Jon Bonne, wine editor at The Chronicle [ed note: we were trying to come up with a clever nickname, something along the lines of calling the NY Times "The Gray Lady," but more appropriate to the old sinking ship herself... maybe The Dying Hag, or The Faded Floozy? Help us out. Maybe we'll take a poll later.] decided to review some Bay Area wineries based solely on the ambiance and offerings of their tasting rooms. The list turns out to be pretty long, covering Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Cruz and even Livermore.

While we prefer to go to wineries that have good and unique wine, we also would have to concede that the overall experience is often enough to bring us back even to mediocre joints.