New! Napa Trip Planner

Armchair Sommelier Logo


Winery reviews, tours, history. Learn more about about our favorite producers.

Sonoma pinot noir has no problem standing next to the giant that is Napa Cabernet. Learn the best places to taste pinot in Sonoma County.

Take a trip through the best wineries and tasting rooms in St. Helena California including reviews of our favorites.

I’ve tasted a ton of Virginia wines and RdV Vineyards is off the charts! Read about my field trip to RdV and what I thought of their wines.

Taste Wine Like A True Armchair Sommelier

Spice up your next party with our FREE wine tasting guide! Learn what to look, smell, and taste for while appreciating your favorite bottle. We’ve also included a printable tasting notes template and a tasting wheel.

From The Blog

wine bottles in fall leaves

Peju Winery (and a small organic tangent)

Since I started working in the retail wine industry, I’ve had a lot of surprises — both pleasant and unpleasant (but that’s a post for another day). One of the biggest has been the number of people...

Read More

RARECAT Wines: An American in Bordeaux

The site of our not-to-be meeting. I still have chandelier envy. I was supposed to meet up with Sharon Kazan Harris of RARECAT Wines last spring in DC, but due to a calamity of unfortunate events, we...

Read More
Castello di Amorosa

Morning Dew Ranch: A Home Run for Castello di Amorosa

Photo Credit: Jim Sullivan Castello di Amorosa is a full-scale, historically accurate, actual, medieval Tuscan castle in the heart of Napa Valley.  If you’re interested in more history about the castle and it’s construction, I wrote a blog post about that last fall. In...

Read More
Aridus Wine Company

Arizona: It’s Not Just for Cacti

Quick.  Off the top of your head, name five things that you associate with Arizona.  I’ll go first: CactusThe Grand CanyonRattlesnakesTurquoiseI said cactus already, right? What’s not on that list?  Wine. Fun Fact:  Every state in the US...

Read More
sutro wine

Sutro Wines: A Total Work of Art

I put wineries in the same category as boats and horses — things I do not want to own.  Once upon a time, I thought owning a winery would be dreamy.  I’d sit on my porch, overlook...

Read More
wine venn diagram

Good Steward, Smith-Madrone

There’s a lot of chatter in the wine world today about viticultural practices — specifically organic, biodynamic, and sustainable practices.  Many vineyards are moving away from conventional practices (which have few limitations on pesticides and chemical fertilizers) and toward one or...

Read More
The Barns at Hamilton Station

Virginia Wine Field Trip: The Barns at Hamilton Station

My latest Virginia winery field trip brought me to The Barns at Hamilton Station, located in tiny  Hamilton, Virgnia, just ten miles west of Leesburg.  The Barns at Hamilton Station won this year’s Virginia Governor’s Cup (Virginia’s foremost...

Read More