Jour Vignoble

picking cab,

Last October, Fiance and I headed out to Middleton and picked more grapes.  We went at it alone, which loosely translate to ‘We waited to late to ask’ and ‘Our friends were busy’ and there was some game on, we kept hearing.  No big!  We packed some sandwiches, the dog and off we went!
We picked all day.  We picked a lot, like, a few hundred pounds a lot.  So cool, can’t wait to do it again.
Cabernet.
Cabernet.
Haulin' Cab.
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barbera.

loot
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the bounty
The cabernet booty.
Just a little crush.
good juice.
tasting.

The next weekend we picked granache, barbera and nibiollo.  The Barbera and Nibiollo will be aged together, as there was about less than one hundred fifty pounds of each.
great berries
And my camera battery died, and it was raining lightly.  Not necessarily a bad thing, as it kept our cutters clean, and with the right water resistant jacket, tunes on the ipod, and we’re good.

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Thanks for reading!

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Vin Voyage- Sonoma Valley California

Day two of wine tour extravaganza.  I feel like this is a weird break in the wine trip. I thought it would be a good idea to do Sonoma in it’s own post… with waaay less pictures.  But a post is a post, and so it goes..
First we drove through Napa, into their downtown, I guess and then onto Spring Mountain road, and gained like, hundreds of feet in elevation in about 3 minutes.  I liked it.
First stop, Schweiger vineyard, just a random stop, since we had no cell phone service on that road.  But at the actual tasting room, it was okay, seeing how I checked in on Facebook from there.

Schweiger winery and tasting room

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We were a little more ‘can we bring our dog in or around here?’

Doggie friends

She was pretty well recieved
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Right off the mountain, we headed to St. Francis winery, a noted dog friendly winery.  They also had some tasty jellies made with wine.  There was a chipotle viognier jelly that had us hooked.

St. Francis winery

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View at St. Francis

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Then off to Loxton winery.  We got a sneaky taste of their reserve cabernet.  Yum.

Loxton winery

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where to next..?

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Next stop, Audelssa winery.  Or the tasting room.

Audelssa tasting room

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This was a sign in the parking lot behind Audelssa.

“Feed me your clothes!”

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Last stop for the day, Mayo winery.  We left doggie in the, it was nice and the sun was low.  Left the windows wide open and we headed inside!  On the far wall, that is a big 3D map of the California Appellations.

Mayo winery

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Then, off to Cafe Citti, a place twice recommended to us that day.   This is like a ‘locals’ place, not much of a tourist money trap.  Plus, they have no corkage fee, so that makes it a big plus.

Garlic caeser salad

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linguine with their puttanesca sauce

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Then, we head back into Fairfield, and made one last stop..

we made it

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I was behind a guy who was ordering things animal style, I was just going to get a double with cheese.  I slipped in an animal style for the fries.  Not to shabby.

So glad I remembered this ‘secret menu’

I don’t really turn down cheeseburgers.
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Then, back to our room, snacks brought back out and we nibbled and sipped wine, and watched Bridesmaids on the laptops, since everything on TV was just… really bad to watch.

Forgot our GoVino glasses

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Our temporary kitchen.  This was our first day, I made breakfast.  Like a boss.
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Here is our room.  We always look for pet-friendly hotels, since we like to bring her along.  She is getting used to traveling, as far as not getting sick (she never really did) and taking care of her potty business.

our 70 hour home

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Okay, so I was doing my usual ‘shooting while driving’ and I got this, and as I was shooting it, I mentioned this could be where the “Bliss” wallpaper for Windows XP.  Once I got home, I got my Google search on and am convinced I got a little bit of the hill.  I remember looking it up, and in the back of my mind knew it was in California wine country.
So, you be the judge, the top image is the location in November 2006, the middle my image and the bottom is the wallpaper.  I cut it out to the spot I shot it at..
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Also, one last little gem, Napa Valley Petroleum. we drove by this place a few times and every time I got mega smug and we threw up our finger mustaches and did the smug laugh.

I was pretty obnoxious passing this place

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So this concludes our trip to Napa and Sonoma, getting a new found knowledge for California wines.   The Bespoke-y pictures are next door, at Bespoke so be sure to check those out!

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Vin voyage- Napa Valley California

Early in May, we decided to get another wine trip going on, and decided to go big.  Napa big.  We Googled, Reddited, and booked a room in Fairfield, California.  We heard not the best things about there, but we were isolated, and had our mastiff, which we can usually get away with her.
It was a great trip, beautiful green hills everywhere and oh yeah vineyards!!  We were in adult Disneyland for sure.  Especially when we saw the wineries that we see here, in Idaho, on the shelves in our stores.
This is part one of two posts, I thought to split it up into two posts, with our first night in California and Napa the next day, and lonely lonely Sonoma by itself, with a few highlights.
We arrived Friday afternoon from Winnemucca.  I kind of remember dozing in and out on the bed, just unwinding, while Fiance looked up something to do that night, our tapas at Fuso, a little Italian American restaurant.  Stuffed mushrooms, and espresso brulee with a Vitus merlot, and some Kenwood sparkling white wine to wrap it all up.

stuffed mushrooms and Vitus merlot

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Now day one, Napa Valley.  Before we left Fairfield, we stopped at a grocery store and loaded up on bread, cheese and a salami.  We had a cooler with freezer packs in there, then we threw some ice in and had our snacks for the day.  Heading all the way up to St. Helena, we came back down to begin our tour.
First stop, Clos Pegase.  Great art, and right off the bat, Fiance talks about wine, and the pourer, let us sample the port as well.  That being not on the list he paid to taste.

Clos Pegase

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i want to go to there

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Next random stop, Charles Krug.  I did not know this, but this winery was finally acquired in the 1960’s by Cesare Mondavi.  And, there is some wine drama!!  Oh yeah!
Taken from the Robert Mondavi Wikipedia page.
“In 1965 Mondavi was fired from the family winery after a feud with his younger brother Peter over the direction of winemaking at Krug. Subsequently Mondavi started his own winery in Oakville, arguably out of spite. Today, the Robert Mondavi Winery is located between Oakville and Rutherford, California (though its corporate headquarters are in nearby St. Helena).”

Charles Krug winery

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Then time for lunch.  Culinary Institute of America was recommended, and we are glad we went.  Nice little (pricey) bites, but with a view that you just could not beat.

Culinary Institute of America for lunch

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Like eating $$$

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still enjoyed it

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Even though we just ate, I almost always had a loaf of bread in my lap.  Eating bits and bits.  Off we went to Louis M Martini for some two for one tasting.  My point and shoot camera also died, so I went to my backup.  The Nikon.

Louis M Martini

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Sonoma Cabernet

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Then we stopped at another ‘grocery store’ wine, Beaulieu Vineyard.   Granted, the bottles here and at stores are different, it was just looking really really busy at Robert Mondavi winery.

Beaulieu Vineyard, or tasting room

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More tasting room

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Last stop for the day, Raymond winery.  We actually have some of these bottles in our collection, so I had one of  ‘those’ moments.

Last stop- Raymond

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We were later told that Raymond is pretty eclectic and has this whole froo froo winery thing going on, and we loved it!  They even let us bring doggie inside.
Here is their Corridor of Senses.

Raymond’s Corridor of Senses

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Their wine library… a buh buh buh…

Wine library?? My two favorite words in a sentence… sounds good.

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Doggie doing what she does best.

she wasn’t a big nuisance

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I was just… random at this point. Camera in hand syndrome.

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The entrance into the Crystal Cellar tasting room.

Ah, one of my models

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This was just off the side of the Corridor of Senses.

Random Raymond Room

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Here is a montage of winery entrances I caught.. from top to bottom we drove by Mondavi, Beaulieu Vineyard, Napa Cellars/Menage a trois and on the bottom, St. Supery.

drive by montage!

Now the wineries are closed or closing, and we are heading on our way out of Napa, back to hotel home, but we need just a little bite before we drive out.  We were recommended Fume Bistro, so we found a primo shaded spot for the car and dog and we headed in.

First it was there…

We split a steak and mac and cheese.  I also could not turn down the blood orange mimosa.
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Blood orange mimosa?

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So there is day one half and one.  We headed back to our room, made up some paper plate charcuterie and chocolates and had the Chandon sparkling white wine, a pinot noir from the grocery store (yeah, we headed back and got a few bottles) and something else, I’m sure.  Sonoma post coming up!

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Beverage Medley – Three bottle night

These were wines we had one evening a few weeks ago.  All reds.  It was a lazy weekend, I got a massage.  He did yard work.  The weather is turning nice, but there is a fine line since I can only take so much heat before I start to melt.  For real.
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2010 San Giorgio Sangiovese.   Or S word wine, I call it Sangio most of the time.  The San Giorgio family has a good selection of wines for under $10.  We even liked their white wine.  This is a light red, not too tannin-y, like just enough of the dry taste.  I can see this being a great patio wine at night.  I am mentally filing away summer red wines, other than pinot noirs.  We had this with Brats, nice, easy, light, flavorful.
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2003 E&E Barossa Shiraz.  This nice big red was given to us, I am pretty sure it was given to us by Fiance’s little brother.  This. was. delicious. We were sampling whatever cheese we had, which may have been some Frigo brand cheese sticks. Chocolate to pair with?  Anything we can get our hands on (like, Christmas candy or something).  We looked it up, and we were blown away by the praises and great reviews. We took notes, and tasted dark, inky with dark red fruits, black cherry, plum.  Long finish, great finish, I didn’t really want the glass to end until we got to the port.  Just joking, we poured into separate glasses.  Ha!
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Elyse Petite syrah port.  We took no notes on this, but there is something I have learned over the years, never say no to a petite sirah port.  I feel like there is enough tannin with the sweet that it just works.  I love these ports, the two that I have had so far.


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More wine, more time, more wine time.  We just keep getting bottles, and we are getting better at taking notes here and there.  You can’t blame me, by bottle number three, it just tastes good enough to finish.   I am still.. researching the spring and summer beers.  I used to just, not care and not drink it, but I am drinking with my big girl stein and getting my tastes down.  Daunting research.

Beverage Medley – I Wined

Another medley of beverages, this time they are all red wines.  We have drank these in the past month or so.  I try and wait for the weekend to share a bottle, which is why we have the box of cabernet for a glass in the evenings.  I can’t remember the prices, well, the Paul Autard was $14 at Ericksons and the Borsao was $10 at Porterhouse meats in Eagle, ID.  We usually don’t spend more than $15 on bottles unless it is darn good and value things blah blah.
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2010 Domaine Paul Autard Cotes Du Rhone.


A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre and Cinsault.  This bottle we had some time ago, and we did no tasting notes, and the back of the bottle describes this as a full bodied fruity wine.  Which I do remember it being.  It also says it goes great with grilled meats, stews and roasts.  Well I did make some pork chops and the hot chocolate cookies.  We picked this up after tasting the Paul Autard Chateaunuef-du-Pape at Bueno Cheapo Vino.  That was the rouge which is a Grenache, Syrah and Counoise blend. PS- when I can’t pronounce varietals, grapes, the wine- I seriously call it the name’s initial.  Mouvedre? M word wine.  I like it.
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2009 De Loach Merlot- Heritage reserve.


This, I don’t remember when we really had this, I the picture dates are all over the place. But from what I read and remember, this was an easy wine to drink.  Smooth, a safe fruit flavor on the tongue.
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2008 Borsao Red Wine


75 Garnacha 25 Tempranillo blend.  This was a ‘walk into meat store, see bottle, grab bottle, continue to shop’ bottle.  I liked their Granacha, always a great price, it just all added up.  A nice, dancey red wine.  Definitely had the earthy, mineraly taste to it.  I like their Granacha so I had a feeling this was going to be a tasty wine.
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So to conclude the post, wine.  We drink it often. And I always love those bottles where while we drink it, all we say to each other is how good it is and how well it it pairing with whatever we are eating.
I  have 3 more bottles, with one of them a Cabernet Tempranillo blend to try and get an idea of, before we blend our own, coming up next.  Also, with the warmer months, I realize I should not drink an oatmeal stout in the middle of July, which brings the inevitable question: what other than PBR do I drink?  Amber ale, time to discover!

Beverage Medley – Mostly bubbles

Another installment of the Beverage Medley, in a sort of random assortment.
The first is a box of wine from Powers.  This is an eight dollar glass at a local restaurant.  A twenty-two dollar box?  Don’t mind if I do!

say it with me now..

It is a great way to “just have a glass in the evening”.  However, due to recent events (getting fit) it is more like, “every other day cabernet”.  Also, note the post-it note recipes.  Pretty sure those are the Irish car bomb jello shots.
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The next beverage is a grand, grand one.  Sofia Coppola sparkling white wine… in a can!  It.. it’s beautiful.  Still too big to carry-on for flying (drat!), great for poolside, river trips, snowboarding…

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The last beverage is sort of a medley in its own.  I have always been a fan of the San Pellegrino sparkling juice drinks.  Made with cane sugar, not too sweet or tart (with the personal exception of the Limonata, kind of tart) it’s a total sweet drink treat for me.
Now to my delight, I found out there are two new flavors!  Aranciata Rossa, a blood orange flavor, and Pompelmo, which is grapefruit.

Some three drink that are worth trying out.  I did go to the new local soda shop, and subsequently lost the bottles from February.  I remember what we got, so it may be a borrowed image type of post.
Any body have a favorite go-to drink? Anyone on the Kombucha train?

Pic a day Challenge – Week 12

Day 16 – Sunglasses.  Big sunglasses es es es ss
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Day 17 – Green.  Seeing how it is Irish New Year, we got a corned beef, had friends over and celebrated.  Indian Creek also had a malbec release so we kicked the day off doing that.  What did I get for the pic a day?  The line up.

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Day 18 – A corner of your home.  This is in our pretty room.  The formal living room, and the only room in our house that can be seen from the road.  Which is a cul-de-sac. This is a piece of art that was given to me by my apartment neighbors.  They were turning the spare room into a nursery.  I do have christmas lights rigged behind it, but no extension cord.

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Day 19 – Funny.  Out of all the low maintenance I manage when not in pro-mode, I still snag some double prong clips or a hat to tame my crazy bangs.  I forget they are in all the time.  I walk into places, sunglasses on and once I get the weird looks, I realize, I am clipped in.

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Day 20 – Before/After.  They don’t call it ‘everyday cabernet’ for nothing, people!

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Day 21 – Delicious.   Jimmie Johns, for lunch was not recorded, but I did get a delicious sunrise that morning 🙂
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Day 22 – Kitchen Sink – This is a mash of the pics.  The actual day, it was the hotel, but in everyday time, we have this batholith.
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I love our home sink, I was told it is a cast iron sink.  I believe it.  It has eaten several glasses, I say it will break a plastic cup.  This is one hard core sink.  I *do* desire a different faucet, but that’s what birthdays are for, right?
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Day 23 – moon.  Let’s see, it was a new moon, and it was overcast where we were at.  This is what I got on a pullover doggie break.  Chasing the sunset to Walla Walla.

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Day 24 – An animal – What did you think I was going to post?
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The week is late, but I did it, and was semi-conscious of it.  Working on the next week right about meow.   We did a dash to Walla Walla for some wine tasting, and… will totally be going back.  A nice easy drive (fun in the Subaru) and it’s like the Disneyland of wine tasting, so many wineries…  And it was fun doing pick a day out of the element.  We also love that we can bring Mocha with us, and she is getting way better at becoming the gypsy dog.  And fiance is getting better at driving manual ;
Any wine lovers out there?  What is your favorite?
New to wine?  Try a moderately chilled rose, very chilled sauvignon blanc. Try a red?  Go for a pinot noir, feeling daring?  Grab a malbec.

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