Thursday, August 26, 2010

Napa, Day 3

Everyone was pretty slow-going on Saturday morning after the events of Friday, but we got up and made it to our first appointment at Honig. Honig is also a small winery and are very ecologically conscious - they had several displays about their energy use and environmentally conscious winemaking practices. Very cool, in my crunchy hippy opinion. While were there we made friends with a group of vacationers from New York that were hilarious (Major Accents) and our server was from Iowa, so we talked some Big Ten fun for awhile. We sat outside in the courtyard, which was pretty well sized and so cute.
After that we headed to another smaller family-owned winery called Arger Martucci. We were literally wine-tasting in someone's backyard. I want this to be MY backyard. Our server was very diminuative and sweet, and we tasted all kinds of yummies.
After this tasting, we were all hungry and were a stone's throw from Gott's Roadside (formerly Taylor's Automatic Refresher) in St Helena. We got there just in time, as we only had to wait in line for about 15 minutes. Once our people got to the front, the line wrapped around the entire yard and had to be closer to 45 minutes long! This place is a fancy (and pricey) hot dog/hamburger stand but it is SO AWESOME. I got a chocolate milkshake that was to-die-for and also scored a chili dog and some onion rings. I totally couldn't eat it all. They do have more sophisticated dishes like an ahi tuna sandwich or fish tacos (which Meghan got). Jay got a double cheeseburger that was as big as his head.
My chocolate shake. So YUMMY.
After Gott's, we stopped by an Olive Oil store, which was pretty cool, then headed to Del Dotto. Around this time, Kimmy was a little broken. I bet she didn't think she could have too much wine, right?
Before a tour, I took a pic with my little brudder, Jay!
Del Dotto's thing is that they give you a tour with some wine background (here the tour guide shows the various types of toasting that they give barrels by firing the inside of them. This affects the "oakiness" level that you taste). Then they lead you into the wine caves and let people taste directly the barrel (well they use a fief.... I think that is what it was called.... to take it from the barrel and put into your glasses).
The wines are pretty good but they are pricey. The first location has a wine cave that is over a hundred years old and you can still see the pickax marks in it. The new location is opulently (to say the least - some might argue the word is more "gaudily") appointed with Italian marble and is Over The Top decorated (complete with Italian opera music in the background). Everyone we talked to in the region called it "Del Blotto" because everyone gets so wasted there. We ended up tasting 11 different types of wine, but the whole tour only took about an hour and the group DEFINITELY wasn't wasted! We did the tour in the old location on our honeymoon and it was way more of a party. We had a nice dinner planned for that night though, so no one minded too much. I doubt it was really worth the $50 tasting fee though, like the other location was. Regardless, I think everyone liked the wines (they only do reds and our group was a fan of the BIG reds!).

After that we headed home to get ready for dinner at Cole's Chophouse. Mike and I had eaten there on our honeymoon and it was super tasty, so we definitely wanted to try it again. Plus everyone we'd talked to over our three days in Napa said it was the best steak in the valley, so that was also encouraging. Dinner lasted almost three hours and was a pretty hefty bill, but was totally worth it. I loved loved the hash browns, my lobster tail, and especially the desserts. If you like steak, this is definitely a great place to hit up in Napa. Plus it's in the downtown area which is SUPER cute!

Well, that's it, that's our time in Napa. It was another amazing vacation and I think it secures a spot in my list of Happy Places. I would move there in a second.



Jessica (Bayjb) said...

I totally agree w/you on Napa being a happy place. I'm dying to go back and hopefully with friends this time. I LOVE that you went to Honig and Arger, I went to both too and they were great. Honig was really a favorite of mine. Its dessert wine was DELISH. Like I could have consumed the entire bottle. Ugh, we need to dish in person soon! I love talking about Napa

Mich said...

that pic of Jay and the burger is hilarious!