Is this a best-wine-ever story? Close at least. It was a hot and sunny day in Lake Tahoe and we were hiking to find a secluded beach on the east shore. When most of the Lake Tahoe summer visitors are familiar with the sandy beaches of the south and north shores, the east shore has a series of hidden beaches along Highway 28, only accessible by boat or by hiking down moderately steep trails.
The one we were looking for was Skunk Harbor, a picturesque cove at the end of an old forest road. After hiking 1.5 miles or so under the fragrant Ponderosa Pines, we reached the shore of the lake with a magnificent view overlooking a sandy beach and its crystal clear water, surrounded by big granite boulders. There were a few boats anchored in the water and people swimming and jumping from the boulders.
At the end of the trail, you can either continue straight down to the beach or turn left, follow the shore and reach an even more secluded cove called Axelrod beach, a perfect spot for picnicking, swimming and sunbathing.
It’s on our way back to the car — a 560 vertical feet hike under the afternoon sun — that I started thinking about the bottle of chilled Štoka Teran Rosé waiting for us at the cabin. Teran from the iron-rich Kras soil in Slovenia is naturally high in acidity, which, when vinified as a Rosé, produces an ultra-refreshing wine.
So I still remember it, that glass of Rosé back at the cabin: a bright sockeye salmon color, aromas of honeydew melon and strawberries, citrusy with a lush mouthfeel, and above all, ultra-refreshing.