Daniel winehouse

Wine, wine, everywhere. All for me to drink.

Weekend was spent drinking my hearts out in wine country Napa and Sonoma. Coming here to San Francisco has been wonderful – I get to surprise boyfriend J and also visit wine country again.

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Saturday was spent in Napa’s Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Domaine Chandon and Pride Vineyards while Sunday was spent in Sonoma’s Ridge Vineyards, La Crema and Michel-Schlumberger.  

Californian wine captured the world’s attention when a bottle of cabernet sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars was judged to be the best in a blind tasting of American and French wines. Before 1976, wine drinkers regarded Californian wines as mass produced low grade wines from the New World. But the 1976 tasting proved that American wine, at least Stag’s Leap cabernet, can be as good as French, if not better.

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And so that’s why they can charge at least $45 for a bottle of cabernet and still sell out their bottles every year.

The other vineyards also had similarly impressive resumes – Domaine Chandon produces wonderful sparklings, Pride with sparklings and Ridge with zinfandel.

Napa was a little too touristy for me – when wineries have designated spots for tour buses, you do wonder if the winemakers are more concerned with making the wine or selling it?  Even their street side diners are glamed up and designed to squeeze out the maximum amount of tourist dollars from your pocket – check out Taylor’s Automatic Refresher in Napa. Anybody up for ahi burger?

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We had the blue cheese burger with garlic fries -yumo!

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Sonoma was alot more laid back and genuine to me – no tour buses and snotty wine pourers. Some wineries were so empty that we had private tastings with the winemaker. Also wine tastings in Sonoma are cheaper – usually $5 per tasting compard to the $15 in Napa.

What a bargain!

Check out the pinot noirs from Sonoma’s russian river region. Napa’s cabernets might get most of the attention but Sonoma’s pinots are also impressive wines as well.

California is truly wine country, I’m all wined out.

For now.

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