Drink MORE Wine!

California Wine Country Trip – Day 3 – July 23, 2016

Happy anniversary to us! It’s been 11 years since we said “I do,” and not a day goes by that I question that statement. Has it been all perfect and fun? Of course not, but the good has definitely outweighed the bad. I mean, come on – a house we love, a daughter we love more, a few cars, cats, and giving cancer a serious ass-kicking, plus travels, and sharing the day to day. Life is good.

So was my sleep last night. I woke up before Hubs, and he was buzz-sawing away. So, I just enjoyed the peace and quiet (ha). We had hotel breakfast again – this time with BACON! I love ALL the bacon.

Once packed up, we decided we needed to head back to Cakebread to get a bottle of wine for later – we planned to grill at our VRBO in Sonoma.

As a bonus, now that we’re wine club members, we got to have a taste of wine (complimentary!) on their members only patio. We’re so posh!

We had a couple of whites, then skipped down the tasting menu to the the 2013 Napa Cab. (Because we’d has the others the day before and we had a bit of a drive ahead of us). The piece de resistance came next – the 2012 Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. It retails for about $145/bottle. We just had to find out what that tastes like. So out of this world. I wish I were enough of a wine snob to give you my own tasting notes. But I’m not. So, here’s what the Cakebreads say about it:

Characteristically dense, perfumed aromas of bright black cherry, blueberry and blackberry fruit, mixed with floral and forest-floor scents, introduce amazingly bright, vibrant and concentrated red and black cherry, plum, spice and dark chocolate flavors framed by round, ripe tannins. Beautifully balanced and structured for long-term aging, this intense, complex mountain cabernet is just beginning to unfold its many splendors and will age beautifully in bottle for at least a decade.

ZOMG! That's some good vino!
ZOMG! That’s some good vino!

We grabbed our bottle of cab (not the Dancing Bear) for dinner tonight and walked through part of the production area that we missed yesterday.

Such an awesome sight. They are stacked 6 high!
Such an awesome sight. They are stacked 6 high!

Then, we took a stroll through Dolores Cakebread’s garden on our way out.

We headed through crazy hills and curves to Healdsburg (north of Napa and Sonoma). I was fading from the earlier tasting at Cakebread (I’ve become such a lightweight), so I needed a coffee stop. I was hoping for a Frappuccino, but and iced coffee from Bad Ass was just as good.

Turns out, this day drinking stuff requires effort and practice. I needed to refuel before we headed up to Healdsburg.
Turns out, this day drinking stuff requires effort and practice. I needed to refuel before we headed up to Healdsburg.

It took us a while to find parking – Healdsburg is hoppin’ – especially on a Saturday afternoon. But, we finally parked and headed to HBG – Healdsburg Bar and Grill for lunch.

Yes, it was 97, supposedly felt like 98, but it's a DRY HEAT, so lunch outside was just peachy keen with us.
Yes, it was 97, supposedly felt like 98, but it’s a DRY HEAT, so lunch outside was just peachy keen with us.

My body was totally craving veggies at this point, so I ordered a garden burger and Hubs had pulled pork sliders. That totally hit the spot. Then, we headed to our friend’s favorite tasting room – Williamson Wines. Gotta say, the combos of the complementary pairing were great (much of which was served on Dubliner cheese – with the exception of truffle salted popcorn -ZOMG!), we were less than awed with the wine (sorry, Lamby). Still, we walked away with a few bottles. We did a little browsing in shops, and then got in the car to find our VRBO in Sonoma.

The drive wasn’t quite as crazy this time, yet very scenic. Nope – I didn’t take any pics. Just enjoyed the view. After around an hour, we arrived at our “home” for the next couple of days. We took stock of the kitchen, then immediately headed out to the grocery store to pick up some steak and such for dinner (plus breakfast the next couple of mornings). Why not go out on our anniversary? Well, it harkens back to when we were young and dating, as well as newlyweds. Back then, we couldn’t afford a fabulous dinner out, so we’d make a steakhouse dinner at home for a fraction of the cost. Normally, we would have done filet, but we’re not the gluttons we once were. Instead, we split a ribeye and grilled a bunch of zucchini, onion and shrooms, just like we do at home.

Even on vacay, Hubs is forever the Grill Master.
Even on vacay, Hubs is forever the Grill Master.

The difference this night? The accompanying wine.

 

Yep. The cab paired very well with our grilled steak.
Yep. The cab paired very well with our grilled steak.

Definitely a step up from back in the day.

After we cleaned up, the rest of the night was spent relaxing on the amazing creek side deck of our VRBO bungalow. Oh, and we made a new feline friend – a young black kitty who joined us after dinner. I’ve taken to calling her Esmerelda.

Before going to bed, I had fun with my camera and the moonlight. this was taken shortly after midnight.
Before going to bed, I had fun with my camera and the moonlight. this long exposure was taken shortly after midnight.

 

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