Paradise Ridge Tasting Room & Art Gallery 8860 Sonoma Hwy., (707) 282-9020. Tasting daily 11am-6pm; $15-$20; food pairings $35+.
|tasting room at Paradise Ridge Tasting Room & Art Gallery in Kenwood, California|
Though the main winery in Santa Rosa was damaged badly in the 2018 Tubbs Fire and is now open only by appointment, this roadside tasting room is open and serving during regular hours. In addition to tasting, special programs (reservations required) include a Wine & Cheese Pairing, a Wine & Herb Sensory Experience, and a Wine and Infused Chocolate Sensory Experience. I indulged in the chocolate pairing, which included four herb-encrusted dark chocolates and four vintages. A sparkling Blanc de Blac began the show, paired with a nasturtium-apricot-chives chocolate. That was followed by an earthy Rhone-style estate blend called The Posse--my favorite of the four wines. I also particularly liked its accompanying lemon-peppercorn-parsley chocolate. Then came an Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rockpile Vineyard in Sonoma--described as a “jewel of a vineyard.” It paired beautifully with a chives-sorrel-rosemary chocolate. This enjoyable educational tasting concluded with a bone-dry Sparkling Shiraz and a hazelnut-tarragon-kale chocolate. It is interesting to know that the winery provides dried herbs to local Wine Country Chocolates in Glen Ellen, which then produces delicious little chocolate squares for this tasting (they are also sold in the tasting room). I took home a bottle of 2016 Nagasawa Estate Chardonnay along with some chocolates topped with hazelnuts, tarragon, and kale and did a sense-expanding tasting later with my husband that was almost as much of fun as at the winery.
|menu in tasting room at Paradise Ridge Tasting Room & Art Gallery in Kenwood, California|
|tasting set-up in tasting room at Paradise Ridge Tasting Room & Art Gallery in Kenwood, California|
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images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers