On a wonderfully quiet Tuesday at the Disneyland Resort, a good friend and I decided to enjoy our day off from work and venture into the parks. Being not only a weekday, but also the end of the bustling holiday season, both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure quite deserted (compared to most Southern Californian days), and to our liking.


Knowing I appreciate wine, and the four o’clock hour signifying the prefect time for a cocktail, my friend and former Jungle Cruise Skipper introduced me to the Alfresco Tasting Terrace Lounge located in Disney California Adventure, just across from “It’s Tough To Be A Bug” and from the entrance to the more recently added Cars Land. We ascended the flight of stairs to reach the top of the terrace in order and sat ourselves at one of the tall tables overlooking the walkway we had just trekked—out towards the ever-popular main street of Cars Land. I instantly noticed the peaceful serenity of the area, not only due to the quaint size and laid-back atmosphere of the lounge or the care-free bliss of relishing another day at the Disneyland Resort, but also due to the great heights and distance from the usually incessant sounds of the surrounding attractions as well as the gleeful noises and murmurings of the crowds below.

Our server promptly placed menus in front of us so we could begin perusing the options. My eye, as usual, rapidly scanned down the list to the red wine selection where I came upon a wine described as such: “Medium- bodied wine with rich and flavorful hints of ripe raspberry and a velvety smooth finish”. Velvety?! I snickered at the very idea of a liquid possessing any velvety qualities. My friend looked up from reading his menu to inquire as to what I found so amusing.


“This wine is described as having a ‘velvety smooth finish’. How in the world can a liquid be velvety?! Does that mean milk is velvety or that water is velvety?” I explained still chuckling at such an absurdity.

My friend just smiled at my utter bewilderment, and resumed browsing the menu. After reading the narrative of this Canyon Road red wine, the remaining narratives of the various varietals failed at captivating my interest in the same manner.

“Well, since I made such a fuss over this wine’s description,” I said pointing my finger at the “Canyon Road Merlot” on the menu, “It seems I now have to try it and see if it validates these words.”


We both placed our orders with the waiter, and then continued to chat about life. All the while excited at the prospects of discovering just what “velvety smooth finish” entails.

A few moments more and stemware properly filled with the contents of fermented grape juice appeared. I engaged in the four “S’s”, noticing the dark purplish, red-ish hues of the wine, swirling the glass to inhale the rich aromas of berries, and completing the task with a generous sip of the smooth liquid—quite a luscious fruit-forward onset on the palate, finished by a rich texture in the mouth. One might even go so far as to deem this texture…”velvety”…

“Alright. Lesson learned. I understand now why it’s described as velvety.” I said as I surrendered my glass over to my friend for his consensus. He nodded in agreement, but quickly handed back my stemware to return to his preferred glass of Chardonnay.

Since that visit to Alfresco Tasting Terrace Lounge, the menu has undergone some upgrades and many modifications, offering several flights including Light Whites Wine Flight, Perfect Pinots Wine Flight, and Red Blends Wine Flight, as well as incorporating a larger collection of red wines. Even though the Alfresco Tasting Terrace Lounge has replaced my beloved Canyon Road Merlot with wines from Silverado Winery, Lasseter Family Winery, and Fess Parker Vineyards to name a few, I still enjoy the tranquil, relaxing atmosphere this outdoor lounge has to offer.


So, moral of the story, I should not so hastily prejudge and ridicule something (or someone) based on my own ignorance and naivety. I ended up the fool after I savored this wine, and, even now, I continue to enjoy it years later.

So cheers to you and yours for your experiences at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace Lounge!

P.S. Hearthstone Lounge, located at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort, still serves Canyon Road Merlot, for those interested.


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Erin Owens is a Southern Californian native who has expressed a love for the arts and entertainment industry at a young age. Annual visits to Disneyland throughout her childhood created her need, desire, and interest to study the “behind-the-scenes” look at film, television, theater, and, of course, theme parks. As she satisfies her hunger for theme park knowledge, she also enjoys satiating the palette with exciting ingredients from different restaurants and dining experiences. She certainly appreciates the culinary art form, especially when combined with the art of wine making. Erin writes her monthly food column on MiceChat to share her passions, her curiosity, and her experiences. Cheers!