Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Napa....aka If I lived here, I'd be an alcoholic

I wish I was kidding, but it's totally true. If it was any closer for me, there'd be meetings.
As it is, I may have to hit up a foodnwine-anon meeting when I get home!

Since I was smart enough to get a spare yogurt for the travel morning and MrP wasn't,
he had a
Tartine brownie for breakfast. Breakfast of champions?!

Along the highway back into San Fran (from the Airport) with our rental car

Crossing the famous Golden Gate Bridge

This may be the easiest crossing of a bridge I'd ever done since I just took pics looking ahead the whole way (I don't like bridges)

Finishing the bridge crossing

It was foggy once we crossed into Sausalito

Arrived safely at the Martinelli Winery despite calling to say we were going to be 15 minutes late for our tour. We were about 10 minutes from the winery when we realized that the GPS was still on mountain time and we, in fact, would be there about 45 minutes early, so we had time to grab some breakfast beforehand.
Here's Linda (from Boston - we both agree on the love of Tom Brady) with the little Jackass tank. The Jackass Hill Zinfandel (their top selling, priciest Zin) is produced entirely in this little teeny tiny tank, known as the Little Jackass. The best part of the wh ole "Jackass" story is that the youngest son was given this apparently impossible (60% incline) hill to farm and his family all laughed when he was doing it, saying "Look at that jackass, trying to grow wine on that hill!" and thus the Jackass & Jackass Hill labels were born.Wouldn't you know it, the impossible to farm areas became the most successful part of the entire family winery.

Aging barrels at Martinelli

Scenic view between the Winemaker's barn and the Aging barn

Cosmos on the hill just south of the Winemaker's barn
(apparently in the spring, it's overrun with tulips and is just as beautiful)

Leaving Martinelli
I would definitely recommend trying their wines. They don't do any blending and even between two of the Pinots that we tried in our tasting, the different fields make a HUGE difference. We're taking home 3 bottles.
On the way to Napa on Petrified Forest Road
We made a pitstop at the Petrified Forest to look around
but didn't have time to do the full walk

Lunch! This is genius....exactly what I like to snack on.
However, the sauce was a little sweet, so I'll stick with my fresh pineapple in cottage cheese.

Arrived for our Rombauer Vineyards pick up & tasting.
We did a tasting in Sherwood Park at a local wine shop with Alan, one of the winery's salesmen and he introduced us to their 2006 Zinfandel, which is no longer available. TEASE! We told him we were heading to Napa in October and would be interested in a magnum or whatever they could find of it if possible, so he made it happen. Seriously happy pair, we are!

They have a beautiful old vine Zin statue near the entrance of the tasting room

I made friends with Moose, the winery dog

Along the trail in the garden at Rombauer

Private garden entrance

Cave entrance at Rombauer

We took 2 bottles in addition to the six being delivered to our hotel.
(Palmer count: 11 bottles)

Finally, we left and headed for our hotel. We made one more stop on the way, though, as we weren't sure we'd make it to Clos du Val on our cycling tour on Thursday.
So we met Brenda from the winery, who took us through a tasting
(and included a bonus tasting for MrP since he was hoping to try their rose)
They have a beautiful setup and we were glad we stopped in.

MrP at the tasting room doors

Looking back to the main building from the road

Some grapes still remained when we left...with two bottles in hand.
(Palmer count: 13 bottles)

Checked into our room at Napa River Inn

Main building of the hotel
(we're in the Embarcadero rooms across the parking lot, along the river)

We walked around the area before heading out for our supper reservation at Redd in Yountville. The Michelin guide had just revealed their 2012 restaurant guide and we were glad to see Redd retained their star. However, in an effort to not impede on other diners' visits to the restaurant, we didn't use the flash for photos and they ended up lacking quite severely. Swillsey - don't judge the photos and my lazy Photoshop  (lackof)skillz ;)

Even on the rare occasion he does dress up you can't take MrP anywhere.

TannyP's First Course - Yellowfin tuna tartare, asian pear, avocado, chili oil, fried rice, cilantro paired with a Napa Sauvignon Blanc (neither of us heard the winery or vintage)


MrP's First Course - Sashimi of hamachi, sticky rice, edamame, lime ginger sauce paired with a German Reisling (neither of us heard the winery or vintage)

TannyP's Second Course - Halibut, jasmine rice, clams, chorizo, coconut curry nage paired with 2009 Adi Rosé of Syrah

MrP's Second Course - Caramelized diver scallops, cauliflower purée, almonds, balsamic reduction paired with 2009 Alban Vineyards Viognier

TannyP's Third Course - Glazed pork belly, apple purée, burdock, soy caramel paired with 2008 Brewer Clifton Pinot Noir

MrP's Third Course - Crispy chicken thigh, butternut squash, brussel sprout fondue paired with 2006 Elyse ‘C'est si Bon’ Grenache

TannyP's Fourth Course - Beef tenderloin, marrow capped shortrib, fingerling potatoes, carrots, button mushrooms paired with 2006 Larkin Cabernet Sauvignon

MrP's Fouth Course - Lamb loin, ratatouille, arista puree, olive tapanade paired with 2007 Wind Gap Syrah

TannyP's Fifth Course - Maple crème brulee, poached pears, pecan biscotti paired with 2003 Topaz ‘Special Select’ Late Harvest (Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon)

MrP's Fifth Course - Chocolate & peanut butter beignets, bitter caramel ice cream, bananas paired with Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Port

Mignardises - Salted peanut brittle chocolates and red velvet truffles

Finally, check out this awesome sink that I now want for our spare bathroom.
No spray and virtually nothing to clean.


  1. You are going to have to write an editorial for a food and wine and travel magazine LOL! Great pics once again. Beware of the duty on those Palmer bottles...but I'm sure they will be worth it :)

  2. hi tanis
    thanks for the lovely comments on my cards and especially my bows...i have not made a tutorial but here is where i learned to do them
    i do use a papermania bow maker for all single bows too
    happy crafting
    tracey x

  3. The pictures are stunning! So happy you are indulging in everything on this trip, that's one of the most memorable parts of a fabuolous vacation :)


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