So, as promised, I am recapping my 2nd day in California that involved a trip to Sonoma.

AKA Wine Country.

I awoke feeling rested and looked at the clock: 6am. Yiiiikes.

I went back to sleep. Woke up at 7am… this NY time is killing me. After forcing myself to sleep some more I finally woke up at 9am and after a good shower set out to Wine Country!

Get your glasses ready people. We are DRANKIN’.

Carol is a bonafide wine expert. to me, anyways. While travelling to Wine Country, she gave me a crash course in tasting so i could not look like a jackass. I assured her it takes very little effort to make me look like a jackass so i was going to take her advice seriously. We went over some S’s to wine tasting:

Sniff

Swirl

Sniff

Sip

Swish

Spit/Swallow

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We Arrived at J winery at around 11am. We dont play around.

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The grounds were serene and gorgeous! The sun was warm but there was a nice breeze. It just felt like a great day to get wasted tasting wine.

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We made our way through the viney arches.

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And took in the lovely atmosphere.

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We parked our sexy lady faces at an empty spot in the bar and began chatting up the awesome conversationalist, Ron, our pourer. He provided a list of booze that i was going to get and wasted no time in complimenting how nice Carol and i looked for our girls day. It was a big deal… because i wore a dress. (there is proof somewhere in this post)

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Ron started me with tastes of J Winery’s wine from Pinot Gris to Bubbly to pinot noir. I seriously am glad i took photos because that part of the day is a serious blur. Dont Carol look smokin hot? Hey hot lady.

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And every glass you see here… i drank. Like ALL OF it. Carol had two glasses of wine. She was driving but she relished the opportunity to get her best east coast friend completely and utterly shit faced before 3 pm.

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I WORE A DRESS! LOOK! WOOT!

Mentioning that I love a good dessert wine, Ron came out with a sexy bottle of dessert wine that normally does not get sampled. Must have been the dress! While he was chatting us up he told us we had to go to a nearby winery to sample some really good zinfandel. And Who am I to say No to Ron?

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We hit the road and got to Seghesio, where we met Tony. Tony poured each sample of wine and allowed me to take a photo of each glass of wine i drank.

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He commented on the picture taking but by this time I was already feeling a little… you know… Tipsy. So i joked it was the only way I could keep track of what I drank. And fearing he would take it the wrong way I quickly noted I was kidding and that I was documenting for my first trip to the west coast….

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“Oh you’re from NY? want some homemade Salumi?”

um. YA!  So we munched on their homemade and not for sale salumi that when paired with the wine was insanely tasty!

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seriously though. after sniffing. swirling. slurping. etc etc. The fruity notes in the wine were like non existent. I was picking up smoky notes, Nuttiness, Toffee… it was great. But i needed a palate cleanser…. or a break from the alcohol. (yeah, right)

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Tony gave us a tour of the barrel room! its a little chilly in there. He gave us a bit of history about the space that is from the 1800’s and how it survived prohibition. There was some renovations but they worked hard to keep some of the original wood work in the room. When I went to pay my tasting fee, Tony waved his hand and said “No, No, this was on me! Enjoy your time in California”

This is about the time I decided to marry California and have New York as my mistress.

it could work, no? Looking at the clock, Carol told me we had to go because she made reservations for us at J Winery for a tasting with FOOD PAIRINGS. but on the way we spotted a rare spot that was never open on weekdays…

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Nalle. Carol and Ron (from J Winery) raved about the Pinot Zinfandel that Nalle has successfully bottled… and it was open when we passed by so MORE WINE! yay! It was def tasty.

We made it back to J Winery for the lunch tasting at the Bubble Room.

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We were given a bunch of booze and each glass of wine was paired with something YUMMY.

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We started with an amuse bouche that i honestly cannot remember right now. But i will tell you, i ate it all. Freakin tasty!

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Some bubbles. mmm.

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And the first course. A little Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Im a big fan of white wine(becuase you can socially drink as many glasses as you like without the awful purple red wine lip…)

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To go with the whites, we were give some garlic soup and beside that a seafood cake with saffron ailoi and some tasty greens.

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Next up were the Pinot Noirs and some bubbly as a palate cleanser.

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Pan seared halibut with a beet reduction and a side of grits. Next to that, smoked mashed potatoes with flank steak and asparagus. Everything was so incredible!

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For the last course we were given DESSERT wine! yay! One important thing i learned. No matter how drunk you get- you should never SWIRL your dessert wine. Its fortified and swirling it will mess it up.

So dont do it!

k?

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For the last course we had some parmesan custard that was pungent and I loved it! a few others werent jazzed about the custard but it was so different and tasted so good. I couldnt get enough! Beside that was a deconstructed strawberry shortcake with some strawberry mousse on the side.

I have to say that even though I was a full functioning drunk, I was having a blast. The food was incredible. The service impeccable. And the people we were seated with were amazing.

Carol and I joked that we would turn into the two middle aged women that sat across from us who were basically having the same conversation as us with the added words like “husband” or “children”. While exchanging pleasantries, we were given a great lead for dinner that night…. Which given the serious amount of booze in my system was totally in Order.

Tomorrow: The best Cannoli I have ever had was at LoCoco.

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