It’s been nearly two years to the day since I wrote “Wine-Ding Down From Summer,” a guide to Sacramento’s best wine happy hours, and I’m back to encourage any autumn-induced wine cravings that may arise this season. We’re aware of Napa, Sonoma and Amador wine countries, as they are located just in our backyard, but what about our front yard, right here in downtown Sacramento? The beauty of downtown Sacramento wine tastings is not only their proximity to your own beloved bed, but also the simplicity of planning a wine tasting trip with good friends without spending two weeks in advance calling locations, booking a limo and making sure there is enough picnic for everyone after a couple rounds of wine. Listed here are two route options in the heart of Sacramento for a day of wine tasting—attempt the entire list in a day at your own risk.
West side of town:
Underground Tasting Room
900 Second St., Sacramento
Take the stairs down from the street to locate Underground’s tasting room on the “original level” of old Sacramento. A quaint, historically rich room sets the ambiance when walking into the venue, with brick walls and copper wine taps. The local wineries of Twisted Twig and Rendez-Vous share this tasting space and make for a fantastic and calming start to your day.
Five 1-ounce tastings: $10
WHIRED Wine Bar
410 L St., Sacramento
A 10-minute walk or three-minute bike ride from Underground Tasting Room brings you to WHIRED (pronounced wired) Wine Bar. The location is modern and small, with local and international wines to satisfy your palate. They also provide small plates while you enjoy a seat at the array of high top tables, couches or patio seating.
Three 2-ounce tastings: $10–$15
720 K St., Sacramento
Another short walk of six-minutes, Bailarin offers a full lineup of their Sonoma County wines. This new(ish) tasting room provides tasting flights, wine by the glass and off-sale options. The tasting room also plays host to an Insight Coffee Roasters espresso bar and offers various small bites to pair with wine or coffee, making it a good pick-me-up for mid or end of day.
Five 1-ounce tastings: $5–$10
East side of town
If continuing on the tasting route from Bailarin, I suggest grabbing an Uber or Lyft at this point for a short six-minute drive. Otherwise, enjoy a 12-block stroll through the heart of Midtown and walk off a few of those earlier tastes. Another option is to begin at 58 Degrees at the start of the day and continue east through town.
58 Degrees and Holding
1217 18th St., Sacramento
Focusing on the pairing of food and wine, 58 Degrees brings in wines from all over the world and prepares seasonally inspired foods in partnership with the wines. A quiet and upscale vibe may be a good starting point before the group gets wild.
Acheson Wine Company
1629 19th St., Sacramento
With a slogan of, “sustainable, environmentally conscious way of drinking vino,” Acheson uses a tap to move the wine directly from the barrels to the consumers’ very own reusable bottle. This may be my new favorite winery, anywhere. Just a few-minute bike ride (any JUMP bikes nearby?) or an eight-block walk from 58 Degrees. Locally made wine with grapes from California.
Six 1-ounce tastings: $15 (This also gets you a free swing-top reusable glass bottle for take-home wine!)
2831 S St., Sacramento
A last stop but definitely not least brings us to Revolution Wines. At this point, especially if you started the day at Underground, I suggest taking an Uber or walking to this final destination as biking under the influence (BUI) is illegal in California! Revolution Wines is a unique craft winery that uses California grapes and prepares, ferments, bottles and serves all their wine at Revolution Wines on S Street.
Five 1-ounce tastings: $10–$14
**This write-up first appeared in print on page 15 of issue #304 (Nov. 6 – 20, 2019)**