Wine connoisseurs assert that novice tasters should never pair red wine with fish, white wine with red meat, or excessive wine with jury duty. Lap up today's Groupon in moderate proportions: for $20, you get a wine tasting for eight guests at Appellation: California in Madera (a $40 value). Pouring the fresh-pressed fruits of the Central Valley, Appellation: California ensconces oenophiles in a restored tasting room that showcases 1920s style. Bring broods of veteran tipplers or recent grape-juice graduates to the sampling center, which unites a flock of vintages from more than 20 wineries for guests’ potable pleasure. Imbibers sip selections of still wines and sparklers while admiring the surrounding stucco-finished walls and artfully arched ceilings, taking time out to procure a palate-pleasing port, swirl wine around the glass, and engage the friendly staff in a debate about the difference between centripetal and centrifugal forces. After the tasting, sippers can stroll around the historic grounds to survey the site’s natural beauty and collection of raisins shaped like famous sommeliers. Appellation: California takes pride in serving wine that is locally grown and produced—ensuring regional juice jobs stay in the hands of American grapes. A towering valley oak tree watches over visitors and vines, nurturing pinots-to-be with shade and bedtime stories. In addition to its broad selection of spirits, the center sells a variety of bite-size fare—including sauces, dried fruit, nuts, and cheeses—that pair easily with the right bottle.
32749 Avenue 7
Madera, California 93637Get Directions