Drunk Mama here, reporting from beautiful Sebastopol, CA. We came up on Sunday afternoon, for our annual visit with my brother-in-law Dave, his gorgeous wife, Lisa, and their two boys, Daniel and Lorenzo (aged 11 and 10, respectively, and otherwise known as “the wrecking crew”). It’s well-known, ’round these parts, that I’m the wino in the family, and it’s something of a running joke that we come to wine country every year, yet I’m the only one actually interested in doing any tasting. That all changed last year, of course, when the entire WAF crew spent a weekend in Sonoma (thanks again to Lisa, who graciously put us up in her guest cottage). But this year, I’d resigned myself to remaining content with taking in the rolling brown hills, the breathtaking vistas and cloudless skies, and with admiring the grapes on the vine as we drove past.
Little did I know that Lisa — who is really the hero of this story — would come through for me in a big way. Last summer she’d mentioned that she had a friend who owned a biodynamic winery in Sebastopol, a small family operation that only did tours by appointment, and that she’d try to get us in for a visit. Sadly, the timing didn’t work out then. But one of the first things she did when we arrived this time around was call up her friend Heidi and get us in at the lovely and exclusive Littorai Wines.
I’m going to tell you all about their delicious wines in the Part 2 of this post. (Ultimate teaser: there is a bottle of pinot coming back in my suitcase for tasting purposes!) But for now — because we’re about to haul the kids out of the pool and get them back on the road down through S.F. and back to Palo Alto (Double-shot’s response to the Golden Gate Bridge: “why is it orange and not golden?”), I’m just going to leave you with a few pictures of our time here in Sonoma County. Continue reading »
Stresa Italy sits on the edge of Lake Maggiore close to the Switzerland/Italian border. We were lucky enough to have lunch at this quaint quiet restaurant. We were served multiple bottles of this wine. I normally don’t drink white wine but this Cormon’s Callio Pinot Grigio 2007 was divine. It had a lot of honey in it, intense perfume on the nose, and a creamy finish.
What to serve this Thanksgiving? It is confusing with the poultry and savory sides. It ends up blurring the lines between red and white wines.
I will start by telling you what we are doing and then list some things from several sources.
We will be roasting the turkey and bathing it in Chardonnay. Any dry white wine will work. This makes a killer gravy. I am not even joking around about this. The main reason I baste my turkey with Chardonnay is for the gravy. Oh man, I can’t wait. We will probably start with a sparkling shiraz because that is how we roll around here. Those crazy Emeri folks didn’t get out the holiday shipment in time for Thanksgiving so we will probably go with a back up *cough, contender, cough*. Girls gotta do what they gotta do. From there I think we will move into the Pinot Noir arena. I am honestly not sure which one yet but probably one of the ones listed below. Continue reading »
Really? Is someone out there still drinking white wine? Now, when the leaves are a-blaze and the temps dipping? When it’s dark outside round six o’clock? Nonsense, you say, this is red wine weather! Oh, but wait, my friends. Continue reading »
I often feel like I have to fly across the country or an ocean before I am truly on a tourist vacation. What an idiot I am. Recently some good friends of mine wanted to get away for the weekend before summer was over in New England. These are the friends that I have traveled to Ireland, Greece, England, and France with over the past years. We brainstormed staying in New Hampshire at a lake or even traveling to Maine umm to do the things you do in Maine. We kept hitting a financial wall as none of us wanted to spend money. We did want to relax and drink wine. Enter Salem, MA. I lived briefly in Salem and considered it a local-schmocale town. I lived their long enough that it didn’t phase me to get my nails done next door to the Town’s Witch’s office. So when my friends said that they had decided that we would just spend the day shopping in Salem and see the sights I thought it would be a snooze fest. Oh but no, they also wanted to go “sailing”. Continue reading »
First stop on our Sonoma trip was to visit the Dirty South Wine man himself Hardy Wallace in Santa Rosa. This worked out perfectly because the location of the tasting room was near Drunk Mama’s friend’s house. (I will let her name herself.) Hardy graciously answered a tweet requesting Sonoma recommendations. People, you heard it here first, Twitter rocks. I love it. Along with many great recommendations, Hardy invited us to stop by Salinia to taste their wine and the Natural Process Alliance wine or NPA for all you hipsters out there.
Following our web map directions of choice for Salinia we found ourselves in an office park. I thought I had been twitter punked. Alas, we were safe and indeed the winery while not scenic was there and very welcoming. As soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by the man himself. I would call him a hospitality superstar. We began with the bottled Salinia wines. Continue reading »
Say you’ve been to see your OB/GYN, and say you have a prescription to pick up. Say you have to wait an hour for said prescription to be ready, and also, by the way, your insurance won’t cover it because of some pre-authorization clause which means they will cover it, but only if your doctor goes through five days of paperwork first (not like she doesn’t have better things to do, like DELIVERING BABIES…), then what you should do while you’re waiting is go to the wine store across from the CVS, in this case Cambridge Wine & Spirits. Continue reading »
Right up there with “Snow” and “Christmas,” the Pierre Janny Bourgogne Chardonnay Echavon 2007 is officially one of my new favorite whites. (Alas, I could only find a link to the ’06). Cellar Mouse and I had the pleasure of trying this at a tasting a couple weeks ago, and I was immediately hooked. We were told that it was fermented in stainless steel instead of oak, so it wouldn’t have that heavy oaky taste (which I personally love) that we’ve come to associate with California chardonnays. Well, he was right. This one’s from France, the Burgundy region, and as you might expect, it’s the slightly more worldly, more sophisticated cousin of the California chards I’ve been drinking. It’s clean, bright and slightly mineral, with just a hint of butter on the finish. The kind of wine that can take you from the salad, through the soup, and on to the main course — some kind of buttery fish, a nicely spiced tilapia would be best – without making you feel the need to switch vintages. Continue reading »