I’m on the West Coast this week for a much anticipated and truly special occasion– Dad and Kippy are getting married on Saturday, formal recognition of a togetherness of two people and two families that I think all involved have recognized for quite some time. There’s no better occasion than one that brings together family and friends from all over the country to quite simply celebrate love.
We started the celebration off right on Sunday, heading to Boonville to hop around the winery open houses that are a part of the Anderson Valley Annual Pinot Noir Festival. It was a good day to visit– all of the tastings are free, and in a true showing of hospitality, paired with live bands and gourmet food.
We started off at Foursight Wines where we paired their awesome pinots with fresh Tomales Bay oysters, melon with freshly shaved prosciutto and an array of cheese. Foursight had the only 2008 that we tasted the entire day, which I learned was due to the ”smoke taint” of the 2008 crop, caused by the severe forest fires throughout Anderson Valley. While some compare the ’08 wines to licking a wet ashtray, I thought this one wasn’t too bad.
Our next stop was at Breggo Cellars, where we were quickly escorted to red lawn chairs and told to sit back and enjoy the band while being served our wine tasting. Nice touch indeed. We ate pork sliders and enjoyed another excellent selection of Pinot Noirs.
The third stop on our journey down wine highway was the Madrones, where we stopped in for an intimate tasting at Lula, wandered the gardens and enjoyed BBQ lamb.
Having heard that Balo across the way was also serving lamb, we felt inclined to take this as our opportunity to participate in a ‘lamb off.’ Just take a look at the lamb at Balo and you will see that it was an easy competition to judge. I tried to eat it like a lady, but of course failed miserably.
After a round of bocce, several helpings of very good cheese and of course more wine, we headed to Scharffenberger Cellars to try their selection of sparkling wines and marvel over the fact that Courtney somehow had room for more cheese. And of course we couldn’t help but notice our beautiful surroundings.
Our final stop of the day was the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Although we missed the touring hours, they were more than happy to pour us a flight– 17 of their finest home brews. Standouts were the Summer and Winter Solstice seasonals and the oatmeal stout.