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To celebrate the merge of Bestwinesonline with the longstanding OC wine shop Wine Exchange, creating the new Wine Exchange , partners Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon are holding a party and charity wine tasting on June So raise a glass or many glasses to help out homeless kids and at the same time, discover some wines to drink over the summer. Follow sirenevirbila for more on food and wine.
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About Us. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Irene Virbila. June 9, Irene Virbila is a former restaurant critic and wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Her worldly perspective on the L. Sampled a few cheeses and left. Worth going though. Went to Cuvaison Winery, directly opposite Domaine Carneros. The tasting room looks unassuming as you drive up and is very modern inside. They come out and serve you the wines one at a time—all very relaxed.
It was unlike any other I had previously tasted—really intense—it just fills your mouth—you just knew it was expensive. So we went here to see if it was as good as we remembered. Maybe 5 or 6? Worth every penny. Bought a few slivers of smoked salmon, some Hummus, Parmiggiano Reggiano the best , some soft garlic cheese, bread and tomatoes. Opened the Clos du Bois Reserve Chardonnay that we bought earlier and was nicely chilled.
Hummus and Chardonnay were made for each other. Went to V. Got there lunchtime. It was interesting to see them crushing the grapes in the gardens outside.
Took a brief walk into the very small museum and underground barrels before going into tasting room which was packed. There were a couple of busses outside. I would have hated to have been there on a weekend!
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Possibly the worst wines we tasted on the entire trip. Had a few free cheese samples on the way out. Interesting deli though loaded with cheeses from all over. Drove 10 minutes to Frogs Leap for a free pm tour which I had booked beforehand about 2 weeks beforehand. It was a beautiful day. We strolled through the garden while sampling four of their wines. Book ahead.
Napa for the budget-conscious but still... - Napa
A nice change. Dinner That evening, walked over to Strawhut pizza and picked up a tasty veggie pizza to eat in the room. Along with some microwave heated tomato-basil soup, it was perfect. It was a full condo!!! That night we went to dinner in downtown Napa at Ristorante Allegria.
I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable it was. I would go here again. The beautiful interior made the restaurant seem more expensive than it was—especially if you stuck to the pasta dishes. Wednesday afternoon. Went to Raymond Vineyards—we were intrigued by a Reserve Cab they produced which scored 91 points and above in over 3 wine ratings.
The Chardonnay was tasty though. We had a coupon for a complimentary tasting. This was a phenomenal tasting.
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By far, the best tasting, and the best wines we experienced on the entire trip. So tempting we almost considered joining the club—until we saw the prices—way out of our league. Dinner: Stopped at the Safeway supermarket. Picked up spaghetti, jar of pesto, tomatoes—what else do you need?
Thursday 1 Oct, Left home to travel onto to Sacramento—about 80 minute drive—for more work stuff. Friday 2 Oct 09 Flew home. No wine for a while. For us, 3 consecutive days of tasting is plenty. What would we do different next time? A cave tour.
St. Helena Wineries
Hire bikes for a day. An educational tasting—for example the Joseph Phelps winery sensory seminar that another reviewer had mentioned once. I liked doing comparative vineyards, i. Also, I liked doing the all Chardonnay side-by-side tastings the one day for a nice change. Napa Valley is such a beautiful place. Breath taking mountain and valley views with all the grapevines covering them. Four years ago we visited Napa Valley and were enchanted. So my advice for first time visitors is do the "Limo wine tours" and get them out of your system Yes, visit during harvest season high season the valley and wineries are crowded and it is just a different atmosphere.
Then when you visit a second time, go in the off season and tour on your own you must have a designated driver who is willing to really just taste the wine and not drink.
Traveling on your own thru Napa and all its neighboring towns is going to be the most awesome time, you will find your old gems and maybe not it happened to us. So with all that said here are my top three wineries for this year. Landmark- it specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located at the skirt of Sonoma and it has a picnic terrace covered by shaded trees and in front of you will be a magnificent mountain view. The wine is spectacular, great buttery Chardonnay and a smooth Pinot. Reasonable prices on their reserves which is what we tasted.
Jean- this winery is surrounded by beautiful gardens. There are two tasting rooms, one for the regular wines and the other for reserves.
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We only tasted the reserves so this is the review. Awesome Merlot; great Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Staff was very attentive. You can have a tasting on an outdoor terrace if you desire. It is pricey but we still bought a few bottles. You can sit for a picnic at this location. Love the attentive staff.
If you want to learn the science behind wine, this is the winery to visit. The staff will explain every detail of creating what you will be drinking. Four years ago Honig was my top 1. This year is my number three because I found my favorite wines at another winery. Honig's specialty is Cabernet Sauvignon and their harvest wine a sweet dessert wine.
This year, I found the desert wine a little too sweet for my taste but it is my husband's favorite. We purchased a few bottles. Honig is a place that we will continue to visit everytime we go back to Napa Valley area because of the care and attention to detail that they put in their creation of the wine. Helena Oil Company not a winery but the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar in town.
He got in touch with us before our trip to see what our favorite wine styles were and to go over a few of his favorite wineries to visit.