Hey TLCD, looking for something to do this weekend?  Consider tasting some of Sonoma County’s local wines at the Wine Road’s Barrel Tasting Weekend.

The Wine Road’s Barrel Tasting Weekends take place over 2 weekends in March. You can often talk to winemakers and growers directly get detailed information about the vintage you’re tasting.

Date: Sat. & Sun March 6th & 7th, Sat. & Sun March 13th & 14th 2010

Time: 11am – 4pm Cost: $20 for each weekend, includes souvenir glass

Description: More than 100 wineries in the Russian River, Dry Creek and Alexander Valley will participate in the annual barrel tasting along the Wine Road. This is the largest wine tasting event in Sonoma County, and due to popular demand has been stretched to two weekends (with Friday optional for wineries, but many do participate). Barrel tasting is a unique opportunity to taste barrel samples (and often the same wine already in the bottle, from an earlier vintage) at the wineries, enjoy music, entertainment, and lots of great local food.

Barrel samples are a mixed lot. Remember this is not finished wine; it’s wine in process. Sometimes it tastes really good, sometimes less so. Either way, don’t let that stop you from attending, as all the wineries have plenty of finished wines to sample. Barrel Tasting is not a food or themed event. It’s main focus is on wine “futures”. Tasting out of the barrel gives you a glimpse into how the wine will taste once fully aged. The Wine Road Barrel Tasting Weekend gives you a chance to purchase wine now, typically at a discount. Once the wine is aged and bottled, typically 12-18 months from now, you can pick it up or have it shipped to you. Many of the participating wineries are very small and make extremely limited productions. This may be your only chance to scoop up the good ones before the word is out!