I’m a wine lover and well-traveled. I’ve ventured to Mendoza, Argentina (shown above) to sample the best of Malbec, across the pond to Spain to imbibe the lovely Rioja, over to Oporto, Portugal for a good tawny port, and up to the Finger Lakes in New York for world renowned Rieslings. Along with my wine adventures, my taste buds have grown accustomed to award winning wines from not only the major players in the industry, but also those boutique wineries, hidden gems, that make the whole wine experience come to life with stories direct from the owners or even taking part in the wine making process during harvest or bottling.

When I come home from my adventures, I still want to taste worldly wines that perhaps are selected by discerning well-traveled palates like mine. There’s no way of getting around visiting my local wine store for a table wine or two, but I want to be delighted by a really good wine, not just my table variety, in my backyard or in front of the TV watching Seinfeld reruns. This month, I stumbled upon a family run wine business, Uncorked Ventures, that delivers hand picked wines from California, Oregon, and Washington for its wine club members as well as for wine lovers that want to send a special someone a wine gift or basket. (Don’t forget numero uno! No one will tell if you get yourself a wine gift, too!)

Without a trip planned until late summer, I was tempted to see what surprise would arrive at my doorstep and signed up for its monthly membership. In under a week, I received my first special delivery of two wines, one red and one white.


You betcha, I opened the Vina Robles Red 4 first with dinner that very evening.  Okay, let’s face it, I opened it before dinner. This blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Petite Sirah was smooth with rich cherry flavors. It wasn’t too big to have alone, but it made an excellent choice for my cheese tapa plate and burgers off the BBQ. Although I was too stuffed for dessert, I could see it melding beautifully with dark chocolate.

I turned up my nose at the second bottle as I’m a self-proclaimed ABC girl. For those of you that don’t know, ABC stands for Anything But Chardonnay drinker. However, I knew that I had to at least try a taste of the boutique Lennox Vineyards Chardonnay. Surprised by the crisp, summer flavors, I was expecting something overly heavy and oaky, like the hundreds of typical buttery, oaky, and heavy Chardonnays of countless cocktail hours past. As I drank my second glass, I read about its small vineyard on the Southern outreaches of Russian River Valley. It turns out that this particular Chardonnay was made as a request from the owner’s eldest daughter. She wanted her father to make a Chardonnay for her wedding day. However, as I typical naysayer to Chardonnays, it was quite light and enjoyable, like one’s wedding day should be. (And, way to go Dad! Talk about a gift with blood, sweat, tears, and lots of heart!)

So, from my home, with my backpack stowed, I was looking for a wine adventure. Living far away from wine country, I found my supplement right at my doorstep with this wine club.

As always, stay up-to-date on more wine conversations through my cultural tourism and adventure travel stories by connecting with me on FacebookTwitter, Google+, and YouTube.  And, please share your best wine tasting stories and/or tips. I love hearing from other adventurers like myself, that love wine.

Here’s to more good times and good stories. Salud!