Vino Vacay

Sometimes a doll just needs to get out of town.

This weekend, I was invited to go wine tasting in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. We zoomed up north and hit Star Lane, Melville, Lafond and several other lovely spots.

Lush scenery, extraordinary wine, convivial company, and a fabulous dinner at Grappolo = total sensory perfection!

A few haute tips, should you ever find yourself in a similar (fortunate) position:

1. Don’t feel you have to finish every taste. Just take a sip. If you don’t love it, pour the rest into the dump bucket on the wine bar in front of you.

Our party witnessed a taster who carried his own personal plastic cup, into which he spit every last drop. I know some people do this to avoid drinking too much, but from an etiquette point of view I simply can’t support it. Plus I just wasn’t raised to waste wine. =)

2. The most expensive vino on the list won’t necessarily be your favorite. Keep an open mind and have fun trying new new things. If you find something divine, you can buy a bottle or a case to take home, but you’re under no obligation to do so.

3. If you’ve planned a marathon tasting day, drink lots of water and pack a picnic. (Southern readers will be amused to hear that in California, people put hot sauce on their chicken salad. And guess what? It’s delicious.)

4. Don’t be intimidated if you’re not a wine expert. Most people don’t start out as oenophiles (unless they grew up on a vineyard). Just taste, listen and learn as you go.

Hope you had a fantastic weekend, too!

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