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26 March, 2009
Barrel Tasting Along the Wine Road
Young, old, new or veteran there is something for everyone to love along the Wine Road Barrel Tasting. Never having been before, it was a fun experience to shadow Luscious Lush Thea and assorted friends and crew at the memorable event. I fell in love with the Malbec at Mounts Family and ended up buying half a case. Then, wandering around Healdsburg, with its unseemly wealth of greats to try was very impressed with Camellia's Cab Franc barrel sample as well as the consistent delights of our friend John at Holdredge. Strawberry Fields plus an unnamed Pinot that was freakishly delicious I just can't wait to go back. I also wandered into the new collective where the paint was barely dry but the wine was super good. I tried a Bluenose Zin with a peach cobbler yumminess (sounds weird, but the exotic fruit and spice was pretty, pretty, pretty). From there we all met up at the patient, forbearing and delicious Palette in downtown Healdsburg. Hidden away, the space was lovely, the service amazing and the food was super tasty. Our Twitter Taste Live was so much more fun with multicoastal folks like Robbin_G, Houston Wino, Wine Wonkette and Mmwine in the house---literally! Of course I forgot to snap a shot of the Central Coast Pinot, which was my favorite, however at the TTL after party, I got to try the Humanitas Gap Crown Pinot. Delish! And it is my favorite activity, drinking for charity as so much of the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity! Plus it is no duty to drink this elegant delightful Pinot! After snarfing up our fill, we repaired to the lovely Santa Rosa Flamingo to rest, relax and reload in order to hit it again on Day Two. SO much fun. Just like a family roadtrip, we hit the IHOP for a stomach lining strapping farmhouse breakfast, where Thea, Robbin and I timed it perfectly then set out for delightful Windsor Oaks, where I loved everything and bought a surprisingly tasty Unoaked Chardonnay. Then on to Copain for fabulous scenery and tasty Rhone varietals. We hit Joseph Swan where I was dazzled by the Tannat. A Pyrenees variety known for its puckery tannins, which can sometimes get either overblended or astringent, Swan ,instead , coaxes out a softly, grippy deliciousness. Bonus, one of the Swan folks is a geologist and having the actual soil samples on hand to observe brought a new dimension to discussions of terroir. On to Sunce for the insanely good Cheese bread (mayo, minced white onions and good shredded cheese are the secrets) and wine and the always fun contest where you earn your discounts; my skill won me 30% off some uber tasty wine. Saving the best for last, we met the fabulous Oenophilus and CellarDiva at Acorn, where the food and wine were off the hook. And they were kind enough to invite us all after hours to my favorite stop, Chateau Felice. The Ermitagebarrel sample was deliciously barnyardy and the rest were just plain delicious!You have to make an appointment to go, but if the only place you hit in all of Sonoma County is here, come for the family friendliness, gorgeous grounds and delicious wine. You won't be sorry! Plus, hello? Celebrities! I met Sketcher one of the stars of "Winery Dogs". He is surprisingly down to earth. [Hint: You can make an appointment at the intercom box at the foot of the gate if space is available]
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I saw the tweets but is this something that goes on on a regular basis or just something you guys put together? I would love to do something like this next time I'm out West.
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