musings about food, travel, creativity and life

A Special Blend



When I first drove by our local Testarossa Winery tasting room ( , I was reminded of one of the nicknames my Italian grandfather gave me–testa dura or “hard head.” Hmmm. Telling. As it turns out, Testarossa means “red head” and was the nickname that Italians gave the winery’s red-headed owner when he was studying in Italy.

I recently visited the tasting rooms as a part of a fun weekend with life-loving and wine-loving friends. We started our venture into Testarossa wine-land by entering the spacious modern tasting room, reading the history of the winery’s founding, and perusing the wine tasting menus. We ultimately decided to forgo the fuller tasting options and instead bought two bottles to share. One was a Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands, 2016); the other was Los Gatos Rob’s Red (Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Lucia Highlands, 2016).

We liked both wines. The Chardonnay was a golden, complex and easy drinking wine with just the smallest hint of sweetness to it, at least to my palate; Rob’s Red was a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot– now that’s a blend!   It was full and rich and we could feel it “open,” as they say and get fuller the longer it was open…or was it the longer we were drinking! I also bought some Pinot Noir Chocolate Covered Cherries just in case anyone developed a sweet tooth. We did.

We found an outside table and began our tasting and talking. Ultimately, as the afternoon got colder, we moved to the seating area around one of the firepits available in the little tasting compound. Our conversations ranged from travels to family and friends to current passions to our next foray together. As the evening approached, we even had some wine to take home to enjoy with our lasagne dinner. How prudent of us!

We all agreed we’d buy these fine wines again. I like the winery’s motto: “Passion in every glass.” And I like the quote I remember from my wine blogging days, “The best wines are the ones we drink with friends.” Indeed.


6 thoughts on “A Special Blend”

  • No better way to bring joy to the table than a nice bottle of wine. :-} I love the “testa rossa” and “testsa dura” anecdotes. I have a fondness for real redheads whether they be people or wines. If given a choice, however, I’ll choose a chardonnay every time. Let’s make a toast to the joy and sparkle in our lives. Barbara

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