After food tasting our way along tree shaded Claremont village, the thirsty travelers from the International Food & Wine Travel Writers Association were in for a cool treat. We were tired and warm when popping into historic Packing House Wines for an unforgettable tasting. Calm ambiance and a genial host welcomed us during busy restaurant week in Claremont (7/10-19) .

Packing House - Photo courtesy of Tom Plant
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Packing House – Photo courtesy of Tom Plant

Sal was the ideal wine guide. He didn’t try to describe each wine, but let our taste buds do the choosing. Show, don’t tell. We learned this as writers.

I was transported back to my summer days working in a small Spanish vineyard, and my first taste of sparkling Spanish cava. The crisp Segura Viudas is as delicious to me than many French sparkling wines, I detected subtle scents of floral notes.

Then, I rushed to buy it before it was gone. Sal’s wines are top values because he purchases in bulk. When I return to the Packing House, I will fill my car trunk with cases of Cava and Turley, my all time favorite Zin. I have searched the country for Turley, and here it is, as wild berry rich as I remember, and just around the corner at Packing House Wine Merchants.

If hungry the small bites pair perfectly. Try the creamy Brie, aged
Irish Dubliner, or Humbolt Fog goat with pears and almonds. When I am driving to Napa, Temecula or Santa Barbara, I will first stop at the Packing House – and most likely stay in Claremont.


Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success With Writing Where And What in the World

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