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5 California Wine Lovers Share Their Favorite Wines

Graef Chardonnay

I haven’t run one of these in a while.  In certain circumstances, I will allow a guest post in this space….but it should be good, interesting and unique compared to what I’m normally publishing.  I appreciated the sourcing of individual quotes for this article.

5 Californian Wine Lovers and what they say about their favorite wine

California is one of the most productive agricultural regions around the globe. But every professional wine drinker knows three things about Californian wines– California wine is unique, CA wine universe is huge and new wine-blends are growing continuously in this grape crazy state.

There are literally 60,000 registered wine labels (Mark’s Note: Sourcing!). It’s really difficult for even the greatest wine professionals to cover all of the wines. However, you can always ask a wine lover to find out which wine would be good to start your California-wine-tasting-journey.

To give you a start with some good wines, we outreached a few wine lovers from California and asked them to share their thoughts.

DemeJo, Youtuber (Favorite Wine- Graef Chardonnay 2013)

Graef ChardonnayDeme is a writer, youtuber and a passionate wine lover. She enjoys reviewing wines that are affordable. On her spare time, she loves to read about various subjects and currently writing her first short horror story. Here is what she told me about her favorite wine-

My favorite wine is Graef Chardonnay 2013. I like this wine because of its tropical flavors and refreshing taste.

This wine from Napa Valley is a perfect balance of bright fruit with a vanilla backdrop. It’s a good head start if you haven’t tried much California wines.

James, Home-appliance expert (Favorite wine- Ancient Peaks Paso Robels Zinfandel)

James is a home-products expert and a causal wine drinker. He writes about different home products at a popular review website- You can check out his latest reviews on wine coolers if your old cooler has stopped working, I digress 😉 Here is his take-

I have not tasted many wines, but if I have to recommend one, I will say- Ancient Peaks Paso Robels Zinfandel. It is a clean, budget-friendly wine enriched with blackberry and vanilla flavor. I don’t like its snack pairings, but grilled chicken is always a good choice.

(Mark’s Note: So we’re big, big Paso fans in our house.  It’s literally one of our favorite places in California both as wine lovers and as parents. Ancient Peaks does a good job, unfortunately it’s also one of the larger producers in the region.  If you’re looking for Paso wine, PLEASE take the time to search out someone doing this on their own.  I think you’ll be happy you did.)

Patrick Ney, Comedian (Favorite wine- California Cabernet)

Patrick Ney is a Comedian/Somm who has a blog called and a live Wine tasting/Comedy show called HighSpirits that’s being developed for TV.

William Harrison Cabernet SauvignonToday if you want an extra -go the distance bottle of California Cabernet, you’re gonna have to pay up. A cheap cab is like going from a good IPA to a Bud light, bad idea.  This reality is due to the fact that Napa is the king of Cabs land and prices for a decent bottle start at around $50. With the cost of grapes in Napa rising, this trend will continue, I can remember when a bottle of, great Cabernet was around $35 now that bottle has doubled in Price, pushing $70. And since I need Gas, for my car, and Wine for my soul I pay the Man! (Mark’s note, this is an AWESOME estimate and this literally came up in an interview I had on Monday at the Wine Foundry it’s actually $72 for Napa Valley Cabernet in the 2016 vintage and $75 for the 2017 vintage.  2018 may be even worse yet after the fire destroyed or harmed even 1/3 of 1% but Stagecoach was also sold)

But there are some bright spots, like a secret favorite William Harrison Cabernet, a dusty Rutherford stud that never disappoints. The problem you have to search it out and I happen to live near a small indy grocer that has it! So for $40 bucks you can get a Cabernet that tastes like a $100. The small winery is owned by a guy that has wine in his blood and has a prime Rutherford, 10 acre vineyard. The 13 Cabernet is amazing big dusty fruit that has strong tannins and needs a more time to evolve, while the 14 is ready to drink right now. Proof of why 13 was such a blockbuster year in Cali.

Hard to find but if you get your hands on a bottle decant for a couple hours and enjoy this Cabs Cab!

Josh, Travel Enthusiast(Favorite wine- Cabernet Sauvignon)

Josh runs the website Californiathroughmylens which is one of the top travel sites for the state of California. It has over 1,000 articles, featuring everything from restaurants and road trips to hikes and history. You can also check out his work outside of California at as well. 

Bell Cabernet SauvignonOne of my favorite wines in California is any of the Cabernet Sauvignon’s from Bell Wine Cellars in Yountville. They grow in small lots and harvest grapes from select vineyards, which makes for some fantastic tasting wine and it is one of those places that I go back to time and time again and am not let down. Plus, they have a beautiful tasting room to tour and an outdoor area with bocce ball and seating that looks over the vineyards.

(Mark’s note, Yountville is an awesome visit to wine country.  It’s been called America’s restaurant capital in large part because it’s a town of about a thousand people, yet it has scored multiple Michelin stars over the years.  Of course, it’s also home to French Laundry, Ad Hoc and Bouchon Bakery among other notables.  This is a bike ride essential for my family and especially my kids)



Nicole, Blogger (Favorite wine- La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir)

La CremaNicole is the owner and Social Sips, a blog and Instagram feed that encompass a number of facets of the wine industry. From writing reviews, to hosting wine tasting parties, to consulting with wine agents and marketing firms. Her approach to wine is casual and un-intimidating, making it easy for wine lovers of all backgrounds, experiences and levels to come together, share a bottle and learn. 

My favourite Californian wine is La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It’s layered and exotic, filled with toasty spice that doesn’t over power the red fruit flavours. Dominated by ripe raspberry, there is also subtle pomegranate and cherry flavours. The perfect pairing of a barbecued salmon with a light spring nicoise salad. 

Pinot Noir is perhaps one of the best wines in California. It is recommended by almost every travel enthusiast. However, before you go for this wine, here is something you would need to know.

Thanks to Erin Doman for submitting a well put together post that I’m happy to share.

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