Drink Local Wine

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The Napa and Sonoma Valleys, both within driving (and visiting) distance of Sacramento, are well known for the quality of their wines. And when seeking a wine to purchase, it’s easy to gravitate towards products made in those famous winemaking regions—they’re marketed cleverly, and it’s likely your guests will recognize them. But if you’re interested in supporting wineries located in the Sacramento region, you have an array of fabulous and interesting options available to you. Here are five we like:

2006 Gewürztraminer
Nevada City Winery
Nevada City
Want to electrify your palate? Sip a cold glass of Nevada City Winery’s delicious, crisp Gewurztraminer. With its spicy, perfumey aroma and floral, honeyed flavor, this wine would be wonderful with Asian food, on a picnic, or as a refreshing quaff while lounging next to the pool.
www.ncwinery.com

2006 Chenin Blanc
Heringer Estates
Clarksburg
“Heringer” sounds an awful lot like “Beringer,” but you can be sure that the Heringer family’s Chenin Blanc—crafted from grapes grown in the Sacramento River Delta—has its own distinct personality. Dry and minerally, this wine has a surprising citrus snap and a smooth, pleasing drinkability that makes it the perfect partner for many dishes. Try it with pasta, your favorite chicken recipe, or a cheese platter.
www.heringerestates.com

2002 Merlot
Harbor Winery
West Sacramento
Soft and supple, with a heady berry fragrance and velvety flavors of currants and black cherries, this Merlot also exhibits a touch of vegetal character. Pair it with a bow of saucy braised short ribs, a slice of lasagna, or even a hefty hamburger.

2003 Syrah
Capay Valley Vineyards
Brooks, Capay Valley
Bursting with zesty flavors, this delightful wine offers hints of ripe blackberries, sun-kissed plums and a bite of black pepper. It has a luscious mouthfeel and a lively personality—drink it alongside a plate of barbecued ribs or a wedge of pepperoni pizza.
www.capayvalleyvineyards.com

2003 “Lodi Old Vine” Zinfandel
Akin Estates
Lodi
Complex and lean, this old-vine Zinfandel displays forward flavors of raspberries and cherries, with a spicy touch of oak and a slightly smoky, toasty, and plummy finish. Try this wine with jambalaya, roasted turkey, or a garlicky, mushroom-doused grilled steak.
www.akinestates.com