Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Napa, Day 1

We only had three full days in Napa, so I ran the preliminary plan by Meghan and Kim on the way to Napa on Wednesay night: I knew Meg loved Domaine Carneros (the quintessential vacation spot that we fell in love with on our honeymoon) and that Kim liked bubbly so I figured we could head there first thing in the AM on Thursday and plot our Napa strategy over morning bubbly. I brought our Frommers book, a list of wineries that Jessica recommended, another long listing that Brett and Meghan have honed over the years, and another booklet we got from the rental car place to aide in our planning.

Our host/server at Domaine was, of course, awesome. The place really knows how to cater to their customers/guests. As he delivered our champagne flights, we asked him to recommend some wineries. Actually, I said, "If you could only go to three wineries in Napa, where would you go?" He brought out this amazing wine weekly magazine with an AWESOME map in it and immediately made 5-6 recommendations. The guy was SO excited about the locations, and several overlapped with Jessica's, so I knew we had to hit those for sure.

In addition, his recommendations overlapped nicely with my sub-plan - to pick a smaller area of Napa and really explore it. The area is so big, with hundreds of wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma that you can spend much of your time just driving around the region instead of hitting wineries. I wanted to cut down on the driving/traffic time and maximize the winery time. And since most of the recommendations we gathered kept us in the Rutherford/Stag's Leap regions, that dovetailed very nicely with my thoughts on reducing time cursing in traffic!

Here is the group after plotting out our strategy and some bubbly. The weather, as is typical during this part of the year in Napa, was idyllic.

After Domaine Carneros, we hit a couple of the Domaine guy's recommendations. The first was Robert Sinsky, where they had food pairings with the the wine. We were under the impression that this would be a lunch-type event. Instead there were 4 pours of wine with tiny little servings of food. As an example, the first food pairing was HALF a mini-quiche. What the heck? Why would you make a mini-quiche and cut it in half?! The food pairings were super yum though - the other ones were herb-roasted almonds, olives, and then a cheesy roll thing. The wine was good but our server seemed a bit uninterested. She was nice, but nothing great!

After Robert Sinsky we headed to Silverado Vineyards with the intention of hopefully finding some lunch. Unfortunately, they didn't have a deli but they pointed us toward the Oakville Grocery. We had a wine tasting flight at Silverado before heading off to lunch.
And took some pics! The views from Silverado were amazing!!
At Oakville Grocery we all got sandwiches except for Brett and Meghan. They got a wheel of goat cheese, a big baguette and some pepperoni/salami meat sticks. They looked super yummy!
After our late lunch we had time for one more winery, so we headed to Goosecross. They had these cool wine bottles dipped in chocolate!
We got in another group shot!
Goosecross is a really small, family-owned winery. The ambiance was pretty nice and everyone was pretty friendly. Plus the guy comped our tastings because Jessica recommended the place!
Tasting room had barrels stacked up to the ceiling.
After Goosecross we headed home for some nap and chill time before our 8:30 reservations at Bottega. I totally didn't take any pics at Bottega but it was amazing - definitely an experience! I would highly recommend. They gave us a huge table in the front of the restaurant and we felt like rock stars. :)


Mich said...

I love the group shots. Whenever we go somewhere with a group of people I always think that I want to get a group shot...and then just forget. Nice work lady!

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

LOVE the photos! I'm so glad the guy at Goosecross comped you, he was so nice. What did you get at Bottega, wasn't the food TO DIE FOR??