Wine Country

Throw a Wine Tasting Party!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

I love a great themed get together, whether it’s a costume, murder mystery, or decade themed party.   Another great theme party for grown ups is throwing a blind wine tasting party at your place complete with great vino and good eats!

wine tasting party cg

 

The fun of a blind tasting is the mystery of what’s in the bottle – you can choose different wines and make people try to figure out the varietal (Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) or you can tell them the varietal and have them rank the wine with points and compare everyone’s notes at the end.  You can supply the wine or have everyone bring a favorite bottle.

numbered bottle covers cg

 

I bought a single varietal, Pinot Noirs, and three I found at my local grocery store.  It’s fun to throw in a really fancy or really cheap one too just to see how people respond to it!

pinot noirs

 

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A Fabulous Festival

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Embracing the seasons is one of my favorite things in life, especially when it comes to cuisine.  There’s a local festival that goes on every year here in Sonoma County at the Kendall Jackson Tasting Room, one that’s hailed as one of the best in this region, but it’s a festival I had never attended until this past weekend. 

Our good friends had extra tickets to the Kendall Jackson Tomato Festival so we were invited along and what a great time we had!  It’s a one day event where 50+ Wine Country restaurants and food purveyors create tomato inspired dishes to compete for the top prize.  It’s a spirited competition and all of the local Bay Area favorites prepare creative tomato infused dish, and attendees reap the benefits by sampling them all and casting a vote!  

culinary institute

 country fresh tomatoes cg

 

Prizes are awarded including a golden spade for Best of Show.

best of show tomatoes

 

Our sweet friends who invited us to tag along show off how well thought out the festival is. They hand you a wine glass (but of course) and a bamboo platter that holds it when you walk in and then they send you on your way to all the wine, food, tomato, and cheese samples you can devour, yum! And how cute is my friend’s red striped dress??

dino and heidi

 

These beauties are everywhere on display, perfectly ripe, and so fresh they’re nature’s candy. 

vine tomatoes in glass vase cg

wine grapes and tomatoes

 

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Day Trip: Yountville

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Matt and I spent all day Saturday working on some home improvement projects so we dedicated Sunday to a day of leisure and headed out to Napa County to spend the day at a favorite town, Yountville. 

Yountville is a small town near the big wineries in the Napa Valley – it was made famous by Thomas Keller when he founded the French Laundry almost 20 years ago.  Keller expanded his restaurants on Washington Street to include bistro Bouchon, the Bouchon Bakery next door, and casual Ad Hoc down the street.  To tempt taste buds even more, a few years ago chef Michael Chiarello opened Bottega next to his flagship Napa Style store.  All of the restaurants are within a few hundred yards of each other which certifies Yountville as foodie heaven.  

day trip yountville

 

Yountville is a very small town, and most businesses, shops, restaurants and tasting rooms are located along the main street (Washington).  Start your day at the Coffee Caboose and don’t miss getting your pastry at one of the best bakeries in the region, Bouchon Bakery, across the street.

yountville coffee caboose

bakery bouchon

 

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