It's always a good idea to start with the white wines and then go the red. Basically, you want to move from the lightest taste to the boldest. And, if it's your first time, don't be shy about asking for tips on tasting. The D'Argenzio's are happy to give you pointers.
I started with the 2004 Chardonnay. It was light and crisp, with a bit of citrus and very light oak overtones. I prefer that to the heavy oak flavor that burdens many Chardonnays. This wine would go especially well with fish and salad dishes.
A wonderful surprise was another white wine, the 2003 Tocai Friulano. The aroma was of luscious ripe fruit with a hint of almond. It has an initial sweetness but it finishes very dry. A perfect wine to go with an appetizer or light dinner of Chinese chicken salad or seafood pasta.
The 1998 Serenata Sonoma Rosso was a refreshing light red wine, accessible to almost anyone's palate and would be good with most dishes. It would also be nice for making sangria.
The 2002 Zinfandel was deep red, fruity and had a bit of spiciness. But the standout wine was the 2002 Napa Valley Merlot. A blend of merlot (85%) and cabernet (15%), this wine was, in a word, delicious. It has a beautiful dark color, complex aromas suggesting black cherry and berries, and a smooth, velvety texture. A great wine to pair with grilled meats and pasta dishes with marinara sauce.
D'Argenzio wines are getting their fair share of attention and rave reviews. Most recently three of their wines won silver medals at an international competition. If tasting wines is a hobby or a passion of yours ? or if it's something you've always wanted to try ? save yourself the long drive and spend some quality wine-tasting time right here at home.
WHAT: D'Argenzio's Tasting Room
WHEN: Wine Tasting: 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays; noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays; 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays; wine shop open daily, but hours may vary so call first.
WHERE: 1204 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank
COST: $5 to taste five wines. Wine by the bottle $15 and up
CONTACT: (818) 846-8466; website www.dargenziowine.com
OTHER: Special events. Available for private parties.