03 July, 2008

And so it begins....

So, Fourth of July. Murphys is my favorite spot in the Sierra Foothills. Very Americana with a nice dash of Northern California charm. Only two hours away from San Francisco, but it feels a world away. We left the East Bay on our girls-gone-wine road trip, blasting ABBA, getting lost and fortifying ourselves with Sonic. Carhops? Who knew! We slid into Murphys just in time for our spa appointments . The La Stone massage at Jillian's Day Spa in Murphys is a great way to make the break from your day to day and get into vacation mode quickly. Park once, then explore. We wandered into a restaurant called "The Wild Grape" on grill-it-yourself rib eye night. Tempting, but what we really wanted was wine. The Wild Grape is built into a former residence and while it has a great modern California style, it also has the best backyard with tables, umbrellas, fairy lights tucked into the manicured foliage and a kicked back vibe. This place stocks an edited selection of local wines. At the suggestion of our server, Paul, we started right at the top with an '04 Old Vine Zin from Milliare. Yum! Dark and rich, redolent with red and black raspberry, I was in heaven! We were treated to a second glass by Dave who was sweet enough to bring us into his birthday celebration. I picked the Millaire Grenache for a change of pace. Syrupy sweet, it would have been great with dessert, which we skipped. After we reciprocated by buying Dave a birthday dessert, we cruised off to see the town. Murphys isn't large but it's stylish and fun. We ended up forgetting that if we waited too long to find dinner, our options might be limited. True to form, we were bounced out of several restaurants until the great team at Figaro's, which also houses the Growler brewery took pity on us and opened up the kitchen for a cold sandwich. Double yum! Russell the Muscle hooked us up with an Italian sub that was buonissima! And best of all, while we waited, Jim busted out some Milliare Merlot, which was a super surprise. That wine was also very dark and lush with all you would expect from a Merlot and the ability to stand up to the rich meat in the sandwich. After ward, Jim treated us to a personal tour of his photos from his previous career managing events at the Mountain Winery. Iggy! Traveling Wilburys! My absolute fave ---and Jim's---Chrissie Hynde! Everyone! What an awesome Day 1! We tucked ourselves into our motel room while visions of wine to come danced in our heads!
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