January 14, 2009

Napa Trip 2008

It's in the single digits here this week, and I am fondly remembering our sunny food and wine-tasting trip we took back in April with Brenna and Cassidy. Great restaurants with fresh, interesting food, gourmet picnics, frequent visits to the charcuterie and cheese shop in town, tasting many, many different kinds of wine, a perfect rental house with a hot tub in the backyard...we will definitely be going back. These are some of our favorite food memories from the trip.

Wine cellar at Robert Mondavi

Picnicking at Opus One

We decided not to take out a loan in order to eat at this famous Thomas Keller landmark, but stopped for pictures out front anyway.

Mustards was really casual, fresh, and delicious

Bread at Mustard's


Mongolian pork chop with braised red cabbage

Breakfast outdoors in downtown Napa

We knew we were in California

Taylor's Automatic Refresher-- a gourmet dairy bar with a fair-sized wine list

We had the refreshing espresso shake instead of wine

Dinner at Bouchon, a French bistro also owned by Thomas Keller-- everyone but me shared the oysters to start

Bouchon's heavy dessert menu

Our introduction to the Vinturi at Charles Krug-- a gadget that makes a gurgling noise while aerating wine instantly. You could truly smell and taste the difference between the two pours of the same wine-- one he used it with and one he didn't.

Kenwood had some of the least memorable wine of the trip, but we got a really cool behind-the-scenes tour with the winemaker, thanks to a connection with Bren and Cassidy's NECI wine instructor.

The door to the room where Kenwood keeps some of every wine they've ever made

The landscaping at Domaine Carneros was better than their wines

We met up with Kate and Tom for our last day of wine tasting and visited, among other places, Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma, where Gordie and I had stopped on our drive through the area a few years before

Loquats on a tree in Kate and Tom's yard. We had them on salad that night!

Sights at the Embarcadero Farmers' Market in San Francisco

This kid, standing on a milk crate, was an orange-chopping machine. He made me nervous at first, but he clearly knew what he was doing.

Fried asparagus for lunch


Cassidy loves meat

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