Corner 103 is a Sonoma tasting experience unlike any other we have seen here at A Savvy Lifestyle. Owner and founder Lloyd Davis established Corner 103 as a result of his passion for wine and recognizing that most people are intimidated by it. Lloyd had three main goals in creating Corner 103: create an educational environment where his guests would feel comfortable learning all aspects of wine in a non-intimidating way, continue his track record for producing approachable, award winning wines, and to expose his guests to the various wine-growing regions of Sonoma County.
The tasting room at Corner 103 is brightly lit and decorated with an effortless simplicity. With copper toned accents and warm browns throughout the space you feel at home from the moment you walk in the door.
As you take your seat at the table, you overlook the lineup of 7 wines, and an menu corresponding to your chosen experience. Corner 103 offers a cheese experience and a tasting experience that features meats and spreads- we chose cheese! Corner 103's cheese experience features cheeses from local Vella Cheese Company. Lloyd let us know from the start that we were already wine experts, because everyone knows what they like and don't like- no one else can decide that for you! Keeping that in mind, we delved into learning about the pairing process.
The process that Lloyd explained to us was fairly simple, but had to be followed in order for us to get the most out of our pairing.
First, take two sips of the wine. The first sip is to cleanse your palate, the second is where you truly experience the wine. Second, you follow the sips with a bite of cheese to taste the flavor of the cheese on its own. Third, you take a bite of cheese and sip of wine together and let the flavors intermingle and change- or not change, depending on your palate. Fourth, you add a third element that is different with each wine- for example, crushed roasted hazelnuts or dried cherries, the items you see in the center of the plate- and allow those flavors to combine with the wine and the cheese, again noting any differences in flavor.
As we worked our way through each step of of the tasting, we were amazed at the subtle nuances and flavors that came forward with the addition of each new element. My experience of his fruit forward 2012 Red Blend was completely changed by the addition of a Romanello Dolce cheese and Green Peppercorns. The wine and food became better (to my palate) when paired together- the peppercorns brought out a spice in the wine that I hadn't picked up when it was on its own.
Lloyd's extensive knowledge of wine and food pairing was enjoyable to explore- we asked a lot of questions and he fielded each of them with extensive knowledge and patience. He welcomed our honest opinions, and we enjoyed coming up with new ideas of dishes to pair with his wines at home.
As you can see from my tasting notes, we covered a lot of ground and learned so much! Corner 103's experience is intimate and educational, and I would highly recommend it to people that want to expand their knowledge of wine. The experiences are all by appointment, and your group is generally the only one in the space- you essentially get a one on one group tasting with someone from the Corner 103 team. You can book in groups up to four, and this allows everyone to discuss the wines as a group as you move through the list. Click here to book an appointment, buy wines, and learn more about Corner 103!