A Day In Healdsburg – Good to the Last Drop!

Jordan Wine Tasting & Food Pairing

We spent the last day of our trip in Healdsburg.  I love this town for a lot of different reasons.  The town square is wonderful for dining, shopping and entertainment.  Healdsburg is also centrally located to over 100 wineries!  What’s not to love!

After breakfast at the Vintner’s Inn we headed to J Vineyard & Winery.  Sunset Magazine named J Vineyard & Winery the “Best Tasting Room in the West!”  The vineyard was founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan (yes, the famous Jordan name). The winery began as a producer of sparkling wine.  Now they feature Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in addition to sparkling wine.  The facility is beautiful and they serve a full lunch if you are hungry.  We opted just for the tasting since we had other plans for lunch.  WOW!  We are their newest fans.  It didn’t take us long to decide that this was our favorite new winery and we had a case of wine shipped back to enjoy.

For lunch we visited one of our favorite stops, Oakville Grocery Co.  The location in Healdsburg is located right on the historic square.  It is a great place to pick up picnic supplies or have them make you one of their fantastic sandwiches and dine on their patio.  It is always on our “To Do List” when we are in the area.  Their original location is in Oakville on the Napa Valley side.

We had a 3:00 pm reservation for a tasting appointment at Jordan Vineyard and Winery.  I was very excited about this tasting as we have been a fan of Jordan for years.  They do require reservations and they only have 12 people per tasting so it is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour.  Claire Holloway with Jordan was our host for the tasting and she was extremely knowledgeable about the Jordan history and their wines.  We started the tasting with their Chardonnay in the library and it was very good.  I have always known Jordan for their Cabernet Sauvignon so the Chardonnay was a nice surprise.  We then moved through a secret passage way to an adjoining room for the Cab tasting.  They poured three different Cabernet vintages and we really enjoyed all of them to the last drop!  As you can see in the picture above, they offered a food pairing with the tasting that was perfect.  We took a few bottles with us and also plan to order a bottle of their olive oil that we tried with the food pairing.

After taking lots of pictures of the beautiful estate of Jordan, we decided to drive over to White Oak Vineyards & Winery.  We are in their wine club but haven’t visited in about five years.  We were the only ones at the winery since it was so late on Sunday but it was a fun way to end our trip.  They have a great tasting room and a lot of great tasting reasonably priced wines ranging from $16 – $50.

Our dinner reservations that night were at Scopa in Healdsburg.  We definitely saved the best for last.   Scopa is a fun intimate restaurant with some of the best Italian food we have ever had. We were so lucky to get a reservation…Make sure you call early in the week to get in for the weekend. I had the grilled peach salad followed by the spaghettini with a braised short rib meat sauce. “Amazing” is the best word I can use to describe this meal. Mr. 25th Hour had a cremini mushroom salad as his starter and then the veal Bolognese over tagliatellle pasta I typically can’t finish a pasta dish but I was determined to not let a forkful go to waste. The service was energetic and perfect for the restaurant.

We had a wonderful trip and we can’t wait to plan our next adventure!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and for those on the east coast stay safe!  My thoughts are with you this weekend. ~ 25th Hour Gal


Napa Valley One Tasting At a Time…

My anniversary gift this year was a trip to Sonoma and Napa Valley.  My wonderful husband knows me well and knows that this is one of the best gifts he can give me…or us since he came along as a package deal!  We have been many times before and always discover new favorites as well as revisit old favorites.

We flew into San Francisco and drove out to Napa.  It was a beautiful day.  Our first stop is always Gotts Roadside for  a white and black milkshake & one of the best hamburgers I have ever had (yes better than In-N-Out Burger).  It is always important to have a good solid meal before wine tasting and I can’t think of a better place to do it other than at Gotts’.  We usually go to their location in St. Helena but this time we stopped at the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa.  They do serve wine and beer here but I prefer their fantastic milkshakes as my beverage of choice.  Their hamburgers are big so sharing an order of fries is my recommendation.  Their shakes are fantastic so I don’t recommend sharing one…keep it all to yourself!

After we finished our late lunch at Gotts, we knew we had time for one wine tasting but we wanted to squeeze in two stops.  We didn’t have any tours or tastings pre-arranged so today’s stops were just random.  Our first stop was at Whitehall Lane Winery.  I had tried their Sauvignon Blanc before and it is still very good.  What really got my attention was their new glass closure system for their Cabernet Sauvignon – Vino-Seal.  It looks like a glass cork.  It will be interesting to see if Vino-Seal starts showing up at more wineries as cork shortages become more of a problem.  I really don’t have a problem with screw-tops but I know that there are a lot of wine snobs out there (and you know who you are) that just can’t drink from a bottle without a cork!

We lucked into finding a winery that was open until 6:30 pm.  So, we got to squeeze in a second tasting of the day at Merryvale Vineyards.   Merryvale was the first winery built in Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition.  I highly recommend stopping here just to see the Cask Room.  Two stories of 2,000 gallon casks line the stone walls.  It would be a beautiful room for a special event.  The tasting here was a lot of fun.  The staff was playing Led Zeppelin and seemed ready for a relaxed Friday evening.  The highlight was when our server decided to offer us some of their Profile wine.  It was amazing and a great finish to the day!

From here we headed to the Vintner’s Inn….More later about our Saturday in Napa !

Mrs. PGA

I know I am overdue for a post about my Sonoma/Napa Valley trip but I spent the day yesterday at the PGA Championship Tournament in Atlanta and I find that I just must talk about my day.

First of all, I love golf tournaments.  I love the landscaping at golf courses and I like 96% of the people that attend the tournaments.  You have 3% of the men there that think they are experts.  You can overhear them recommend club choices or explaining why a shot went wrong…but HELLO..when was their last qualifying round?  I mean really, have they ever won more than $20 on a round of golf?

So you are probably wondering, who are the other 1%?  Well, those are the women in attendance that think they are going to meet their husband at the golf tournament.  Yep, Mrs. PGA!  Ok, I have to admit that when I was single I also thought golf tournaments were a great way to meet men.  I have NO problem with that.  The problem I have is that this 1% doesn’t dress for a golf tournament, they dress for a dinner out on Saturday night.  They are in high heels with a sundress, pearls and a large purse.  I’m no expert on guys but I do think they are smart enough to know that when a woman is dressed like that at a golf tournament, they AREN’T there for a golf tournament.  Come on women, dress the part.  You can look really cute in a golf skirt and polo.  As an extra bonus, most golf skirts have pockets so you won’t need that extra large purse that is the size of a small suitcase.  While you are at it if you are planning a trip to the PGA tournament, watch a tournament or two on TV a few weeks before so you know what a Par 5 is and how many shots equal a birdie on a Par 5!

Oh and one more tip, if you are going to a golf tournament, spend a little time walking the course and enjoying the game.

Back soon with my Sonoma trip review…I promise!