Our travel style seems to be one giant tasting spree, and Sonoma County is the perfect place for sampling bites and sips here and there rather than having huge, lengthy meals. On our most recent trip to Sonoma, I attended some great events for work and also had some free time to do some great eating. Below are just a few photos from our whirlwind week in Sonoma.
On the Savor Healdsburg Food Tour we went on last summer, we fell in love with Healdsburg SHED and I couldn’t wait to return for more refreshing shrub drinks and to do some shopping for a picnic. The day we visited was over 100 degrees, and a strawberry shrub was the perfect way to cool down. We filled a basked with cheese and meat, cookies, and other items and brought them to the new winery of Two Shepherds for lunch with the winemaker. Luckily, he had a bottle of my favorite rosé ready.
My media tour day included an incredible lunch at the much-loved Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. The owners are the sweetest, and their food is just amazing. We shared small plates like local heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella and the most incredible smashed avocado toast. I dream about this meal and can’t wait to visit Willi’s again.
Mexican food is a must-have in California, and we found ourselves seeking out tacos just about every day. Our favorite is still El Sombrero in Healdsburg. Their tacos, guacamole, and hot sauce are possibly my favorite foods ever
One of the events I attended, the Big Bottle Barn Party, featured all sorts of delicious little bites, like mini omelets and Bloody Marys and cherry pie pops on sticks. It was one of the best parties I have ever been to!
Wine and food pairing options have become more prevalent in Sonoma County since our first visit many years ago, and the tasting at Ram’s Gate brought out the best in the food and the wine. Tasting is by appointment only, and their Palate Play truly demonstrates the art of food and wine at their best.
Another of the unique experiences I was lucky to have was another tasting in the high country at MacMurray Ranch. Perfect Pinot Noir was paired with small bites like strawberry gazpacho and some of the best views ever.
MacMurray Ranch, the scene of Taste of Sonoma , offered some of the best food of the weekend. The area where we were working had a beautiful spread, including cheese and veggies galore This may have been the best cheese display I have ever seen.
We discovered some new Sonoma County favorites on our date night in Healdsburg where we sipped a tomato water amuse bouche and feasted on Portuguese cuisine at Cafe Lucia and had late night cocktails and sliders at Bistro Ralph. Healdsburg is one of the best places ever for a walking, tasting night out.
On our last day in Sonoma, we made a trip to The Barlow, which I absolutely loved, for some wine tasting and beer and snacks. Woodfour Brewing was a recommendation from friends, and it was a delicious stop. A sour beer and some of the best pickled veggies I have ever had made for a great afternoon snack. If you get the chance to go to Woodfour Brewing, just do it.
All good things must come to an end, and so we had to make our way back towards San Francisco, but not without a stop in Sausalito for seafood and cool breezes. It was amazing how much cooler it was than Sonoma. Salito’s Crab House was a great spot for seafood and bubbly. We had crab cocktail and a platter of sizzling shrimp and mussels with a garlicky butter while gazing out at the sea, looking for seals and coveting boats.
Northern California has so much to taste, I could easily spend a lifetime there enjoying the food, wine, and outdoors. Until we meet again. . .