Therese’s Tasting Notes—
Your Local Guide to the Foothills Wine Scene…
By Therese Pope
You only have to look in your own backyard to find amazing wines in Placer County. Whether you prefer your wine red and bold or pink and sweet, the 19 (and counting) boutique wineries that line the Placer Wine Trail offer a personalized tasting experience for both novice and seasoned wine drinkers.
The small boutique wineries in Placer County offer their own special blend of friendly hospitality paired with award-winning wines. When visiting local tasting rooms, you can expect to be greeted on a first-name basis by winemakers who treat you like one of the family. If you’re looking for a fun summer excursion with 21 plus friends and family, I encourage you to visit the many tasting rooms across the I-80 corridor that make up the Placer Wine Trail.
So you hit the local wineries on a weekend…what should you do with the bottles of wine you bring home? Instead of cracking open a bottle of your favorite Chardonnay at dinner, take your local wine tasting experience a step further. For your guests who haven’t experienced the foothills wine scene, introduce them to local wines by hosting a tasting party. Don’t forget to sample neighboring Nevada County wineries too!
Here are five wine tasting tips to get you started. You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy an at-home tasting party.
- Each winemaker in the foothills area has a distinct style and influence of winemaking ranging from French to Spanish to Italian. Mix it up by serving different wines and varietals. If you’re not sure what wines to serve, ask the winemaker for their recommendations.
- Limit the tasting list to 4-6 wines so guests don’t feel overwhelmed, especially if you invite newbie wine drinkers to the party.
- Conduct a “blind tasting.” Cover the bottles and label them with numbers. Before each guest tastes the wines, hand them a master list of the wines so they can pick and choose from the list. Another fun option is to ask a few guests to bring their favorite local wines to taste.
- Don’t forget to serve tasty appetizers that pair well with the wines you choose. When in doubt, ask your local winemakers for food and wine pairing suggestions.
If you want to take the wine party to the streets this summer, stop by one of the many weekly events hosted by local winemakers. For more information about upcoming summer wine events, visit, http://www.placerwine.com/calendar.htm
Note: Be safe when hitting the Wine Trail this summer. Please drink responsibly and always designate a non-drinking driver or set up alternate transportation.
Therese Pope is a freelance writer who grew up in Auburn. Her love of wine runs through her veins (thanks to her Sicilian heritage) and believes you don’t have to be a wine expert to enjoy wine. Her monthly blog series showcases the local foothills/Placer County wine scene. Therese’s writing background focuses on the food and beverage industries. You can read more of her specialty wine and beer articles at http://crushbrew.com/author/therese-pope .