May 17th, 2012

As you may have heard, California is a great place for wine. We try to keep a huge, and constantly rotating, variety here at the hotel, which means that it yours to sip for free every night in our bar. It’s a pretty nice little set up for you, our guests. But, you know, California wines are available, really, all over the world, including where you’re from. What’s special about coming here, to Northern California, when you’ve got a little bit of free time, is going wine tasting, and this month I thought I’d tell you about my favorite winery to visit.

And, no, this is not about my favorite wine. If you’re searching for the best tasting wine, sit in our bar and look. It’s free and you don’t have to have a designated driver. I’m talking about the most fun I’ve had at a winery, and the winery I’m talking about is Chandon. Chandon, of course, starts with a bit more fun because all its wines sparkle, and, you know, the visit lived up to the promise of those bubbles. The grounds are light and airy, littered with interesting and beautiful sculptures. The staff, too, is easy and good-humored, which is not necessarily true of every winery in the Napa Valley. There is a huge hilltop terrace where you can sit with your samples and order small plates from their amazing restaurant. It’s elegant, and yet not the kind of place that’s going to make you feel self-conscious about having maybe just a little more of their delicious bubbly wine than you had planned to drink. When I was there recently, it was with the plan to hop from place to place, wine tasting the way one hears about it being done. We got stuck, though, for hours and hours, at Chandon. It was so endlessly inviting, so exactly the thing we had in mind when we set out on the adventure. My advice to you, skip the rest and head straight for the best.

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