Wine country tasting rooms generally fall into two categories: Disneyland or nose-in-the-air.
Swanson Vineyards’s new Sip Shoppe, the brainchild of founder Alexis Swanson Traina, combines the good of each for the benefit of all (meaning you).
The whimsical Parisian salon-meets-carnival tasting room (red-and-white-striped walls, marble-topped white tables, vibrant blue cabinets) serves the winery’s favorite vintages with perfectly matched nibbles. There’s pinot grigio in a glass Dixie cup paired with an organic caviar-topped potato chip; merlot with the winery’s Clarke Bark (old-fashioned crunchy toffee smothered in chocolate); or the signature Angelica dessert wine in a candy-colored cordial glass with Danish blue cheese.
There’s picnic table seating on the charmingly rustic front courtyard and take-home gifts like Swanson’s new line of Occasion red blends with labels like Mazel Tov, Just Married, and Please Forgive Me. Cheeky, yes. Goofy, no.
The Sip Shoppe at Swanson Vineyards, 1271 Manley Lane, Rutherford (707-754-4018 or swansonvineyards.com). Reservations required.
Photo: Ashley Teplin / Courtesy of Swanson Vineyards
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