Alex's Personal Blog

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San Francisco Day 2 [DRAFT]

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2007 by

Today was day two in the San Francisco Bay area. We're staying at Shelly's (Jason's aunt) house in San Marino which is just outside San Francisco. She's an avid Pez collector and so has displays of her collection all over the house which is quite spectacular. Today was the day reserved for the wine-tasting portion of our trip. As Shelly is also a wine conniseure we had a pretty decent tour guide around Nappa Valley and the surrounding areas. The day turned out to be nice and warm; perfect California wine-tasting weather as far as I'm concerned. Our first stop was at Freemark Abbey. We tried six different wines including a 2003 Petite Sirah and a 2003 Zinfandel. In the end the clear winner was the 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Bosch� Estate. It had a very smooth finish and was my absolute favorite at Freemark. Unfortunately it also ended up being the most expensive at $120 a bottle. Maybe next time. Our next stop was a reasonably secluded winery called Montelena. It's hidden among a large group of trees and mostly in the shade. It has a large meeting area outside and has a pleasant walk around a man-made pond with a few gazebos. We were greeted by several ducks and few swans which have clearly been trained to harass visitors for food. It's claim to fame is beating several French wines in a wine tasting in the 70's which effectively put Nappa and California wines on the map. Once again we were greeted with several choices of wine to try by a friendly but saucy middle-aged woman. We had plenty of pleasant conversation with her and a young couple visiting from Georgia. In the end, as expected, the wine of choice was also the most expensive; the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate which was about $90. There was a smaller winery that we stopped at but unfortunately there was a private tasting going on at the time so we weren't able to go into all they had to offer. The owner of the winery was nice enough to give us all a sample of wine and allowed us to walk around the grounds a bit, however. After finishing our wine, returning the glasses, and apologizing for the interruption we were off to our fourth and final stop; The Franciscan. We got some fancy sandwiches from a nearby deli and kitchen shop (who's name escapes me) and enjoyed them in a small courtyard outside of the tasting room which was surrounded by jasmine. It was hard not to be overwhelmed (or should I say intoxicated) with the warm weather, the gorgeous smell of the flowers and of course the prospect of even more wine. ;-) After having tried wine all day it was really hard to tell the difference between them. We tried a red, then a white and finally a porte which definitely stood out from the others as it was the first of its kind we had tried. It was very sweet and didn't strike me as something that you would drink quickly. It was really yummy. On our way back to the house westopped for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant called Pasta Primavera. I had a really nice bowtie pasta dish with chicken breast and capers and of course some more wine. We then finished off the meal in true Italian style with a cappucino and desert (mine was cr�me brul� as I was really full). After our long day we had no other choice but to go back to the house and crash in preparation for the impending Make Faire the next day. To be continued...

Tagged: personal
Updated: 2012-02-24 10:20:50 -0800