POSTED: 05/11/2016 10:00:00 AM PDT
Carmel is a wine mecca along California's central coast. The quaint seaside village attracts artists, dog lovers, and wine fans to its dozen or so tasting rooms. Further inland, Carmel Valley Village boasts wine tasting rooms, shops and restaurants. And in between, you can sample wine at The Crossroads Carmel shopping center.
Wine tasting at a mall? Indeed. Three wine tasting rooms, each with a different vibe, are tucked among local art galleries and clothing boutiques. So park the car for the afternoon, sip some fantastic Monterey County wine, and refuel with fish tacos.
MCINTYRE TASTING STUDIO
The vibe: Start your explorations at winemaker Steve McIntyre's showcase for chardonnay and pinot noir. McIntyre manages 11,000 vineyard acres in Monterey County, including his own 60-acre Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard.
A stone wall behind the tasting bar evokes a wine cave. Chat about winemaking with tasting room manager Kristen McIntyre -- Steve's daughter. Take a peek at the photos of the family's Bernese Mountain Dogs, too. The pups are named for famous wines.
Enjoy Wine by Time happy hour from 3-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when glasses are priced at the time you walk in. Arrive at 3:10 p.m. and that glass of pinot costs $3.10. The sips: The crisp McIntyre Vineyards 2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir ($22) has juicy strawberry and watermelon notes. The complex 2014 Estate Pinot Noir ($42) has earthy and subtle smoke aromas, with rich plum and tart cranberry fruit.Details: Tasting fee $10-$12. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday at 169 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel; www.mcintyrevineyards.com.
-- Mary Orlin, Staff
Pick up a complimentary 93923 Wines passport at McIntyre, Southern Latitudes or Morgan. Get a stamp at each of the three Crossroads Carmel tasting rooms, plus one a few miles down the road, and you'll be entered to win a basket of wine. You don't have to collect all four stamps on one visit; passports do not expire. www.93923wines.com
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