Afterwards, set out on the Cannery Row Wine Walk. Each tasting room has a unique vibe and friendly staff.
- A Taste of Monterey (representing more than 70 wineries): Don’t miss the 2007 Cobblestone Chardonnay and Boëté’s 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Reserve Cabernet Franc.
- Scheid Vineyards: Find great Reserves, especially the 2007 Chardonnay and 2006 Claret. Their 2008 50/50 is a unique Cabernet/Syrah blend.
- Baywood Cellars: Try the sweet wines – the 2003 Symphony Late Harvest, 2000 10-year Tawny Port and the Grappa Limoncello.
- Pierce Ranch: The 2010 Albariño, 2007 Tourbillon and 2007 Tempranillo are outstanding.
Have dinner at the InterContinental’s C Restaurant and experience a spectacular view of the marine sanctuary, the setting sun and the endless ocean. The restaurant is an avid follower of the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program – you eat only what’s sustainable. Since local ingredients rule, opt for the smoked trout sashimi with radishes, cured lemon and miso-yuzu vinaigrette; pork shank terrine with Dungeness crab and beluga lentils, and caramelized day boat sea scallops served with a porcini mushroom-leek stew. Pair local wines with each delectable course. It is an easy elevator ride home to be lulled to sleep by crashing waves and glow from the fireplace.
Essentials: Getting There:
Monterey & Carmel, CA: about two and one-half hours south of San Francisco. Route 1 South on a clear day is exceptional. More direct is 101 South to 156 West to 1 South.
Tourist Information: www.carmelcalifornia.com; www.monterey.org; www.canneryrowwinewalk.com.
Samsonite Wind Guard Umbrella: 800-593-5251, www.csnstores.com. Protects against the wind; automatic open/close; fits in your bag. $26.99.
Verilux ReadyLight Flashlight: 800-454-4408, www.verilux.com. Solar powered, rechargeable, durable, light weight. $29.95.
Caorunn Gin: Scottish, handcrafted, small batch, delicious.
Hovercraft 2 In-Flight Bag: 800-962-4943, www.magellans.com. Multiple compartments; fits under the seat; made of ballistic nylon. $82.50.