California Wines From Napa to Santa Barbara.

California’s diverse wineries and wine regions, such as Sonoma County, provide the perfect setting for romance.

Visitors to San Francisco and locals head to the Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Carneros, or Santa Barbara to taste and discover new varietals at the many of the wineries and wine country towns.

Consider these California wine pairings:

Sauvignon Blanc & Oysters.

A romantic, sensual classic: the bright, crisp liveliness of a California Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect foil for the briny, fresh taste of local oysters.  Close your eyes and you’ll feel as if you are standing on a windswept coast, holding hands and breathing in the sea air. Some great regions for Sauvignon Blanc include Sonoma, Napa, Lodi, and Lake County.

Chardonnay & Lobster.

A California Chardonnay that leans toward the opulent, with a rich, silky mouth-feel and a buttery note elevates the festive romance of grilled lobster with drawn butter, or a creamy, elegant Lobster Thermidor. Chardonnay shines in many of California’s wine regions, so it’s easy to find one that makes you think of sunny wine country vacations—or weddings!

Pinot Noir & Truffles.

It’s truffle season, and no wine loves truffles’ earthy, sensual aroma like Pinot Noir.  Try pairing it with creamy, delectable truffled risotto or a slow roasted pork loin with wild mushrooms and truffles.  Pinot Noir likes California’s cooler wine growing areas, so look to areas such as Sonoma, Carneros and Santa Barbara for your perfect pick.

Cabernet Sauvignon & Filet Mignon.

There’s no doubt about it: a tender, succulent filet that is perfectly grilled is a sensory pleasure that melts the heart.  Add the rich, dark fruit depths of a classic California Cabernet and you’ve got a swoon-worthy pairing.  Romantic Cabernet Sauvignon likes a kiss from the sun and is at its happiest in warm spots throughout California including Napa Valley, Lake County and Paso Robles.

“Port” style Zinfandel & Chocolate.

Zinfandel is ripe and decadent to begin with, but made in a dessert-wine style it reaches new heights. Pair it with a chocolate mousse cake with raspberry coulis and you might end up engaged by the last bite. In Dry Creek Valley, Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Madera, gnarled old vines are a few of the sources for some of California’s most exciting Zinfandel wines.

 Moscato & Coeur a la Crème.

This simple yet decadent heart-shaped dessert is a sweet way to say “I love you,” especially when highlighted by the gently sweet, floral notes of youthful Moscato.  Under the California appellation, the inland Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys are exploring this delicious grape variety.

For more information on varietals, regions and wineries that serve those varietals, go to the state’s official website for all things California wine: www.DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com (Wine Institute’s consumer site).

Holiday events are starting to be uploaded from wineries on this site too.

Photo compliments of DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

 

 

 

 

 

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Category: Travel, Wine Country

About the Author ()

Marybeth Bond, the Gutsy Traveler, National Geographic author of 11 travel books, featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of the Online Travel Magazine www.GutsyTraveler.com She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to CNN, CNN Airport Network and CNN.com Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked two months across the USA, traveler to over 90 countries, media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.

Comments (4)

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  1. Pietro says:

    There are so many delicious places to go wine tasting in the Santa Barbara area, it is well worth the trip if you want to be by the beach and in wine country at the same time. It is probably my favorite place to go since you aren’t limited to what you can do there. These are some great options and I have to agree with a few of them (especially the Chardonnay and lobster) always a solid choice! I was actually just in Santa Barbara and I really enjoyed myself. I stayed at the South Coast Inn (www.goleta-hotel.com). Nice and well established, it was a highlight of my trip.

    • Pietro,
      Thanks for the suggestions. I’m headed to Santa Barbara this weekend to do some wine tasting. I’ll update the post after the trip. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are my favorite white wines! And of course, like you, I love lobster with it. Happy Travels.

  2. Met you yesterday at LA Times travel show, great presentation, great website! You have a new fan, me! For SB Wine Country, welove the Lompoc Wine Ghetto for the boutique wineries, and Arcadian Winery in particular. Safe travels & cheers!

    • Hi Mark,
      What a pleasure to hear from you. Thanks for being a fan and for your suggestions for Wine Country about Santa Barbara. One day was NOT enough time and we stayed on the Urban Wine Trail in town. I will go back, in May, I hope and will follow your suggestion to try Lompoc Wine Ghetto.
      Thanks for following me. Happy Travels. MB

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