Having a partner turns bouncing a ball into a tennis match, a monologue into a conversation, and a bear attack into a slightly longer bear attack. Experience the power of pairing with today's Groupon: for $40, you get a wine- and cheese-tasting outing at Auriga Wine Cellars in Placerville (an $80 value), including:
- Tasting of three gold-medal-winning wines with cheese pairings
- Take-home package of your choice of one bottle of wine and a paired wedge of local cheese
Tastings take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following dates:
- Sunday, August 28
- Sunday, September 11
- Sunday, September 18
Auriga Wine Cellars' resident artisans transform innocuous batches of freshly pressed grape juice into award-winning casks of wine. At regular two-hour tastings, patrons pair sips of three of the vineyard's recent gold medalists—the 2008 merlot, 2009 sangiovese, and 2009 barbera—with savory slices of locally made cheese and a slew of imported superlatives. Wine and cheese makers will be on hand to expound upon the wine's journey from seedling to bottle, explain the cheese-crafting process, and help tasters distinguish the different flavor notes that complement one another on the palate. After the tasting, patrons bring home a bottle of one of the three wines and a wedge of its cheesy cousin, which they can sip for themselves or smash on the prow of a passing un-christened boat.
Auriga Wine Cellars
The Sierra Nevada foothills have been tilled since the time of the gold rush, but its thin soil allows only the heartiest grapevines to thrive. But when they grow, the grapes there produce powerful wines full of intense flavors. The staff at Auriga Wine Cellars specialize in reds, which range from the peppery, black cherry notes of their Barbera to a double-gold-award-winning shiraz-and-syrah blend aged for one year in French and American oak. They complement these robust offerings with their small-batch sparkling wine and their sangiovese, which tastes of slightly spicy raspberries and strawberries with a hint of basil, thyme, and sage. They sell their vintages by the bottle, but the shop’s wine club delivers bottles to aficionados three times a year, letting them try out new vintages or spend more frustrating evenings trying to squeeze a model ship inside them.