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65% Sonoma County, 35% Napa County = a little vacation for my palate. If you’re a long-time reader, you know that we try to visit Napa and Sonoma twice a year. Travel recaps can mostly be found here.

This year, due to visiting new places and traveling for weddings and the Chicago Marathon, we have no trips to Sonoma planned, and while I am a little sad about this, I know that a little piece of me can visit through old photos, great memories, and of course wine. This is one of the reasons I love wine; pouring a glass and breathing it in can transport you back to a place in time that’s warm and sunny and gorgeous.

 

Ghost Pines Cab Sauv

This Ghost Pines wine will forever make me think of colder climate memories; I enjoyed it recently at a dinner at my sister’s house, Sunday night in winter with the family all around. My mom made an incredible roast prime rib with coconut shrimp, baked potatoes, kale Caesar, and other veggie sides.

The wine is rich and spicy with jammy blackberry and cocoa notes to balance it out. It was great with the roast meat, complementing the slight saltiness of the marinade perfectly, but it would also be great with a warm berry pie. It drank nicely long into the night, its long and lovely finish the perfect winter warmer.

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Tags: Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, Sonoma, Travel, wine, wine and food pairing, wine tasting, Wine Wednesday

Chateau Montelena 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Our quick trip to Portland, Maine this weekend included a late dinner at the much-loved Fore Street, a restaurant I hadn’t visited since a trip to Portland too many years ago. After getting settled in our home for the night,  we made it to Fore Street right before the kitchen closed, and those choosing the wine did an excellent job picking a bottle of 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Montelena. I love the wine from Montelena, I love their winery and tasting room, and of course, I love the movie Bottle Shock so I was more than a little excited when this ended up in my glass.

Right at home in the candlelit glow and rustic wood of Fore Street, this wine is big, smooth,  and inviting,  Well developed tannins aren’t overpowering and are balanced by bright, berry sweetness that paired well with my pork belly entree and great company. Chateau Montelena makes classic, luxurious wines that are special-occasion worthy, but they’re also perfect for nights with great food and lots of laughs, those little moments that make life worth living.

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Tags: Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, Napa wine, wine, wine of the week

Happy Travel Tuesday! We leave for Ireland in a month, and have a trip to New Jersey to visit family in between then and now so I am feeling good about feeding the wanderlust these days. We’re also still reminiscing about an amazing Sonoma holiday over Labor Day weekend, so today I thought I would share some out and about photos, places I didn’t necessarily photograph in-depth and pretty pictures I caught along our travels. Enjoy!

Napa roads

{Napa County Road and the bluest sky}

 

Hog Island Oyster Company

{Hog Island Oyster Co. – get ready for some shucking!}

Sonoma Coast

{The Magnificent Sonoma Coast}

Girl and the Fig, Sonoma

{Chocolate and Fig Salted Caramel Trifle at The Girl and the Fig}

Passaggio Tasting Room, Sonoma {Passaggio Wines new tasting room in Sonoma – I love Passaggio Wine but was not bright enough to check the tasting room hours and showed up on a closed day. From what I could see, it is beautiful.}

 

Russian River Valley sunset

{Russian River Valley sunset from our Flipkey Sonoma home}

Truett Hurst

{Sun-baked Dry Creek Valley land in August – I LOVE the heat.}

Truett Hurst

{Cooling off at Truett Hurst, one of my favorite Dry Creek Valley wineries}

Truett Hurst

{Truett Hurst Sauvignon Blanc, riverside}

Dry Creek General Store

{Dry Creek General Store – a favorite for a cold beer, Dry Creek Valley views, great sandwiches, and people-watching}

Holdredge Pinot Noir

{Gorgeous Pinot Noir, Grateful Dead memorabilia, and rap music at Holdredge – so.much.fun. Who says wine is snobby?}

Napa Valley Sunset

{Sunset as we left Napa Valley on our last evening}

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Tags: California, California wine country, Food, Napa, Napa Valley, Restaurants, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Travel, travel posts, Travel Tuesday, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, wine travel, winery

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