Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 3 – Wine tasting trip report

Wow – I can't believe that this is the last day of our trip. We just finished breakfast and I have a short window of opportunity to get this blog posted. So this is going to be an abbreviate report…
We started yesterday at Siduri winery where the winemaker talked to us about blending. They specialize in Pinot's and we spent about an hour playing there. Part chemistry, part art. This was a blast. I've never done any of my own blending before. We ended up leaving with a couple bottles of their Hirsch Vineyard label. Very yummy.
From there we went to Seghesio. We'd fallen in love with their Zin's about a year ago and meeting the family behind the label was a memorable experience. This winery dates back to pre-prohibition and it's a family affair. A bonus – they also make fantastic sausage. The winemaker shared his family sausage recipe, which we got to make. I love to cook, but I'd never made sausage before. After we were through Uncle Nick fried some up. Amazing. Then he threw together a spectacular risotto, which we had with more sausage, Caesar salad, and about 6 different Seghesio wines. We ended up bring home a case of their Barberra (which we hadn't tried before) and a case of their Old Vine (which is a zin). I'm sorry that I didn't get the recipe for the risotto. I may need to email them for it.
Next was Rockpile. I confess, I sat part of this one out. The winemaker was really young and enthusiastic. He wanted to take us out and have us walk the fields. It was 85 and very hilly. Hubby was more than game. I took a breather. He walked through the various blocks, sampling wines as he went.
Last, but not least, was dinner at the Hotel Healdsburg prepared by the Chefs at Dry Creek. This was another 6 course meal – paired with a little over 20 wines. There was absolutely no way that I could taste them all. Memorable ones were a 1986 Heitz Cellars Cabernet, a 1994 BV Latour, and a Syrah that the winemaker, Tyler, brought from Pax. The envelope containing the vintage is packed – but I think is was a 2007. Very, very, nice.
Dinner –
First course: Dry Creek Peach Carpaccio
Second course: Spice Crusted Ahi Nicoise
Third course: House Made Potato Cavatelli Pasta
Fourth course: Butter Braised Alaskan Halibut
Main Course: Pan Roaded New York Strip Steak Entrecote
Dessert: Almond Financier (Roasted Peaches, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream).
Time to run and enjoy the last day!

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