Most of us have been wine tasting. Personally, I feel I can call it my hobby at this point so I like to think I come prepared. Its the same song and dance- friends visit, they want to wine taste, we have breakfast at 8, hit a few shops before meeting the designated driver, 11am and we hit the first winery… then its a blur. Come 4pm everyone is half asleep and let’s be honest, you know you won’t be going out to dinner.
After 4 or 5 times of this happening to us I finally noticed something. If we stopped and got coffee before meeting our DD, we lasted longer. Some of you may say “duh” and for others this may be a revelation but its been a game changer. By this point I’ve become the “mom friend” that packed a picnic and charcuterie board for one of the wineries too because I know food is needed when wine tasting (but that’s another post for another day) but I’m serious but starting the tour with coffee is even better! Maybe you has coffee when you woke up, or with breakfast. Get another. And you don’t need to drink it before the tour. Make it iced so you don’t mind it sitting out. Sip on it throughout the day, in between wineries. Yes, you’ll still feel great but the wine won’t hit quite so hard if you know what I mean. You’ll make it to dinner after all!
So without further ado, I’ve categorized the wineries by clientele, if you will. I hope you find one that suits you and if you have a favorite, let me know in the comments!
The Local Hangout Seeker
When traveling, my husband and I usually like to find where the locals eat and drink. It’s not always the prettiest or busiest but you take that first bit or sip and you know why the locals eat there. BOMB. Blue Beagle is that local hangout. Located in a strip mall next to the local grocer in Santa Rosa blue beagle flies under the radar but their coffee and espresso is known by all local coffee lovers. Bonus? The staff is so friendly. I often see people I know in there and they know all the locals by name. My order: Iced americano with a splash of oat milk and a raspberry almond scone.
For the Hipster
We all love those visualizing appealing interiors, with coffee drinks you can’t pronounce and of course, avocado toast. Enter Acre Coffee. Honestly some of the best Chai I’ve ever had. They have a great assortment of food as well. With locations spread across Sonoma County it’s pretty easy to pick a convenient one. The home base is in Petaluma but I haven’t personally been to that location. My order: Dirty chai latte with coconut milk, less sweet and avocado toast.
For the Health Nut
I’m excited to share this one with you because its a gem and if you have allergies and/or dietary restrictions this place is your haven. The Pharmacy is located off the beaten path somewhat close to downtown Santa Rosa. They have so many vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options to choose from and will customize your order to suit your needs. You can even pick up some CBD while you’re there! My order: iced matcha latte unsweetened, egg breakfast sandwich with arugula.
The Popularity Contest
If you’re staying in Healdsburg its almost a requirement to get your coffee at Flying Goat. Some of you may have heard of it. There is always a line and this that aren’t in there with a laptop are usually tourists. Now, I try to avoid this coffee shop given the tourist attraction it is and the baristas have little patience or spunk left to them due to dealing with tourists all day but the coffee is JUST. SO. GOOD. And they have so many vegan goodies to choose from so I can’t seem to stay away. Luckily there is a secret among locals. I may get in trouble for saying this but about 100 feet away in a strip mall by the movie theatre lies what we locals call: “the little goat”. It is where Flying Goat roasts their coffee and its a hold in the wall with no room to even sit but guess what. you can get all the same coffee drinks and usually the same pastries as you can at the main location. SCORE! They are so friendly inside and there is never a line! It may be Wirth noting there is also a location in Santa Rosa that tends to be less crowded. However, I highly suggest one of the Santa Rosa coffee shops listed above if you’re over there. My order: iced coconut milk latte and vegan jewel cookie.
There you have it folks! My fave coffee shops in Sonoma County and exactly what is needed to get you through some of the best wine tasting you’ll ever do. Let me know if you end up trying these or have any or have any I need to add to the list!