Wine Essentials: Part 5

I’ve always dreamed of touring the California coast, stopping at wineries to taste the fruits of Napa and Sonoma. Thanks to last night – and in all honesty, a recent episode of The Bachelor (go Team Tenley) – my desire to sip my way through California’s vineyards just got a bit stronger.

The 3,000-mile stretch between myself and my home state of California shrank with a sip, as I tasted five whites and 6 reds during last night’s Wine Essentials class. As we sipped we learned about the history of wine production in California and I was fascinated to learn that despite being so well known, Napa Valley only produces roughly 3 percent of the wine that comes out of The Golden State.

The tasting began with a light white Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley, which we paired with a creamy goat cheese. As the wines increased in weight and flavor, we also upped our pairings with a strong blue cheese and a grassy Brie. Aside from getting my bearings with the vast world of wines, I’ve loved learning to pair the different blends of grapes with complementary food flavors. You need a strong cheese to stand up to a full-bodied, rich red, while lighter fare matches the mellow flavor of many younger whites.

So while I go on dreaming about west coast wineries (re: a meal at French Laundry), check the recipe and wine pairings below and start toasting!

Just a Taste Recipe & Wine Pairings:

A look back:

Wine Essentials: Part 1

Wine Essentials: Part 2

Wine Essentials: Part 3

Wine Essentials: Part 4


  1. […] final session with the sound of popping corks. We sniffed. We sipped. We (sometimes) spit. From the California coast to the shores of Spain, we enjoyed wines from every vintage and every region of the wine-producing […]

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