This past Saturday, Tim and I met up with Jeff and Darcie for an impromptu day trip to Sonoita. We had been talking about going wine tasting for months...and the stars aligned at the last minute.
Tim & I both enjoy drinking wine with dinner, but we know very little about the whole thing. Our selection process typically goes something like this. We'll walk through the wine aisle and decide on red or white. Then, we'll look for bottles under $10. "Have we tried this one?" "No? Okay. Let's buy it." [Sometimes the artwork on the label sways us, I won't lie].
We went to five different wineries and sampled a variety of wines. We sniffed. We swirled. We tasted hints of apricot, grapefruit, oak, and raisin.
I learned a few things:
See more pictures and read Darcie's account - The Finer Things.
How often do you drink wine? Do you prefer reds or whites? How much do you typically spend on a bottle? What is your all-time favorite wine?
I haven't ever tasted wine - except for in my sauces. I love cooking with red and white wines. I've never spent more than $20 on a bottle and I've even broken down and bought the wine in a box (only because it doesn't let air in so it lasts longer - and when you are only using it for cooking, it needs to last LONG).
That was such a fun day! I enjoyed seeing a side of you I'd not seen before (the grown-up double date version).
As for your wine questions (I love wine questions): I drink a glass of wine almost every night while I cook dinner. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I lean white, with pinot grigio ranking high on the list. My favorite red is pinot noir. We usually buy wine at either Costco (around $17 ish a bottle) or Trader Joes (around $10 ish). Interesting tidbit...in my experience, I've found that wines with organic grapes are almost always really good. Who'da thunk it mattered? Also, if my choice comes down to a corked bottle vs. a screw top bottle, I'll definitely opt for the screw cap. Lazy that way. ;)
I'm fortunate enough to live very close to wine country in Canada. There are about twenty wineries in my area to visit and about three hours away there are hundreds of them in the beautiful Okanagan. My husband and I went on a wine tour for the first time last summer and fell in love with the beautiful and sprawling vineyards. I definitely like bold and red, a good shiraz is great. We don't drink very often, maybe once per month, so we make sure we get something we like, even if it is a bit more pricey.
I also love cooking with wine, but I reserve the cheaper wines for that ;)
We love wine in our house too! We consider ourselves to be 'cheap winos' :-) Very rarely do we spend over $10 on a bottle...there are SO many fantastic wines where we live between $5-$8 (which sounds crazy). One of my favorites right now is Barefoot Zinfandel. I also LOVE Smoking Loon Merlot. Living so close to Napa Valley has its perks too...Markus and I headed there for our anniversary one year and stayed in a little B&B and toured all weekend. It was fabulous...and only 2.5 hours away! We prefer red...however when we cook certain dishes, especially seafood, we love pairing (and cooking with) a great white wine!
I used to LOVE wine...I was a wine broker at one point of my career which allowed me to really learn a lot about it. Being married to a recovering alcoholic I rarely drink these days...every now and then when I'm out with girlfriends...and now I usually order whatever is cheapest! lol
I've tried wine a few times but can barely gag it down. Sourness plus bitter alcohol flavor= gross. The only alcohol I ever enjoyed the flavor of was raspberry Bacardi in college. Other stuff? Yuck. I would think I was trying the wrong stuff, but it was expensive peach wine in South Africa and French wine my mom bought. So I don't know why everyone else seems to love wine but I find it gross. I guess I'll stick to sparkling grape juice!
Gary and I were just talking about visiting Sonoita to go wine tasting! The last time we went I was preggers and couldn't taste:)
I like both types of wine....it just depends on my mood! I love to have a good glass of wine with girlfriends or with my husband after the kids go to bed. The cost of the wine depends on the occasion. I can't remember what the wine was called, but it was a bottle of red wine brought back from France from a friend and by far the best I have ever tasted!
You and Gary should definitely go! I think you would enjoy it.
Oh, I am so jealous. I have never been to a wine tasting before. Like you, I usually chose white or red, then what's under $10.00. ha! The only thing I know is i prefer whites to reds and that it has to be sweet not dry. But I really know nothing about wine but would love to attend a wine tasting and get educated. :o)
My husband and I love drinking wine! My mom calls us winos, but really, it's just a glass with dinner every now and then.
We've been to Sonoita a couple of times, it is a blast! When we got engaged, our first plan was to get married at a winery down there. We even talked to Kief-Joshua, the wine you pictured, and got the ok to hold our wedding in their vineyard. Logistics and money got in the way, and we didn't go through with it, but it would have been so cool!
Typically, we spend less than $10 a bottle, and get recommendations as to what to try. We are both red drinkers.
Kief-Joshua is beautiful, isn't it? It has a sort of sophisticated elegance about it. I bet it would be perfect for a wedding.
I prefer a sweet wine - red or white but normally white. I actually cook with wine more than I drink it these days (pregnant then now nursing.) We normally buy a sweet wine in the 15$ range when we buy to drink - a cheaper white for cooking. My husband does NOT like reds. We have the oldest winery in Texas over here - Val Verde Winery.
For those who like a sweet wine - try an ice wine - although they are typically more expensive.
Interesting. I've never heard of it. (I'm going to google it now).
Waaah I love wine tasting in Sonoita!!! I have been wanting to go again so bad, glad to hear you ladies had a great time. Did you guys do any wine stomping? ::bragging:: my group won last time we did it, ha ha.
No, we didn't. Where did you go? We totally would have tried it if we knew about it. ;)
I'm glad we tasted all those wines. Now you are a little more convinced that the reds are usually better.
I am total red wine girl, white is okay, but a little sweet for me. My husband doesn't drink (his dad was an alcoholic) so it's pretty rare that I drink wine these days.
I prefer red wine, though a nice chilled white in the summer is pretty nice too.
We used to go wine tasting pretty regularly, when we lived in Northern CA. My favorite is from a little place called Luminaire Winery at Apple Hill near Sacramento. Small hubby and wife place, where they'd "drag" you back to barrel tastings and you felt like family every single time you visited!
Looks like a lot of fun!
I WANT to like red wines more (after all, they're healthier).
I went to my first wine tasting a few months ago in Cape Town. I had never tasted any kind of wine before because of how I was raised, so I was intrigued. After my experience, I realized, like I did with coffee in college, that drinking wine is definitely an acquired taste. I have never added coffee to my foodie loves or even likes, and I think wine -- all types -- are pretty much in the same category. HOWEVER I loved the whole experience. My husband and I used to listen to a radio show on Fridays in South Africa where they would taste wine and describe it over the airwaves. We got a kick out of it! So, I would so do wine tasting again, even though I don't personally enjoy the actual taste....just like going to coffee shops are JUST as much fun for me even though I always order an "alternative" drink.
P.S. My husband prefers red! :)
I have always wanted to be a wine drinker. And there are a few that I like, but I wouldn't call myself a wine person yet. We are planning a girls wine tasting weekend in April and I can't wait. Everyone I have known who has gone wine testing always say they end up liking reds more then the did when they went.
I like wine, but not as much as vodka :). How could I - my grandparents worked on a vodka factory all their life
Since I am still nursing (yes, she is a 2 year old toddler, but we have not weaned), I drink very little or, nothing , really…
Sounds fun! There is a train that rides through a little town called "Grapevine" where we just moved from and you enjoy wine tasting on the train- I want to do that someday... :).
I mostly drink white wine - Italian wine to be precise. I don't like them too strong. My favorite is Robert Mondavi's Moscasto. I also drink some Champagne and Riesling every now and then. Try Moscato, you'll love it. They sell the Summer Home Moscato at Publix, Walmart or Sam's Club for $5.
I do love a good Moscato. In fact, one of the best wines I ever tasted was a glass of Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d'Asti at Maggiano's. Refreshing + Sweet (but not too sweet).
We don't drink wine all that often...we need to be on the top of our game with our 2 year old! Normally, it is one glass with dinner. I prefer white over red, but I like both. Something about red wine fills me up and makes me sleepy. We usually buy whatever's on sale, and the artwork sways us too! My favorite white wine is Schmitt-Schone Riesling (it's a bright blue bottle). My favorite red wine is Seven Deadly Zins (a red zinfandel wine).
Wine tasting sounds so fun, especially with another couple!
I rarely drink more than one glass at dinner. In fact, 1/2 a glass usually satisfies.
Thank you for the wine recommendations. I do like rieslings...and I think I'll remember the name of that zinfandel. (I'll probably buy it if I find it). :)