There are so many great ways to enjoy Monterey’s wine. Expect to pay between $5-$10 for a tasting depending on the winery. I’ve never met a winery that wouldn’t waive the fee if you purchased a bottle. Here are some suggestions to get you started. Remember, when you taste more, you taste more!
Cannery Row Wine: If you’re coming to Monterey, chances are you’ll be down by the Monterey Bay Aquarium at least 1 half of 1 day. My advice here is that you go after lunch, when the younger children are back at their hotels taking naps. If you find yourself frazzled after a morning looking at the sardines – or feeling rather like a sardine while looking at the sardines – here are the walking-distance tasting rooms:
- A Taste of Monterey: Second story above the Wax Museum/Sly McFly’s. I remember reading somewhere once that this was voted the best tasting room in the world (for its spectacular view). Pick up a bottle and take it to a local restaurant for a waived corkage fee. Kids welcome! 11-6pm daily.
- Bargetto: Conveniently located right below A Taste of Monterey. Tasting fee $7-$12. Open 11-6pm Mon.-Fri., 11-6:30pm Sat.-Sun.
Carmel Wine Walk: The Carmel Chamber of Commerce has put together a Carmel Wine Walk Map of 12 tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea (double what it used to be). These streets are really narrow so walking is definitely doable. Plan on a good 2-3 hours if you chat it up with the locals and window shop.
Wine Map: The Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association has a great pamphlet of Monterey County wineries and tasting rooms it also comes with restaurants and ways to get around. I love the sound of the pages turning on the doc. For just a PDF of the map, click here: Monterey Vintners & Growers Map.
Monterey County Designated Driver
David Hadick has lived in Monterey County for 25 year, working in the wine & spirits businesses his entire career. Let a knowledgeable driver educate you on the micro climates and exciting changes occuring here! As your designated driver, David will meet you at your hotel and drive you and your party in your car for a safe and informed day of wine tasting.
David G Hadick
(831) 484 – 2470
Monterey Wine Tasting on a Budget:
- Each Wednesday night at Tarpy’s a different winery hosts a free tasting. You can pair this with their prix fixe menu for dinner – winning combination all around.
- If you pick up a bottle at A Taste of Monterey on Cannery Row, you can typically bring the bottle to a local restaurant with a waived corkage fee – nice!
- Big events typically run $35-$55. However, these are all-you-can-drink ordeals. It’s hard to beat the variety of wines served. You’d spend as much going to tasting rooms and gas – you’ll be wined-out for the rest of the weekend once you’re done. Plus you get to keep the glass.
- Love the Carmel Wine Walk Passport! Split it between you and your honey pie or save it for your next trip.
- Chateau Julien offers a variety of year-round events which are free for members. Joining is $12. Sweet!