The "Winebow Wine Pavilion" requires a powerful lesson in self-directed navigation (okay, the whole "village" is sort of a booze and food maze of confusion, see more for help on that here), but you don't want to miss out on international array of winemakers who are bringing their bottles to the beach. For the most part, there's not a lot of bad wine on offer at the
village; certainly it's not a tent full of plonk. Nevertheless, to maximize the wino on tour experience (and let's be honest, for $225, who doesn't want to make the most of it?), you'll need go straight for the good stuff.
Although we don't know exactly what vintage or specific wine each of the participating vineyards will be pouring, we can give you a decent guide to which participating wineries have stellar ratings in general. We crossed referenced between Wine Enthusiast magazine, Snooth ratings, The Wine Advocate reviews and articles, and a random collection of knowledge on wine accumulated over years of drinking it copiously. These in
particular look like they may be the best of the breed, so here's some highlights of where you should be sure to stop and raise a glass.
It's important to note that you can sniff out the good whiskey and aged
rums pretty easily by avoiding the tiki bar themed stations they tend to
put in between the tents. If you liquor up on cheap coconut rum
and whipped cream scented vodka, you will not, repeat not, get your
Allegrini's Italian reds from the Veneto all have ratings in the high 80s and up, most falling between 90 and 95.
The Antinori's are an iconic winemaking family with estates in Tuscany and Umbria. Their whites are heralded just as much as their reds, with all ratings falling in the high 80s and 90s.
Castello di Bossi's Chianti Classico has a rating of 88, but many of their Tuscan varietals are listed above 90.
Grgich Hills Estate is one of Napa's better widely distributed winemakers, with many 90 and above rated wines.
Lungarotti is located in Umbria,
Marqués de Griñon's Spanish wines all have high ratings in the 80s and 90s, everything from their Petit Verdot to their traditional Cab has been praised.
Mastroberardino's Southern Italian blends run the rating scale from 82 to 94. If they happen to be pouring their Aglianico, come back for more.
Trefethen Vineyards in Napa is a boutique, family owned winery. Their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon earned a 99 rating, but even younger Cabs have high numbers.
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Trinchero's Bordeaux-style blends rate high, but also look to the Napa vineyard for oaky Chardonnays and big Merlots.
Umani Ronchi's wines from Marche region of central Italy have many ratings over 90, they specialize in this area's traditional wines, Conero and Verdicchio,