National Wine and Cheese Day

Sunday, June 25 is National Wine and Cheese Day! If ever there was a holiday to get behind, this is it! I really don’t need an excuse to imbibe, but it is nice that we have a dedicated day to proclaim our appreciation for gourmet faire. Red or White is the question.

Wine tasting is one of my favorite pastimes. It is one of the reasons I enjoy living in this area. Napa and Sonoma are only about an hour away and other wine regions are also readily accessible. The wineries I enjoy are too numerous to mention, but I will name just a few. For example, I really enjoy visiting PEJU. Besides the wine, I love that it is being run by two sisters who took it over from their parents. I also appreciate the many sculptures and art on the premises. https://www.peju.com

Another favorite is Inglenook. The wines are amazing, but I am drawn to the story of the winery. Francis Ford Coppola opened this winery, and has made a strong push to bring back the heritage of the original owner Gustav Niebaum, who originally opened Inglenook in 1879.  His heirs eventually sold it out, and the name Ingelnook became synonymous with jug wine. But Coppola has made strides to return the label to its former award-winning glory. I support his vision, especially when it comes in a bottle of Rubicon, their flagship wine. https://www.inglenook.com

I have to mention Rochioli, for their stellar pinot noirs. They are the best of the Russian River in Healdsburg. https://www.rochioliwinery.com

We also like wines from Amador and El Dorado counties. Each year we take a group trip up to Narrow Gate and numerous other wineries in the higher elevations. Their Cab, Cab Franc is a favorite, as is their flagship Dunamis. https://www.narrowgatevineyards.com

More favorites come from Paso Robles. Halter Ranch is one favorite. And definitely Denner! We were on a waiting list to get into Denner’s wine club. Very happy we finally made it! They have amazing pinots from the region. https://www.dennervineyards.com

And Santa Barbara has spectacular wines along Foxen Canyon Road. Hello Zaca Mesa! You might pick up a delicious pinot or a syrah. While Los Olivos has perhaps gotten too touristy (after the movie Sideways), it is still fun to visit, along with Solvang. https://www.zacamesa.com

I should mention that I enjoy a glass of my own label. That’s right: Aspire Higher 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet. I often give a bottle to clients who’ve mentioned they enjoy good wine. This wine is from a major distributer in Alexander Valley, but I cannot divulge who. Their wines retail over $80. And it is yummy, if I do say so myself.

I always appreciate a good cheese with crackers (though I am not actually a fan of gooey, cheesy foods). Cheese is a fantastic compliment to a glass of wine. Humboldt Fog by Cowgirl Creamery is a staple when we have gatherings. It goes well with wine and is delicious on its own. I also like a good double cream brie. https://cowgirlcreamery.com

So whether you stay at home, or take a short trip to California’s numerous viniculture regions, this would be a great day to enjoy some fine wine and cheese. I know I will!

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This post was written by Rumana Jabeen

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