The Day I Went Wine Tasting By Myself
Updated: Feb 3
We are social creatures. Doing things on our own is unusual and tends to be looked at as strange or unexpected. Especially situations or events that are thought to be a group activity like traveling, eating out, and wine tasting!
I wouldn't necessarily call myself "shy" exactly, but I also wouldn't consider myself very outgoing. I have a comfort zone, and I like to stick with it. I enjoy eating out by myself, or enjoying a glass of wine at a quaint wine bar, but wine tasting through Sonoma County by myself was something I never thought I would be able to bring myself to do. I grew up in the area so when I was old enough to drink, spending the weekend wine tasting was a fun group activity for me and my girl friends.
Chatting up strangers and making small talk with people I don't know is not one of my strengths. I am comfortable going out to eat by myself because the need and availability to talk to someone besides your server is little to none. Wine tasting, however, is incredibly social. People want to compare notes on what they're tasting, talk about the area you're in, what your background in wine is, if you can taste the difference between two or more vintages, the list is endless. Originally I was planning on wine tasting with some friends and family, but things came up and everyone else's plans changed. I had to settle with the fact that I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone and do this on my own.
As a travel blogger I knew I was going to have to get more comfortable doing things on my own eventually, so why not jump into it in my home town and doing something I love. At the end of the day, I am so happy I did! Not only was the wine giving me more liquid courage, but since wine tasting is so inherently social it was so much easier for me to chat with new people than it normally is. Starting off by comparing notes on the wines we were tasting, then segwaying into more personal topics like were we were from, what brought us here, why I was tasting alone, etc.
Wine tasting by myself gave me a whole new appreciation for wine. This liquid gold has such a long history and can bring so many walks of life together. I discovered my passion for wine a few years back and this experience revitalized it. I am now more sure than ever that I want to one day travel to all the different wine regions in the world and share my experiences through this blog and maybe someday experience those areas even further by organizing group trips with fellow wine enthusiasts.
Let me tell you a little about the wineries I visited in the Alexander Valley!
Focusing on Bordeaux style varietals, this family owned winery is housed in the original Alexander Valley general store and post office and was build over 150 years ago. The current owners purchased the property in 2000 and have been slowly restoring it ever since using green and recycled building practices.
Feel free to walk in and do a tasting daily from 11am to 5pm. Or, call ahead of time for a more intimate affair and reserve a cheese board to accompany the wine you will be trying.
Located on 53 acres in the Alexander Valley, Lancaster Estate focuses on growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Sustainable farming has been crucial in the wine making at Lancaster Estate, and they have been certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance since 2014.
Tastings in their salon or outdoor patio are open from 11am to 5pm daily. I would highly recommend calling ahead of time and scheduling an estate tour and tasting, where you will have to opportunity to tour their beautiful wine cave.
In between tastings, it was such a gorgeous day that I had the urge to find a safe spot to pull over and give myself a mini photo shoot in the vineyards!
I set up my Nikon Coolpix B500 Camera with my brand new Geekoto Tripod and walked a little ways down the vineyard. What's great about this camera is I was able to use its WiFi capabilities and take the pictures from my phone that I held discretely in my hand. You can check out the end result in the picture below as well as the pictures at the top of this blog page!
In the end, I am so proud of myself for taking one step further out of my comfort zone into the world of travel and wine blogging. I hoping to take this momentum and eventually do a big international solo trip in the not to distant future! Here's to more exciting and memorable experiences. Cheers!