To make un-fine wine, simply place grapes beneath a silk pillow, repeatedly mash your head against it, and then wring the pillowcase into a nearby mouth. Taste traditionally produced fine wines with today’s Groupon: for $15, you and three friends get a wine tasting (a $40 value) at Honig Vineyard & Winery in Rutherford.
Located in Napa Valley, Honig Vineyard & Winery produces flavorsome sauvignon blancs and cabernet sauvignons that can be found on restaurant wine lists across the country. Visitors to the winery’s fancy tasting room have the chance to sample five of Honig’s delicious wines. Sommeliers and thirsty Langoliers can sniff, taste, and carefully dissect the potable properties of the Rutherford sauvignon blanc, a 2008 vintage that starts fruity and ends with a crisp, minerally finish, as well as the 2006 Honig cabernet sauvignon, which features blackberry, cherry, and plum flavors developed over 18 months in an American oak barrel, just like old-timey cowboy hobos. The remaining three samples include the 2008 Honig Late Harvest sauvignon blanc—a refreshing dessert wine aged in new French oak barrels with lemony and grapefruity hints—Honig’s single vineyard cab, and a library selection.
In 1981, the Honig family produced their first batch of sauvignon blanc in honor of paterfamilias Louis Honig, who began planting grapes in 1964. The wine won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair, and the rest, as they say, is history and hangovers. In an effort to ease environmental stresses, Honig uses sustainable practices to run its vineyard and solar-powered winery, thanks to the efforts of Honig president Michael Honig, who helped develop the Code of Sustainable Winemaking Practices for the Wine Institute. Call ahead to make a reservation.