Tahoe Tasting: Cruise Big Blue and sample our region’s wines

TOURING BIG BLUE ABOARD TAHOE TASTINGS’ Golden Rose — a 1953 Chris-Craft Venetian Water Taxi — and tasting fine wines is the quintessential “what’s old is new again” experience.

Guests board the Golden Rose in the Tahoe Keys Marina, receive a glass of Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée, and embark on a two-hour cruise that showcase some of Tahoe’s best views: following the shore of Lake Tahoe into Emerald Bay, all the way back to historic Vikingsholm.

During the cruise, up to 12 guests sample eight boutique wines (both red and white) from across Northern California, including the foothills region. Artisan cheese platters are available for sale (from the Cork and More in South Lake Tahoe), or guests can bring their own light snacks, such as crackers, cheese or fruit.

“Besides being longtime boaters, we are wine enthusiasts and love discovering new regional wines,” says Diondra Colquhoun, who owns Tahoe Tastings with her husband Shane, a licensed captain. “On our many trips to wineries across Northern California we’ve discovered some incredible wines and are excited to bring them aboard.”

The current wines include Dono dal Cielo, Fenton Herriott Vineyards, Navarro Vineyards, Rancho Victoria Vineyard, School Street, and Via Romano Vineyard.

We first wrote about Tahoe Tastings around the time it launched in 2017, and it has turned into a big success, drawing many repeat customers as well as new ones. Now the husband-and-wife team is adding more classic boats to their fleet and going year-round.

This summer the Colquhouns began offering year-round private charters for up to 12 people on Legend, a 48-foot, 1948 Shain Trimmer Ship. This lovingly restored boat from the Seattle area is based in Tahoe Keys this summer and going to Tahoe’s North Shore in the winter.

In 2021, Tahoe Tastings plans to add a third boat to its fleet: It is renovating a 44-foot, 1941 Chris-Craft (the same boat maker as Saga on the cover of our summer issue), and it plans to offer beer and wine tasting cruises, perhaps year-round as well. “We’re excited about the expansion and where we’re headed,” says Diondra.

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