Just As I Thought

Welcome to the wine club

Yesterday’s big outing was for wine tasting. The first stop was J. Lohr Winery, and their tasting room is actually about a mile down The Alameda from my house. How convenient!
It was surprising how different their wines were from the $6 bottles I usually buy at Safeway — all of them were very delicate and refined, I ended up buying 6 bottles of various types. The tasting itself was free, one gets to taste six different varieties and the man at the tasting counter was very knowledgeable and helpful to we wine novices. Another high point of that visit was the discount one receives on buying six or more bottles!
Next up, a drive up the hills into Los Gatos to Testarossa.
I was looking forward to this one, because according to what I’d read this hillside winery also included an old novitiate and the Mirassou champagne cellars. When we arrived, it looked promising, entering through a cavelike hall into an old looking tasting room. But the enchantment wore off quickly.
At Testarossa, you can expect to pay a $10 tasting fee for five wines. In other words, $10 for what amounts to be less than a full glass of wine; the fee can be applied toward a bottle. The wines themselves were not very impressive, especially after coming from Lohr and their very refined wines. Frankly, they didn’t seem to be any better than a cheap bottle from the grocery store.
It also turns out that Mirassou is no longer there — or rather, the room we were in was once Mirassou but had been bought out by Testarossa. There were no champagne cellars anymore; and in any event, there didn’t seem to be a tour of the place despite the sign saying that a tour was $4.
There are still a lot of wineries here in the valley to visit; and at some point I’ll have to make a trip across the Golden Gate to Marin County. And if I do keep this up, I’ll have to buy one of those little wine refrigerators…


  • Gene,
    I’ve no recollection of how I found your pages. Near DC? Political preferences? Both match, among others. No matter, such is the internet. I’ve enjoyed peering in here from time to time since you moved as I have enjoyed several vacations in the outlying area. Your wine note got my attention today since my brother and i did a trip north of SF recently. Please find time for http://www.mayofamilywinery.com/reserve_room.html
    We found it through the Wall St Journal and it is worth the trip and cost. The wines are definitely not Safeway variety and the food comparisons are fun.
    PS- Please consider allowing xxx at xxx dot com as an email address, rather then the traditional @ format. Your page bounced my first try when I did that, and erased everything I had typed. I need no more spam! You now have an expendable address of mine.

  • Cool! I’ll put it on my list.

    Just FYI, I require email addresses to cut down on spam and to give me a way to write back to people. But they don’t appear with your comments or anywhere else on the site, so don’t worry.

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