Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Heart Wine Country too!

I woke up bright and early (before my alarm went off - woah!) Sunday morning. This was partly because I was excited about our day of wine tasting and partly due to this sinking feeling that I forgot to put my pupusa in the fridge. D'oh! Suspicions confirmed. I definitely left my 3rd pupusa in the zipper portion of my purse and it smelled like pupusa in there! Nononono! To make matters worse, the pupusa greased out of the bag so a) I felt gross having consumed all that grease the night before and b) I worried my purse would have a giant stain in it! Thankfully it did not - Amee, don't you love how I take care of your designs?? :p

There were six of us headed to Healdsburg for a day of wine tasting and I was super excited. Not only were we headed to the land of zinfandels (my personal fave), but we were planning on stopping at deLorimier Winery first!

Why was I excited about deLorimier? Well, about 3 years ago Jamie and I went to Farrah Olivia for restaurant week. I chose the optional wine pairing with my meal and fell in love with my second glass of wine (and dinner!) - Mosaic Malbec. We were just coming off of a trip to Buenos Aires so I was all about the malbecs. I wrote the name down and anytime we were near wine, I made a point to look for it. No such luck.

I then reached out to Selin since she was in the land of wines and my sister and parents figuring maybe they had more options being near NYC. Fail. I even tried to get to the vineyard on my first trip to SF but alas, too far out of the way for our day trip to Napa :(

Recently I got a text from Selin and turns out she was driving past the vineyard! AH HA! Totally on my 'must make it happen' list for this trip.

We get to deLorimier and find out there's a festival going on at all the Russian River Wineries. Apparently this weekend was the 11th Annual Wine and Food Affair - for $40, we could get free tastings AND free food pairings at 80 vineyards. WOAH. My kind of festival ;) We were kinda skeptical about the whole $40 ticket thing but the woman at the door totally sold us on it once she said we might run into problems getting tastings otherwise. Sold. They gave us a wrist band, map and wine glass and off we went.

Delorimier was serving this bad ass
Grilled Rib-Eye Steak Chili made with one of their wines. AMAZING! Thick, but a little soupy, nice heat and the super tender rib eye bits were little nuggets of heaven. *sigh* oh wait, we're at a winery...the wine! Turns out they only make the Mosaic Malbec once a year and it's so popular, it sells out quickly (Selin did her research)...they weren't even tasting it that day!

Thankfully Selin jumped in and convinced the ladies to check if they had any bottles since her crazy friend flew across the country for this stupid wine and low and behold - two bottles (one for tasting and one for me!)...the 2006s were waiting to be bottled. Score!
After a little more tasting, I also grabbed a bottle of the tasty
Mosaic Meritage :) Check out the gorgeous views:
Next up was Hanna Winery where they were serving
Endive Cups filled with French Lentil & Prosciutto Salad with Peppers.
I wasn't really into the food, but the Jasmine Vixen was one of my favorite wines though I refrained from buying.

We turned back around to visit Hawkes Wine and as much as I hate to admit it, we went just for the
Skirt Steak Tacos with Cabernet Chili Sauce. Oh my god. Best. Sauce. Ever. EVER! It was pretty packed (probably b/c of the delicious food!), so we grabbed a quick taste and sat outside to enjoy the perfect weather and scenery:
As soon as those tacos were gone, we scooted on over to Simi Winery for some
Lamb & Herb Meatballs with Creamy Polenta and more soothing scenery!
They even had an outdoor kitchen...I want one!!
A couple meatballs later and we were ready to go to Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs. This was #2 on my must visit list ever since I tried their Geyserville last month. They too were serving meatballs, but they were
Sicilian Meatballs with Spaghetti (by the time we got there it was bread) and I think they were the best meatballs of the day :)
I walked away with a bottle of the Geyserville (another bottle they opened for us - thanks!!) and their Lytton Springs - both delicious blends!
All the reds they were tasting were fantastic, but those two were my favorites. We lingered a bit longer here. Why? Oh yes, GORGEOUS.
We stopped down the road at Mazzocco Sonoma for some
Lamb & Rosemary Meatballs with Rice Pilaf and a surprise treat - Butternut Squash Soup!
As if there weren't enough meatballs in our day ;p The wines here were pretty good, but I found myself moseying over to the Reserves Collection table and tasting a glass of their Petite Syrah...and promptly buying a bottle. Impulse buy! That's just what happens at the end of a wine tasting day ;p

The next and final stop was Wilson Winery because we got a little lost getting to our planned destination. SO glad we stumbled upon this place because they were serving Caramelized Onion Quesadillas with Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Basil Salsa & Famous Marinated Tri Tip OMG! The quesadillas were kinda lame, but the tri tip was phenomenal. I don't even know if I've ever had tri tip before...but I NEED it now! So tender and flavorful, though I'm not really sure why it was served on a tortilla?
The long line for the tri tip wasn't too bad since we had this glorious view:
Check out all those grapes!!

How on earth did I get all these bottles home?
Two rolls of bubble wrap and these were safe and sound in my suitcase. Phew!

It's getting late so I'm off to bed - early and long day at work tomorrow. I can't wait to gush about my last meal in San Francisco!


Kelly said...

Absolutely gorgeous pictures, you are making me want to go there right now. I also agree that it would be amazing to have an outdoor kitchen.

Selin said...

I am loving this recap of our weekend! Sitting at my desk, wishing i wasn't at work, and dreaming of food... love the pics too!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. . . I don't think my first comment worked. I loved seeing your photos! Between purchases and wine club, we will be getting something like 36 bottles from this trip. Eeek.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh wow, so gorgeous!! Where has that sunshine been around here?!

You always give such thorough recaps, I love it :) And those meatballs? MMM, those look delicious.

MarathonVal said...

You hit up some amazing looking wineries!! We just did two in Napa, but it was a blast. If you ever go back, I recommend Peju it was a great one.

Come to Chicago soon so we can schedule another blogger meet up will ya! Glad you had a fun weekend!

Karena said...

These pictures make me want to MOVE! :)

Meghan - 36?! OMG! Is there a 1980 bottle in that count??

Heather - I dunno, but I was loving Monday & Tuesday's warm weather...wherever it came from!

Val - Considering doing Chicago next year unless I find another fall marathon. I'd looove to check out the Chicago food scene :)