Tuesday, June 3, 2008


We live in one of the best wine regions in the world, which has helped us become frequent wine drinkers and fledgling connoisseurs. NH and I go wine tasting as often as we can. I've never been a hard alcohol drinker, and I'm very interested in the winemaking process and becoming a better taster.

Napa and Sonoma County are 90 minutes from our home; we also enjoy Livermore Wine Country (45 minutes) and the wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains (30 minutes). There are also local tasting rooms to frequent on weekends. We have a few favorites and frequently find new ones.

As much as we like good wine, we don't like spending a fortune on it. Really, we won't spend more than $20 on a bottle anywhere, and even that's a little pricey.

We gave wine and sparkling cider as favors at our wedding last summer.

We had the Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, originally created by Bonny Doon Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains. As it happens, right after we purchased our cases the winery sold the rights to this wine. The bottle is a little different now, but you can't purchase it at the winery anymore. But all the better for those of you around the country, you can still get it at Target and Trader Joe's for less than $10.
(Should you ever have the opportunity, visit Bonny Doon. It's a beautiful tasting room, they have excellent wine and friendly staff.)

A crisp and light wine, it has just a hint of sweetness and more fruit-forward. It's made from 80% Washington State and 20% German Riesling grapes, and pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods. One thing we appreciate about it is that it keeps well; we can open a bottle and finish it a day or two later and it will be just as good.
The bottle is also special. We had sushi on our first dinner date, and the back label displays pictures of sushi to go with the Pacific theme. :-)

Lucky us, my parents had extra cases and we got to take one for ourselves. We have a few left; trying to make them last.

In our wine glasses of choice~
The fat one in front is his; he likes a large glass of good weight, made to serve full-bodied reds.

Mine is a little more avant garde. The design has a very long stem and air bubbles in the bowl. I coveted these from Anthropologie for two years before finally buying two; mine are clear but they also come in a pretty green color. I use these unless we are drinking bubbles. NH doesn't like them; I admit they are a little girly. But so fun to use!

Speaking of wine glasses, we have them coming out our ears!! Glasses we bought, glasses given to us as gifts, and glasses picked up at tastings and wineries. 10 of them live in the house in our wine cabinet, and we have two cases stored in our garage. I've given even more away and they keep coming. No complaints though, we used them ALL at our housewarming party. :-)


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Your wine bottle photographs are so captivating - gorgeous!

Mo said...

Mmmm...I love the Bonny Doon Dry Riesling. I'm so jealous of you living so close to all that wine country! My NH and I are huge wine fans, but there isn't much for wine country here in AZ. We get to Napa/Sonoma as often as we can. We are headed to the wine regions of WA and OR over the July 4th weekend.

Great wedding favors!

Anonymous said...

Darn may have missed this one but I will keep my eye out. A good, cheap dry Riesling is hard to fine. My favorite on the low cost end is this Dr. Beckermann Riesling Spatlese (from Trader Joe's) though it is definitely on the sweeter side. Excellent with spicy Asian takeout food!