Sonoma and Monterey counties

By Laura Villanueva

Let's talk about one of my favorite wine regions, California! California has many different American Viticultural Areas (AVA's) that can be defined as having rolling hillsides, steep valleys, and moderate climates. The San Francisco Bay Area is a perfect place to discover California wine country as there are many different wine regions nearby. In order to experience a laid back California wine tasting trip, Monterey County and Sonoma County should definitely be on the itinerary as they offer a diverse range of wine varietals and styles including my personal favorite sparkling wine.

Wine and wine tasting can be intimidating especially for first time tasters. I remember having no clue what I was doing the first time I went wine tasting. I made common mistake such as drinking all the wines poured in my glass and trying to go to as many tastings as possible with no breaks in between. I now recommend 2 to 3 tastings over the course of a day with a break for lunch in between. As most wineries will allow you to taste between 4-6 different styles of wine, it is wise to take a sip or two of each wine and dispose of the rest in the buckets that are placed at your tasting area. This will allow you to better analyze and determine your favorite varietals.