Monday, November 24, 2008

Ditch Day

Well, I am sad to say a few weeks ago that I ditched my project to fix Mama Sugar's veil to have an amazing day with Mr. Spice.

As I have mentioned before, Mr. Spice makes Olive Oil for a living, and as of August, he has gone back to school. From October to about January is olive harvest, so Mr. Spice is incredibly busy. Now throw school on top of it all this year, and he has been crazy insane busy man.

SO when Mr. Spice found out that he didn't have to work on a Saturday, we jumped at the opportunity to spend the entire day with each other!! Such an amazing treat.

When Mr. Spice and I first met he lived in Napa and was making Sparkling Wine. On our first date we went and tasted a bit of the bubbly that he had helped produce- A-MAZE-ING. I still talk about how taken I was with him on our first date seeing him in his element talking about something he loved- and I still swoon over that afternoon!!

A tradition we started right before our first Thanksgiving together was to go wine tasting for Thanksgiving Day wine!! We thought we weren't going to make it this year, but lo and behold we did.

This year we decided to visit some of Mr. Spice's old haunts up in Healdsburg. If you are planning a trip to Northern California wine country this is where I would tell you to go. Healdsburg is Northwest of Sonoma and Napa. It's much better for red wine lovers, but we did find some amazing white wines and a few Roses. The town itself is adorable, and much better than downtown Napa or Sonoma (well, in my opinion). Here's a basic map:

Wine tasting for wine tasting sake is fun, but wine tasting with a purpose is MUCH better. Essentially, you choose a few types of wine that you like, and just taste those wines at each winery. It allows you to visit a lot more wineries in one day.

So one Saturday morning Mr. Spice and I headed up to the Dry Creek Valley with the two rules we always follow:
#1: Drink what you like and don't apologize for your choices. If you stick to rule #1, you will always be happy with what you are drinking.
#2: Anyone can make a good $100 bottle of wine, the fun part is finding a really good affordable wine!!
and a rule for Events:
#3 Try to match the wine to the meal. I won't even pretend to be a wine expert, I have Mr. Spice for that. But if you want a Rule of Thumb for wines to drink with a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, I agree with the women who wrote both of these articles: here and here.

Mr. Spice and I were specifically looking for a combo of the following: Sauvignon Blancs, Dry Rieslings, Rose, and Pinot Noir or Petite Sirah's.

Without further ado, the best wines of the day:

Our first stop was Amphora. They only had one white wine, which was a Chardonnay that I VERY surprisingly liked, but the best of the group was a varietal blend called Seven Sisters.

A bit too pricey for our taste so we moved on. Next up, a winery we knew we liked: Link

We were able to snag two of the last bottles of their Rose for $16, which I loved!! And two Dry Rieslings, again, under $20. If you haven't tried Rose in the past or haven't liked them, I urge you to revisit Rose's. So many more wineries are doing them these days, and doing them good!! If your local store isn't carrying a very big assortment- ask them to re-think their Rose selection. As for Rieslings, Dry Rieslings are a great compliment to T-day dinner.

Next recommendation, a new one to us, Forth. We loved their Sauvignon Blanc!!

A very close family friend works at Dutcher's Crossing, so we had to stop by and sample. Again, I liked their SB and Mr. Spice was into their Petite Sirah. Plus, there grounds are amazing!!

And finally, an acquaintance of Mr. Spice started a winery just as he was getting into the wine industry so we made one last stop:

Again, a fantastic Rose, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Cuvee Foundre (a fancy name for a blend).

All in all, we bought just over a case of wine for under $200. Not bad. Some of it we took to T-day dinner, and some of it is now on reserve for just the two of us.

We ended the day with a fantastic dinner in downtown Healdsburg. At the end of the day, we realized how long it had been since we had taken a day for US to do something we both enjoy. We spend a ton of time together doing other things, but it was amazing what one romantic day can do for your relationship.

Have you ever stopped to take a break from the hustle and bustle and found out that you can still take each other's breath away??

* Click on the labels for the Vineyard's websites.

No comments: