after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Napa in pictures … Day 1

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t says:  g and I had the opportunity to revisit Napa over a long weekend and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Rather than give the super-detailed blow-by-blow, we’ll try to do the Napa-related posts more like a picture album for super-fast skimming …

greetings from Napa!  (This was sitting on the bed of our hotel room when we arrived … why I decided to start off this post with this particular pic, I have no idea … but it’s pretty hilarious-looking, right?)

So if the towel-dog wasn’t weird enough, you can see that the “cottage” we stayed in was jam-packed full of oddities … like Breathe-right strips …  But the way we figured it: the place was clean, convenient, and relatively inexpensive, so if nothing else, it was a bed to sleep on and a spot to park our rental car …

Our first real meal in Cali was at Bistro Jeanty (we did eat some SFO airport sushi for lunch that was surprisingly good!).  It’s without a doubt one of the best “steals” for dinner in the Valley … the food is simple and solid, the wine list is respectable, and the service is kind.

Without a doubt, the most remarkable dish of the evening was the heirloom tomato salad – it was the most perfectly homely dish of tomatoes that really made you wish you could have it for lunch every day for the rest of your life (and I don’t even really like tomatoes that much).

The most humorous dish was my pig’s foot – but it’s misleading, because while it’s shaped lie a pig’s foot …

… it’s actually just a pile of shredded pork molded into a foot-shaped construct and then fried … it was delicious, but it’s not like it’s going to challenge Bibou’s pig’s foot or anything …

Sadly, we lack pictures of where we went on Day 1 for wine …  So here’s some boring text …
1)  Revana Family Vineyards:  It’s a somewhat “exclusive” place in that visits are done by appointment only, and the facilities are actually quite small (<15 acres total).  I seem to recall them putting out something like 1000 cases per year, but I could be wrong.  They only do cab (with a splash of other Bordeaux varietals) and have a pretty impressive track record.  Our hostess Nathalie was very nice – perhaps the best of our entire trip.  The tasting was free for us (we’re part of a wine club of their sister property Alexana in Oregon), but there were only two wines (both cab) available.  I’ll go on record right now and say that their 2009 cabernet has such a beautifully feminine flavor profile, with wonderful balance of lively red fruits, tart acidity, and nice length that had I had $150 to drop on a bottle of wine, I would have considered it!  That said, I doubt it’ll score well by wine reviewers, so maybe it’ll go on sale in the future …  Grade: A- (they definitely need at least one more wine to taste – it doesn’t even need to be a third cab – they could just pull from Alexana and give us a glass of Riesling to start as they talk about the winery.)

2)  Back Room Wines:  This wine bar and retail shop is fun place to go.  It’s kind of like a cross between Moore Brothers, a Starbucks, and your favorite pair of jeans.  It’s a bunch of casual guys who know a lot about wine.  The owner is a little awkward, but for small-production wines by some up-and-coming Napa talent, it’s hard to beat ’em.  However, I really wished that they had more of their “fancier” bottlings on tap – inspire me to drop some dough!  Given the atmosphere, I don’t think this is a place I would recommend newbies to go, though, as to most, it’d come off as little more than a boring wine shop.  Grade: B+

Written by afterdinnersneeze

26 September 2012 at 11:32pm

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