Cooking Eating Dining Sharing

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Superb Napa Valley Day and Evening

Looking west toward the Mayacamas.   A wintry day of rain, sun, and clouds.  Afterwards, everything gleaming bright green and like new.

Our afternoon wine tasting at Opus One was like no other tasting I have been to before.  A limestone building with its central core rising so as to take in a 360 degree view of the valley, was both welcoming and stately.  Modeled to be both the old and the new, it is apparent immediately that this is not an ordinary winery.

Our tour guide/host Keith was knowledgeable, gracias and had a sense of humor as well.  We started in the salon.  A long room with a fireplace at one end, both lovely antiques and modern furniture combined to compliment both Robert Mondavi's western and Phillipe Rothschild's French sensibilities.  It is a marriage of great proportions.

The tour included tasting their delicious Cabernet Sauvignon world renowned, and is the only wine they make, hence the One in the Opus label!  Why make many, when one will do.

On our way to and fro, we noticed how busy Taylor's Automatic Refresher was.  It is a great place for a summery day, but even yesterday was hopping!

After a lovely tasting, we headed up to Calistoga for a leisurely walk.  I always like to go to Carlo Marchiori's Ca'Toga Gallery to see what he is up to and replace any tea mugs that I may have broken during the year.  Check it out and if you have time, go on a tour May-Oct. to his Ca'Toga property just outside of will be stunned!

After our coffee refueling in Calistoga, we headed up to our dinner destination at Meadowood Resort and Restaurant  A lovely resort with swimming, tennis, golf and relaxation at its best.  It reminds me more of East Coast Country Clubs, than a California World Class Resort.  It is tucked up against the eastern Napa Valley Hills off of Silverado Trail.

Dinner was exceptional!  We went in with no expectations and we were quite blown away, not just by the food, but by the courteous and knowledgeable serving staff.   A sampling menu especially for Frank's Birthday was deliciously prepared and included, Wagyu Beef Cured in Meadowood Pine, Composition of Carrot with Dark Chocolate, Foie Gras and Candied Tangerine, Lobster Roasted in Lime Salt, Pressed Local Chicken with Red Abalone, Matsutake, and Broccoli, Suckling Pig with Quince Confit, Brussel Sprouts, and Honey, Beignet of Blue Del Moncenisio Cheese and Buddha Hand Lemon Yogurt with Pistachio and Mint, and also Gianduja Chocolate with Malted Milk, Milk Jam and Crsipy Crepe Tuile.  At this point, you are probably wondering how we accomplished this fete?  Small portions and a four hour meal stretched the attention span of our palettes and stomachs.

The wine pairings of Shramsberg Rose Brut, "Darcy" Parmelee-Hill Sonoma Coast 07, Chardonnay Peter Michael Winery, Knights Valley, Pinot Noir Wilson Vineyard Capiaux - Sonoma Coast 06, Cabernet Sauvignon, Aurielle- Napa Valley 06 (Frank's very own wine!) Reisling Hinterkiechen, Wacheu, Austria 06, and Quinte de Vesuvio "Vintage" Portugal 01.

A very special celebratory meal and the company was Superb!  Thank you very, very much Frank and Vicki!

Look for The French Laundry tidbits....coming soon!

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