Most of our wine tasting experiences over the years are done in “wine country” places. This weekend we were recommended by our friend Aussie to stop by the Orange Coast Winery if we were ever in the Costa Mesa area. What a coincidence that my sister lives in Costa Mesa and we happen to be visiting this weekend.
The winery is in an unassuming business area in Newport Beach, which is in the next town over from Costa Mesa in Orange County. The parking lot in the back accessed the tasting room through a couple of roll-up doors. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and they had a band playing and the atmosphere was friendly and inviting.
After getting situated at the wine bar, we got started of with the Orange Bubbly; which is a sparkling wine that reminded us all of a mimosa sans orange juice, and it was a deliciously cool and refreshing drink on a warm summer day (my sister ended up buying a couple of bottles which paired well with Japanese food).
Most of the grapes were source in the Temecula Valley area. The 2014 Pinot Noir was a bit heavy for a traditional Pinot but I found it complex and it reflected the area from where it came from…and I liked it. The 2013 ES Zinfandel was fruit forward and easy drinking even on a warm summer day. The 2014 GSM carried all the complexity and boldness you would expect from a GSM. This stood well without any food pairing, but would definitely be an ideal bbq companion. My sister Michelle and Laura also tried and liked the various white wine selections 2015 Albarino, 2015 ES White Blend, 2015 ES Chardonnay. We appreciated their small selection of tasty bites available and went with a cheese plate that paired well with the wines we were tasting.
Since our friend is a wine club member at the winery we were able to enjoy the Members Only Barrel Room where we were served a nice refreshing sangria. We were also privileged to enjoy a barrel tasting of the soon to be released Malbec which is only available for wine club members.
If you’re ever in the OC and looking for a nice place to go wine tasting do yourself a favor and check out Orange Coast Winery.