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In San Diego, CA on a business trip, I finally get a chance to venture out. It took me 3 days to adjust to the change in time zones and tomorrow, I return back to the east coast.

I’m a little nervous about taking the trolley downtown by myself. I put on my big girl pants and venture out to the streets of San Diego. I’m enjoying the beautiful San Diego, CA scenery.

The members of LOLA’s (Ladies of the Leaf Aficionado’s) recommended that I visit Churchill Wine and Cigar Lounge in Downtown San Diego.  On my way to the lounge, I stroll through the historic San Diego Park; where there is preparation for the “Day of the Dead”. The “Day of the Dead” is a Mexican tradition that celebrates deceased loved ones. This park is beautiful; large cactuses everywhere!  I enter Casa de Reyes, a small courtyard with benches decorated for the “Day of the Dead” celebration and restaurants and souvenirs shops aligned with lacquered brick walkways.

I stumbled upon a small wine shop that’s advertising beer and wine tasting. I can’t pass this up. WOW! I’m greeted by a huge tasting counter with amazing woodcarving. The gentleman smiles and says, “We always get that reaction.” He explains the wine tasting, which is you select five out of eight wines for $10.

White wine or sweeter selections are Hacienda de las Rosas Mission Sangria, Sauvignon Blanc, a White Zinfandel from Bernardo Winery, and Rosa Amarillo – Orange Muscat. The red wine selections are Rey de Rosas (Syrah), Maxiums (Merlot), Zinfandel from Rock Canyon and Black Rose (Black Muscat).

My first selection is Sauvignon Blanc. It’s okay not a citrusy as your traditional Sauvignon Blanc. Second Selection is Maxiums, it’s pretty good and I would buy. The third selection is Zinfandel from Rock Canyon. You have to taste this Zin (red Zin). IT IS AMAZING!

I love wines that take me by surprise. This is not your typical Zin. I was nervous, wanting it to be good and it graciously said hello filling my palate with a dry, smooth thick texture of licorice, with a slight sweetness on the finish –but its dry! I need to start over, there’s so much going on.  I swirl, open up the wine, brown tones-I wonder of the vintage and I’m told 2010. Dang, this is good!

Through conversation, I discovered that the taster and his wife own and operate the tasting room and they are winemakers. He shared that his wife typically runs the tasting room but he gave her the day off. I responded, “That’s so nice of you.” 🙂

Time for the fourth selection and I choose the Rey de Rosas. I have no interest in the Black Muscat, just sounds like sugar. So, I choose the Rey de Rosas (Syrah) again for my fifth selection. He replies, ‘Very Nice!” This is nice; I’m enjoying the full smoky flavors. It reminds me of beef jerky and no I’m not hungry 🙂

I’m enjoying my adventure. Now off to find Churchill Wine and Cigar Lounge, which by the way was great. I was missing the Professional, so I had an A. Fuente 858 Maduro. Churchill Lounge is a MUST visit! The owner and staff are very friendly.

Salute!

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