Monday, September 13, 2010

Who doesn't love a day of wine tasting?

Sunday was totally devoted to wine tasting in Healdsburg/Geyserville. Have I mentioned it's my favorite place to play with the vino? Well, it is!

I got comfy behind the wheel for the beautiful 1.5 hour drive north so Jamie could appreciate the scenery (slash, I was itching to drive) and we arrived at deLorimier a little before noon.

Are you familiar with my deLorimier backstory? Long story short: fell in love w/a malbec by Mosaic a few years ago and couldn't find it anywhere. Mosaic was bought by deLorimier and I was able to snag a bottle when I visited last November. Unfortunately, I left that bottle in DC with friends because I was too nervous it would break in the move. *BIG SAD FACE*

I was excited to go back and pick up a replacement bottle, but uhh no such luck. New wine maker, not the same. Still pretty good, but just not the same :( I did find a nice Sauvignon Blanc, though.
It smells fabulous and tastes crisp with hints of nectarine. Doesn't hurt that it's reasonably priced at $18. Love it!

We wandered around the winery grounds for a bit, enjoyed the gardens
and then sped off to our next destination: Francis Ford Coppola

Ok, I have mixed feelings about Coppola. My very first enjoyable white wine experience was with a bottle of Coppola however, I usually have mediocre experiences with Coppola wines (with the exception of a Director's Cut Zinfandel Selin introduced me to). I figured we would check it out since it was a bigger winery and I'll admit I was pretty curious.

The grounds are amazing, even though at times it felt a little like Disney World.
The tasting room was PACKED, but we managed to squeeze into a little corner. Our pourer (?) was really easy to get along with and was willing to do some extra pours and swap some out. Hurrah!

I asked to try the Sofia Blanc de Blancs just for fun and o my, that is trouble. It went down like sparkling cider. I also enjoyed a 2006 Coppola Reserve Alexander Cabernet Sauvignon (which I can't seem to find on the website).

I was good and only splurged on one bottle. A big splurge on a bottle of Archimedes (a Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend):
I'm a fan of bold reds and this one is bold, yet smooth and not too in your face. Nifty bottle too.

Since our bellies were starting to grumble, we opted to pass on the picnic lunch and dine at Rustic, the new restaurant at the winery. It was only a 20-30 minute wait so we wandered around and explored all the displays before we were seated. Lucky for us, a table opened up on the patio

Pretty sweet lunch view yeah?

The menu had a ton of delicious options, but the weather made me want to go with something light and crispy. Enter Pizza Sofia (arugula, prosciutto, shaved parmesan)
Nummy nummy! The crust was thin and crisp and I LOOOVE arugula, parmesan and prosciutto. Such a classic combo.

Jamie's mom went with the Chicken Mattone which was wonderfully moist and flavorful. I'm not even going to try to describe it for you. Here's what the menu says:
"...alternately called chicken under the stone or brick, has become popular lately, but often too tame compared to my favorite version...Half of a chicken, its bones in but crushed, is sauteed in olive oil with a little paprika and slices of garlic and is put under an iron weight. All the fat is pressed out of it, and it’s flat and crispy on the crushed bones and a little red from the paprika."
Damn good chicken.

Jamie got a monster sammich, of course. Apparently Mammarella's Muffaletta (New Orleans style sandwich with ham, Genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, mozzarella, and giardiniera) screamed at him from the menu.

Biggest. sammich. EVER. It came with the option to get a whole, half or quarter and naturally Jamie went for the half.
Ridiculous. At least he admitted it could use some green. ;p

We lingered for a bit to finish our surprisingly large glasses of wine and soak up the gorgeous weather and scenery before heading off to our last winery of the day: Ridge!

Yep, I say that with an exclamation point because it's one of my favorites. C'mon, how could you not love this view
And it doesn't hurt they also have some great red wines ;p

Unfortunately we stumbled upon Ridge's Fall Debut (I think...something along those lines) tasting weekend, so they weren't pouring some of my favorites. Luckily, I learned that you can always ask for specific wines. Ah haa!

I went home with two bottles of my favorite Geyserville (72% zinfandel, 20% carignane, 6% petite sirah, 2% mataro). This was another bottle I had to leave behind when I moved. SO glad to find out they still had bottles of the 2005!
This blend makes me o so happy. I wish I had a reason to open up a bottle right now just so I could describe how great this wine is. *sigh*
Happy after wine purchases!

In case you didn't pick up on it, Jamie was our DD for the day
We planned on stopping at Lagunitas in Petaluma for some beer tasting on the way home/swap driving duties, but it ended up being way too crowded. Perhaps next time.

Perfect weather, great wines and wineries, delicious eats and calming scenery. Great Sunday. Can't wait to go back in November for the Annual Food & Wine Affair!

No comments: