Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another Day of Wine Tasting

It's a rough job but someone's gotta do it.

That's right. Another day of wine tasting. This time I flew by the seat of my pants and picked places at random. Well, not totally at random. I have a looooong list of wineries to hit up so these were 4 I wanted to knock off. First up Sequoia Grove.

Named after the gorgeous trees surrounding the tasting room, Sequoia Grove is a winery located just off of highway 29. They're known for their cabs and I used to buy them often for corporate dinners and parties when I lived in New York City. They offer a white or red wine flight and I went for the red (big surprise). I was impressed at the syrah they made and only sold retail. It was tasty but I came for the cab and left with a 2004 Rutherford Bench Reserve cab.

One last thing: their staff knew their stuff and they were as nice as could be. I would certainly recommend this spot if you come into town.

Next stop was Heitz.

This is another winery that I knew for it's Cabernet but they surprised me too. I am trying really hard to build a comprehensive cellar. Not one just filled with cabs. And it's been tough because I love cabs. Anyway, I really went outside of my comfort zone and left this winery, that is known for cabs, and managed to take a port and their Chardonnay. Told you it was outside of my comfort zone. But their port wasn't too sweet and their chardonnay wasn't buttery and that's why I went for it. The nice man that shared the wines with me told me to serve the port with stinky cheese. I told him that would not be a problem...

By the way, Heitz has a free tasting which is rare around Napa Valley.

Ok, now for Frank Family Vineyards. This place has crazy buzz. I mean EVERYONE is talking about them so I had to check it out. Frank Family was started by Rich Frank, an old long-time Disney executive. He became interested in wines and met Koerner Rombauer who taught him the business. Rambauer is another one on the list but haven't made it there yet. He's done well by establishing a brand and a very well known Chardonnay.

But back to Frank Family. I was shocked at the tasting room. I mean I thought this place would be pretty swanky given he's responsible for Pretty Woman and all. I was wrong and I am so glad. It was an old school, unpretentious tasting room. You start with an awesome flight of sparkling wines. The Rouge was a hit which will go well over the holidays at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. But I made it home with their Sangiovese. Bravo. This was good stuff. Best part was that Rich himself was in the tasting room. Great to see the family hands-on.

So far, cellar building has been pretty fun. My boyfriend made the joke that I am choosing to do this while we are beyond broke but I can't help it. When in Rome...



Lyd said...

I am going to have to put your link on my standard Napa Valley e-mail I give to people who are visiting. You are becoming quite the source for information! So great.

Michael said...

Anyone who can point me to FREE wine tastings in Napa knows her stuff! Keep the the info coming!