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Now Serving at Starbucks: Wine, Beer & Small Plates

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You might have to remember to bring your ID when visiting Starbucks, which launched its new program called Starbucks Evenings serving booze and small plates.

Right now you can only get you drink on after 4 pm at select locations in Seattle, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calabasas and Atlanta. A couple of columnists from the Orange County Register headed over to the Rancho Santa Margarita location to give the pilot program a shot.

The experiment began at Starbucks' Seattle location in 2010, and it's been gradually expanding to cafes across the US. There's a Starbucks in Huntington Beach slated to get beer and wine by the end of 2013.

Starbucks isn't pushing the program hard—at least not at the Orange County locations. There's very little signage to let you know there is anything unique about the location, and OC Register's fast food columnist Nancy Luna writes "the uninformed visitor would never know the cafe is selling alcohol."

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The beer—IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company, Firestone DBA, Pacifico and Blue Moon—comes from a bottle and is served in a glass that is brought out to customers. The wine can be purchase by the glass from $6 to $15 or by the bottle. There is a Mionetto sparkling wine, a riesling, a pinot grigio, a chardonnay, a brachetto, two red blends, a malbec, a pinot noir and a cabernet sauvignon.

Good Libations columnist Paul Hodgins said it wasn't cutting edge or anything (not that we expected that!): "Pretty straightforward and mainstream. The malbec from Argentina was the only slight curveball. Otherwise, I think they're trying to appeal to the average California palate. The wines aren't all bottom of the barrel, just mostly well-known and popular. Designed for the average wine drinker."

You can mop of the booze with truffle mac & cheese and two kinds of flatbread in OC: either calabrese salami, tomato and mozzarella or marinated artichoke hearts and goat cheese. In Atlanta, they're also serving bacon-wrapped dates with balsamic glaze and chocolate fondue.

Coffee, Wine Or Beer? SoCal Starbucks Will Soon Offer Booze
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