|Do the Doon|
|February 24, 2006|
Going to Bonny Doon on a wine-sipping excursion is the perfect Bay Area day trip. You career down ninety blue miles of wave-crashing Pacific Coast Highway to the lush mountains of Santa Cruz in anticipation of wine slipping down your throat like the devil in velvet trousers. (Whether you do it in a BRAND! NEW! PRIUS! is, of course, your choice.) Ten miles north of Santa Cruz proper, you will drive inland for a few miles until you reach Pine Flat Road. And if the fog is smoking over the coast, have no fear, Bonny Doon's tasting rooms always seem to be curiously sozzled in dappled light.
While the tasting rooms aren't actually on Bonny Doon's own vineyard (their CA grapes are sunning themselves in Soledad and their European grapes are in, well, Europe), there's certainly nothing unlovely about the frankly picturesque wood shack in Santa Cruz. Plus, no matter how hard you try, you just won't run into Syrah snobs or Cab effetes here. The atmosphere is funky, rustic, and relaxed, yet it still manages to buzz happily with heavy offers of some damn good wine.
The tasting used to be free but really, the new charge of $3 isn't much to fork over for six tastes of very different wines. Plus, the tasting room staff are so exuberant about their liquid wares that if you are truly interested by the wines, they just might bring out a few extra bottles that they happen to have open. However, if you are lucky enough to be a member of one of their wine clubs -- they have two: Distinctive Esoteric Wine Network (DEWN) and Vino Voyages, which is basically a dinner party and European vacation in every shipment -- you taste for free and get 10% off any purchases you make.
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