Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Perfect Day in Napa Valley

My boyfriend just finished taking the California Bar Exam so when he showed up seeing triple and fried from his 3 day test I planned a day of relaxation and celebration. First stop was the St. Helena Farmers Market to grab some goodies and visit with my sister and her kids. I also managed to get my hands on some burratta. Score. Chefs from Culinary Institute of America roam the stands and you can catch chef demonstrations usually at 10am each week.
After that we went to Meadowood. My family has been members for over 30 years and it's built quite the reputation. In fact, the president stayed there two weeks ago. The best part is that there is no corkage fee so you can bring a bottle from home and enjoy it poolside. We popped a bottle of Schramsberg leftover from my little sister's wedding to wash down the salads we had for lunch. 3 hours in the sun and we were getting fried. We changed back into our clothes and took off to do some wine tasting.

I knew that I had to eventually get to Rombauer since almost everyone that goes to Duckhorn either goes there next or comes from there. Rombauer is known for its Chardonnay. But we enjoyed their Merlot which was a lot lighter that the one I am used to at Duckhorn. We also enjoyed the Zinfandel but we went for the '04 Merlot in the end. Good thing to mention is that they allow picnicking. So grab a snack or sandwich, buy a bottle and enjoy yourself.
The concierge at Meadowood made us a reservation at Revana. Heidi Barrett. 'Nuff said. Heidi Barrett is a celebrity in her own right in the wine business. She built quite the reputation as winemaker at Screaming Eagle and Grace Family. We took a bottle of their Cab home but it was painful to purchase. $135 a bottle and you only taste one wine. Ouch. Skip this if you are on a budget.
Last stop before we hit the deck at Auberge du Soleil for people watching, a cocktail and killer view was Grgich Hills. Mike Grgich is old school. He's been around for ages and is best known for the 'Paris Tasting of '76' where a blind tasting made a name for Burgundies in Napa Valley. Their Fume Blanc rocks but we went home with the Cab that knocked Drew's socks off.

We ended the night at Tra Vigne dining under the stars and I can vouch for Drew that 2 months of studying was worth the day in paradise. Almost forgot, we live here.

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2 comments:

mheil said...

Elizabeth,

This post may single-handedly convince my wife to move back here!

Thanks a million,
Matthew

Parker said...

I may need to move to Napa too. Do you do this Napa tour for visitors from Boston as well? Sounds like an amazing day!