Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The Diva Goes to Wine Country!
On Sunday, in the blazing California heat, I loaded up my boyfriend, Kuzak, and my incorrigible six month old puppy, The Adorable Monster, and drove up to Tantara Winery for their biannual open house. Known for their single vineyard pinor noirs, they're a favorite of ours. We've been happily drinking their wine for years and were curious to see how the 2007s turned out this time around. As we zipped up the coast, the Monster was slightly antsy in the car, insisting on hopping from my lap to Kuzak's in an effort to determine which of his owners was most worthy of the honor of hosting his furry ass. But all things considered, he did remarkably well for his first long road trip.
Tantara 2007 Pinot Blanc - Nice citrus and pineapple fruit, crisp acidity, light on the tongue. The perfect wine for an unseasonably hot day in April, and a favorite at the tasting. While known for their pinot, Tantara makes surprisingly great white wines. $26/bottle
Tantara 2007 Rio Vista - Their lightest pinot, beautifully made, light on its feet, good tannins. This wine also drank well in the heat.
Tantara 2007 Pisoni - One of our favorite California vineyards, Pisoni supplies wonderful pinot grapes to several winemakers. Tantara consistently makes great use of the fruit, turning it into a wonderful wine with great fruit, nice structure, and both restraint and balance. I highly recommend this wine.
After a great afternoon, we loaded up again and drove into Los Olivos for an early evening dinner at the Los Olivos Cafe, both a wine store and a restaurant. They have a quaint patio that's fortunately Monster friendly. We tied him up to a chair and ordered some white wines, a Bridlewood reserve vioginier and a central coast albarino, a great Spanish varietal that is fresh and crisp. While we feasted on the duck and sea bass, the Monster behaved himself remarkably well, except for when he barked at an obese Labrador Retriever sprawled out a table away from us. After succumbing to the allure of creme brulee, we gave the Monster his dinner by the car and walked him down the picaresque downtown street.
As we hit the road on the way back to LA, I couldn't help but think what a wonderful escape the Central Coast is from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Perfect for a day trip, or even an overnight at one of the many bed and breakfasts sprawled throughout the area, I highly recommend visiting. If anything, it's worth it for the wine alone!
Tantara Winery - click here for wine ordering information!
Los Olivos Cafe
2879 Grand Ave
Los Olivos, CA 93441
Diva Rating - 3 stars (out of 5 stars)