In terms of the local wine scene, the view from Rail Bridge Cellars' tasting room is tough to beat. It's situated 13 floors above J street in the Elks Tower penthouse, which overlooks the entire city and beyond.
The space was used for private events and wine tasting during the better part of 2011, and has now been licensed to operate as the official tasting room for Rail Bridge Cellars.
The space, now called Rail Bridge Cellars Penthouse Lounge at Elks Tower, has plenty of history behind it. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, it was known as Top of the Town, a private nightclub that was favored by local politicians and media folks.
These 13th and 14th floors of the Elks Tower at 11th and J streets were also once home to KZAP radio and the original offices of Sactown magazine.
"There's a lot of history to this building," said Michael Gelber, managing partner for Rail Bridge Cellars. "It's a well-used spot. The mayor and the Kings have done events here, and we already have 20 events booked for the next three months."
Tastings are by appointment only and cost $10 per person, or $15 with cheese and crackers. New offerings to sample from Rail Bridge include a 2010 pinot noir with grapes from San Luis Obispo.
For more information: (916) 492-2530, railbridgecellars.net.
Last week, "Wine Buzz" mentioned the upcoming El Dorado Wines Passport weekends, which will be held Saturday and Sunday and April 21-22. It's a chance to sample from 32 El Dorado County wineries, a region that continues to grow in recognition with recent press coverage in Wine Enthusiast and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Passes for each weekend cost $70 a pop, and it may be your lucky day because we've got two sets of tickets to give away: One pair of passes for this weekend and another pair for April 21-22.
Are you feeling lucky? Send an email to email@example.com by 5 p.m. Thursday. Please list your name, the best number to reach you during the day, and also list three of your favorite Sacramento-area restaurants. Deal?
For more information on El Dorado Wines Passport weekends: (800) 306-3956, www.eldoradowines.org.
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Chris Macias
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.