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Swanson’s Sip Shoppe Feeds the Adult Candy Store Fix

At the risk of sounding redundant I will repeat myself for this very good cause. Wine should be fun. Life is serious, wine doesn’t need to be, or so speaks this low-brow wine junkie that will remain nameless (ok it’s me, Ms. Wacksense). Enter Swanson Vineyard’s Sip Shoppe, answering my call for a care-free, unique take on a tasting room. For those high-brow readers in the crowd, defer to Swanson’s formal tasting salon, this "shoppe" is gonna be way too footloose for your tastes. Low-brow readers, here is a wake up call for your peeps and palate. The Sip Shoppe is a wine spin off from the classic soda shop and jerks era (soda jerks, not dating ones), but lucky for us, the “candy” of choice is vino instead of soda pop floats and suckers. The d├ęcor is eye candy if I ever saw it with red pinstripe walls and intriguing wall adornments. A delightful outdoor sipping spot. The jovial food and snack pairings conjoined with your wine are downright dizzying (my personal favorite – the Dizzy Lizzy snowball whose garnish is some damn fine Pinot Grigio drizzle) if not bizarre in some instances, but for us here at Wacky WineSense, we thrive at the school of slightly off center, so we felt right at home here. Each wine taste (different tracks available depending on your taste buds) is paired with a tasty morsel of some sort (caviar, snow cones, candy, and more). Another favorite concoction – The 06 Petite Syrah with a slab of Clark’s Bark (a smash up of dark chocolate and toffee, and who knows what else). These folks realize that a day on the tasting trail can be hard work in these parts so don’t forget to ask for a “Rhodie” before you hit the road, and no we are not encouraging drinking and driving, we are talking about a New Orleans style iced coffee delight that’s made up of cold pressed coffee, 2% organic cow juice, and god help us, a dollop of brown sugar. But let us not forget about the real business at hand, the stuff behind the pinstripes, what Swanson has become infamous for – the wines. The Sauvignon Blanc, layered, fruity, crisp – a sheer delight. The Petite Syrah, rich, daunting, and for lack of a better word, dreamy in all of its intensity. The Alexis Cabernet and its drop dead deep fruit intentions will leave you and your loved ones screaming for more. So if it is fine wine you crave, make it point to slip slide into the Sip Shoppe or drop in “announced” to the Salon for a more formal tasting. Wacky WineSense Rating: 4.8 Grapes!

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