Monday, November 10, 2008
I rarely make posts about the wine we drink in Napa because, honestly, I am not a wine snob but more of an appreciator. I am terrible at remembering what I drank but I am attempting to pay more attention. But I actually took some photos this time in an attempt to motivate a blog and entry and, well, he we are!
Johnny and I went to Calistoga to meet up with his roommate from law school and his wife who were in town visiting the wine country. We left the city early Saturday morning and made the lovely drive into the Napa Valley. Now Napa never ceases to dazzle my senses with its beauty, but John and I have gone up there literally at least twice a month for the last 5 months, so it isn't a very big deal and it can be a nuisance. But we went to two wineries I had never been to, so that was a nice change.
We started out at Schramsberg which makes delicious sparkling wine. John and I were late, much to his chagrin (I am a sort of grin and bear it girl when it comes to being late. I figured we're just going wine tasting and there is nothing we can do about it right now, so we might as well enjoy the drive and even the traffic in St. Helena and relax. But John was incensed at our tardiness and in a bad mood. Oh well). We roll up to Schramsberg and race to find his friends Matt and Kate within the caves of the place, which was not an easy feat. I am always amazed when running around these wine caves. They are so cool inside and hidden from the outside of the buildings. But we finally found them in one of the inner cave rooms in the middle of the tasting. We tasted two sparkling wines in this room, one which was 25% chardonnay and 75% pinot noir, and the other was 25% pinot noir and 75% chard. I liked the latter (I think). The room we were standing in was amazing and it really is incredible to be in these huge cask rooms with low hanging chandeliers and enormous casks of wine surrounding you.
The wine was perfect, not only because it helped us unwind from a stressing car trip, but also because it was just light and bubbly enough. I soon found out why this was, of course.
John and I walked into the store at Schramsberg and I was all geared up to buy a few bottles, until I saw the prices. The sparkling wine I liked, the Reserve, was $100 a bottle. Too much for my little checkbook. Oh well. It was a lovely time spent, so I can't really complain.
Next we drove over the Chateau Montelena, pictured above. It really is quite beautiful. John and I indulged ourselves with the library tasting which his friends already had reservations for. Unfortunately I didn't know it was $80 for the two of us until after I paid. I was very glad I didn't spend $100 on a bottle of champagne after that!
The tasting was great. Very informative, and I had no idea that the movie Bottle Shock, which I want to see but haven't yet, is all about Montelena. That added and extra motivation to rent it when it comes out. We tasted about 5 wines (I think) and John and I took a nice tour of the grounds.
I think our favorite part of the day came next though. The four of us went over to Kate's family friend's shop, the Calistoga Wine Shop, and had more tastings.