Amuse-Bouche

Friday, December 02, 2005

My Favorite Things

"...these are a few of my favorite things..."

While I couldn't convince Aren to take me to the Sound of Music Sing-A-Long at the Castro Theater, I did manage to enjoy a few of my favorite things the day after Thanksgiving: Napa and Chapeau!

Celine and Grant are also wine lovers (it must run in the Gounder blood), so we took them to Napa. First, we visited Pride, which has recently received accolades from Wine Spectator and the like. In addition to their new release Cab, Merlot, and Chardonnay, we were able to enjoy some barrel tasting, which is always fun.

After Pride, we visited Schramsberg, a sparkling wine producer. Our tour guide was a bit of a dork, but entertaining nonetheless. He told us about the history of the winery. Schramsberg is the second oldest winery in Napa (although it's changed ownership since the original days and from still to sparkling wine production) and has caves that Chinese immigrants built, having gained expertise from working on the Transcontinental railroad. The winery's caves are covered with thick, web-like moss, giving the caves a certain rustic, yet slightly disgusting charm. We learned that the winery still riddles their wine by hand, which must be giving someone a major back problem. The tour ended in a subterranean tasting room, where we tasted a nice flight of wines, including the Demi-Sec we brought home. Our dorky tour guide described everything as exploding in his mouth. We almost shouted "boom" after the fifth time we heard this phrase from him. Before leaving, we snapped a shot in front of the winery's mascot, a frog statue looking through a glass of champagne in the moonlight (he's looking for leftover yeast).

We stopped by Joseph Phelps' place to have a glass of wine and to replace the bottle of Merlot we enjoyed a couple weeks ago before heading to Chapeau! for dinner. Perhaps Celine or Grant would like to comment on the meal?

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