One of the many benefits to wine club membership is the ability to enjoy all of the facilities of the winery without any guilty feelings. After all, you have already committed to supporting the winery in a major way. Recently, we had a beautiful, sunny afternoon to spend wine tasting so we dropped by one of our favorite wine club hosts: Ruby Hill Winery.
Although we love the Ruby Hill club parties, our summer schedule was so packed that we missed not one, but TWO release parties. That meant that we had quite a few bottles of wine languishing at the winery, pining to come home with us. Between our need to rescue our (already paid) wine and our love of the Ruby Hill patio, it felt like the perfect afternoon to drop in and see what was new!
We arrived to find the tasting room awash with happy tasters. The long, horseshoe-shaped tasting bar was shoulder-to-shoulder with people, yet the wine guides were capably handling the crowd, keeping track of everyone’s progression through their tasting flight. Great customer service in action. One of the legs of the tasting bar is reserved for club members, so we made our way over to that area of relative calm.
A bustling tasting room like this requires a lot of staff performing a wide range of duties. Even the simplest step in the wine tasting process, the presentation of a wine glass, needs constant support and attention. We noticed that this task was being performed at Olympian levels by Savannah, who was able to deliver more than a dozen clean wineglasses in one hand! Incredible!
A lesser-known benefit of club membership at Ruby Hill is the freedom to design one’s own tasting flight. We delight in this ability and never let it go to waste! After a splash of their sparkling wine to kick-start our palates, we jumped directly to a consistent favorite: Peacock Patch Zinfandel.
We found an open table on the members-only patio and took in the summer sun rippling across the Livermore hills. Next up for us in our self-designed tasting flight was their Intesa, an fun blend that seems to pair with everything. Our final taste was another flexible blend, their Patchwork. This wine has so much fruit and balanced tannins going for it that we immediately started thinking about what we would be having for dinner.
With Patchwork-induced inspiration, we collected our bags of wine bottles and drove across the street to Campo di Bocci. Time for some food and bocci ball!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?
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