There’s a couple of different ways you can approach the wine tasting thing. If you want to beat the crowds you can go to Sonoma or Russian River and hit obscure winery after winery to your heart’s content, get your hands dirty as they say. Or, you can go the easy tourist route where the wine’s not half as good, but all the wineries are villas on sprawling landscapes, grapes as far as the eyes can see, right along a straight road (helpful when you're buzzed) in St. Helena in Napa. I’ve brought my out of town visitors along this route countless times, and at the end of the track is my favorite place, the wonderful V. Sattui Winery. Due to city regulations, V. Sattui is the only place in town that has picnic tables and serves all sort of wine fare – fruits, cheeses, deli, cakes. They have an extensive free tasting here. I’m not a fan of the wines so much.. except for the exceptional Madeira, nicknamed “the babymaker”. Have a glass and you’ll understand. It’s the only wine I’ve ever bought up there.