Our first full day in California was spent in Napa. I could write pages on this place. I could move to this place.
Here’s the impressive part – I woke up and did 30 mins on the hotel elliptical and Whittled My Middle. (Can’t remember the exact numbers to post!)
Before hitting the road, we have to have breakfast!
Laura took us to a place in her neighborhood called Philz Coffee. The walk there included instructions to “watch out for puke on the sidewalk.” Admittedly, I was skeptical.
A 10 minute walk later and I was drinking the best coffee I have ever had and enjoying an unbelievably amazing VEGAN scone.
Trust the local!
Then we were off to Napa!
First stop: Mumm
Favorite Taste: Sparkling Pinot Noir or Brut Rose
Notes: Great way to begin the day – all sparkling wines, helpful staff (they even gave us extra vintages to compare!), and a stunning view.
Second stop: Groth
Favorite Taste: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Notes: The wines were very good. I even bought a Chardonnay (I typically don’t care for them). The presentation could have been better, but definitely still worthy of a stop.
Pit stop: Brix for lunch
Favorite Taste: Crusty bread and butter sprinkled with pink salt
Notes: Brave the 45 min wait at Mustard’s instead. We actually sent back a $21 burger… and they brought it back in worse shape.
Third stop: Cakebread
Favorite Taste: 2007 Syrah
Notes: The wines were decent and the view was great… but not our favorite experience. It is the only one I would have skipped.
Fourth stop: Sullivan
Favorite Taste: 2005 Coeur de Vigne
Notes: By far the best winery in every regard. The tasting was personal (we met the vineyard owner!), the tasting room manager was knowledgeable and so nice. And the wines… perfect.
We even met the owner’s son. He is in charge of the wine making… and gave us a sip of this juice:
After such a great experience, we decided it was the perfect winery to end on. And we were hungry.
Pit Stop #2: Rutherford Grill
Best Taste: Green Chili Cake Cornbread
Notes: Thanks to Fred, the tasting manager at Sullivan, we ordered the chili cornbread. You should too.
After a hunt for gas (no stations for 10 miles!), we got lucky with dinner. Table for 3 at Redd.
I could talk forever about how the fine gentleman cocktail waiter served our drinks and said – and I quote:
“Allow me to bid you cheers, ladies.”
Or how the pork belly was heaven-sent.
Or how the sweet and sour glazed butternut squash in the fall salad paired perfectly with the Roquefort cheese and apples.
Or the dessert. Oh, the dessert. The cherry on top of a meal so incredible that it moved us to tears.
But I wouldn’t want to make anyone jealous.
Back in the real world…
The 21 day challenge.
Mom and I are doing the Standard Process Cleanse (lord, do I need it after the Cali gluttonous foodie experience).
For the first 10 days, you are only allowed veggies and fruit. More raw than not. Preferably organic.
And shakes with their special protein powder.
At day 11 we can add certain fish and chicken.
Obviously, we needed to raid the DeKalb Farmer’s Market to start off right!
So, the blog will focus on clean, vegan eating for the next 10 days. Followed by clean, vegan-except-for-chicken eating for the remaining 11.
First lesson: if you can’t add any sweetener, don’t put cranberries in a shake. *pucker*