21 November, 2016

Discovering More to #SeeEatLove in Oakland

See. Eat. Love  offers  you a fun way to get to know Oakland in  the most delicious way possible: through food, beverage and the companionship of kindred spirits.

For the past the two years since leaving a corporate marketing job,  owner,  Raquel Navarro has been refining the walking tour experience.  Today, she showcases three Oakland neighborhoods and brings forward all her wonderful discoveries in a delicious and fun three hour package.

The East Bay Wine Posse (@thegourmez, @wineharlots, @sftownie and @brixchik_Xan) was lucky enough to try out the Oakland Warehouse District Walking tour,   With all the planning taken care of, we were free to taste, learn and laugh our way through discovery

Our meeting place was Dashe Cellars, This Oakland wine production facility and tasting room was started by Anne and Mike Dashe. Both are winemakers and their logo shows the nexus of their different sides.
Anne and Mike via Fish and Primate

Anne, who studied at the University of Bordeaux, is from Brittany, while Mike is from Tarzana, CA.  Represented by the fish and the primate, their styles mesh in some interesting wines.  2013 saw their first production of Grenache Blanc. We detected the notes of oxidation and learned that Grenache Blanc had a tendency towards this.  The inaugural vintage was unfined and unfiltered and the grapes were allowed to express themselves with exuberance, which resulted in aromas of apple pie with a gamy note, along with tropical fruit and an astringent kick to the midpalate.

My favorite wine of the day was the 2015  Les Enfants Terrible Zinfandel from Heart Arrow Ranch. Mendocino fruit is coaxed into a balanced wine with fruit, minerality and complexity.  Carbonic maceration as well as time in neutral oak brings up delicious, almost delicate, Zin. We tried the wines with an assortment of well paired cheeses that complemented the wines.  This was the first course of our progressive lunch.  The opportunity to taste through the offerings with the knowledgeable staff helped me come away with a much deeper experience of Dashe Cellars than on previous visits.  Like The Terminator, "I'll be back".

Our next  stop was nearby Urban Legends Winery. They poured a nice Carneros Chardonnay, which paired well with the
Javi's Empanadas.  This modern tasting room is set up to help you learn while you taste.  Urban Legends does some interesting blends, so tasting through unfamiliar combinations is encouraged.  Relax and enjoy the experience.  Relaxation among other patrons may have been pierced by our squeals of delight when we heard Javi's  Emapanadas filled the main course slot of our progressive lunch.  Javier Sandes, Javi, perfected the tender crust and sumptuous filling in his miraculous empanadas.  I had a Ham and Cheese with salty meat and a rich sauce of gooey mozzarella and savory Fontina.  The  Pork was paired with chunks of pineapple and spices.  Rabbit, Mushroom and Classic ground beef are other flavors.  You can order online, chase the food truck or have frozen empanadas shipped to you.  As the holidays approach, who couldn't use a crowd pleasing hit readily in the freezer?  Warning:  the juicy fillings will try to catch a ride on whatever you are wearing. With volume as an indicator of enjoyment, our tour was leveling up at this modern spot.  Growlers adorned with Oakland sights were a favorite souvenir.

Not admitting saying we were wobbling more than walking towards our third and final spot, Jeff Cohn Cellars but when our happy band of food explorers entered, we were warm and giggly and ready to try these wines.  The winery specializes in Rhone varieties.  I loved the fresh, floral taste of the Viognier, Stagecoach Vineyard, Atlas Peak, Napa, CA.  A collaboration with Yves Gangloff from Condrieu, getting to taste a local version of French favorite was fun.  We also enjoyed some lovely Zinfandels from the Shake Ridge in Amador County.  Dense and lovely, lit with the juiciness of Amador County it reminded me I need to go back.  And of course, ending our lunch with a dessert of We The Minis was a spectacular way to end the progression.  We the Minis not only produce delicious, toothsome macarons, powered from within by intense flavors in this case the succulent cinnamon of Churros, but they also donate 5% of their profits the end family homelessness.  Whenever I can eat well and do good at the same time I am all in.  And best of all, these macarons were insanely tasty. My teeth broke a subtle crunch, that was followed by an explosion of creamy cinnamon flavors calling back a churro, while I celebrated all that is delicious with macarons.  How perfect an ending can you get?

The warm feeling inside was intense satisfaction in my hometown of Oakland as well as an appreciation for the good taste and organization of Raquel Navarro.  As the holiday season gears up and you are looking  for something fun to do, make time for a walking tour and take time to See, Eat and Love Oakland.  You get a little exercise, time with your friends and a new (or renewed) appreciation of the delicious East Bay Food scene.

For information on how to book a tour click here

Many thanks to Raquel Navarro and See. Eat. Love for gifting us this tour.  

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