How about an Italian Barolo for under $20 or a California pinot noir for $15? Sounds like a deal, and it is! Make just about any wine you want at a place called Water2Wine on US 281 and Thousand Oaks (by Big Lots). The grape juice they use to make the wine is grown in vineyards all over the world, and yes, you’ll recognize many of the names.
The wine making process itself is interesting, but more than that, it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been to Water2Wine several times, and it’s always a great time. You can taste all different wines at their wine bar, and when you find one you like, buy it or make your own.
Part of the fun is meeting the delightful family members that own the place…three sisters…Nancy, Karen and Trish. And Dennis, the manager, is incredibly patient and good at helping you find a wine you like.
Even the ladies’ parents pitch in when they need help bottling the hundreds of bottles they sell every month.
If you’re just learning about wine, this is a great place to try dozens of different varietals without spending a lot of money. And, Nancy says the wines at Water2Wine only have a fraction of the sulfites that commercially made wines have, so if you’re one of those that swears wine gives you a headache, you might want to try the wines here.
If you commit to making your own wines, each batch results in about 28-30 bottles. And it’s a process. You don’t leave with your wine the day you make it because it has to ferment for at least 45 days.
The bottling process, to me, is the best part. You even get to customize your labels-your private reserve wines make great gifts! You should see my ‘Goodtaste with Tanji’ pinot noir!
If you’re not fully committed to buying 28 bottles, go in with friends, split the cost and divvy up the wines.
All in all, it’s a great way to meet new people, hang out with friends, have fun and learn a lot about tons of different wines. If you’re new to drinking wine, this is an easy and inexpensive way to explore different kinds of wine so that you figure out what you like and why. It will make ordering a glass of wine in a restaurant less intimidating and more fun.
When you go try their Argentinian Malbec and their Symphony wine – a nice white varietal developed by students at UC Davis viticultural department. If you’d like to learn more about Water2Wine, head over to my website at www.goodtastewithtanji.com – you’ll find them in the “Gems” section. Enjoy everyone!