There are a lot of great ways to spend some leisure time on a weekend or vacation afternoon, particularly when the some is driving high in a temperate sky–one with cool nights so our favorite grapes can ring on through, soaking up sun and soil and readying for big news. Here are just a few of our favorites for your consideration:
1. Sonoma Valley (Sonoma, CA): timing I need to look up.
We enjoyed Sonoma’s wineries so much that we never even made it over to Napa. Taking the road less traveled, we fell in love with the history of the region, its cool nights, and its durable pinots. In Sonoma on this memorable vacation we not only slaked our minds with a first-ever understanding of the winemaking process but also our palates. A lifelong love with Buena Vista was born this very spot.
2. Hudson River Cruise (New York, NY): August 25, 2012.
Best friends and summer booze cruise–pretty tough to beat too, especially when said cruise leaves Chelsea Piers and does a lazy loop out to the Statue of Liberty and circumnavigates Manhattan. We hit lots of sparkling options this day, each beautifully paired with fine cheeses for the perfect summer treat. Be sure to check out the August 2012 posts for specific details–there were plenty of great photos and never-forgotten memories from this adventure too.
3. Seneca Lake Wine Trail (Finger Lakes, NY): June 1, 2013.
Celebrating milestones with the family on this one. We hit Miles Wine Cellars (I liked the 2009 Merlot and 2010 Cabernet Franc best); Four Chimneys (I liked the 2009 New Earth and Reserve Red; my wife the Eye of the Bee); Rock Stream Vineyards (best here was the Cabernet Franc); the Pompous Ass Winery (fun in name but all tastings here were too sweet for my palate); and finished at the Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellers (where I sampled the 2011 T23 Cabernet Franc, the 2009 Pinot Noir, Estate Red, 2009 Merlot Block 137, the 2006 Pinot Noir, and the 2010 76 West Bordeaux, which I also brought home). The latter was the 2012 Winery of the Year and all their samplings were excellent. Nearing the end of the tasting hours, we waited the longest at Lamoreaux but the payoff was some solid reds.
4. SoHo and Lolita Food and Winetasting (West Side, Manhattan, NY): June 29, 2013.
Cloud 9 brought us this walking tour through one of Manhattan’s oldest neighborhoods. There was more chocolate and desert tasting than vino, but the three wines we tried at Wine Therapy were each memorable–a sparkling rose, a light, citrusy white, and a spicy aromatic red. Sounds like the start of a joke–Two French and One Spanish go into a bar…but was simply a memorable part of a memorable adventure in the Big City.
5. Blind Taste Testing the Release of the 2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon (South Park, Charlotte, NC): June 11, 2016.
The opportunity to gauge my experience and fandom of California Cabernet as well as the critically acclaimed Caymus Cab brought me to Winestore on a blazingly hot Carolina day for a double-blind sampling. Three clear highlights were the 2013 Penfolds Bin 389 (great, savory spice blending Cabernet and Shiraz), the 2014 Willowlake Napa Cab (classic California Cab, with lots of layers and rich dark fruits), and of course the 2014 Caymus and the big explosion of fruit that is a hallmark of Wagner family wines.
6. Cayuga Lake Wine Trail (Finger Lakes, NY): timing tbd.
Had a great trip along this trail too and will dig for more information on where we were and the vineyards we visited.