A Taste of Monterey
700 Cannery Row, Monterey (831) 646-5446, atasteofmonterey.com Thank god the decade of wine coolers is long gone! From the start of the 1980s to 1987, about 50 million cases of the cheap wine mixed with artificial fruit flavorings were sold, representing 22 percent of the U.S. wine market, according to the International Wine & Food Society. Meanwhile, California Chardonnay burst on the scene at the same time, growing in popularity over the decades. It’s the number-one varietal in Monterey County. County vineyards produced 55,300 tons of it in 2017, 10 times what they turned out in Pinot Gris. Riesling and Gewurztraminer did only slightly better than Pinot, with Sauvignon Blanc not far behind. Year after year, Weekly readers say the best place to sample each of the county’s wines by the glass is at A Taste of Monterey. Nothing artificial here: The place boasts 95 different local wines for tasting, along with an outstanding bar menu and one of the best views of Monterey Bay along Cannery Row.