California Wine and Wine Country
"I prefer a pleasant vice to an annoying virtue." Moliere
California Wine could very well be called a pleasant vice. It is to us!
Have you ever had questions about: which CA Wines to purchase, some simple wine basics, wine accessories, wine tasting or how to explore Wine Country and its Wine Regions?
Hopefully we can help by providing you with simple, easy-to-use information and tools to enhance your enjoyment and exploration of CA Wines.
We created this website to provide the information you need in a simple, basic and easy-to-use manner. We can show you how to select a wine by type, winery and region without having to spend lots of time researching (of course, you can always dig deeper).
So if you don't have the time nor inclination to become a "wine snob," but you still want to enjoy great CA Wines then maybe we can help.
Based on our research, experience tasting many of these wines, living in Wine Country, and our passion for affordable, fine wines, our goal is to make your exploration into CA Wines fun and easy. Your choices have grown considerably, there are now close to 3000 wineries in California; we will focus on a fraction of these, approximately 125 or so.
We decided to cut our wine costs by focusing on California Wines that cost less than $20 a bottle. This is a big part of the mission of this web site. There are many great CA Wines under $20, but we set our upper limit at $35 so many of the excellent wines, especially Cabernets, would make the cut. The fun is to find a really good, maybe great wine as inexpensive as $8, and there are some on our Wineries and Wines Lists.
Two For One: A Vineyard and the Coastal Cliffs of Northern California:
We want this website to become your starting place for:
Below you will find our Full List of Wineries that we recommend. The Wineries and Wines on this list are ones we know and trust and are in sync with our Parameters (see below) for choosing CA Wines. We do not receive any favors or compensation, from any of these wineries for our recommendations; they probably don't know we exist.
Full List of Recommended Wineries and Wines
All of these wines retail for under $35 (with a very few exceptions for those special occasions), some much less than $35. They demonstrate consistent, good quality year after year and are, for the most part, readily available at your local wine stores (if you can't find a wine, click on the winery's website link in our Lists and they will tell you where that wine can be purchased, or just buy it from them).
So you won't have to blindly select a CA Wine, throughout this website, and on the Downloadable Files page, you will find lists by region and individual varietals (types of grapes); these lists are all in printer formatted PDF files (when you go wine shopping, print the list(s) and take it with you or pull them up on your mobile). These lists also have links to the individual wineries websites. They will be frequently updated.
If you take a wine that we recommend to a party and it flops, just blame us. But don't be afraid to take a risk on any CA Wine - the risk is low that you will get a loser and you may find a gem. Also, if you want to send us a California Winery or Wine Recommendation, please go to our Visitors Wineries and Wines Recommendations Page.
Some Basic Parameters we use when selecting California Wines:
- Most of our recommendations are based on what we like; we have no idea how this would work otherwise.
- We will also recommend wines that sell for less than $35 and are readily available in wine shops or online stores - there are many great California Wines in that price range.
- We will on a regular basis be exploring California Wines and updating you on our experiences and the results from the Wine Tastings we hold and attend (see our Wine Tasting Page for access to the Tasting Results).
- You can contribute your recommendations using the Visitor's Recommendation Page (You Recommend button on the left column) or our Contact Us Page.
- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, Syrah/Shiraz, varietals only.
- Medium to Full Bodied Wines
- We will not recommend watery, weak wines with no flavor, character or complexity.
- Not always, but we mostly prefer wines that are aged in oak barrels.
- Good, usually deep, color.
- Good fruit, but not too fruity (we can drink grape juice much cheaper than paying for wine).
- Some tannins and acid make it seem like you are drinking a "real" wine.
- We do not bother with wines that need to age: too much work, need a wine cellar, a system; it's just not that easy to do properly. And we would rather drink wine than manage a small warehouse of it.
While exploring Napa Valley Wineries, Sonoma and Central Coast Wineries, we have always wanted a method or system to assist us in finding that "perfect" wine. A simple, easy to learn and use method that does not require an excessive amount of time-it can get complicated.
For a long time, we made it easy for our friends, families, and neighbors to find that wine for any occasion using a simple selection method that we just created and kept in our heads. We finally decided to write it down in the form of this website, which is really a synopsis of the knowledge we have acquired over the many years of exploring California Wines.
We hope the information and tools, on this website, will make your exploration of CA Wines as fun and exciting as ours has been. It never really ends!
So please explore, have fun and let us know what you think. Go to our Contact Us Page or our Visitor's Recommendation Page.
"Cheers!" "Sante!" "Salute!" "Salud!"
Table of Contents
- California Wine Tasting
- Learn tips for California Wine Tasting, ideas and forms for Tasting Parties, Tasting Parties Results and other simple info about Tasting California Wines.
- California Wine Tasting Tips
- Learn simple Wine Tasting Tips that will make you look like an oenologist (a wine expert or snob).
- California Wine Tasting Parties
- Throw Great California Wine Tasting Parties with instructions, forms and ideas.
- Blind Tasting Covers
- Sources for Blind Tasting Covers for hiding the identity of the California Wines you are Tasting.
- California Wine Tasting Forms
- Simple Wine Tasting Forms and guidelines for your Wine Tasting Party.
- California Wine Tasting Results
- California Wine Tasting Results database from our parties and yours as well. Great resource for selecting that "perfect" California Wine.
- California Wine Information
- Without needing to become a wine snob, find some simple basic Wine Information, what California Wine Labels mean, pairing wine with food, storing wines, wine books, movies and magazines.
- Wine Accessories
- Wine Accessories can add to the enjoyment of drinking California Wines: glasses, corkscrews, wine glass charms, racks, cellars, other fun stuff.
- Wine Glasses
- Find information about a variety of the various types of Wine Glasses that can add to the enjoyment of drinking California Wines.
- Find information about, reviews and sources for a variety of Corkscrews for properly opening your California Wine (of course you can always buy screw tops).
- Wine Snacks
- What snacks go with what wines? Our Wine Snacks page matches common snacks with the most compatible California Wines.
- Wine Food Pairing
- You don't need to be an expert; we make Wine Food Pairing simple and basic. What California Wines to serve with what and at what temperature.
- Wine Serving Temperatures
- Wine Serving Temperatures simple Guidelines recommended for all of the California Wine Varietals that we cover?
- Select California Wines
- Learn a quick and easy method to Select California Wines and Buying Tips. Method is based on California Wine Regions.
- California Red Wine
- A simple guide to all things California Red Wine and recommendations for excellent Red Wines for under $35.
- California White Wine
- A simple guide to all things California White Wine and recommendations for excellent White Wines for under $35.
- Pink Wine
- Basic Information on all things California Pink Wine (actually called Rose'; includes White Zinfandel, Petite Sirah Rose' and others where the red grape skin is removed early in the process).
- Sparkling Wine
- Basic Information on all things California Sparkling Wine (in California, made mainly from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes).
- California Port Wine
- Basic Information on all things California Port Wine (most CA Ports are made from Cabernet, Petite Sirah, or Zinfandel grapes).
- Visitors Wineries and Wines Recommendations
- To allow Visitors to our site to send us their California Wineries and Wines Recommendations
- California Wine Country
- Basic Information on California Wine Country, Tours, Lodging, Wine Country Maps, Napa Valley Wine Train, Balloon Rides and places to eat.
- California Wine Country Tours
- Information on various California Wine Country Tours; planned for you or do it yourself.
- California Wine Country Maps
- California Wine Country Maps.
- The Pacific Ocean and California Wine Country
- Pacific Ocean "Points of Interest" along the California Wine Country coastal areas.
- California Wine Regions
- Info on California Wine Regions: Napa; Sonoma; Carneros; Russian River; Mendocino; Sierra Foothills; Central Coast (Santa Cruz Mtns, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles); Lake County; Central Valley.
- Napa Valley Wineries and Wines
- A simple guide to and recommendations for Napa Valley Wineries and Napa Wines.
- Sonoma Wines and Wineries
- A simple guide to and recommendations for Sonoma Wines and Wineries.
- Central Coast Wineries and Wines
- A simple guide to and recommendations for Central Coast Wineries and Wines.
- Lake County Wineries and Wines
- A simple guide to and recommendations for Lake County Wineries and Wines.
- Sierra Foothills Wineries and Wines
- A simple guide to and recommendations for Sierra Foothills Wineries and Sierra Foothills Wines.
- Central Valley Wineries and Wines
- A simple guide to and recommendations for Central Valley Wineries and Wines.
- California Wine Clubs
- Most Napa Valley, Sonoma and Central Coast wineries have California Wine Clubs that you can join and get great discounts and other benefits.
- Downloadable Files
- Downloadable Files of recommended wineries, wines; broken into subgroups including individual varietals. Also, Tasting Party Forms, Tasting Results and other valuable info.
- Other Valuable California Wine Links
- California Wine Links to other websites that we find that have good value.
- California Wine Books, Magazines, Movies, Links
- Info on Wine Books, Magazines, Movies and our favorite online links to our favorite California Wine info sites.
- Contact Us
- Contact Us
- California Wine Made Easy Newsletter
- Site Map
- Site Map