Jan 28, 2014

Sunshine, food and wine in Napa and Sonoma

After a short drive from the city to Napa, we checked in to our hotel and had a few hours to rest before it was time for our dinner reservations.

By the way, if you missed my first post on my Northern California Adventures, check it out here.

For dinner, we visited the very cute and very busy The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma. To start, we shared "The Works" cheese platter, which came with a selection of three cheeses, cured meats, seasonal fruit, house-made fig cake, spiced nuts and a baguette. I shared the duck confit with my friend, and it came with farro, roasted parsnips, kale and black pepper vinaigrette. It was amazing!

For dessert, we split the asian pear crostata with buttermilk creme anglaise and spiced caramel. Everything was so delicious and it was hard to decide what to order. 

The next morning, we were up bright and early to attend a 10 am sparkling wine tasting at Mumm Napa. I'm not much of a sparkling wine/champagne person because I tend to get really bad headaches from drinking champagne, but I must admit that this tasting was a lot of fun.

We shared two different levels of tastings and some of the wines we tried included the Brut Reserve, Brut Prestige and the Brut Rosé.

We also got a couple of "bonus" tastings including the sparking pinot noir and Carlos Santana's Supernatural Rosé.

After our fill of sparkling wine, we had an early lunch at Bottega. I was so looking forward to dining here and tasting some of Michael Chiarello's food!

First off, the ambiance was amazing! I am completely obsessed with their brass water goblets.

Our party was seated in a private dining area, which just happened to be in the wine cellar!

I went all out and continued my day with a yummy peach bellini. My friend and I shared a bunch of dishes, and we also shared a charcuterie plate with the table. 

To start, we had the polenta under glass with caramelized mushrooms and balsamic game sauce. Very rich and creamy! Next, we shared the shaved Brussels sprout salad with Meyer lemon dressing, toasted Marcona almonds, egg and Pecorino cheese. 

For our entree, we had the most decadent dish: cavatelli with lobster and sea urchin. I want to eat this again right now!

As if we hadn't stuffed ourselves silly already, we had to head across the way to Bouchon Bakery. I was a good girl and only purchased a lemon macaron and an almond croissant for breakfast the next morning. 

Next up was a wine tasting at Ma(i)sonry, which didn't turn out exactly as we hoped. Upon arrival, we were told that everyone in our party had to do the same tasting and that we all had to spend a minimum of $35 each. This is something that we were not told when we made our reservations. I found this to be entirely uncool. We decided to just order three bottles of wine to share.

Our first bottle was Lail Vineyard's 2012 Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc ($40). Over the weekend, I confirmed that I am not at all a fan of Sauv Blanc. Our second bottle was more my speed. It was Blackbird Vineyards' 2012 Arriviste Rosé ($25).

For our final bottle, we went up a notch on the price point and purchased Tor Kenward Family Wines' 2011 Tor Beckstoffer To Kalon ($150). It was the most expensive bottle of wine I've ever had and it was quite delightful.

Ma(i)sonry also is home to a gallery with the space filled with lots of pieces. I loved the sheep. Overall, I thought the setting was gorgeous, but I wasn't pleased with the situation I described earlier.

I skipped out on our final tasting of the day. I had already had enough to drink and I didn't really want to do another champagne tasting. I did, however, get to enjoy the beautiful terrace of Domaine Carneros. The building itself is styled like an old French chateau. So pretty!

Photos of Domaine Carneros, Napa

This photo of Domaine Carneros is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Even though I abstained from the final tasting, there were clear, sunny skies, another gorgeous setting and pleasant company for me to enjoy. 

110 West Spain Street
Sonoma, CA 95476

6525 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599

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