I remember when the closest thing to a wine bar in Bakersfield had so little business that it only opened the three months before Christmas, selling more gift baskets than wine.
My New Year’s resolution is to dine more often at Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar. We’ve been fortunate in Bakersfield to have this gem of a restaurant with us for 14 years now, and it just keeps getting better and better.
You’ve done Napa and Sonoma. You’ve toured Paso Robles. If you consider yourself a true California wine aficionado, however, and you also happen to be in need of a little out-of-town scenery, grab your corkscrew and fellow wine lover and visit Lompoc for a weekend of wining and dining.
It’s not often you find a winery whose signature wine is Gewurztraminer. More often you find people who don’t even know what kind of wine it is.
To be sure, Tackitt Family Vineyards in the Pleasant Valley area northeast of Paso Robles makes more than just Gewurztraminer. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc are some of the winery’s more popular varietals.
It began 40 years ago as a retirement project. Today, Jack and Dolores Cakebread’s little venture has become a Napa Valley icon. Make that an American wine icon: in 2011 Cakebread Cellars was the No. 1 restaurant wine in America.
Robb Talbott has had it. The owner of Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County blew his cork recently when the topic of screw caps came up at the Yosemite Vintners’ Holidays where I was moderating his seminar.