LAND + STAG Provisions Capture Images of the West

How beautiful are these limited-edition prints? A collaboration between Austin-based design studio/creative consultancy LAND and STAG Provisions men’s shop in Venice, California, each one evokes the spirit of the West: Prairie WomanPrairie ManBull Moon, and Leopard. (Okay, leopards do not reside in the West—pretend it’s a cougar?) LAND has been working with STAG since its earliest days, and this series is commemorative of the brand’s ten-year anniversary. Each piece comes printed on Neenah Classic Crest 130-lb. paper in a natural pine frame with acrylic glass (unframed is also an option). If you’re into the aesthetic, check out some of the brands’ prior collaborations, Bird With Mushrooms and Woman With Mirror, both still available at STAG. —Kate Wertheimer, travel editor

Framed Prints from $288
   

More Than Meets the (Compound) Eye

Courtesy of Christopher Marley

In the latest episode of his podcast The Anthropocene Reviewed, writer John Green says “aesthetic beauty is as much about how and whether you look as what you see.” This could not be better demonstrated than in the work of Oregon artist Christopher Marley. Born in L.A. but raised in the Pacific Northwest, Marley creates intricate mandalas using insects (which he collects from sustainable insect farms) and photographs other exquisite creatures in the most elegant detail, now on exhibit at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry through February 2020. Though his photos are magnificent, it’s his mandalas that are truly remarkable; the iridescent cobalt wings of a blue morpho butterfly, the ligneous mimicry of a walking stick insect, and the metallic chartreuse carapaces of the aptly named jewel beetle are the only palette this artist needs, showing us that if we stop for a moment to observe the world around us, even our planet’s lowliest creatures can exemplify the aesthetic. —Heather Arndt Anderson, garden editor

Bringing Order out of Chaos

Nicole Clausing

The last time I moved, I called several companies for bids and picked the Delancey Street Foundation based purely on price. When I had to move again last month, I didn’t even bother with the bidding war, because I knew I wanted those guys back again. Both times, the crews sent to my house were incredibly polite and careful workers who brought the job in under the estimate and worked like they had something to prove—because they do. The Delancey Street Foundation is a residential life-skills program for men who have hit rock-bottom and want to turn it around by kicking their bad habits and learning a trade. Drugs, homelessness, and prison stays are something most of these men have in common, and many have never held down a straight job before. That may not sound like a recipe for a group you’d like to invite into your home, but these guys are giving it their all to show that they have become respectable citizens deserving of trust (the slightest violation gets them kicked out of the program). I’m never going to love the process of upending my home, but moving day itself was easier because I knew that not only was the job going to be done right, but that I was helping these guys help themselves. Delancey Street has moving operations based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and on the San Juan Pueblo near Santa Fe, NM. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

Lululemon x Wilderness Adventure Clothing

Courtesy of Lululemon Athletica and Wilderness Collective

One of our favorite adventure outfitters just partnered with Lululemon Athletica on a men’s line—and we love it. Steve Dubbeldam of Wilderness Collective and Lululemon men’s director Ben Stubbington were inspired to create a comfortable, durable offshoot of the popular clothing line during one of Dubbeldam’s epic adventure trips. The result: this line of technical gear that helps you push further, both outside and in. The waterproof shell and go-anywhere pants are particular favorites. —Matt Bean, editor in chief

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