Monterey Bay in late September!
Majestic yet small enough to walk around.
Touristy, but still relaxing because the feel is old California.
The restaurant scene is lively ranging from typical seafood menus to innovative bistros and friendly brew pubs.
You can start your day with excellent espresso or whatever at Cafe Trieste and the Paris Bakery.
Now for the real good news: wine lovers looking to enjoy fine wines and discover hidden gems will not go away disappointed.
We certainly were not.
You know you are in for a good wine experience when the top-ranked restaurant you booked, “Montrio,” is featuring a half-off bottle price that night. Excellent wine list.
Discovered a classy wine bar, “Sovino” near the wharf but away from the tee-shirt and chowder shops.
Great selection of wine by the glass, all at-half-price during Happy Hour. Also offers small plates ideal for tasting wines.
Enjoyed a glass, actually a seriously generous pour, of ‘14 Flora Springs Napa Cabernet and also a big Napa Cab from newcomer Rama. Both at $8 a glass.
Sovino earns our highest rating:
Excellent selection from Monterey and other regions
Relaxed, cozy atmosphere
Knowledgeable owners who have fun, We were there on Trivia Night.
Sovino also offers sip and paint classes taught by local artists.
Next day on to another wine bar and bistro, “A Taste of Monterey.”
Close to the Aquarium, but a little hard to find.
But once you get there, what great views!
It features wines from 80 wineries, all from Monterey County. Most are small and many are new to the scene.
So good place to discover new names as you taste flights of 5 wines by the glass.
But the great names of Monterey like Morgan, Bernardus, and Scheid are well-represented.
Marin’s Vineyard topped our list of discoveries with a delightful ‘14 Malbec and a serious, big-league Petit Verdot.
Travieso could become a name to watch for serious Syrah and
Boete for Cabernet from the Carmel Valley also impressive at $40 a bottle. Offered at $30 to wine club members.
Both Sovino and A Taste of Monterey, happy to note, are wine clubs as well as wine bars.
Check them out: