Saturday, June 4, 2011

- Pairing it With Something

I am not caught up on sleep...or cuddling with Ems.  In fact I'm probably worse off since my allergies have gone ahead and kicked the dead horse that was my sleep deprived self.  Silly me thought that since I'd made it through April and May and Minnesota never had crazy pollen like North Cackalacky I was safe.  I will never make the mistake of this assumption again.

Anyways I've got my IV of Zyrtec and Nyquil all hooked up now so I would like to talk about how much I like wine country.

Actually, you know what?  I've only hung out with Wine Country twice now, but I think it's pretty safe to say that I love wine country.  I think the feeling is mutual but I should probably go back at least once a year for "relationship maintenance".

When Karen and I picked up our smokin' hot rental car (more on him later) we also grabbed this fantastic book with all of these coupons for 2 for 1 tastings at like every winery.  We chose to hit up Sonoma because she has family coming into town and they're headed to Napa.  I actually like Sonoma more - I'm not quite sure why, it just seems a bit more quaint...a little more my jam.  Don't get it twisted though - I would never turn down an opportunity to drink wine in Napa.

The ride up was gorgeous with sunshine and pretty clouds and rainbows but as soon as we got into Sonoma it started raining.  And it never stopped.  But here's the thing about drinking wine: you can do it when it's raining outside!  So while it messed up our hair and made our pictures horrendous, we forged ahead and made our first stop at Kunde.  It looks like this:
 Weird smudges on lens courtesy of raindrops.

You know, gorgeous.  Our tasting here was free and they had some pretty yummy stuff, including a port that came with a chocolate truffle and pretty much made my day.  Kunde has caves and I really wanted to go on a tour, but they were only offered on the hour and I didn't want to wait around and waste valuable wine tasting time.  They also have horseback rides through their estate and a mountaintop tasting which I feel like would be worth a trip back when the weather is a bit nicer.

From there we went to Ledson because it was right up the road and Jaclyn told me to go there and sometimes I do what people say.

It looks like a castle.  All fancy schmancy and stuff.
But don't let appearances fool you.  This guy started it - and if that shirt doesn't look like a tacky hotel shower curtain I'm not sure what does.
Also, we saw this note on a thermostat.
I'm not sure what a Dinning room is, but I'd prefer to eat in the Dining room.  I did not care so much about the A/C, but I would have appreciated them lighting the double sided fireplace since it was like 60 and looked like this out the back door, which was left open:
In between gullywasher downpours.

Also, I think it's a fair assumption that the people that work in tasting houses pouring the wines are somewhat knowledgeable about said wines.  Our girl, while pouring a pinot noir we'd chosen, said that it was perfectly suitable to drink by itself, or you could (wait for it) "pair it with something".

Oh really?  I can drink this wine with something? Why whatever do you mean?  That is such revolutionary advice I'm not quite sure what to do with it.  Karen and I laughed for 2 days straight remembering those wise words, and based on her advice we paired a lot of things with something.

Homegirl wasn't only just a wealth of knowledge, she was also a pretty heavy handed pourer, so after sampling 6 of Ledson's wines we decided to stop and eat.  After shoving a ridiculous amount of cheese and garlic fries into my mouth, most of the tasting houses had closed so we headed back for a quick Target run to buy things, specifically, a box o'wine...because we're cheap and let's face it, my palate is just not that sophisticated.

We felt our 2010 Tar-jay box de vino would be best if paired with something so we found The Girl Next Door on tv and settled into our stretch pants.  Geez I love leggings almost as much as I love wine country.  Also: if you haven't seen The Girl Next Door, or seen it recently, I highly recommend it.  It is fantastically entertaining and I feel it never got quite the credit or acclaim it deserved.  The three guys in the movie refer to themselves as a tripod which inspired Karen and I to spend the rest of the weekend hunting for the third leg of our tripod in exotic Californian places like Yosemite...

Edited to add: Even though I poke quite a bit of fun at Ledson, I would like to state plainly that all 6 wines we sampled were fantastic and the grounds/house is really quite beautiful.  They are a boutique winery that doesn't distribute so you can only get their wines through a visit, which would be time well spent in Sonoma.  They also sell some really yummy marinades and mustards that we sampled in the shop on our way out.  And even though our pourer wasn't the best, she was quite entertaining...and to be fair, we weren't asking too many questions about the wines and serving conditions.  We were too busy sampling and spilling a basket of bread sticks and leaning on the bar so it kept shifting away from us.  To her, we were probably a couple of "homegirls" as well.

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