Sometimes I feel like I’m getting lazy, like when I can’t get myself out of my chair, drive to a tasting room, and do the work (as if tasting wine is such hard work).

Still, when you’re surrounded by tasting rooms, it’s easy to become complacent… I made a promise to myself, however, when I arrived in California, that I never wanted to take any of this God-given paradise for granted.

And then, a just arrived at my door, making life just a little too simple for me. But I’m in wine country and many of you are, so it’s worth sharing this unique possibility for you.

A wine club named

What a great name for a wine club! Who doesn’t want a little tasting room to come a’knockin’ on the door?

I was shipped their Sauvignon Blanc Super Flight, and I’ve poured the wines to get started with my own private tasting. Tasting Room is changing the way people are experiencing wine. They offer wine samplers, wines by the glass, full sized bottles, gifts, and they have a personal wine club. Frankly, their name is the kind of marketing I appreciate, the same kind of “if you’re going to have something, name it what it is, like my Wine-Blog.” It is what it is, and whomever came up with the “Tasting Room” name idea has the same “reduce it to its lowest common denominator” mentality that I’ve always enjoyed. I’m already on their side.

The samplers, by the way, are in drink-me-now bottles. When you get these tiny 50ML bottles, aging isn’t part of the deal, enjoying ASAP is. I chilled my wine. Then I lined them all up, arranging them as they had arrived… from left to right. They package them from the lightest to the most full bodied. I poured a little over an ounce in each glass, and began my adventure.

This kind of sampler then allows for you to order a 750 ML bottle, from what you’ve tasted and like. It’s a great idea for those who would love to know more about a wine before they jump in for the full purchase price. The super Flight Sampler also includes two full-sized bottles of wine. You just need to taste and then order your bottles. Time is of the essence with this exercise, so don’t dilly-dally when your sampler arrive. Taste and then send in for the two bottles you’d love to have.

2010 Peterson Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley ~ 14.5% alcohol

  • Fred Peterson and I worked together, when I was at Belvedere. He was managing Bill Hambrecht’s Dry Creek Valley property at the time. You can’t find a nicer guy on the planet.
  • NOSE: Nice lemon and minerality. PALATE: Guava and pineapple notes. Alcohol is 14.5%, so it’s going to be pleasing those who enjoy a bit higher alcohol wine.

2011 Lake Chalice Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ~ 13% alcohol

  • I’ve worked with Mills Reef Winery in New Zealand, so I’ve been really fortunate to learn about New Zealand SBs… They can be very yummy!
  • NOSE: Oh, yeah, got that Meow Factor going on. I rate it as  3.5 claws. Great 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine (the chemical aroma that I call the Meow Factor).  PALATE: A crowd pleaser, if love lower alcohol like I do. (Lower the alcohol, the higher the acidity; the higher the acidity, the more food friendly.) Very pleasant lemon and lime highlights, with a great, extended finish.

2010 Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ~ 13.5% alcohol

  • NOSE: Got nice floral,welcoming aromas of honeysuckle and lemon blossoms. PALATE: Refreshing pink grapefruit and a bit of the meow factor, reminding you that you’re enjoying a really lovely and well-balanced Sauvignon Blanc.

2010 Dutcher Crossing, Dry Creek Valley ~ 14.2% alcohol

  • Like its other Dry Creek Valley relative (Peterson), the elevated alcohol, once it hits 14% in white wines, you’re going to have a wine with a higher pH, regardless of whether-or-not it’s been chilled.
  • NOSE: Welcoming, and a bit more complex than the others so far. PALATE: Meyer lemons, passion fruit, and toasted almonds. A great finish and a beautiful wine.

2009 Napa Station Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ~ 13.5% alcohol

  • Both Napa wines are in the 13.5% alcohol range. Napa’s able to keep the levels down for now. Excellent.
  • NOSE: Definitely more complex with cut grass and delicate nuttiness. PALATE: is round and smooth, with white grapefruit, passion fruit, and toasted almonds… A great cheese wine. The extra year in the bottle has made this wine much more smooth, regardless of its citrus nature.

2009 Kelley & Young Sauvignon Blanc, Alexander Valley ~ 13.8 alcohol

  • Very different from the others. Again, this is a 2009, so the aging has made it gorgeous.
  • NOSE: Wildflower honey, with hints of lavender and sage, a bit of bell pepper. PALATE: Creamy, yummy creme brulée. No meow, just lots of varietal character that’s maturing and worth exploring.

UPDATE: The two bottles of wine that I chose just arrived.  Not only were they packed in insulation, but they were also wrapped in insulation, and  two ice packs were additionally in the box. Let’s just say, not only did the Tasting Room arrive at my door, but so did Wine Cellar… 55 degrees and in perfect condition.




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