Que Syrah Syrah...Whatever Will Be, Will Be

I had such a lovely day that further cemented in my mind the idea that Sonoma County takes Napa Valley out like the trash when it comes to wine-tasting experiences.  Not that I have ever been to Napa (except for an excursion to French Laundry that set back my food budget a month and a half)--but it sounds like the Disneyland of wine country, where you can pay up to $25 for a tasting.  A tasting!  I will barely spend more than $20 on an entire bottle of wine, let alone a mere tasting.

We went for my friend Vivian's birthday.  After a bit of a late start, we got to Gloria Ferrer and sat down with a nice little suite of wines (They don't do the usual tasting, but you buy individual small glasses).  I paid $2 for 2 oz. of the 2003 Carneros Estate Syrah, "a wine for purists, displaying both saturated black fruit and focused structural qualities...flavors of white pepper, violet and cassis, as well as...spice and subtle smoke notes."  I swear I don't know anything about wines, except I like California cabs and sweet dessert wines, but my friend who markets for a winery told me syrahs are full-bodied like cabs...and I was drawn to the cassis.  We all tried a few sips, and it was so delicious I actually coughed up $19 to get the full bottle.

The second one we went to, Buena Vista, was unremarkable (if overpriced), but had some nice picnic tables where we stopped for lunch we had bought from Whole Foods.

The third and last winery was Arrowood, a favorite of Kevin's and Vivian's, and it truly was the star, not only for the amazing wines (I think there were four I liked--the chardonnay, the rose, the merlot though I usually don't care for merlot, and the wonderful, wonderful Riesling that tasted like good Ethiopian honey wine), but also the lovely view out the back, from the sunny verandah, where we chillaxed and sobered up a bit before heading to dinner.

Dinner was at a really cute, cozy, popular little outfit called The Girl and the Fig, right near Sonoma Square.  Everything on the menu looked so good, but I finally decided to split the mussels in broth, and the half roast chicken, with someone.  We also got a trio of cheeses for the table--a fantastic brie, a robust goat cheese (bucheret?) and a pungent sheep's milk (cambabert?). The mussels were wonderfully satisfying, and the chicken was decidedly underwhelming.  Finished off with a very flavorful lavender-honey creme brulee for dessert.  All in all, a fine day.

I promise, I'm not really as disgustingly yuppie as I sound.  Okay, damn, I guess I am.

5 responses

Life is all about spoiling yourself ! But I love my friends and when they come over I give then them the Charles Shaw Wine from Trader Joe's and A Slice Of Velveeta ! All my friends are old like me so free is sometimes better conversation reigns ! On the Serious side there are some excellent Cheddars from Australia! Cassis mixed with white wine is excellent they serve it in France

I love everyone's dresses in the first picture. You all look so pretty! :)

Aw, thank you pooja! I happened to go with a fabulously stylish group of
girls...i stick out like a sore thumb!

Not at all, and you know it. ;)

Oh, I love Gloria Ferrar. It's bubbly heaven for $20.