Napa Wine Tasting

I’m so happy to be back in the Bay Area, for good! One of the things I was looking forward to the most was San Francisco’s proximity to so many beautiful places. If you get in a car and drive two hours you can end up

Last Sunday A and I went to Napa with one of my best friends from high school and her fiance. Although it was drizzling when we left, it ended up being a dramatically beautiful afternoon with the sun peeking through large gaps between dark gray clouds. The vines were beginning to turn, adding even more color to the landscape. We decided to Uber from SF so that all four of us could fully enjoy the wine tasting experience.

We started our day at Domaine Chandon, which makes sparkling wine. After grabbing three different bottles at the tasting counter (and insisting that we did not need instructions on how to cap them, because we would certainly be finishing them) we took a seat outside in their patio area. Another beautiful thing about the Bay Area is that even if its chilly, it’s rarely too cold to sit outside if you’ve got a jacket and your legs are covered in some way. Out of the three bottles, my favorite was the sparkling rose. Prior to a year or two ago I didn’t particularly care for rose OR sparkling wine, but recently it’s become one of my favorite alcoholic beverages. Perhaps it was the need to find something light in refreshing on hot and humid New York summer evenings combined with my general dislike for white wines that finally led me to this brilliant discovery.

After we finished our bubbly, we took a trolley into Yountville to search for food. I’d heard great things about Bouchon Bakery, but the line was incredibly long and none of us had had a substantial breakfast, so we kept moving and ended up at Bottega. The food here was fantastic! I had one of the best risottos of my life and I think my fiance’s short-rib burger was probably one of my favorite lunch items I’ve ever sampled while finer dining. My pasta was excellent, as well. We left Bottega full, happy, and with our stomachs ready to absorb some more wine.

Next, we walked to a nearby winery called Cornerstone Cellars for a tasting. The tasting area was smaller but the wines and company were enjoyable. None stood out to me here, maybe because of the rose kick that I have been on! We had fun with the huge wine bottles they had on display outside.

Finally, we ended up at one of my favorite wineries, Peju. The property is beautiful, with a well-manicured lawn, and the wines never disappoint. Unsurprisingly, my favorite is the Provence, which is a red and white blend. After playing with a few visiting dogs and doing a round of tastings, we decided to join their wine club because… why not. I’d say we drink a bottle of wine a week, so we may as well make some of those bottles nicer. We also grabbed a bottle of the Provence, because of course.

A and I will be back next month for a weekend trip in celebration of our anniversary in October. I can’t wait to explore more of Napa Valley and taste more wines then!

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