Wine Education….in Sonoma

I have something to share with you.

There is a mom get together coming up and I need to bring a bottle of wine. Do I know a lot about wines? No. Can I use my Vivino app at Trader Joe’s?  Sure.  Or I can head to Total Wine and ask for help.  But I wanted to learn.

So when my daughter left for sleep away camp, we headed to Sonoma.  Here are the four wineries we visited- an easy day or two in wine country.

Day 1:

Schug Winery:  Hal was there to greet us and my husband and I shared a tasting since it was 10:30 in the morning.  I also shared that it was my first time in Sonoma and so he gave me some lessons on the best way to taste wine and what to look for on the label.


Gundlach Bundschu:  Also known as “Gun Bun”, we drove up to the tasting area and found ourselves in the middle of a picnic area.  They had a larger tasting room than Schug with a “concierge” at the front entrance.  We had the option to do the tasting inside or out or purchase a bottle of wine and sit and enjoy the scenery.  We did the standard tasting, actually shared it, and really enjoyed the Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay.


St. Francis Winery & Vineyards:  I was looking forward to this for weeks.  I read amazing reviews about their food and wine pairing and I got the last open reservation.  We had a late breakfast and skipped lunch.  When we arrived, we were given a glass of wine to start and told to walk around and enjoy the vineyard.  And then they lost power.  Unfortunately, we did not get to do the complete food tasting but the two dishes we had along with the wines were fantastic.  Plus it was complimentary due to the outage so we will definitely go back the next time we head to Sonoma.


Day 2:

Gloria Ferrer:  We met some friends in Sonoma and there was a request for sparkling wines.  And so we headed to Gloria Ferrer for a noon bubbles and bites tasting.  We had a chef explain the pairings and a wine concierge to tell us about each wine that was selected.  The property was beautiful and the company was fantastic.  My favorite:  the Royal Cuvée.


Check out my post on where we stayed and where we ate!

His Two Cents: Recommended Wines for January

Jason – we have been invited to a dinner party and want to bring a bottle of wine for the hostess.  Can you recommend a couple of options?

His Two Cents:  It’s super easy to stop at the grocery store or even a liquor/wine shop but Cost Plus World Market offers a great wine selection and you can find this store in most major cities.  I recommend stopping by to pick up the De Morgenzon DMZ Cabernet Rosé and the Uno Malbec.  The Cabernet Rosé is a great wine to start your evening with snacks, a cheese plate and salads.  The Malbec is great to pair with your main course.  These are some cool bottles to present as a gift.  Just make sure to call in advance to make sure they have both of them in stock!


Meet Jason!
When I wake up I am a Father, a Husband, and Former Chef and General Manager.  When I am sleeping I am a Hotel Owner with a 65 foot boat in South Beach with Sunny Skies.  I like Mountain Biking, Hiking, Shooting Guns, drinking whiskey with the guys and spending lots of time with my wife and kids(one girl, one boy).  My Dreams: To Raise my kids somewhere so cool that even I can’t believe it’s for real.  To open a restaurant that supports my family and all of my hobbies.  To really live the next 40 years to the best of my ability.

Check out more of Jason’s posts under His Two Cents.


What’s your Wine IQ?

I have something to share with you.

A wine connoisseur I am NOT.  I don’t really drink it too often and I certainly don’t know a lot about it.  (Now is probably a good time to change that!)  I’ll have a glass at dinner if I am on a date with my husband or out with friends.  If I want a glass of Pinot Noir, there are usually two choices on the menu by the glass.  Same with a Sauvignon Blanc.  But when I need to buy a bottle of wine for a dinner or order wine when dining with friends or clients, I struggle.

Let me introduce to you to two wine apps – Hello Vino and Vivino Wine Scanner.

Hello Vino
It’s an app that serves as your wine assistant. You can select wines to go with a certain type of food, wines by type or you can type in a wine from a menu and read about it. Plus you can keep track of your favorite wines.

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Vivino Wine Scanner
This app also allows you keep a personal wine profile and snap a photo of the label but it has a social media function to read reviews from others on each wine.  And it gives you the option to pull up a local restaurant and see a full or partial wine list.

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I know the folks at the local wine shop are helpful but these are my go-to apps when I am on my own!