The Tasting Room Goes …

Lounge. Yes, as we all tire of the in-n-out tasting room experience, some wineries are creating a new experience for wine lovers. It favors slow over fast, conversation over banter, and mindfulness over mindlessness in tasting (I hope).

While in West Sonoma County, please check out:

Paul Mathew Vineyards in Graton.

Cartograph Wines in Healdsburg.

Wine Guerilla in Forestville.

And let me know what you experienced. I plan on checking these places out as well, hoping they will charm and delight my weary tasting room soul. Thank you Sonoma Discoveries magazine for spotting this trend.

While at it, please remember my Guide to Mindful Wine Tasting:

The Wine & Soul 12 Step Program of Mindfulness in Wine Tasting

  1. Breathe – deep and slowly for 30 seconds.
  2. Sight – look at what’s right in front of you, try different angles, hold it up in the light.
  3. Pause.
  4. Swirl – roll the wine in the glass and watch the colors explode and aromas emerge.
  5. Pause.
  6. Sniff – get your nose in that glass and give it a good one or two or three – so much of “taste” has to do with “smell.”
  7. Sip – give it a small taste not a big gulp, please.
  8. Swoosh- suck on it a bit, aerate and zoom around the mouth. (Ignore the stares of others – you are in your zone.)
  9. Spit – ‘nuff said.
  10. Pause. Let the flavors mingle and linger.
  11. Reflect. What did you experience? Take notes.
  12. Be in gratitude for your experience and all those who made it possible, from those who tended to the field to those who picked the grapes with care to those who made the wine to those who bottled it and to all the others who made what’s in your glass so beautiful.


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