Stage Left Cellars, in Oakland. Their friendly tasting room.
I will be having a book signing in Oakland this weekend. There is also news about Amador County wineries instituting tasting fees. Let’s chat a bit about both.
Saturday, December 1st, Stage Left Cellars in Oakland is hosting me for a book sale and signing. I am honored to be included in their once monthly public tasting event. They make wonderful Rhone inspired wines in very small lots. I will have copies of both books, Pour Me Another and Wine 101, for sale and to sign. The tasting room will be open from 11am until 5pm, and I will be there the entire time or until all my books are sold, whichever comes first.
Here is a link to a map locating Stage Left Cellars.
Even if it is raining, come on out and taste some great wine and pick up some books and buy some wine to give as gifts or for yourself.
I recently learned that most of the Amador County wineries will be instituting tasting fees beginning December 1st. Each of the wineries will have different policies about the amount of the fee and whether or not the fees are waived if you buy. While this sounds unfortunate, it is understandable from a business point of view.
I understand why wineries decide to charge for tastings, especially when they become popular and people show up to taste and do not buy. When a winery does not charge a tasting fee, I ALWAYS buy at least one bottle. It is part of the etiquette of wine tasting.
Most of the wineries that I visit and write about are small, family businesses. I want to support these small businesses. Running a winery is not an easy or profitable business. If you like their wines, and even if you weren’t wild about their wines, if there was no charge for the tasting, buy at least one bottle in exchange for having had a full tasting flight. Yes, even if you weren’t wild about their wines. Here’s why: I have learned that there are wines I disliked in the tasting room that I loved at home, and wines I loved in the tasting room and disliked at home. It is part of the mystery of wine. It is why you have to taste and drink a wine more than once to decide if you like it.
Support the small wineries. If they don’t charge a tasting fee, buy a bottle. You get to taste 5 – 10 wines and they get to stay in business. That is a Good Thing, as the martyred St. Martha is wont to say.