With the temperatures in the 80s this last week, it felt like summer had come early to Livermore. With the workday done and a couple of hours of daylight still left, I decided to take my motorcycle out for a spin. The feel of the wind rushing past my face and the sun shining down on my shoulder was amazing. As I rode, I soon found myself traveling down Tesla Road with vineyards to my left and right. The ride reminded my of what a truly beautiful valley we live in.
I puttered past the vineyard and found myself heading down South Livermore Avenue toward the heart of Livermore’s downtown. Driving through downtown started me thinking about the times, years ago, that we would travel to Pleasanton to enjoy their downtown experience. I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone to Pleasanton for that downtown experience. That’s when it hit me. Livermore has grown into and possibly even surpassed Pleasanton as the premier downtown in the valley. There is no longer a need to go anywhere else because the ambiance is here in Livermore. If you have not yet enjoyed Livermore’s downtown, what are you waiting for?
I decided to head to one of the highlights of the Livermore downtown, Blacksmith Square. The square is home to the tasting room for , , , Artistic Edge, and .
Since last week was beer week I stopped in for a bit at Tap 25 to check out the new beers they had rotated in for the celebration. The biggest thing I love about Tap 25 is their rotation of beers. Although it is hard sometimes when a beer you love is rotated out, the rotation forces you to get out of your comfort zone and try new flavors. If you are a beer drinker and have not had the opportunity to experience Tap 25, it’s time to get in there.
I know this is a wine blog and I am sure you are wondering where a beer tasting room fits into that picture. Well, with the addition of Tap 25 to Blacksmith Square, a perfect balance has been reached. Think about how many times you have gone wine tasting with friends only to hear the words, “I’m more of a beer drinker” uttered from the mouth of one of your friends. With Blacksmith Square, you don’t have to worry about that. Beer drinkers have Tap 25 and wine drinkers have Swirl, which features some of Livermore’s best wines. If you are a mixed group of wine lovers and beer lovers, there is nothing to worry about. You can enjoy the beverage of your choice at either location or in the beautiful square between the two businesses.
I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Swirl in a while so I decided to peek inside and see what new wines they had on their tasting menu. Stephanie was working behind the counter getting ready for Trivia night, which was sure to draw in a crowd. I was looking to try something new and Stephanie suggested I try the 2009 Cuda Ridge S&M. This is a wine I had been hearing great things about, but had not yet had the opportunity to try. The S&M is a Sangiovese, Malbec blend and is the newest addition to the black label line at Cuda Ridge.
Upon taking my first sip, I was in love with this wine. The Cuda Ridge black labels have consistently been among my favorite wines and the S&M was instantly added to my list. It was fruity, full bodied, and smooth on the finish. As my glass became shallower with each sip, I found myself allowing the wine to linger in my mouth, just a little longer, in an attempt to escape the inevitable empty glass. I just didn’t want the experience to end.
It was with my last sips that Stephanie broke the news to me. It appears that this wine is on the endangered species list. Swirl is down to one case of the Cuda Ridge S&M and the word is that only a select few other businesses have any left. It seem like it was only yesterday that I received the announcement from Cuda Ridge about the release of the S&M, but it is not surprising that this wine has sold so quickly. My advice: you better get down to Swirl before you miss out on the opportunity to experience the Cuda Ridge S&M.
If you know of any other locations that are carrying the S&M, don’t be selfish, please leave a comment and let us know.
Cheers to warm winter days, our beautiful valley, the amazing Livermore downtown, cold beer, and fabulous wine!!!