We rolled in to Napa around 6pm, just as many of the tasting rooms in Napa (the town) were closing down. Our first stop was the Tourist Information Center at the Square One Tasting Room (1331 1st Street), we purchased a Taste Card. Taste cards are $30 each, and entitle you to a limited tasting at twelve tasting rooms within walking distance of each other in downtown Napa.
Since most of the wineries were closed by the time we bought the card, we started out by making the .4 mile walk to Wines by Mark Herold.
Normally, the Tasting Card is good for three pours at Mark Herold, the 2013 Acha Blanca, the 2014 Flux Rose, and the 2011 Collide, but on a whim they added a 2012 Herold Brown Cabernet. All four of these wines were incredible, but the Herold Brown was to die for. The bartenders here were friendly, engaging, and informational.
After Vermeil, it was only a quarter mile walk to the Vintage Sweet Shoppe. Technically not a winery, the Vintage Sweet Shoppe sells chocolates and pairs them with Napa wines. The Taste Card will get you a single half glass of wine, along with two bites of chocolate. We sampled Robert Mondavi Cabernet and Robert Mondavi Riesling, along with dark (for the Cab) and milk (for the Riesling) chocolate.
Square One was the only tasting room open by the time we finished, so we made our way back to the Tourist Information Center. There the card was good for two pours, so we chatted with the friendly bartender and sampled a Sterling Pino Grigio, Black Stallion Zinfandel, and Beringer Founder's Red.
Four Napa Valley tasting rooms in a single evening... and we're just getting started. There are eight more to try out tomorrow, so we headed back to hotel in Fairfied for the night. Is the Taste Card worth it? From our first day's experience, it seems like it. At Mark Herold alone, a basic tasting of six wines started at $25, and that's par for the course in Napa. With the Taste Card, between the hours of six and nine pm we stopped by four tasting rooms and sampled everything from a single half glass with chocolate, to four 1 oz. pours. The Taste Card comes with a map of all 12 of the tasting rooms it covers, including the closing time of each location (some of the closing times have changed since the cards were printed). Tomorrow, we'll take a drive further up the valley, sample some wines onsite at a winery or two, hit up Yountville, and try to stop by the other eight tasting rooms in Napa. In the meantime, follow me on twitter and Instagram, and like my page on Facebook! Just click the buttons at the top of this page.