Good to the Last Drop

California Wine Country Trip – Day 5 – July 25, 2016

We woke up on our last morning, kind of ready to go home, but kind of not. It had been such a lovely, relaxing, romantic trip. Reality will be harsh. Still, we made breakfast, packed up, cleaned up after ourselves, (sadly, Blackie wasn’t around to say goodbye) and we headed over to Kenwood to have Paradise Ridge ship ALL of our wine. From the wine we bought at various wineries, we ended up with a full case, short one. But, when we got there, I told him the bottle of bubbly he gave us the night before was defective and we needed to buy another, and that made 12.

He had some other customers to take care of while he was getting our shipment ready, so he offered us a bit of “Champagne” while we wait. Oh, well, if he had to twist my arm like that…

Twist my arm if you must!
Twist my arm if you must!

We then got back on the road to head to the airport. First, we had to stop at a place I saw on the way, called Swede’s Feeds – a little garden place we kept passing on our way to and from Paradise Ridge. Among other things, they had a sign that said, “Ask about our 420 soil.” Heh heh.

Swede's Feed is a little garden place we passed on our way to and from Paradise Ridge. They have tons of awesome garden sculptures, including Beyonce's whole family!
They have tons of awesome garden sculptures, including Beyonce‘s whole family!

We decided to take a “shortcut” that the Paradise Ridge guy told us about, through the mountains to Napa. Ha! Joke was on me. It was just as bad, if not worse, than the ride to Pride.

This is the Google map of Trinity Rd. It's a good thing I didn't look at this before we started driving.
This is the Google map of Trinity Rd. It’s a good thing I didn’t look at this before we started driving.

 

Once we made it to Napa, we did have some time, and I was quite tense from those hairpin turns, so we decided we could do one more tasting. We would have liked to try Nickel & Nickel or Far Niente, but they only take appointments, and they were booked. But, the woman on the phone at Nickel & Nickel recommended Heitz – their tasting is complimentary and they take walk-ins. They were just down the road, so off we went.

The first pour was a Sauvignon Blanc, and it tasted just like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. However, I didn’t say so at first, because we’d learned that many of the California winemakers like to distinguish themselves from that style. But, the guy next to me, noted it right away. I thanked him for saying so, agreeing with him wholeheartedly, and that led to the not surprising, “I used to collect wines, I know so much and I’m so pretentious – from Jersey” oration. But, he wasn’t too bad – rather entertaining, actually. Anway, we tried a total of 6 wines there, including a port, but we decided to only buy some of the Sauvignon Blanc. Since we had to ship it anyway, we went ahead and got half a case. Yeah, we’re gonna need a dual zone wine fridge, for sure.

While Hubs settled up our purchase, I went out on their patio to enjoy the view, and of course, photograph it.

 

This was definitely one of those unexpected wine country finds, and I’m glad we did. It certainly made booking a late flight on our last day worth it.

Shortly after we hit the road again, we got hungry. We stopped in Yountville at the Yountville Deli and got some sandwiches. While Hubs waited for our food, I scoped out a table in the shade outside. I ended up talking with a nice woman and her dog. We talked about how we were heading back to Chicago tonight, and she said she’d just been talking with a couple from Chicago who bought a place in Yountville. FYI – it’s uber pricey in that town. So much so that she was amazed that someone from Chicago could even find it (though, duh, it is right on the main drag of wineries in Napa Valley), and I think she was surprised it was financially doable. Nice to know that people have such a solid impression of Chicagoans.

Anyway, Hubs showed up with our lunch, and we said farewell to the lady and her dog. My sandwich was called the Yountville. It had turkey, Brie, tomato, lettuce, avocado, and mayo on a brioche bun. It was delicious! Rather than stuff myself and eat the whole thing, I decided it’d keep for a few hours, so I saved the second half for our plane ride home.

We had a nice drive back to SFO, with plenty of time to spare so we didn’t have to OJ it through the terminal this time. In fact, we had time for Hubs to stop for a beer. We boarded in our fancy pants Group 2, and headed to the very last row. That was interesting. Quite a bouncy takeoff.
All was well until about an hour into our flight, when I started to get chilled and I was coughing up some serious phlegm. I could just tell I had a fever brewing. I bet it was the walking pneumonia that The Girl had before our trip. I’m so glad it waited to blossom until our trip was over and I could sleep in my own bed.

Farewell San Francisco. Hope to see you again soon!
Farewell San Francisco and all the wine. Hope to see you again soon!

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