Archive for On A Budget
There’s hardly any disputing that the lush, fertile Napa Valley is gorgeous. It’s also a well-known fact that wine tasting in this region is popular and prolific. But crowds, hefty tasting fees and being herded like cattle can detract from the pleasantness of the trip… unless you know a few little secrets and are willing to experiment.
First of all, avoid the weekends, if at all possible. Second, avoid the main drag and head someplace with back country roads like Calistoga. Third, get a wine map (complimentary at many places in the area) and chart a route if you really want to visit specific wineries. Fourth, since tasting fees are the norm here (typically $10-20 per person), consider sharing a glass with your partner and maybe actually buying some wine. Most places will waive the tasting fee if you make a purchase. Fifth, be friendly with the pourers. If they think you actually like wine -and aren’t just out for a free party – they might ignore the fee altogether. And finally, if the parking lot is full and the place resembles an amusement park, consider skipping it for someplace more intimate. Your chances at learning a lot more about wine and possibly even making new friends skyrocket when you meander off the beaten path and slow down long enough to really savor each sip.