Yes, I am predominantly a wine girl (in case you couldn’t tell). But when in the mood for a cocktail, vodka is my go-to hard liquor of choice. To be honest, I’m not as well-versed in vodkas as I am with wines. I only recently discovered Hangar 1 when it was on sale, and with its smooth texture and almost fruity finish, it quickly became my new favorite. And then I realized why — Hangar 1 distills a combination of grapes and grain, so the vodka has a wine-like quality about it. But when Monica Villicana, Re:Find proprietor and wife to chief distiller and co-proprietor Alex Villicana, sent me a bottle of their barrel aged finished vodka, I knew I was about to find my new, new favorite.
One of the cool things about living in SF’s South Bay Area is that it seems like very little city down here, from Sunnyvale to Saratoga, has it’s own Wine Walk. It’s an event where wineries from all over California set up in local shops and pour samples of their latest releases. The most popular, by far, is the Los Gatos Wine Walk. Whether their spring or fall event, tickets sell out sometimes weeks before the actual event. Well, I finally got my ticket to this year’s fall walk. With 40 different wineries pouring anywhere from 1 to 5 wines each, it’d be hard for me to recap the whole event. But I did make it to all 40, tasting and talking at each station, and I’ve chosen my top 4 of those 40 wineries here.
This is purely based on my opinion and tasting notes from the event.
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I never heard of this varietal before I was perusing my Twitter feed and this recommendation came up from Reverse Wine Snob, Jon Thorson. It just so happened I was looking for something exactly like this for my dinner that day — something light, refreshing, perfect for a hot summer’s evening.
At first my mind ran down the list: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Reisling? But none of those flavor profiles truly met the brief for my dinner-pairing…
I was at my local Trader Joe’s when I remembered the review I had read that morning. I picked up that bottle and, true to my book-nerd form, read the back of the bottle: “light-bodied,” “dry,” “fresh and lively” — sold!