Monday, September 1, 2008

A fabulous weekend

There is a young lady who works in my department who's favorite word has to be fabulous. She uses it constantly. She actually uses it the way college-age frat boys use dude. She may use it so much, and in so many contexts, that she has forgotten its original meaning. Well I have not and I can honestly tell you that Sherry and I had a fabulous Labor Day weekend.

As I recently mentioned, Sherry and I decided to spend a few nights in Yountville since our kitchen is kaput. So, after my morning ride on Saturday, it's time to load the SUV and head east for some good food, great wine, and plenty of rest and relaxation. First stop along the way is Calistoga for a leisurely lunch at Wappo Bar and Bistro. Then it is off to St. Helena.

St. Helena is our favorite city in the Napa Valley. It is beautiful city full of quaint shops, turn of the century (that is the 20th century) architecture, and great restaurants. We hit our 3 favorite shops which are Woodhouse Chocolates, Olivier Napa Valley, and River House Books. And, since we are on vacation, let the spending begin. We then continued south to Yountville and check into the Bordeaux House B&B.

To be honest, the Bordeaux House began what was to be series of slight disappointments. It was nice but it had so much more potential. I will say as a plus it was one of the quietest places we have ever stayed. So all checked in, I bop over to the local wine shop for a bottle of rosé. When we were in France last year we became huge fans of Provincial rosés. And since we were staying in the Rosé Room, it made perfect sense. The wine shop had 2 different Provincial rosés and I bought both. However, neither was chilled so I also purchase a Central Valley rosé for drinking that afternoon. It was not what we wanted! It was strong and overbearing, so very much the opposite of the lite refreshing rosé we anticipated. C'est la vie! (Such is life!)

Then it was off to dinner at one of favorite restaurants, Bistro Jeanty. Once again we were a little disappointed. The meal was not that bad, it just did not live up to the expectations of our numerous meals there before. C'est la vie deuxième!! (Such is life a second time!) Oh well, after 22 years of marriage, Sherry and I know how not to let minor setbacks ruin a fun trip. Tomorrow would be another day.

Sunday morning was gorgeous and after stressful morning of reading and cycling, we were off to lunch at Etoile, the restaurant at Domain Chandon. Let me just say right now that lunch on Sunday was enough to wash away any disappointments of Saturday night. In fact, it was enough to make you forget every bad meal you ever ate. Yes, it was that good.

Our lunch consisted of a 5 course meal and each course was paired with wines and sparkling wines from Domain Chandon. We sat on a patio overlooking beautiful grounds and enjoyed our nearly 3 hour lunch. The service was impeccable. The food was simply stunning in flavor and presentation. Just to give you a sample, the butter served with the french bread was infused with chardonnay. You know that brought out the Niles in me.

Finally, with lunch complete it is on to St Clement Vineyards for wine tasting. We discovered that they also have a fabulous (I had to use it at least one more time) terrace patio overlooking the valley. There, we sample a vertical tasting of the last 5 vintages of their Oroppas (2002 - 2005), which is their Bordeaux-style blend, paired with chocolate. I won't turn this into tasting notes but let me just say there now 6 bottles of St Clement Oroppas in our cellar (2 each of 2003, 2004, and 2005). Dinner that night was a lite meal at the local blues pub.

Monday morning dawned bright and beautiful. We enjoyed breakfast and stopped by the Buchon Bakery for coffees and more french bread. Finally, we headed for home, perhaps a little poorer in the wallet but much richer in memories. Now that's a fabulous weekend.


1 Comment(s):

Sarah said...

wow. That sounds incredible. I keep meaning to go to St. Clement and have been wanting to go for years. I'm definitely doing to go there the next time I'm in town.

Thanks for the great reviews!!!