Saturday, August 31, 2013

#ClosPegaseWines 2007 #CabernetSauvignon #CompoundRestaurant #SantaFeConcorso March 2012

Santa Fe Concorso, September 2011
 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport
Our travels took us to Santa Fe, New Mexico September of 2011. While at the Santa Fe Concorso in Nambe, New Mexico, we saw all kinds of cars, old and new! Check out this one!
I don't even know what it is! Sorry!

The car experience was one like I've never had!  People really babied those cars so I didn't get too close! While we were there, we put out names in a silent auction for a week's stay in a casita on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. 

Well, a few months later, they notified us that we had won, so we made reservations to stay in March 2012. 

One evening we strolled down the road to the have dinner at the Compound Restaurant, known for its distinctive style and elegance since the 1960's. 
It is here in the quaint town of Santa Fe that I had Clos Pegase. I didn't have to go there to have this amazing wine, but it made it all the more special.

This is a 2007 Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Bottled ($50) from Napa Valley, specifically Calistoga. This wine is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, which Don loves and lives for! It is very dark, rich and complex with notes of blackberry, cherry, plum and cassis. It deserves the 90 points it received from Wine Enthusiast. 

By the way, I didn't plan for the couple in the glass to be there! It was just luck. I was more interested in getting the pic of the bottle! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

#MoltoFormaggio #CheeseShop #WineLovers #HighlandParkVillage #Dallas

Don and I have been in this amazing cheese shop several times to buy cheeses and wines. The individual attention you receive is what I like. They let you taste any cheeses you desire. But the most fun we've ever had in this shop was at one of their classes after hours.

It's a small store (I like that because the cheese counter is not overwhelming), so call way ahead of the scheduled class for reservations, or you may not get one. 

 The staff serves their choice of wines and food that they have prepared using their cheeses, crackers or breads, and small bites of desserts-it's all good!

After the class, you leave with a bottle of wine and a cheese that was featured in the class, a value of $50. The class costs $75 for couples so that's a bargain in my book! 

September classes are set for the 9-10. I would call now if you want to participate! We will definitely be going back for another class soon!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#GalanteWines Carmel by the Sea!

In the heart of downtown Carmel, adjacent to the Blue Dog Gallery (which my daughter and son-in-law love) and one beautiful relaxing courtyard, is where you will find one of Carmel's premier wineries. We came upon it by accident and I'm sure glad we did!

Galante Vineyards 

The tasting room's western, rustic theme honors the 700-acre Galante cattle ranch in Carmel Valley. Lots of wonderful wine accessories, clothing, gift baskets with a western flare. Great, relaxing atmosphere here as well (I reclined on the boot-shaped chair), where the cheese and chocolates are served along with the wines. 
We enjoyed 6 delightful wines ($10/flight), each unique and rich in flavor . All of Galante's wines are estate grown and have characteristics of the many regions throughout the huge estate. There is a large selection of red and white wines, ranging in price from $12 to upwards of $400. They have a nice selection of wines that are aged in oak barrels and stainless steel tanks which give different characteristics to the wine and adds to the wonderful wines offered at Galante. 

The server shared with us the rich history of their vineyard. The owner's great grandfather was the founder of Carmel and a few of Carmel establishments. 

We ended up buying this Olive Hill 2008 Carmel Valley Petite Sirah Estate Bottled. It's still in the wine cellar ready to be picked up and served! Can't wait! I couldn't find a 2008, but the link takes you to the 2009, which has to be fabulous. Sorry about the label being a bit torn-got to get a new wine fridge!

Both of us enjoyed coming into Galante. Here they are passionate about not only quality wines but relationships with their customers. When it comes to wine, it's all about the relationship between the buyer and the winery sharing their stories!

Visit Carmel by the Sea and Galante Vineyards!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bernardus Winery and Lodge #CarmelValley #California #bernarduswinery #Marinus

Bernardus Winery and Lodge

Top Ten Wine and Travel Destinations of 2013

Don and I had the pleasure of being in Carmel Valley, CA almost a year and half ago to celebrate the coming of the New Year. This valley is surrounded by the ridges of the Santa Lucia Mountains. One of the places we visited on our wine adventure days was the Bernardus tasting room.

Since it has been too long for me to remember exactly what we tasted, I will guess based on the year we were there and what might have been released at that time. I know we tasted their signature wine, a 2008 Marinus Estate Bordeaux (sold out now), because we bought one. This wine is complex and full of rich flavors. You can find the 2009 vintage online. I'm sure it's just as excellent

I didn't take individual pictures of bottles at this point in my life. I wasn't blogging in 2012. So if you click on the picture you can see some of the award-winning wines they had displayed in the tasting room.

We probably tasted their 2010 Monterey County Chardonnay ($24) because I wasn't into drinking red wines as much as whites. Their 2010 Chardonnay is "the perfect expression of Monterey Chardonnay showing complex aromas of ripe apple and pear accented by notes of creme brûlée. On the palate, the texture is rich and full-bodied, exhibiting intense flavors which mirror the aromas along with notes of citrus, fig and mineral, supported by a long, crisp finish." 

We stopped by the lodge to have lunch and what a beautiful property to see and stay. It's located on Carmel Valley Road, a beautiful drive in the valley past other wineries you can visit. Feather beds, cozy fireplaces, bathtubs large enough for two, vintage wine and cheese welcome, a "wine grotto" mini bar, spa gardens with warming rooms and soaking pools all awaits you for a luxury stay in Carmel. 

We dined outside in their European flair restaurant, Wickets Bistro. Where else but in California can you eat outside in December between Christmas and the New Year! Check out their menu for lunch!

 Visit Carmel Valley's Bernardus Winery and Lodge.


Friday, August 23, 2013

#BargettoWinery #LaVitaSeries #SantaCruzChardonnay Bubba Gump Shrimp Company #Monterey #California

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant and Market is located on the famous Cannery Row just steps form the Monterey Aquarium (which is a must if you have children). And after seeing Forest Gump, I've always wanted to eat at this restaurant. They are pretty much throughout the Pacific to the Atlantic and the food is delicious if you like seafood!

Before going into the restaurant, we found out that we could BYOW, so we headed to Bargetto Winery tasting room right across from Bubba Gumps. This winery has produced wines in the Santa Cruz Mountains since 1933. They have two tasting rooms, one in Soquel and one here in Monterey.

We bought a 2009 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($23 and no longer available). It's very good with seafood of course! There is a 2008 available on their website.

2009 Chardonnay

We also bought and brought home this beautiful bottle of 2004 La Vita ($60), which is in honor of the Italian ancestors (originally from Piedmont) who opened the winery in 1933. This red blend wine is a rich, full-bodied garnet colored wine composed of 60% Dolcetto, 24% Refosco, and 16% Nebbiolo. Each year the winery showcases one masterpiece in which wine has been portrayed. The 2004 La Vita honors Antonio Vivaldi, the great Italian composer from Venice. This is Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" (Autumn).

 Outstanding wine!

Last but not least, the fun of eating here at Bubba Gumps is learning the signage. If you want them to come by your table, post the blue sign. If you don't need anything at the moment, post the red sign!
And the scenery in Monterey is so beautiful on the bay!

A shrimp lover's delight!

Enjoy Bargetto Wines and Bubba Gump's seafood!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#Coravin Have to Get This Gadget! #SeriousWineLovers

I came across this amazing gadget this past week in an email from Snooth. Snooth is a website where you can discover hard-to-find wines, articles, and news, explore all the latest grapes, wines, and regions, buy and compare the best deals on wine, and enjoy food recipes, travel, and wine gear. 

That's how I discovered the Coravin. This is a remarkable way to open a bottle, pour a glass of wine, and reseal it without any damage to the wine at all. Unbelievable right? 

So we stopped by the Dallas Country Club the other night after dinner to see what was going on in the bar and got in a long conversation with Aaron, the sommelier, about his recent trip to Napa. Don asked him if he had a nice Bordeaux opened for me to try. Aaron said he'd be right back. That's when he pulled out the Coravin!

Here's the bottle of Chateau Cos Labory 2003 Saint-Estephe from France ($45). Aaron proceeded to push this gadget's hollow "needle" into the unopened foil on the cork. At that point the argon gas in the Coravin began to pressurize the bottle, allowing the wine to pour freely out of this "needle". Once he poured the wine, the "needle" was removed and the cork resealed itself with the argon gas left in place of any oxygen. Amazing!

Oh and the wine was excellent by the way! I know a few serious wine collectors that need this gadget in their hands right now! The entire system costs $300, but if you look at the value of some of these bottles of wine that these collectors own, that's a drop in the glass!

Think of all the possibilities- you never have to open a bottle of wine to see if it has matured yet, you can open one alone if no one is home yet or doesn't want that certain bottle you just opened. You can throw a party and try several wines without opening the bottles! If I owned a wine tasting room, I'd own one of these for sure! The possibilities are endless!

 Now one thing you can't be sure of is that the bottle you try has a cork that is perfectly sealed or isn't so old that it disintegrates when you pull it out that old fashioned way! So Coravin can't be held accountable for that!

And there it is! Check out this Vimeo of Coravin in action!

Monday, August 19, 2013

#IWFSAmericas #Dallas #TimothyOulton

Dallas Chapter International Wine and Food Society

I recently came across this "gastronomic organization" in an email from CRAVE DFW. If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, this is one email you need to subscribe to for up-to-date information of all places to dine, what's newly opened or just closed, or anything to do in the area. It's fun to explore and learn about your city and when it's as big as Dallas, you can't keep up with everything like CRAVE DFW does for you!

It is in CRAVE DFW that I found out about IW&FS and the Dallas chapter. I read the article and clicked on the link where I could inquire about joining. Click on the link below to see a You-Tube about the society.


Last night we met a wonderful group of like-minded people that love wine and food. I was fun meeting new friends and seeing some we haven't seen in years (in Don's case). The gathering was held at Timothy Oulton's Design Studio in Dallas.

Timothy Oulton is a top British designer that debuted his collection is Dallas in 2012. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was a yellow submarine in a 5000 gallon fish tank with 300 fish swimming around it. It is a very masculine store, but there are many items I found that I could certainly love in my own home!

For example, this beautiful wrought-iron chandelier and others like it hanging throughout the showroom are some pieces I'd like to own. Some even had crystal chandeliers inside the wrought-iron orb! So unique!

In one corner of this beautiful store is a cafe' where amazing hor d'oeuvres were prepared and bubbly/wine was served. Love the white subway tiles, black slate, and marble everywhere!

Here are the two wines that were served last night. One is a 2009 'One Point Five' Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($73). Aromas and flavors include blackberry, black cherry, chocolate, plum and cedar. I loved this wine more than the second one and it was great!

The bottle on the right is a 2010 Chateau Montelena ($50) from Napa as well! This wine is quite approachable so young, but will definitely improve with additional time in the bottle. I liked it, but not as much as the Shafer.

 We are enjoying our Veuve Clicquot bubbly on the Union Jack Bensington sofa! 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Napa Farms Market #SFO Airport

Give it time to load. It's worth the wait!

Napa Farms Market is an upscale marketplace located in SFO airport. It is the home of many great Bay Area food cultures such as Tyler Florence Rotisserie, Equator Coffee, Cow Girl Creamery Cheese, Acme Bread, Kara's Cupcakes, and Vino Volo.

Amazing foods from Tyler's kitchen!

Gifts unimaginable like jams are available to purchase!

  If sweets are your treat, there's a pastry counter!

 Pizza from the deli side of the market are available among other delicious sandwiches! Live Fire Pizza!

If you want a salad, that's available also!

I found some healthy popcorn!

There was so much that I wanted when I walked in the market!

They have tons of cookbooks great for a gift on your way home! 

A plethora of wines to choose from or go next door to Vino Volo!

The next time you're in SFO stop here and eat, drink, and sleep on the flight home! Enjoy!