To honor the new year, things are changing for this edition of Drink of the Week. Instead of “order this drink at such-and-such bar,” we recommend you take advantage of Total Wine's inexpensive wine tasting. At only 10 cents per person, you will be able to taste four different wines and learn about the wineries from a staff member.
Total Wine in the Tustin Marketplace has a roped-off tasting bar for those of drinking age, and a small box ready for those 10-cent deposits. After dropping in my dime, I began tasting a Sobon rose, Stony Bay pinot noir, Courtney Benham petite sirah, and Finca Flichman Expresiones Reserve malbec/cabernet sauvigion blend. My favorite of the bunch had to be the Courtney Benham petite sirah, with grapes sourced from Paso Robles. This 2007 dark red is smooth, with deep plum and blackberry flavors.
After the pouring the final taste, Will Templin, a member of Total Wine's “wine team,” directed me to the back of the store where there is a self-serve tasting room with 16 wines to choose from. Total Wine has tasting cards for purchase–basically a rechargeable debit card–that can be loaded with any amount and then used in the automated wine tasting machines. Pours range from 75 cents to over $4, and you can even get a half-glass pour. Currently, the priciest pour is $4.75 for Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux. But it's worth it! This second label wine retails at $89.99 and comes from Bordeaux, France. Wine Spectator gave it 92 points. Even oenophiles will be impressed with the variety of wines available for tasting here. The bottles ranged from sauvigion blanc to pinot noir to red blends, and best of all, you will be drinking from a Riedel wine glass. Not bad at all.
10-Cent Wine Tastings:
Tuesday-Thursday: 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
Friday: Noon-6 p.m.
Saturday: Noon-6 p.m.
Sunday: Noon-4 p.m.