What do San Franciscans do when the weather is over 70º? They go outside and drink lots of wine. One of my best friends, Amanda, turned 25 on Saturday, so to celebrate, we headed north to wine country for a day in the sun with meals consisting of fermented grapes.Some of you may know that I am far from a wine-o. In fact, I’ve hated wine up until recently; I’ve finally transitioned from “hate” to “tolerate.” I’ve never felt like I fit in with women my age — my aversion to wine has made me feel somewhat of an outcast, or like I’m doing something wrong. It’s definitely one part of adulting that I haven’t quite mastered. Taxes are also on that list. And meal prepping. ANYWAY.
For Amanda’s sake, I gave my best effort to appreciate her favorite activity, and decided that I’d become an expert wine taster.The first stop was a place called Jacuzzi in Sonoma. It was a great intro to tasting, and kicked off with a prosecco with a peach balsamic vinaigrette — and it was actually pretty insane. You get the tart tang and kick from the vinegar with the smooth sweetness of the peach added to a crisp white wine . . . v nice.
We skipped the rest of the whites and went through several reds so I could start to figure out nuances, because upon first sip, when they asked me what I tasted, I said “wine.”
Here are my notes. They are not good. I do not have a refined palate, and these notes are coming from someone who contemplated ordering a chocolate milk at a coffee shop mere hours prior, then got embarrassed, and ordered a hot chocolate despite the hot weather.
- Sangiovese, 2014 Sonoma Coast (Toscana)
- Their notes: “berry flavors with a light, snappy finish”
- My notes: smoke, barbecue, fireplace, cabin, wood
- Primitivo, 2014, Lake County (Puglia)
- Their notes: “concentrated strawberry character with nuances of roasted coffee”
- My notes: Amanda said this was easy to drink, and indeed, there are no obstacles precluding my ability to consume it. Also, pretty smooth.
- Pinot Noir, 2014, Sonoma Coast Estate
- Their notes: “delicate spearmint and lilac, with nuances of dark chocolate”
- My notes: smells like caramel, then chocolate milk, major key
- Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Contra Costa County
- Their notes: “blackberry, herb nuances, vanilla, and caramel”
- My notes: pissed bc this does not taste like vanilla or caramel
We finished with these dark chocolate cups filled with a dessert wine, and I was extremely pleased with that. My only note was a drawing of this key emoji 🔑Next on the agenda was Chateau St. Jean, a beautiful estate where Amanda is a member (you know you’re serious about wine when you’re a member). I wanted to make Amanda happy for her birthday, and I also didn’t want to embarrass her at her special club place full of smart wine people, so I tried to take my tasting a little more seriously there.
Caveat: no nice paper to take notes, and also my breakfast and lunch had consisted of wine, so my memory was not great. However, I pieced a few things together.
2013 Pinot Blanc — “green apples” (Amanda’s boyfriend said “spot on” and I felt like a queen of the wines, and mentally was referring to myself as a sommelier). Super refreshing, really light and crisp, and perfect for the sunny, hot weather.
2013 Flumé Blanc — can’t remember, sorry Amanda
2013 Le Seul Chardonnay — “smells like banana cream pie.” Wrong. But I love banana cream pie so I was down with this wine, too.
2012 Cinq Cépages — “I now understand what wine is supposed to taste like.” Also “smells like caramel, tastes like butterbeer, omg it’s butterbeer wine.” **this was my favorite** 🌟
2012 Reserve Malbec — “Not sweet, definitely a man wine, but I’m still into it. I’ve never eaten leather except for the one time my mom overcooked a steak dinner but I imagine it might taste like this.”
2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon — Amanda’s favorite, I was enjoying it, and then Amanda’s roommate Molly drank my glass and I was upset.Re: the outfit — I snagged this gorgeous blush pink skirt from Club Monaco when it went on sale. The second that thing was marked down it was in my cart faster than you can say “what’s my pin number.” Shoes are Steve Madden Stecy (you’ve seen them on here in black; they’re my favorite heels). I want to wish a very happy birthday to my darling Amanda, for whom I also wrote this post on POPSUGAR. I’ll see you guys on here soon! In the interim, I’ll be training for the San Diego Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon with my friends from Suja, and fueling up on more juices than I could’ve ever dreamed of.
2 thoughts on “the hills have wines”
Such beautiful pictures! Wine isn’t my favorite either, I can do a few whites but thats about it