We went wine tasting this past weekend in Temecula for one of my besties’ 30th birthday celebration. She’s never done wine tasting at wineries before. This was our third time going wine tasting at different wineries. Now that I’ve seen four wine county areas, I wanted to give you the newbie’s point of view of wine tasting.
Our first was Santa Ynez. We drove to each winery, including the one featured in the movie Sideways. Remember the owner wearing the cowboy hat? He was there! Very personal service at each winery, especially Mosby Winery. You walk in and someone greets you. They ask you what type of wines you tend to like and they find ones that fit the bill. You get charged for the glass. As in, you buy a glass and try whichever wines they have at the time. We tried three different wineries. We went in February so all of the vineyards were empty.
Second was Sonoma and third Napa Valley. I loved driving through the different wineries. There are many hills so you can see stretches of vineyards…it reminded me of when I studied in Italy and we had trips to see other parts of the Tuscan region. It had a romantic feel. We went in October, towards the end of grape picking but you could still see the leaves and grapes on the vineyards. As for the wineries, each wine tasting place provided you with a list. The list showed the “flight” of wines that you could purchase. A flight of different reds or whites, ranging between $10 to $15 for 3-5 different types of wines. A flight of the winery’s reserve wines tend to be on the higher end price range. This area seems most popular for Cabernet Sauvignon. So if you like red wines, there’s plenty! Compared to Santa Ynez, Sonoma and Napa was very standardized in their presentation. Most likely due to the number of tourists they get here. My favorite was cycling on the Silverado trail. Absolutely perfect weather for cycling and enjoying the wine! My least favorite winery was V. Sattui because it felt the most touristy. Touristy in that you see many tour buses parked in the front and everyone in the winery had coupons for wine tasting. The big big plus about Sonoma and Napa is YOUNTVILLE. The restaurants are amazing here!
We used a tour bus which took our party of six to five different wineries. In general I’m not a fan of tours. In fact, I avoid tour buses because they take you to safe places. I’m the type of gal that doesn’t mind eating at a stomachache type of stand! The nice thing about this tour is because you can only drive to so many wineries on your own, so it’s nice to have someone else do the driving! I didn’t like the fact that they took us to one of the most touristy wineries of them all, Wilson Creek Winery. It was designed to hold a lot of foot traffic and tour buses. It even had a freaking playground for your kids. Wait, why are kids going wine tasting? WTF are parents doing going wine tasting with their kids?! This isn’t Disneyland people! That was the only major drawback. Other than that, taking a tour bus to go wine tasting is actually a good option when you’re with a big group of friends because at the end of the day, you just want to enjoy your day and not feel bad that one of your friends is the DD!