Napa, day 2Posted: April 9, 2011
Our second day in Napa was as good as the first. At the risk of sounding like an ad for the Napa Valley tourism board, this is a kick-ass place to visit. Beautiful scenery, super pleasant weather, delightful flowers everywhere, and of course lots of wine.
Trevor declared at breakfast that he was going to have a no-alcohol-til-we-get-to-the-first-winery policy, and I thought that sounded like a good idea. Maybe we should pace ourselves for the long day of drinking, and the big blowout dinner at Bottega.
Then I saw the bloody marys. Best looking bloody mary I’ve ever seen. But still, I resisted.
But when Yvonne & Thad joined us, I quickly realized we were whacked for thinking we could skip the mimosas–it’s her birthday! While drinking our mimosas, I was still eyeballing the bloody marys that passed by. Yes, I am that inconsiderate a drinker as to be looking at other drinks while slogging down whatever’s in my hand. Never one to follow the “love the one you’re with” rule. Yvonne mentioned that she’s never had a bloody mary, so I had to fetch her one. And share it with her. Oh my. It was as tasty as it looked. Turns out the secret is Absolute Peppar (sic) and celery salt on the rim of the glass. Good to know.
Our driver arrived as the hotel bartender, Vivianna, was whipping up a few bloody mary to-go cups. First stop today was Quixote winery, which was a huge hit with everyone and my personal favorite. From the quirky architecture to the super cool wine guy Robert, to the hillside setting to the funky artwork to the wine, yes the wine. Quixote was fabulous on every level. More details to come when I am not at the mercy of the cranky iPad.
The only thing that could be better was champagne, so it was off to Mumm to “get numb,” as Trevor said. A glass of bubbly in Mumm’s beautiful garden overlooking a view of Napa at its best made me very, very happy. A trip to the ladies’ room yielded this quote by Betty Davis: “There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne,” and this from John Maynard Keynes, “My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne.”
Well, I sure don’t want to have any regrets.
We left Napa and hit V Sattui again for picnic supplies and ate a quick but yummy lunch before trekking over to Stag’s Leap for our appointment in the tasting room. I and made it my mission to keep pace with Keith & Jill, the champion drinkers so far. I was right in there, maybe even ahead if you count the mimosa, but I wasn’t crazy about any of the 8 wines we tasted, plus they got a distress call from home with a possible broken arm for Evan, age 6, who took a tumble off a trampoline. That kind of call ramps up the drinking significantly, so I ceded advantage to Team Cremer.
We all decided to call it a day after Stag’s Leap, mainly because the 2 wineries we tried to visit after SL were already closed. We consoled ourselves with a bottle of champagne in the limo and made it back to the Villagio in time for happy hour. Some quality time on the patio with The Birthday Girl and our menfolk with a sassy Sauvignon Blanc, and I think I took the lead from Team Cremer. We have a little downtime before dinner to gain a second wind, and I predict victory tonight.
Not that it’s a competition, of course.
If you’re wondering how I’m feeling, besides slightly buzzed, and whether I’m keeping up with the pack, the answers are: really good, and just fine. I admit, before the trip I was prepared to have to duck out early, maybe take a rest in the limo, and was for sure thinking a little toes-up would be necessary each day. Trevor mentioned that I could take it easy if needed today, to which I said, I’ll take it easy when I’m dead.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a full report on dinner at Bottega. We’re at the chef’s table, so I hope Michael Chiarello brings his A game.