Sonoma Valley Portworks Review

#PetalumaMade DisclosureSonoma Valley Portworks in Petaluma, CAOur third stop of the day on our  #PetalumaMade wine tour was Sonoma Valley Portworks.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve developed an appreciation for port.  Last year I had a terrific port from Brentwood, CA that paired very well with a rich dark chocolate.  So, knowing we’d be tasting some port and not knowing if chocolate would be available, I came prepared and brought my own (my favorite Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree).  I am glad to report I didn’t need it!

Co-Owner Caryn Reading at Sonoma Valley Portworks in Petaluma, CAThe co-owner Caryn Reading was a very gracious host, and very excited to embrace us bloggers and social media.  She was all ready to ask us our best practices on blogging and using Instagram to promote SVP, and I’m so happy to report that she’s a frequent user now!  She had lots of cheese, fruit, and yes, chocolate ready to pair with our selections.

We tried two varietals of the Sonoma Valley Portworks Aris: a 2007 Petit Sirah and a 2008 Petit Verdot.  It was paired with, among other things, a cheese from Beehive Cheese Co. called Barely Buzzed, which is an espresso & lavender hand-rubbed cheese that was actually very good, and paired well.  One of the members of our tour group, Chrissy, is an untrained cheese monger, and schooled us on cheese a bit while we tasted.

We moved on to my absolute favorite, their Cask Reserve port that was simply outstanding.  I was surprised how much I liked it without any food pairing.  The layers of flavor that hit your mouth in waves were shocking and wonderful.  It was sweet, but not too sweet or too dry, either.  I didn’t expect such a rich flavor experience, but I had to bring home a bottle to share this amazing experience with my friends, family, and husband.

Sonoma Valley Portworks in Petaluma, CAAfter tasting the Deco Port with some dark chocolate truffles and the Duet Sherry, I reluctantly tried some of the Sonomic Almost Vinegar made from Gewurztraminer grapes.  I was NOT disappointed!  It was peachy and cirtrusy and thick and sweet.  Like the best parts of a local honey, and the same consistency.  I’ve never tasted anything like it, and immediately grabbed the last bottle off of the shelf!

Sonoma Valley Portworks in Petaluma, CAI’m excited to take my friends back to check in on Caryn’s social media exploits and introduce them to these amazing wines and terrific vinegar from Sonoma Valley Portworks!

Sonoma Valley Portworks is the only winery in Sonoma County specializing in ports and after-dinner wines.

Check out Sonoma Valley Portworks and like them on Facebook!  You can also follow them on Instagram.

613 Second St.
Petaluma, CA 94952

Vayniacs Unite

Have you been watching If not, you’re sorely missing out!

Gary Vaynerchuk, Director of Operations at Wine Library in Springfield, NJ has been taking the wine world by storm since February 2006. Every weekday Gary puts out a completely improvised 22 minute web show where he tastes 3-4 wines, usually of a similar varietal. His energy is crazy and through the roof.

Gary’s appeared on Ellen, Nightline, and Conan to name a few. The guy is a machine in terms of his exposure on social media venues like Twitter and Facebook. Putting aside the marketing machine that the man is, he knows his stuff on wine. His trademarked “sniffy sniff” comes first where he analyzes the nose and aromatics of the wine. Once he’s given the wine a good long sniff and explained the wide range of smells that he picks up from the bouquet of the wine, he gives it a “whirl”. I’ve never seen anyone taste wine like Gary does… he swishes it around in his mouth with the fervor of a Listerine commercial.

All the wines are tasted at room temperature after a good amount of time left uncorked to breathe. At least, I haven’t seen one yet where he’s tasting a cold wine (even the whites are room temp). He does give the wines scores, although he insists that you shouldn’t give the wine scores too much weight since everyone’s pallet is different. And that’s one of the best things about Gary – he brings wine down to earth. He’s not presumptuous about wine like a lot of the traditional industry snobs are.

Gary’s enthusiasm is infectious. His knowledge of wine and down to earth nature make anyone even remotely interested in wine want to go out there and try it all. And there’s awesome 80’s pop culture references thrown in sometimes, so watch damn it! Become a Vayniac!

And since a lot of Askewbs are Jersey diehards, know this: Wine Library is an actual store, the Vaynerchuk family business that was around long before Gary’s life mission of changing the wine world. It’s in Springfield, so roll on by and check it out.