20 April, 2009

Hospice Du Rhone Twitter Taste Live at ESTATE in Sonoma

Springtime in Sonoma at the beautiful ESTATE property. Add the great cuisine this restaurant puts out. Throw in some great expressions of Rhone varietals. Then complete the melange with the ability to sit with the winemakers and it is one spectacular evening. And that was before the amazing Twitter Taste Live extravaganza. Xandria and I braved the traffic and believed the GPS when he dragged us through San Rafael, but we still got there early enough to tour the lovely space Estate has and meet Sondra Bernstein who owns and runs Estate among other things, including the girl and the fig. The restaurant sits in a beautiful and historic Sonoma Victorian, but the layout and decor make the location warm and inviting as well as timelessly modern and super comfortable. The food was amazing. Starting with warm bread and burratta then moving into a delightful crisp salad, we were chatting and eating and drinking a lot of great wine. Xandria and I were lucky enough to find two seats together in the outdoor seating area. At our table was Charlie, the wine maker from Cline pouring his tasty wine.. Also at our table were the talented and very entertaining Verge folks, Emily, Jay and Mike, who had brought along some of their limited production Syrah which we enjoyed very much. A beautiful dark color, I tasted blueberry, blackberry, cassis and forest floor. Yum! Shane Finley, who produces Shane wine, also a magnificent Syrah, this one from Mendocino County. It was at once smoked meat, fruit and deliciousness. I fit right in having brought a Tanner Syrah from my favorite, Twisted Oaks. We had tasty Syrah for days! I tried some other things, all good, but they were not as memorable as those vivid Syrahs! Along with the fresh pasta and English peas carbonara, and polenta with wild mushrooms infused with white truffle oil the perfect match were those gamy, spicy, fruity, peppery offerings. We also got to meet Randall Graham from Boony Doon, and Molly Lippett from Paradigm. The Twitter Taste Live portion of the evening was so fun! We had our dessert (Cheese) on the back patio. And all the fabulous wines we tweeted about:


Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2007


Tablas Creek Mourvedre 2006


Kinton Syrah 2005


Verge Syrah 2006


Yangarra Estate Shiraz 2006


I also wangled an Unti Grenache, which I loved.


It was a party not to be missed! I got to meet/see many of my Twitter pals live, @Mychael, @DMhoro, @sharayray, @sonadora, Many thanks to the hard work put in by Estate, The Jug Shop, Vinquire and of course, Hospice Du Rhone. A great (if a littel blurry) time was had by all!
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