Wine Talk

Snooth User: AussieQTGirl

Delish Tasting's in San Jose-Santa Cruz

Posted by AussieQTGirl, Jul 19, 2010.

Aloha fellow vino lovers!

I just relocated to lovely California and would love your suggestions on some tasting rooms (or wine stores w. nightly tastings) in or around San Jose/Cupertino/Santa Cruz.

My best friend who introduced me to wine many many years ago will be visiting from Boston and in addition to taking her to Napa Valley for 2 days, I'd like to drag her (not that she will be kicking or screaming:) to a tasting one or two nights at a location around my stomping ground... just to show her how cool Cali is. Way cooler than Boston!  ;-)

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!








Reply by outthere, Jul 19, 2010.

Try visiting Ridge Monte Bello for a great Cab blend or Chardonnay or Testarossa for  great Chardonnay.

Reply by dmcker, Jul 20, 2010.

As two very different kinds of wineshops, you could try K&L Wines in Redwood City, or this shop down in Carmel:  Southern Lattitudes Wine, Carmel, CA,which is more about Southern Hemisphere wines, but an interesting visit while in Carmel (and tasty wines, too). If you want to head over to the East Bay, North Berkeley Wine is a great place to benefit from conversations with the proprieters/staff, while also picking up well-selected wines at great prices. While over there you could also do a lot worse than to pop into Chez Panisse's upstairs cafe, or the tapas restaurant next to it on Shattuck. And for a wineshop in the City that is far more than just a magnet for tourists wandering in off Union Square, check out the Napa Valley Winery Exchange. You can learn a lot from the floor staff there, too.

In terms of wines and wineries in your area, in addition to outthere's reccomendations you should check out Kathryn Kennedy's operation. She's not around anymore, but the wines are interesting and she played an important role in wine culture in your vicinity. Though you can't visit the winery these days, you should try the wine, and if you ask the people at the winery they may just steer you to other interesting wineries in the Santa Cruz mountains.

And for ideas on where to take your friend in Napa and Sonoma, here are some good starting points:

 Going to Napa

Napa Tips for a Rookie...

Napa Valley Wineries

Going to Sonoma

Think you might have enough to chew on here, but don't hesitate to ask any questions that pop to mind. And welcome to Snooth!
Reply by dmcker, Jul 20, 2010.

After posting the above I realized that I forgot to include another important stop in Berkeley, if you do make it over there: the Kermit Lynch wine shop on San Pablo....

Reply by dmcker, Jul 20, 2010.

I wish it were possible to edit previous posts before anyone else posts in response (Philip!), but to put things in context, both North Berkeley and Kermit Lynch specialize more in French, Italian and other European wines--very interesting wines you aren't likely to easily find elsewhere, at very good prices. They are an excellent counterpoint to what you'll encounter of California wines elsewhere. And their staffs can also steer you to interesting California wines....

Reply by chadrich, Jul 20, 2010.

The Bonny Doon tasting room (and cafe) in Santa Cruz are a lot of fun.  We enjoyed the winemaker's dinner (I think they do it once a week) and it includes a fairly thorough tasting; though the tasting bar is at hand also.

Reply by StevenBabb, Jul 20, 2010.

san francisco may be a little far, but on wednesdays there are tastings at the jug shop... usually affordable wines and they have different themes every week.... bevmo down in your area is SUPPOSED to have tastings every saturday... if they are not pouring, you can ask the manager to open up some bottles... usually takes place between 3-5pm...

@dmcker..... i always seem to forget about napa valley winery exchange.... i live a few blocks from there, and i have yet to wander in... hmm... maybe tomorrow...

Reply by StevenBabb, Jul 20, 2010.

on a side note..... california IS WAY better than boston!!!!  : )

Reply by John Andrews, Jul 21, 2010.

I'd throw in Press Club.  I wrote a quick article on it a few months back. 

Also, I'd second the recommendation on Ridge Monte Bello.  Great location and a lot of history.  I'd also second Testarossa and I'd add the following wineries too:

Also, Palo Alto (my hood) has a great little wine bar, the wine bar (

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