The Navigator (for some readers, I am referring to my partner, not an SUV) said she was feeling a bit “cabin bound” and needed an outing. I suggested a wine walk in downtown Lodi. She nodded approval and off we went. Lodi now has about 15 tasting rooms, three breweries and more than a dozen restaurants, all within four city blocks. It is more tasting than walking. Here are a few basic suggestions for a rehab day in Lodi.
Sleep in, have a nice breakfast at home or at your favorite restaurant on your drive to Lodi. Tasting rooms open at 11 a.m. or noon, so a full tummy is a good idea. Remember, you will be tasting wine so avoid using strong perfume or aftershave. Take an ice chest, bottled water and a blanket. The ice chest will keep your purchased wines cool.
Park in the public parking lot at Sacramento and Pine streets. It’s covered, close to everything and free. After several wine tasting stops and shopping at Cheese Central, it’s time for lunch. Trust wine host recommendations on where to eat and enjoy a leisurely lunch. My best guess, your after-lunch time is about 2:30. Now you have three options: drive home; watch a movie at the downtown multiplex theater; or get your blanket and walk to Hutchins Square and take a nap. I like Door No. 3.
If your rehab day is a Thursday, you’re in luck. The movie or your nap should end just in time for the amazing Downtown Farmers Market. You were wise in bringing your jumbo ice chest. After a bit of shopping and nibbling at the market you can drive home or visit McCay Cellars for their “Market After” celebration of music, wine and more nibbles. If you choose the second option, I recommend spending the night. There are many hotels with very good mid-week rates. A wine walk in downtown Lodi can work wonders. Give it a try.
If you would like more information on wine tasting in downtown Lodi, go to lodiwine.com.
Lodi Zinfest Wine Festival
If you love zinfandel and can’t take a weekday off, then don’t miss the Zinfest at Lake Lodi on Saturday, May 19, where 200 wines from 40 wineries will be poured along with cooking demos, food and music from noon to 5 p.m. Go to zinfest.com for information and tickets. Cheers to Downtown Lodi and the Zinfest Wine Weekend!
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