I know what you’re thinking, why would you spit a mouthful of good wine into the bucket when you could swallow it and enjoy the resulting tingle and buzz. Well, whatever your proclivity, ample opportunity awaits you in sunny Carmel Valley Village. This quaint little Village sits just 12 miles inland from Highway 1 and is home to 15 + tasting rooms and many excellent wineries. For those who do not want to drink and drive there is a wine trolley from various locations in Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove and Cannery Row to wisk you out there and once you arrive, a colorful fellow and his dog to shuttle you from tasting room to tasting room in his open air wagon which is pulled by his antique tractor.
Some wineries of note are PARSONAGE which specializes in several excellent red varietals such as Syrah, Petite Verdot and Merlot, JOULLIAN which offers an excellent Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Zinfandel and a couple of other red varieties, BERNARDUS which also has a very good Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well as a Pinot Noir and their flagship red blend Marinus. There are other “boutique wineries such as MERCY, CHESBRO. COASTVIEW, HELLER ESTATE (organic),COWGIRL, GEORIS and the not so boutique TALBOTT. These all offer excellent wines and have something for every palate.
If your head is swimming after all that wine there are some excellent choices for food as well. CAFE RUSTICA offers excellent pizzas and a great menu of savory choices. There is the CORKSCREW which also offers small pizzas as well as signature dishes. You can enjoy a bit if Carmel Valley history by visiting WILLS FARGO restaurant or the rustic RUNNING IRON SALOON. For a casual dining experience there isLOKAL restaurant and the TRAILSIDE CAFE’. You will not go wrong at any of these local eateries!