Sips and Bites in Napa Valley

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Napa is such a special place. Between the out of this world cuisine, every delicious type of wine you can imagine, the views and the thoughtfulness of the boutique sized wineries…  I fall more and more in love each trip. A break at some of the massive wineries are a must stop, especially a bubble break at Chandon, Mumm or Domaine Carneros. What is really special to me is finding the tiny wineries that are off the beaten path.  The tours are smaller but more unique. Most of the time you get better service, a more complex tour, heavier pours and if you’re lucky…  Better wine!  A lot of the mainstream wineries feel very turn and burn. Get in, pay and get out. I’d rather relax, chat and enjoy the wine.

Where to stay?  You know…  I’m sure the hotels are lovely in Napa, Yountville, St Helena and Sonoma but I’ve always stayed at an Airbnb. I love Airbnb and especially love Airbnb in Napa. Something about having a porch, hot tub and kitchen is worth the little extra effort to find a comfy house. If you’re planning a trip with friends or another couple, getting a house is usually the cheaper option as well!  Not a member yet?  Use my CODE to get $25 in Airbnb credits to use anywhere!

Boutique Sized Wineries:

Saintsbury –  Where do I start with this place?  I love coming here.  The grounds are small and gorgeous. The employees are fantastic (ask for Peter!)  They’re known for their Pinot Noir but everything I’ve tasted has been wonderful.  I’m crushing on their Vin Gris of Pinot Noir hardcore right now.  Crisp wine perfect for the warmer weather. We currently have the “Everything But Chardonnay” membership.

VGS – Another small winery I’ve fallen in love with.  The grounds are so modern and beautiful.  You must do the food and wine pairing!  Enjoy 4 of their wines, each served in its own specifically designated Reidel glass paired with food bites from the famed Michelin starred La Toque Restaurant.  Every single sip was to die for.  It’s hard to find a winery where you love absolutely every bottle but at VGS it’s easy!  If you’re lucky the owner will be there and you’ll get to hear his story.  He made our trip last weekend!

Delectus – This small family-owned winery handcrafts luxury red wines from select vineyards throughout Napa Valley and Knights Valley.  Their tasting is delicious.  We haven’t stopped by their new tasting room (they were closed last weekend) but it looked great from the outside. These wines are a must taste.

I absolutely adore these three wineries as you can probably tell.

Bubbles:

Mumm – Turn and burn but tasty.  Pretty view and good service!  Cannot buy bottles here but a lot of different by the glass and tasting options.  Free tastings for wine club members.

Chandon – I enjoy Chandon because sometimes you don’t free like doing a tasting and just want to sit, chat and enjoy a bottle.  You can do that here.  Affordable too!

Domaine Carneros – The view is worth the stop alone.  I enjoy their tastings as well.

Schramsberg – Best bubbles in Napa?  Possibly.  You pay for it but they are to die for!

Where To Eat:

Bistro Jeanty – So cozy and cute.  Awarded Michelin star the past three years.  French bistro style dining with amazing food and service.

Redd – This was the first restaurant I ever had dinner at in Yountville.  What a first dinner!  Very inviting spot, not too fancy interior but the food is melt in your mouth delicious.  Most come to Napa Valley for the wine but Redd’s cocktails are killer.

Redd Wood – Famed chef Richard Reddington’s second, more casual outpost, this spot is a superbly stylish Italian-inspired eatery.  Casual, great entrees and unique wood fired pizzas.

Gott’s – Because sometimes you just need a greasy burger after drinking wine all day.

Dean & Deluca – One stop shop for all your wine country needs.  Gourmet cheeses and desserts, coffee shop and great sandwiches on the go!  I’m a huge fan of this spot, especially when you need a quick bite but are rushing to a tasting appointment.

Oxbow Market – A 40,000 square foot marketplace, which includes a scenic outdoor deck with seating along the Napa River, features a diverse tenant mixture of local food vendors, artisan cafes and an organic produce outlet for local farms. Perfect when you’re with a bigger group who can’t decide on what they want for lunch.  Options for everyone!

French Laundry – 20 years of dining perfection.  I still have yet to (want to blow a grand) to go here but it’s on my bucket list.

It’s hard to find a bad restaurant in Napa but these all stand out for me.

What are your favorites? What am I missing out on?

Cheers!

This entry was posted in Travel.

SF Spotlight: Scoot Networks

SCOOT       Photo via Scoot Networks

When we first moved to SF, we both bought new bicycles.  Knowing that we’d use them for fun + exercise on the weekends and possibly even commuting to work and back, we were picky about what we purchased.  Learning to bike in the city has been an adventure but as long as you’re smart about it, you’ll survive.

Move along to a few months later.

My husband and I kept seeing red scooters all around San Francisco with the “Scoot” logo.  What on earth are these and how do we sign up?!  Sign up HERE for $5 of free rides by the way!  So… after some Googling, we signed up and took a quick 30 minute intro class.  We passed with flying colors and off we go!

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You can use Scoot for commuting to work, running errands or just scooting around town (my personal favorite!) All scoots come with helmets and don’t require a motorcycle license.

 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to find parking
  • Fun way to see the city
  • Not difficult to learn to drive
  • Much faster than the bus
  • Multiple Scoots at some locations (great for when you’re renting with someone else)
  • Better for the environment (emits 2% of what a car emits when driving in the city)

 

Cons:

  • Only in SF
  • Spotty app (shows locations that aren’t available)
  • Few (very steep) hills in the city you cannot get up
  • Not much available parking on the west side of SF

 

We love Scootin’ around San Francisco.  Sure beats riding Muni…

Sign up HERE! See you on the road.

Avocados For Breakfast

Avocados for breakfast is a must do!  As much as I’d love to eat a Coconut Chobani Greek yogurt every morning, I’m tying to stay away from that much sugar so early in the day. Too bad they’re delicious and easy to grab and go. Not to mention they’re cheap and filling too.

Switch out your daily yogurt every once in awhile with a Avocado Baked Egg!

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Directions:

  • Halve your avocado and remove the stone. Scoop out some of the good stuff (about 1 tablespoon) so you have a hole big enough for your egg.  If you skip this step, your avocado won’t hold enough egg.
  • Put your avocados on a small baking pan.  I always put down a small piece of aluminum foil in case the egg oozes out a bit.  It makes clean up quick and easy.
  • The avocados I buy are fairly small so I just use one egg but definitely use two eggs if your avocado is large. Crack the egg into small ramekin. Pour the eggs slowly into the hole of the avocado.                     IMG_4435
  • Season with salt and pepper if you’d like. Maybe even add some hot sauce or a small piece of goat cheese (like I do!)
  • Bake at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until your egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
  • Let the avocado halves sit for a minute to cool and add salsa, more hot sauce or just enjoy as is!                                                                            IMG_4437