Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sonoma Wine Tour

Grapevines in wine country - Jacuzzi Vineyard
Today I headed out on a tour of wine country. I don't usually do the organized tour thing, but I'm on too tight a schedule to figure out how to get up the valley on my own. This one was conveniently organized by Alpha Girl, a paraphernalia company.

We drove about an hour outside of San Francisco, crossing the famous Golden Gate Bridge (which is red?) with a view of Alcatraz. Loved the movie (it's the older Sean Connery, how could you not?) but I don't see how anyone could think they were getting out of that place - it's out in the middle of the water!

Our first stop was the Jacuzzi Family Vineyard - yes, "Jacuzzi" as in the jet spray water spas. This family has made relaxing and enjoying yourself into a fortune. Talk about having a career you can enjoy. They've had the winery since 1997, though this vineyard location has been built only a few years. Passing through the shop area, you walk out onto a beautiful stone patio and then into a courtyard that overlooks the vineyard and the valleys and hills all around. There was a wine bar set up with bartenders, or wine pourers, waiting for us.

Patio at Jacuzzi Vineyard
Now - here's my disclaimer. I'm not any kind of wine expert, but I do like wine. I tend to prefer whites, the sweeter the better. But at a wine tasting, I like to try a variety - who knows, maybe I'll find something new. I filled my glass with a couple reds and a few whites.

Sharese & Jamilla from Ohio tasting wine
The reds: Barbera, with berries and a "vanilla cocoa powder finish" (you know it was the chocolate that got me), their best selling red wine; and the Late Harvest Aleatico, a dessert wine. I also tried this in a chocolate shot - it's just as it sounds, a shot "glass" made from milk chocolate, filled with this wine - delicious! Adding to my list - figure out how to make chocolate shot glasses.

A chocolate shot - as in drinking wine from a chocolate "glass"
The whites: Tocai Friulano, a dry wine with a "vigorous citrus finish", surprisingly wasn't as dry as I expected, it was nice; the Moscato, which was mildly sweet; and the Giuseppina, a Chardonnay, which I usually don't really care for, but this one was good, this one has been aged in oak, with "vanilla, apple, and pear flavors". It was just enough sweet.

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