Wine tasting is fun! No really, its a great way to hang with friends and enjoy the adventure that is finding new wines for the next event or dinner party. Its also the best way we know of finding wines you did not know you enjoyed.
So our suggestion is to taste whatever and whenever you can. Don't get too focused on varieties, because they taste very differently in different regions and under the guidance of different winemakers. And don't start looking for "typical", because that's just a measure of how much something corresponds to your preconceptions. Just taste and enjoy the experience. Taste anything that the tasting room is pouring.
Region sometimes makes much more difference than variety, and producer will sometimes trump both. Dont fall into the trap of 'I don't like Zin or I don't like Petite Sirah. You never know until you have tasted.
It's not that we're wino ponces, but we have spent a countless number of vacations, weekends, day trips, overnighters and afternoons in various wine-producing regions of California and the world sipping and slurping. Not only do we both consume a variety and quantity of different wines, we talk about them, read about them, and try to understand them. Ok, mostly we drink and talk but we do it a fair bit. One thing we have discovered over the years is that a good wine is a good wine no matter where from or what varietal it is.
One or both of us have been to;
- Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, including the Russian River Valley.
- Central Coast of California from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara and all regions in between.
- California Central Valley.
- Wine regions of South Australia and Victoria.
- Wine regions of New Zealand (north and south Island).
- While we have not been to WA, NSW, France, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine, South Africa or South America :( we are still waiting for the business-trip fairy to bless us with the right occasion (one coming soon?). But we regularly sample wine from all these regions in preparation for those trips in the name of research!
You never know what wonderful wine some tasting room may have waiting for you that may blow your socks off along the way. Don't miss out on what could possibly be your next new favorite!