Wine in Oakland

May 2, 2011

My friend, the most excellent Cathy, had a birthday just last week.  And to celebrate a group of her friends wandered around Oakland in a friend’s van going to various cellars and wine-makers based in Oakland.

It was shockingly excellent all the way around.

We started at Irish Monkey Cellars. (I love the label!)

The tasting was wonderful.  I actually kind of loved EVERYTHING.  But the best part was that they were bottling the Primitivo when we showed up.  So we got to taste a fresh bottle before bottle shock set in.  Then at the end we got to drink from the heart of the pour directly from the machines.  I asked the winemaker, Bob Lynch, if I could have a bottle from the heart of the batch and he did.  I pulled it himself and sealed it with wax.  He said I had to drink it within two days of his handing it to me or I had to wait two months.  I’m going to wait.  I also got a couple of bottles of SyrBec, a Syrah Malbec blend.  Because …. YEAH!  Although I’m thinking of giving a bottle to my friends at Vintage.  Because you need to spread this kind of love around.

Location number two was Urban Legend Cellars, by the West Oakland BART station.

A very industrial setting for some truly excellent wines.  I mentioned how much I liked red table wines (which is pathetically true) and he added two more wines to our tastings.  The Ironworks that had a smokey taste from the wild fires that happened when the grapes were growing (or something like that).  Cathy bought two bottles because we are never going to get that taste again.  I liked the second one… Uptown.  It comes in a refillable 1L bottle.  How fantastic is that?

Tasting out of the same location was Urbano Cellars.

The Vin Rose was amazing if for no other reason than because it was the first wine I have ever had that tasted like grapes.  It kind of blew my mind.  But I came home with two bottles of the Sangiovese.  It was everything I wanted in a wine.

And finally after a refreshing stop for a beer, we landed at our final destination… Dashe Cellars.

Wines and food!  it’s one thing to think about what wines go well with what foods but it’s something else all together when you get to taste the food and the wine at the same time.  And how can you help but love a place that puts on an Urban Luau?

All in all a fantastic way to celebrate Cathy’s birthday.

On a side note THANK YOU to Liz and Larry who helped a stranded girl out and absolutely made my day!



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