Today the groundhog saw his shadow so we have 6 more weeks of winter. This is fine with me because we have seen so little snow this season. I’m really looking forward to a big storm before the season is over.
Here’s the beautiful bottle of wine we had this evening with our steak dinner. It was delicious!
Today we went to a cabernet vertical tasting at Breaux Vineyards. We had a 3 course meal and tasted six different vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon. We attend these each year. This one was fun as usual but I didn’t eat any of the second course…it was salmon. It was cool to see our reserved table for the members of our group. I was impressed. This was the first time they’ve done that.
For the last 10 years a bunch of wine friends have gathered at our friend Susan’s house to have dinner, enjoy wine and chat about this and that. Tonight’s dinner was the 10th time we’ve done this. This time we were celebrating Susan’s retirement. Susan is the one sitting to my right in the picture. My husband cooked the main dish for the meal and others brought the sides. Susan provided the wine because she’s got an amazing wine cellar. We all had a great time!
Here my husband helps Susan select some wines for the meal.
Today I ended up doing my walking late in the evening and since it was dark, I walked in the building. We participated in an online wine chat about Virginia wine in the evening. During the day I spent making my Halloween costume. I’ll post a picture of it on the weekend. But I bought a sewing machine to do the work. I taught myself how to use the machine and make my costume. Anyway, because of all that, the walk was in the evening. I walked 1.91 miles. I was just too tired to go any further but I did get the 30 minutes of exercise done.
This evening we participate in an Virginia Wine Chat on Twitter. We tasted three different wines from a winery in southern Virginia. Here’s Warren enjoying the first wine. I thought it was a good picture of him so I decided to post it. We thoroughly enjoyed the wines and had a great time participating on Twitter with all the other people tasting and Tweeting about the wines.
I’m enjoying a glass of 2008 Melbac before dinner. Warren is making chicken and pasta while I enjoy my glass of wine. We had a very nice dinner last night for Valentine’s Day. We got each other our favorite chocolates and I’ve been eating them all day. Today we went to a winery while the snow flakes fell. Nothing accumulated but the snow flakes were fun to watch. We’ve had enough snow and are both ready for spring.
Today we decided to stay around the town of Calistoga. We started with day with a delicious breakfast at Cafe Sarafornia.
After breakfast we began looking for a place that would ship our wine home. During this trip we had purchased almost two cases of wine. We did not want to have it shipped to us right away because of the heat on the east coast. The wine would sit on a truck and bake before it was delivered to us. We did find a great shipping store in St. Helena that would not only ship the wine but would also keep it in a cool warehouse until October when the temperatures are cool enough for ground shipment. We were very happy to find the place because we did not want to check our wine on the plane. That was done and we were relieved.
After the wine shipping task we did some laundry, filled up the car with gas and looked for a place to vacuum out the car. As you might remember we got a convertible for the trip. At one of the wineries we left the top down under a tree and a bunch of stuff fell from the tree and got in the car. I drove around and around and never did find a place to vacuum out the car. Oh well, they’ll have to take it back in the same shape it is now. On the way back to the hotel we decided to stop at the Castello di Amorosa. It’s a castle and tasting room. The guy who owns it has been building it for 25 years and decided to start a winery there too. We decided to check out the castle and taste the wine. Here’s a few photos from the castle.
After a short nap we went back into town and visited a few tasting rooms. Some wineries that don’t have a tasting room on their property sometimes open tasting rooms in the small towns to get their wines sold and their name out there. We visited a few but none worth really mentioning.
With a little more wine tasting done, it was time for dinner. We went to an Italian place and had pizza for dinner. Of course we had wine with dinner. After dinner we sat in the jacuzzi tube filled with natural spring water. Now it’s time for bed. Tomorrow is our last day in California!
The fourth day of our vacation found us in the wonderful little town of Healdsburg, California. Healdsburg is in Sonoma County. There are many smaller wineries spotted throughout the area. We decided to concentrate our winery visits to this area.
The second day of our vacation was full of winery visits. That’s why we’re here! I am loving cruising around in the Mustang convertible. The weather is perfect for it.
We started the second day at Robert Sinskey Vineyards. They probably had the best wines of the day. I really enjoyed the sauv blanc and one of their pinot noirs. They have a gorgeous tasting room as well. From there we went to Silver Oak. They were only tasting three wines. And the prices were outrageous. However, we did strike up a great conversation with our tasting associate. He spent time in the DC area and remembered a lot of the area. That was a nice experience.
The rest of the day we didn’t have a plan so we took the advice of the tasting associate at Silver Oak and visited Miner Family Vineyards and ZD Winery. Both had some very nice wines. I connected with the Viognier from Miner Family. It reminded me so much of a Virginia Viognier. They also had some nice pinot noirs to taste. Not that this means anything to you the reader, but I have noticed this trip that the wines we have tasted so far have not been those big oaky wines that California is known for. The white wines have been done in stainless steel which brings out the fruit and makes them bright, clean, and crisp. I like my white wines just like that. And it seems like we’ve tasted a lot of pinot noirs too. I don’t remember tasting so many last trip. Even so, they are very nice wines.
After our last winery, we came back to the hotel, took a nap, took a dip in the hot tub, and then cooked out on the grill. We had grilled chicken that was delicious. And of course we had a nice bottle of wine.
The weather out here is absolutely gorgeous. During the day the sun is out and it gets up to about 85. Then in the evenings as soon as the sun goes down it cools down to the 60’s. There is almost NO humidity either! I am loving the weather. And I must have seen a million stars in the sky last night! I can see why people love living in California.
The down side is the price of everything. Gas is the most expensive out here. It’s around 4 bucks a gallon. And then there are the tasting fees. I don’t remember them being so expensive last time. We’ve paid $20, $25, and as much as $45 just to taste the wines! And if you want to buy the wine double the tasting fees! While I love the weather and visiting wineries, I’d never be able to afford to live out here. I don’t know how people do it.
Anyway, day two was very nice and I’m sure the rest of the time we’re here will be also.
Today began our summer vacation to California. Security at the airport wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. I was in and out in probably a minute or two. The flight itself was okay too. The take off was fine, the long direct flight to California wasn’t too bad either. I opted for the DirectTV option and watched TV most of the flight. I also played BeJeweled. The landing was a bit scary. I didn’t remember it being so rough the last time we flew.
We had no problem getting the rental car either. However, the guy at the counter talked me into upgrading the car to a 2012 Ford Mustang Convertible. He said it would add $45 to the price. Little did I know he meant $45 A DAY to the price. With the price of gas out here and this new fee, the price of the car is almost twice what my flight was to get out here. I’m not happy about that but it’s too late now.
After getting the car we headed north to wine country. We were able to visit three wineries on the way to the hotel. We visited Sawyer Cellars, Raymond Vineyards, and Twomey Cellars. We enjoyed them all but I thought the best wines were at the first place, Sawyer Cellars.
Overall we had a pretty good first day. We settled in and went out to dinner and are now just relaxing before bed. Long day but well worth it.
Before enjoying the fireworks tonight, we went to one of our favorite wineries, Linden Vineyards. After enjoying our tasting we had some nibbles and a bottle of wine. It was so relaxing sitting on the deck and enjoying the views with the wine and nibbles. Of course the boyfriend was playing Words With Friends on the iPad. He’s obsessed.
The boyfriend and I arrived home this afternoon. We traveled about 500 miles and brought home three cases of wine. We had a nice visit with my dad and all his cats. He now has 5 stray cats that stay in his house each night. During the day they go outside (except for one). Anyway, we’re home.
Here’s a picture I took today at the last winery we visited. It looks as though I was drunk taking the picture but I assure you I was not. I simply moved the camera as the flash was going off. Oh well. Kinda cool looking anyway.
The boyfriend and I are staying at my dad’s house for a few days. We are visiting with him and visiting wineries. We’re having a great time spending too much money on wine. We cooked dinner for my dad. He never cooks. He thought it was a luxury to have dinner cooked. He’s 79. We’ll be here until Tuesday.