Thank you for stopping by and visiting my Bordeaux Blonde page! Today I wanted to share some important information that is taking place in the wine world! Some of the most unique, rarest, and highly coveted wines are being released! Now, this year has definitely been a year none of us could have predicted. We have had to postpone or cancel many of our favorite events this year. From sports games to concerts, shows and so so much more. While things have drastically changed I do have a fantastic announcement about an annual wine event that is now taking place virtually.
TODAY, November 9th is the kickoff for the Premiere Napa Valley wine brand featuring some amazing wine! From now until this Saturday the Premiere Napa Valley wines from Napa Valley Auction are kicking off a set of virtual events all week long. During these online events, you will discover why these wines are the most unique and highly sought after wines ever.
Now for those who are not familiar, every year in February, Napa Valley hosts the famous Napa Valley Auction. This is a truly special event where hundreds of Napa Valley vintners come together to showcase their limited edition wine for the auction itself. At the auction, wine sellers are welcomed to sample the lots from the vintners participating. There are usually over 1,000 wine sellers to be exact who attend the exciting Napa Valley Auction in hopes of coveting one of these exclusive wine lots.
At Napa Valley Auction no expense is spared for some looking to get their hands on some of this incredible wine. The average price per lot at the auction all varies and depends on the winery, popularity, quality of the wine produced, the lot size, and so many other factors. This past year in 2020 the highest bid went to Rudd Estate in Oakville for a five case lot of their 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon with a pretty hefty price tag…an astonishing $2,000.00 per bottle (there are twelve bottles in each wine case).
The Premiere Napa Valley label is releasing the wines to the retailers or restaurants that purchased them. With only one lot produced per winery under this label, these wines are some of the most exclusive wines as they are such a limited production. Some of these wines are from winery members such as Silver Oak, Honig Vineyards, Keenen Vineyards, Hourglass, Cain, and many more. With this year’s Premiere Release Week being virtual, you are invited to join the education sessions to learn even more about this one of a kind wines.
Now this all sounds fabulous but how do we get some of this incredible wines into your glass at home? Well beginning today there are links now available at premierenapavalley.com for you to order your favorite wines from the Premiere Napa Valley Brand! I had the opportunity to bring the 2017 Honig Vineyard & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon to dinner while I was visiting Yountville, and let me tell you all it was one of the most fantastic wines I have ever had the pleasure of sipping on. These wines will not disappoint and will really showcase the world renowned wine that is made int he beautiful Napa Valley. Thanks for reading!
Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by my blog here at Bordeaux Blonde. I have a full recap from the most perfect 24 hours in wine country to share with you! More specifically I spent this trip in the town of Yountville. If you haven’t visited Yountville yet, you need to add this small but mighty town to your travel list. Yountville is known for outstanding wine tasting rooms, luxurious hotels, and world famous restaurants. Yountville has the most Michelin star award restaurants in one concentrated area in the entire world to be exact! Here is a little more about my trip and how I spent 24 hours in this amazing town:
During our trip we were lucky enough to experience a FANTASTIC hotel in Yountville, the heart of Napa Valley. Hotel Yountville, a luxury 4 star hotel is located centrally in Yountville, walking distance from world class food and wine tasting rooms. Home to “The Spa“, a true oasis and place to relax and rejuvenate during your travels. The Spa has a full list and wide range of services and treatments. Their outdoor pool is surrounded by cabanas and fire-pits with a tranquil ambiance.
The guest rooms are so beautiful it honestly made me want to stay in the room all day and enjoy the field stone fireplace and peaceful balcony. The bathroom included a large soaking tub and separate shower. I loved that there was also a separate vanity area for getting ready and plenty of counter space! When we arrived in our room we were welcomed with a cheese and fruit platter along with a bottle of Stewart Cellars, a local Yountville tasting room.
Lucy – This restaurant was a quick little stroll from our hotel over to the Bardessono Hotel. It was also our first night in Yountville and the food was so spectacular. I could not stop eating it long enough to get more photos (plus it was pretty dark by that point). To accompany this dinner with longtime friends, I decided to bring a special surprise, a limited release from Honig Vineyards for the Premiere Release Week for Napa Auction. Let me tell you folks, this paired perfectly with my seasonal Basil Pasta with Barlotti beans, garden cherry tomatoes, and pancetta crumble.
The ambiance of the restaurant was idyllic and the service was next level. The cuisine is so fresh as they practice “farm-to-fork” with their own garden at the property. I could honestly taste how fresh the ingredients were in my meal. I can’t recommend Lucy enough; if you are in the wine country area and are searching for a spectacular restaurant, Lucy is the perfect choice!
Heritage Oak – Alright lets talk about the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Now, if you saw my IG stories during our breakfast at Heritage Oak, I know you were secretly drooling as all the food looked so mouthwatering. The avocado toast was LOADED with scrambled eggs (normally comes with poached egg), pickled veggies, and arugula all on thick multi grain toast. I also ordered the hotcakes for the table to share, topped with California blue berries, maple syrup, pistachios, farina, crème fraiche, and local yogurt.
Protea – After our first wine tasting that day, we walked over to Protea Restaurant for some lunch, a Caribbean cuisine fast casual restaurant. We were greeted by the Executive Chef and Owner, Anita Cartagena. She recommended an array of items from their menu, including their famous Calabrian Chili and Potato Empanadas. After we had these empanadas, I could see why they are a popular menu favorite, they were DELICIOUS! Everything we ordered was top notch and we were definitely full by the time we left the restaurant.
What is one of my FAVORITE things about Yountville? Everything is pretty much within walking distance. So no extra cost for transportation is required! If you are not looking to walk the mile and a half from one end of Yountville to the other, they have the most adorable FREE trolley to help give you a ride. The trolley makes some pretty frequent stops throughout town or you can contact the driver directly for a ride.
Please note: the trolley was labeled for social distancing and was very clean. We were the only ones to ride the trolley that morning as it was a Monday and early in the day. The driver was so friendly and was wearing a mask for our duration of the trip.
JCB Collection – Now, if you are ready to experience something completely out of the ordinary and extravagant in wine country, look no further than the JCB Collection tasting room in Yountville. As soon as you walk into this tasting room you are moved with the creative and elaborate vision and design of Jean Charles Boisset.
From multiple hanging Baccarat Crystal chandeliers, to floor to ceiling high glass cases filled with exquisite and uniquely designed jewelry, your eyes will find something new each time. The wine bottles are beautifully designed, and they even have fully crystalized bottles on display. They also have some incredible gift options for the upcoming holidays that you can check out here.
Hill Family Estate – Just a 5 minute drive from our hotel in Yountville, the newly designed Hill Family Estate welcomed us for our last tasting of the day. This family run winery also has a tasting room located in downtown Yountville.
It was really exciting to get to visit the vineyards for this tasting experience. The area was set with two lounge areas for tastings with vineyards surrounding. They recently just planted an orchard as well next to two giant beautiful oak trees. Down a little path between the two oak trees is a private table for up to eight guests for group tastings.
Overall, our 24 hours in Yountville was a dream and made me fall in love with this town even more. Everywhere we went during our trip was great and socially distanced. We were truly able to enjoy our time in wine country. I cannot wait to get back to the town of Yountville and I hope you can experience a wine country getaway soon!
Hello and welcome to my Bordeaux Blonde page, thank you so much for visiting! Now, if you have been following along for a while you know I LOVE a great wine glass. As I have continue to grow my passion for wine and learn more, it is amazing to see how the wine glass can have a lot of impact on your wine tasting experience. I have truly stepped up my game over the years from my hand-me-down wine glasses that I used for every single varietal, to Libbey wine glasses that truly enhance wine the drinking experience.
I have been using Libbey wine glasses for over awhile now and it is hard to pick a favorite! Their selection is not limited to only producing high quality wine glasses, they also have barware, serveware, and other drinkware to add to your collection.
I recently received this Handcrafted Wood and Marble Cheeseboard that I am obsessed with! The board came also came with three cheese knifes to accompany your cheeseboard creation. I just used this beautiful platter to create this delicious cheeseboard…it was definitely hard to share!
Libbey has also just launched their new Signature Wine Gift Sets perfect timing for the holiday season! The gift sets are their finest glassware which arrive in a designed box, great for gifting for the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or any occasion! From this new gift set selection I chose the Signature Greenwich All-Purpose Set. The beautifully crafted angular bowl allows for an enhanced experience of the wine’s aromas and flavors. These glasses are also 16 ounces and are dishwasher safe!
If you are interested in the products from Libbey, I highly recommend checking out their website directly. I also put together a Holiday Gift Guide on my Amazon storefront for some of my favorites! Cheers to celebrating your next glass with Libbey!
Now I will be honest with you guys, every time I visit Santa Barbara one thing is true, I fall more and more in love with the destination each time. Literally I have to stop myself from packing my bags and just moving to this beautiful place. It is the perfect combination of great wine tasting, the beach, shopping, and some delicious restaurants. For this trip my two friends Aly & Ellie joined me as I headed to Santa Barbara for a weekend full of food and wine. We honestly had the best time and I am so excited to share with you all about our adventures and how you can visit Santa Barbara for a COVID-style safe getaway. Everywhere we went we felt comfortable with things socially distanced and all employees were wearing masks at each place we went to.
Ballin’ on a budget:
This trip we stayed in the newly remodeled Hyatt Place Santa Barbara. I am a World of Hyatt member and was able to use my rewards and points to stay at this location. They had things very socially distant and all the employees wore masks. They offered complimentary breakfast and complimentary water and soda throughout the day. Our parking in their garage was also free, great way to save on expenses! The hotel was a quick Uber to the downtown locations and was a great option for our trip.
Ready to splurge:
For my next trip to Santa Barbara I definitely want to stay closer to the wharf area in downtown which is walking distance to so many things.
Hotel Californian is literally a dream hotel right across from the water and in the heart of the action in downtown. We had the opportunity to walk around the hotel and every inch was an “instagramable” moment.
There are many great options where to stay in this area depending on where you want to be so I would recommend visiting the Visit Santa Barbara website for more descriptions on each place.
Cajé Coffee Roasters – Visit Cajé for some truly gourmet and creative coffee cocktails – like seriously, the coffee “cocktails” are incredible and so beautiful!
Industrial Eats – With wood fire pizza, New American eats, a deli, and more, there is something for everyone. As we were enjoying our wine tasting, our tour guide & driver Scott, went and picked up our lunch selections. We were able to set up a private lunch at the winery and eat our food while continuing our tasting.
Bouchon – For dinner the first evening we were researching where to go and found the amazing California French cuisine restaurant, Bouchon. In a quaint outdoor courtyard with bistro style seating, I felt like we were transported to France all while being in the downtown Santa Barbara area. We decided to each get the Cabernet-Braised Short Rib. I substituted the roasted brussels for broccolini (delish!) and the creamy polenta was a superb component of the meal. I would be lying if I said this meal was anything less than mouth-watering as the short rib was so tender.
Slate Catering Co. – At our tasting with Jamie Slone Wines, we had a nice surprise of a yummy cheese & charcuterie box provided by Slate Catering Co. It was a great pairing during our wine tasting.
Convivo Restaurant– Our dinner the second evening was definitely one for the books as we headed downtown to Convivo. A beautiful Italian and Mediterranean inspired oceanfront restaurant located in the Santa Barbara Inn hotel.
We began our evening with lamb meatballs with a chickpea, rhubarb, tapenade hummus side. Next we chose a curly kale and crispy chickpea salad and an insulate mercato, YUM!
For the main courses we had the Guinzaglio pasta, a 7 hour veal bologngnese and Parmigiano. YES, it was as fabulously delicious as it sounds. The other pasta we chose was the Bucatini, a spicy pancetta with tomato & chile. Needless to say by the end of this meal we were STUFFED!
Their drinks were also great, and I highly recommend the Espresso Martini!
In the vineyards:
Folded Hills – This winery is full of family history with a long line of generations of farmers. The family tree dates back to Lilly Anheuser and Adolphus Bucsh, that’s right the iconic Anheuser-Busch Companies headquartered in St. Louis. The current generation of family landed in beautiful California and began their passion of wine with Folded Hills. They have a fantastic portfolio of wines to sip on AND let’s not forget about the cheeseboard we had with our tasting as well!
Pence Vineyards & Winery – This winery is focused on the quest for producing Burgundian-inspires wines at their estate. They have an indoor tasting room at their main entrance of the winery, however we were in for a surprise! Our tasting occurred in their quaint outdoor lawn area next to the vineyards and outdoor scenery.
Strange Family Vineyards – As we drove through the private gated entrance to the winery, we were blown away by the views on the hillside. Not to mention the grounds of the winery were gorgeous and had chandeliers hanging from the trees and an infinity pool overlooking at the vineyards.
Downtown tasting rooms:
Jamie Slone Wines – Located in the Santa Barbara presidio area, this wine tasting room has an eclectic indoor tasting room. Outside they have bistro tables set in their Terraza and socially distanced. We tasted through a selection of their wines and enjoyed learning more about the history of the Stone family from Jamie Slone himself!
J. Wilkes Wines – Located in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone neighborhood, across the street from the wharf and Hotel Californian Hotel. This wine tasting room is apart of the iconic J. Wilkes portfolio and offered a great selection of wine. One of their wine tasting experiences includes a wine and chocolate pairing. They also have a full lunch menu to choose from, including cheese & charcuterie boards!
For our wine tour we had the opportunity to join Sustainable Wine Tours for an incredible experience. We were picked up from our hotel by Scott, the owner and our host for the day. Nothing like riding through wine country in style in a Tesla SUV. Scott brought us sparkling wine to enjoy while on the way to our tastings, don’t worry it is completely legal as they have the same license as a limo service.
Everything was set up for us for the entire day including lunch being picked up and getting to picnic at one of our wine tastings. (Scott even brought hand sanitizer and a whole set up for us with plates and silverware for our meal!) I LITERALLY cannot recommend Sustainable Wine Tours enough and hope you check them out for setting up your wine tasting!
Overall, we had such a great time touring through the area and cannot wait to go back. We want to send a huge thank you to Visit Santa Barbara for helping host and welcome us for this girls weekend getaway! I hope this guide helped as you plan your trip to visit Santa Barbara!
If you have had the opportunity to visit Napa Valley and have driven on Highway 29 you know it is a scenic drive filled with winery after winery. One of the most iconic wineries on this drive is none other than the beautiful Cakebread Cellars. The winery was first built back in 1973 in beautiful wine country and released 157 cases of Chardonnay. The Cakebread Cellars winery has come along way since then with now over hundreds of thousands of cases. With a recently remolded tasting room and breathtaking grounds in Napa Valley, a wine tasting experience will be very memorable.
Cakebread Cellars has become one of Napa Valleys most recognizable wines throughout the growth of wine country. With the winery’s growth over the years it is known for producing high quality wine. The Cakebread Chardonnay varietal has become one of my all time favorites with it’s aromas of citrus and a refreshing light palette. This Chardonnay is fermented in 100% French Oak for an eight month period. With 18% malolactic fermentation, this Chardonnay has a great balance and medium acidity.
Just a few short years after Cakebread Cellars was established, in 1976 they released their first Cabernet Sauvignon varietal. This Cabernet Sauvignon is truly an outstanding wine with bold aromas of dark fruit and strong earthy notes. There is a soft finish on the palette and medium to high acidity and tannins. With 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc, this wine is a delicious combination of Napa Valley grapes. I am very much looking forward to sipping this wine with some food pairings for the upcoming holidays!
All in all Cakebread Cellars is a winery that you definitely need to check out and enjoy. Whether you are able to make it to the winery or pick up their wines from your local grocery store, I know you will enjoy!
Do you dream of someday visiting the rolling hills and breathtaking landscape of iconic Italian wine regions? Envision sipping on delicious wine varietals harvested from Tuscany, Veneto, and Lombardy, all produced with the intent of creating beautiful wines. It has always been a bucket list goal of mine to travel to Italy and experience wine tasting in one of the most gorgeous places in the world. While I may not be able to physically be in Italy right now and make my dream a reality, I am lucky to share some incredible Italian wine that we can all sip on together in the meantime.
Caposaldo Wines are hang-crafted varietals all harvested from the classic wine regions mentioned above. With Caposaldo meaning “benchmark” in Italian, their mission is to create varietals that are the standard for amazing and high quality Italian wines. All grapes are hand harvested and they make everything from Chianti, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Moscato, and more (including a Sparkling Peach that is definitely on my list of wine to try!).
Here I have two varietals Caposaldo shared with me that I think you will definitely want to pick up at your nearest wine retailer or online. The other night we enjoyed this 2018 Chianti which is harvested from rolling hills in Tuscany (can you imagine how beautiful!). This blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malvasia offers a versatile food pairing selection and is an “easy to sip” wine.
The second varietal, a 2019 Pinot Grigio is a refreshing and crips varietal harvested from Northern Italy in Delle Venezie. This wine is made of 100% Pinot Grigio grapes and is completely oak-free. This wine also offers a ranging of pairing options from cheese, to pizza, to white meat.
Next time you catch yourself daydreaming of an Italian getaway, make sure you are sipping on some Caposaldo wine in the process.
My perception and thoughts about wine have significantly changed over the years. Wine now means a way to bring people together and inspire conversation with those you are surrounded by. Whether it be hosting a holiday meal, to learning how wine is made, to going wine tasting, or from one of my wine Wednesday evenings, wine brings people together and creates a story. The art of the story and the appreciation of wine is what led Anthony and Michelle Faustini of “Faustini Wines” to begin their journey in the wine industry.
Circle back to 2005 when the story first began, this is when Anthony and Michelle wanted to take their love of wine to the next level. The creation of Faustini Wines really became a passion project for them and their family. When deciding where they would source their grapes, they landed on one of the most iconic wine regions in the world, Napa Valley. They then set out on a mission to create high end luxury wines that tell a story and create new memories.
Of the three varietals they sent over for me to try, each are labeled with their family crest and each has its own unique story. They have also included a special offer for 20% off this three pack bundle! Use promotional code “Blonde20” or the following link:
The Faustini Beach House No. 34 Sauvignon Blanc tells the love story that Anthony and Michelle share as this is when they decided to combine their two stories into one. In beautiful Newport, RI is the Castle Hill Inn where at Beach House No. 34, Anthony proposed to Michelle. This wine is all about creating new and memorable experiences. This medium bodied Sauv Blanc, harvested from Rutherford, pairs great with any vegetarian or white meat dishes. Also, perfect with a light salad!
The Faustini 1023 Cabernet Sauvignon is sure to light up any room and create new memories just as the meaning of the wine did for Anthony and Michelle. The number 1023 has such a significant meaning as it was the exact time in which their daughter Ava was born. This wine represents significant moments in our lives that we will always remember and cherish. This 2016 varietal is filled with a dark-fruited palate and full tannins, perfect to pair with any red meat or hard cheese.
While the Faustini 2016 Malbec may not have a unique and distinctive name on the label, this amazing wine definitely has a story of its own. Malbec is not the first varietal you think of when you think high quality wines from Napa Valley. The wine country is primarily dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. However, the mighty Malbec grape grows beautifully in the valley creating some incredible luxury wine. I think this wine is one that everyone should try. You’ll be sure to be left speechless by the full-bodied complexity and velvety texture of this wine.
The next time you are pondering the wine list at a restaurant and come across a Faustini Wine, you should definitely look no further and sip on one of their varietals. You can also visit their online wine shop to purchase and enjoy!
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Howdy y’all and welcome to my page Bordeaux Blonde, thank you so much for visiting! It may come as a surprise as I have always lived in California, but I am a huge country fan and I was raised on country music. I have a lot of family that lives in Texas. That is why I am very excited to share all about a winery based in the Lone Star State!
Born out of a love for wine and friendship, 12 FIRES Winery and Vineyard joined the Texas wine industry in 2016. Three best friends decided to join forces and begin their wine journey. The owners Duke, Zach, and Mike all met at the Corps of Cadets training program at Texas A&M University back in the early 1990s. Their friendship has lasted throughout the years and eventually led to the purchase of 12 acres of beautiful land in the Texas Hill Country area. Their mission has remained consistent to help put Texas wines on the map and create 100% true Texas wines for wine lovers everywhere to enjoy.
Now let’s talk wine! One of the most favorite grapes in the state has been the Tempranillo grape since 1996 as it loves the similar climate Texas has to the southern Spain region. The Tempranillo grape has been commonly referred to as the Cabernet Sauvignon of the Lone Star State. The 2017 Tempranillo from 12 Fire Wines has hints of pepper and spice on the nose with a clean smooth finish on the palate and light tannins. This medium bodied and fruit forward Tempranillo will pair with any Beef or Pork dish.
Petit Verdot has always been an intriguing wine to me and one that I have not had the opportunity to taste as frequently as I feel like it was not as popular while I was living in Napa. The Petit Verdot grape, originally from the Bordeaux Region of France, is a more delicate grape and difficult to grow in cooler climates. Grown in the Strawberry Vineyard of West Texas, this full bodied 2017 Petit Verdot from 12 Fire Wines is tannin rich. I would pair with a hard cheese and compliment with a steak dinner.
This Albarino is harvested in the Texas Plains from the Narra Vineyard, and exemplifies how well this grape can grow in the Texas climate. Enriched with a small amount of dry Orange Muscat for aroma characteristics, this Albarino is well balanced and has nice acidity. Perfectly complemented with any seafood entree.
If you are looking to broaden your wine palate and try some Texas wines I suggest venturing over to the 12 FIRES Winery & Vineyard website at 12fires.com where they frequently offer discounted specials on their wines and on shipping. It is going to be exciting to see how the wine industry in Texas continues to grow over the next couple of years. Cheers and thank you for reading along!
Welcome everyone to my page and thank you so much for visiting! I am very excited to share a tasty new at home activity I know we will all enjoy! Now, I know that the scenery for our “usual” wine and food tasting experiences have looked a little different lately as we are all spending more time at home versus tasting rooms and restaurants. However, I think there are some great options to enjoy all of our time at home, including one of my personal favorites, a virtual chocolate and wine pairing. How often can you say you had the chance to sit down with a professional Chef Owner and top Chocolatier in America from the comfort of your own living room or kitchen? Well, my friends over at Delysia Chocolatier, recently named 2020’s Best Chocolatier in the Americas, is hosting a delicious tasting experience that you definitely want to be apart of!
Their new DELIGHT Immersive Chocolate Experience Series is kicking off with their “Wine a Little” virtual experience this upcoming Saturday, August 29th, also known as “National Red Wine Day”. Chef Owner & Chocolatier Nicole Patel will be hosting this exciting (and delicious) tasting to showcase some of their award winning chocolate truffles and how to pair with wine for a perfect combination.Nicole has taken her knowledge and passion for chocolate all the way to beautiful Aspen to speak at the renowned Food & Wine Classic. Sounds like a dream job and career to me!
Now I know many of you have already gone wine tasting and know the “proper” steps for how to test wine, but did you know that there is a way to properly taste chocolate? Don’t worry I was somehow not informed of this either but I am very excited to learn from the professional herself at this chocolate and wine event. I think this experience will be a perfect way to mix up a virtual evening with friends, an at home date night, or you can simply enjoy this dessert pairing after dinner.
If you would like to participate in the “Wine a Little” experience make sure to visit the Delysia Chocolatier website to reserve your spot. They also have a fabulous list of wines you can pick up from the grocery store or wine market that will pair perfectly with the chocolate truffles. The four delicious truffles can be delivered with temperature controlled shipping right to your front door! Make sure to place them in the refrigerator or a cool spot in your home so they don’t melt. I hope to see you all in two weeks and we can sip on some wine and munch on the truffles!
Hello and welcome to an exciting edition of Winery Wednesday! Today I am happy to share all about one of my favorite wineries to visit in all of Napa Valley, Clos Du Val. Now you may have seen Clos Du Val in your local grocery or wine store, but did you know a few years ago that the winery almost cut their production in half!? The winery made this drastic move to focus on producing very high quality wines and not as much on the mass distribution. Something that I find to be very impressive and says a lot about the winery and knowing the wines you are purchasing are great quality.
When I lived in Napa I has the opportunity to visit Clos Du Val a couple of times and even took my family there to celebrate Father’s Day last year. At the time they had a special edition wine label specifically for Father’s Day with an engraved tie and it was so cool. Needless to say my dad loved it and we had a great time! For this Father’s Day, check out their experience packs for some gift ideas!
Their new tasting room has gorgeous view overlooking the vineyards. The winery is in the heart of the Stag’s Leap District, a region known for making some outstanding wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Ever heard of the “Judgement of Paris”? The blind wine tasting competition in France in 1976 that really put Napa on the map and made it a household wine region. Well, Clos Du Val’s 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon made it into the judgement that beat the French wines, and a decade later their Cabernet took home the grand prize of first place. Talk about some tasty Cabernet!
Here I have featured four varietals from the winery that I know you will all love and enjoy!
Summertime wine: Both the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc and the Pinot Noir Rosé are fantastic choices to sip on all summer long during these warm days.
Anytime wine: The 2018 Estate Pinot Noir and their 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon are delicious for any evening.
Hello and thank you for visiting my page! In this edition of Wine Wednesday I wanted to share some popular wine books you can read during these crazy quarantine times. As I am now in the sixth week of shelter in place here in Southern California, I am looking to continue my wine education…and not just through sipping it in a wine glass! lol. While puzzles, countless hours of streaming Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Amazing prime, are all great, I definitely want to take advantage of all of this new free time. Currently, I have been furloughed from my job as I work in the hospitality industry, and if you have heard not very many people are traveling right now. So what is better than sitting back, relaxing, sipping on some wine and reading a good book!?
I have included four books that are all popular wine books that I have either already started or have on my quarantine bucket list:
In this novel, award-winning journalist, Bianca Bosker, shares her personal quest as she dives into the intriguing world of Sommeliers, and the wine industry as she tastes her way through some of the most well known wines in the world.
Happy Wine Wednesday everyone! How are we all doing during these crazy times? Does everyone still have enough wine left to get us through the rest of quarantine? I know mine is definitely running a little low because if there is one thing getting me through missing out on wine tasting, it is wine at home! Therefore, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite varietals of wine and see which is your favorite. The Visit Napa Valley site is also a great tool to learn more about the different types of varietals grown in wine country.
The powerhouse, the game changer to any meal with a good steak or heavy pasta dish, the most planted grape in all of Napa Valley. Thats right, Cabernet Sauvignon has over twenty thousand acres of vineyards planted in wine country. But I am not going to lie, the first time I tried Cabernet, heck the first time I tried wine in general, believe it or not I was not a fan…say what!?!? I know crazy right? I waited until I was almost 22 to try my first sip of alcohol, yes you read that correctly, I did not even want to drink wine at church when I was growing up. I simply had no desire, but once I began to try different kinds of wine, my palette grew to love the complexity and deliciousness that wine offers.
This included the robust Cabernet Sauvignon and once I moved to Napa Valley in 2017, the heart of wine country, I fell even more in love with Cabernet. Since this varietal is the most planted in all of wine country, it is quite impressive to see how each winery (over 400 in Napa) puts their own spin on this iconic wine. Some of my favorite tasting experiences in Napa have been side by sides of Cabernet Sauvignon. Over time this varietal has become my favorite, the bolder the better!
My earliest memories of Chardonnay was at family BBQs at the pool with you guessed it, ice cubes in the glass. I had always heard white wine was “unhealthy” for you and contained a lot of sugar. Therefore, I actually avoided all white wine for a long time. Thankfully, some good friends of mine first introduced me to “good” high quality white wine, and I was intrigued. I had never known white wine, especially Chardonnay, to be so complex and beautiful.
After trying that delicious Chardonnay with my friends, my passion for wine tasting only grew. Especially since the first wines you usually try on most of the winery’s portfolio while tasting is a white wine, whether Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, etc. Going wine tasting was exciting because it was something new every time, think of trying a new restaurant every weekend. Each winery has its own unique story, wines, atmosphere, and experience.
I do not remember the exact moment I first tried a Pinot Noir or even what winery it was from, but I do know that I fell in love. Lately, I have been exploring my romance with Pinot Noir even more to analyze all the complexities of this wine. I like that it isn’t a knock your socks off kind of wine like a big Cabernet can be. Most Pinot Noirs are smooth, elegant, and pair perfectly with a light pasta, chicken, or even a stew. Some can be bolder with more tannins, which shows the range this grape can produce based on growing climates and production from various wineries.
While I was living in Napa Valley, most great Pinots were being sourced from the Sonoma Coast. This wine region is known for producing some very high quality Pinot Noir from the colder climates in the appellation which allows the grapes aromas to develop. When you have the chance to try some Sonoma Pinot Noir you are in for a real treat!
During these crazy quarantine times, these three varietals seem to be my go-to lately. As we are headed into warmer weather here is Southern California (can’t wait for summer!) I probably won’t be drinking as much Cabernet Sauvignon. However, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are still perfect for the warmer months, including my other two favorites; Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé.
Happy Winery Wednesday everyone, thank you so much for visiting my page! In this edition of Winery Wednesday I want to share with you a pretty great winery to visit if you are heading to Napa. I have been to Napa Cellars a handful of times now and each time I enjoy it more and more. Everyone at Napa Cellars always is so friendly and welcoming, you definitely feel a sense of comfort and relaxation when you walk in the doors.
We were offered a glass of the Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, which is perfect for a refreshing wine. Then we were escorted to our reserved table and lounge seating outside. Their outdoor tasting area is complete with views of the vineyards and occasionally the Napa Valley Wine Train passes by in the near distance.
At our spot we had our full Reserve Tasting flight set up with a delicious cheese board to pair alongside the wine. Every wine we had was apart of their Reserve Collection. We began with a 2016 Reserve Chardonnay complete with citric notes of lemon and orange. I really enjoyed this Chardonnay as it was not too heavy of a Chardonnay and was pretty light. From there we went to the 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir sourced from the famous Carneros wine region, ideal for creating the perfect medium-bodied Pinot.
As we continued into the 2016 Malbec, which consisted of Cabernet and merlot, the cheese and wine pairings were really delightful. We ended our tasting with a 2016 Winemaker Series Meritage with 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. I really enjoyed the complexity in this wine and would love to pair with a steak dinner or a heavier pasta dish.
The incredible wines showcased in their Reserve tasting flight and cheese pairing were great, and the tasting is only $45.00 per person by the way!
Along with our tasting we enjoyed all the features their location has to offer, including a variety of lawn games (and corn hole, my personal favorite!) At Napa Cellars you can bring your own food and picnic outdoors – there are plenty of picnic tables and lounge seating available for guests to enjoy a meal and beautiful views. And if that isn’t enough, the winery is dog and kid friendly. The whole family can join along to have fun at winery!
It truly is the perfect family friendly winery in Napa but at the same time it is also a great place for you and your significant other to visit for a date day. Cheers to Winery Wednesday and thank you for reading along!
Happy Wine Wednesday everyone! Thank you so much for visiting my page! If you saw my recent Instagram post then you know this edition of Winery Wednesday is all about my list of recommendations for spending this upcoming Valentine’s Day in beautiful wine country. In t-minus 10 days it will officially be the holiday all about celebrating love! There are so many Valentine’s events and special offers throughout the entire weekend you do not want to miss out on.
One of my favorite things to do is plan and coordinate wine tasting trips to Napa and all of wine country. So when I decided to road trip up to Northern California for the long holiday weekend, I knew I had to make a Napa trip out of it (of course!). The key to planning a great wine country trip includes the four following points: food, special events/activities, lodging, and wine! Now let’s get to some recommendations:
Bon appetite! We all know Napa is home to some world renowned restaurants. My recommendation is to of course make a reservation in advance…honestly as soon as possible. Getting prime dinner time reservations is already a challenging task in Napa, so Valentine’s Day will be even more hard to come by.
Depending on where you are staying there are some amazing restaurants right in downtown Napa. Some of my favorites for a romantic date night include Oenotri (Italian), Gran Electrica (Mexican), Morimoto (Japanese/sushi), Zuzu (Spanish Tapas), and honestly so many more that I haven’t had the opportunity to dine at yet.
If you are looking to venture up valley and food is your love language, why not visit the small town of Yountville where there are more Michelin Star rated restaurant per capita than anywhere in the world! See Yountville’s full list of amazing restaurants here!
Restaurants all over the valley are having special Valentine’s Day courses and events.
Take your love to new heights Why not create unforgettable memories during your romantic weekend getaway with an iconic Napa Valley hot air balloon ride? When I was living in Napa I had the unbelievable opportunity to experience two hot air ballon rides and each was truly breathtaking. My friends at Balloons Above the Valley are featuring a special discount on gift cards for Valentine’s Day. Reserve your spots now!
Wine & friends make a great blend! Get your best wine loving friends and head on over to Raymond Vineyards to be apart of their Winemaker for a day special experience. In this unique tasting you will have the opportunity to be the Winemaker and create your own one of a kind blend and custom label. A perfect way to spend Valentine’s with friends.
Where to kick back and put your feet up after a long day? Featured all throughout the valley are unique and beautiful places to stay during your romantic wine country getaway. From chic downtown boutiques to luxurious vineyard resorts, Napa has plenty of exciting options for you to choose from. Many hotels are also running special promotions and packages right now. My favorite website to search through is the Visit Napa Valley hotel section.
Cheers to love! Avoid the stress of planning and setting up each wine tasting by experiencing a wine tour. You and your loved one can jump on board the wine tasting tour bus and visit a handful of renowned Napa wineries all in one day without having to coordinate the wine tasting reservations. Leave it to the pros at Platypus Tours to create a full day of fun sipping on some great wine.
If you would like to take the reins into your own hands and plan your wine tasting itinerary I have some helpful tips. Always make a reservation at the winery and ask how long long the expected tasting should take. Map out the distance from winery to winery that way it will help prevent being late or missing a wine tasting reservation. Reservations are created to help the tasting rooms guarantee your spot for a visit. Research Napa wineries and pick what wine tasting experience you are envisioning to best create the wine country itinerary of your dreams!
I will be sharing all about the wineries I am visiting during the trip. I have some exciting plans in store for the weekend that I can’t wait to show you guys!
Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my page and reading along for my newest blog post. Instead of my usual “Winery Wednesday” post I thought I would give a little life update as to what I have been up to!
Four months ago I sat down and wrote a “Thank you” inspired blog post to Napa Valley and the unforgettable experience I had living there. While I never got the chance to officially post that article, I wanted to go back and give you all a long overdue update.
Back in October I packed up my belongings into my car, a UHAUL trailer and left for a new adventure as I am moved to Southern California. It might have come across as a total surprise for those who had been there every step of the way on my wine journey in Napa, but moving to Southern California has been a dream of mine for a very long time. However, it has definitely been very bittersweet to leave beautiful Napa Valley, the place I called home for almost the past two years.
Growing up in Northern California, only about an hour drive away from Napa, it never even crossed my mind as a place I would move to. However as fate would have it, my career path took me to the adventures in wine country and I am so happy it did! I took a leap of faith and moved to Napa only knowing three people.
As I began wine tasting and exploring the area, my love of wine only grew more and I wanted to share the exciting wineries I was visiting. One day while out tasting (at Mumm winery!), I was with one of my best friends, I told her my idea to start writing about my experiences in Napa and how I wanted to share them through starting a blog. She was so supportive and really helped me start Bordeaux Blonde, thank you Shawna! Love you girl!
The Napa Valley wine community was so welcoming and through the Instagram wine blogging world I met many incredible people and lifelong friends! I feel truly blessed to have met so many amazing and inspiring people in the valley during the time I lived there.
I have been adjusting and beginning the start of this new chapter in my life and I plan to continue my love of wine in Southern California. In the last four months I have found some incredible restaurants with great wine lists, and every time I am driving around I seem to spot a new wine tasting bar! I am also planning trips to various wine tasting regions in the area here in Southern California.
On another note I have officially renewed my Disneyland pass and I have been soaking up the fact that I no longer have to take an airplane or drive 7 hours to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” Some of my best friends in town also have passes so it has been a blast to be able to go together. Fun fact: did you know that Disney’s California Adventure has a prime wine tasting lounge in the park?! Check out my previous post “Here Are A Few Of My Favorite Things” to see all about it.
I have some amazing best friends that live here in the area who have grown to be like sisters to me. It has been a dream all finally living in the same city again, something we talked about doing for years! I have known some of the girls since elementary school and some of them were previous college teammates. And now we are all finally back together again, talk about a happy heart!
In the past couple of months I have sparked my passion of playing and training for volleyball. As a former collegiate volleyball player, it has always been an important part of my life. Now being in Southern California, the capital of beach volleyball, it is hard not to fall in love with the game all over again.
With a great deal having recently changed, one thing will remain; a part of my heart will always belong to Napa and the amazing memories I made there. Cheers to a new chapter, I am so excited to continue to share with you guys!
Good morning wine lovers and happy winery Wednesday! Thank you for stopping by my blog to see which winery I want to share this week. So buckle up and let’s get to it! Picture driving up Silverado Trail in beautiful wine country surrounded by vineyards and countless wineries every which way. As we made our way through wine country we turned on a private road to the beautiful Regusci Winery.
This Napa Valley winery is the perfect example of family tradition and history in wine country. The land has been in the Regusci family since the early 1930s and now four generations. In fact the family lives right on property and it was clear to see the love and hard work that went into making the property what it is today.
As we arrived their was a beautiful assortment of fresh vegetables picked right from Mrs. Laura Regusci’s own garden right on property. (My pictures did not save on my IG, but I promise it was so cute walking in and seeing the colors of fresh veggies for sale and you can see more about it here !). We entered the charming tasting room area filled with wine, a tasting bar area, history of the family & property, and the cutest winery lab dog basking in the sun!
We were greeted and escorted around the property where we saw how the old dairy farm from the early to mid 1900s, had been transformed into the renowned family winery today. We made our way into the barrel room, which is the oldest winery building in the famous Stag’s Leap District, dating back to the last 1800s! We passed by the “Employees Only” sign and continued our way to Mr. Jim Regusci’s private lounge where we would be enjoying our library wine tasting flight.
This Library Selection was by far the most interesting and unique tasting I have experienced as the youngest wine we would be tasting was a 2000 Merlot from the Stag’s Leap District. From there we continued to a 1999 Merlot from the same region. It only makes sense that as we are in the famous cab region of the world in Stags Leap, that we would then continue to a 1998 & 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon, both aged 20 months in American Oak and both 100% Cabernet. It is crazy to see the difference in a wine just year to year and how climate and other factors can change after a wine is aged for almost 20 years. You can see more of their library selection that is available online.
After our amazing and educational tasting we headed for a quick tour around property where we got to see multiple stages as the family one country music and frequently brings in artists from all over. This includes famous artists such as Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley for the “Live in the Vineyard- Goes Country” event.
Everyone was so hospitable and welcoming to this gorgeous property. After the tour we then enjoyed the rest of our wine while sitting on the patio overlooking the family’s 168 acres of vineyards on property. The perfect way to spend time in Napa Valley is scheduling a visit to Regusci Winery.
Welcome to winery Wednesday everyone! Well… technically winery Thursday this week as things have been super crazy busy since I got back in town after a long weekend to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I apologize for the delay but I am finally catching up on work, unpacking, and sharing a new blog post with you all!
Traveling to Seattle this past weekend was definitely long overdue and I am so happy I was able to visit and enjoy time with great friends. Before I made my way up north, I knew I wanted to experience a bit of wine country. For those of you who are not familiar, there is a charming town right outside of Seattle called Woodenville. They have the cutest town circle with restaurants and wine tasting rooms all around.
Just a two minute drive down the street and you will arrive among the vineyards at the beautiful Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. I have had Chateau Ste. Michelle before from their collection and I have always enjoyed it. But being at the winery, we were in for a real treat with some estate wine and a food pairing! The perfect way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon if you ask me!
We arrived a little before our tasting reservation and walked the grounds of the winery where they serve food, host live music with outdoor concerts, wine tasting bars, indoor and outdoor seating, restaurants, shopping, the list could go on and on. Needless to say I could definitely get used to visiting this winery if I lived in. Seattle again.
As we began our tasting we sampled the flight of wines that would be accompanying our food pairing. Beginning with the 2017 Eroica Riesling featuring aromas of mandarin orange and fruitful flavors. While I am typically not a huge fan of rieslings, we loved this blend so much that we each left with a bottle.
We continued with the 2016 Chardonnay which was very refreshening. Then onto the 2014 Red Blend featuring Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsaut. This red blend was so unique and complex that I definitely had to “revisit” a couple times lol!
The last two wines we tried were the 2014 Red Blend and the 2016 Reserve Riesling, both from Columbia Valley. As if the wine tasting alone wasn’t a great experience and delicious, we then began the pairing with bites created by the chefs on property. Each wine paired beautifully with the artfully crafted food bite. One of my favorites was the delicious filet with the 2014 Artist Series Red Blend.
Overall we had such an incredible time at Chateau Ste. Michelle that I highly recommend visiting! Whether you want to stop by for a glass of wine and the fun and lively wine bar, or if you want to have the full experience including a tour and food/wine pairing, there are so many options at this iconic winery to choose from. Thanks for reading!
Welcome to my page Bordeaux Blonde! Thank you for visiting and reading this latest blog post. This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel from Napa over to the Geyserville wine region, just north of Santa Rosa. This wine region is a true hidden gem in Northern California and produces some incredible wine. I had the amazing opportunity to visit Virginia Dare Winery for their 2nd Annual Lost Colony Society Member Dinner. Virginia Dare is apart of the legendary “Family Coppola Wine” and only a few minutes down the road from their location.
Driving to the winery was of course gorgeous as all of wine country is beautiful in this region. Once we arrived we were warmly greeted by their friendly staff and assistant winemaker. The winery itself was so welcoming with beautifully decorated long tables for our private dinner, a beautiful roaring fire pit on the main terrace where there was live music. Inside, they had a spectacular private tasting room that over looked their barrel room through large class windows. It was truly stunning and such a cool environment for a private tasting. The winery is full of history including a rare collection of Native American art.
After exploring the winery, we headed from the terrace to our private dinner area with views overlooking the valley. Our meal was prepared entirely at the winery by the chefs of their onsite “Wero Restaurant.” Our meal included beautiful fresh vegetables, the best corn on the cob I have ever had, and a beautifully prepared bison entree. The entire meal paired with their current wine selection was exquisite.
As we dined we spoke to their assistant winemaker all about the wine and that they were now offering a happy hour experience at the restaurant every Friday night! In addition to wine, they are now producing cider… Talk about a place to start the weekend on a Friday with happy hour prices on great wine, cider, and draft beer!
We truly enjoyed our experience at Virginia Dare Winery and strongly recommend you visit the winery and this wine region! Thank you for reading along.
Happy Winery Wednesday fellow winos! I hope your week is going great and that you are ready for this new post featuring some great wines. This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Sosie Wines June 22nd Summer Fete celebration in Sonoma County. To begin, the drive from Napa to Sonoma is one of the most breathtaking drives with endless rolling hills of vineyards and beautiful wineries along the way.
The event was held a local Sonoma Valley wine making facility, Sugarloaf Custom Crush, near the city of Santa Rosa. This beautiful facility is where Sosie Wines hosted their summer celebration. The room was filled with live music and delicious bites from The Girl and the Fig restaurant in Sonoma… a favorite! The bites and incredible cheese board selection they had was a perfect compliment to the wine that was being poured. I have only had hors d’oeuvres from The Girl and The Fig a couple of times and every time the food is amazing! I definitely hope to dine in their restaurant in Sonoma Square soon!
Now let’s talk about the delicious Sosie Wines that were being poured. We were welcomed into the event and given a wine glass, to of course enjoy some wine! They had a full selection of whites, reds, and their rosé. With it being quite a warm day in the valley on Saturday, I opted for the 2017 Rosé of Syrah from the Vivio Vineyards in Bennet Valley. This rosé is definitely one of my favorites, being so refreshing and savory, perfect to enjoy any day.
The had a selection of whites wines to enjoy including the popular Roussanne varietal also from the Vivio Vineyard. This complex and unique wines offers a unique tasting experience form the nose to the pallet. This is also a great wine to enjoy for these hot summer months ahead!
While they were pouring some great white wine varietals, they also had a full selection of red wine varietals to try. One of them being their 2015 Spring Hill Pinot Noir which is definitely one of my favorites! This wine consists of three out of the seven different clones of Pinot Noir planted of the Sonoma Coast which all join to create a beautifully blended Pinot. Another favorite they poured was their 2015 Cabernet Franc from the ever famous Stagecoach Vineyard. On the nose I got a full pepper and spice aromas which were beautiful. On the palate, the rich flavors provide a smooth and medium full body Cabernet Franc, perfect to be paired with a dinner meal.
I am so happy I had the chance to attend this great event and officially kick off the start of summer with this celebration! If you are looking for some new wines to try from the Sonoma Valley wine country I strongly recommend you check out Sosie Wines! The have a very impressive selection sourced from four amazing vineyards in the valley. This boutique winery is definitely up and coming winning multiple awards for some of their varietals. Thank you again Sosie Wine for a great Saturday event!
Good morning everyone and welcome to winery Wednesday! Today I am very excited to share my amazing experience this past month at the Live in the Vineyard- Goes Country event!
On the first day we began our day at the beautiful Regusci Winery in Napa Valley. We arrived and checked into the event with our tickets, and we were greeted with a glass of wine…Welcome to Napa! From there we walked up above the vineyards to one of the most gorgeous venues overlooking the valley.
The evening featured Walker Hayes, LANCO, and the one and only Brad Paisley! They all performed acoustically at this a private concert series.
There were only maybe 100-150 guests in attendance for the first night and it was truly amazing. Brad Paisley is definitely one of my favorite country artists and being able to see him perform in such a small, relaxed environment, was a once in a lifetime experience.
After this amazing concert series, we took the private shuttle over to Hall Winery for the VIP Dinner. This was an incredible experience. The dinner was delicious and there was more country music to follow. Each of the five artists were accompanied by just a guitar and rotated one by one each singing one of their songs. It was such a great way to enjoy up and coming artists in the country music industry.
The entire week was filled with multiple private events featuring some amazing country artists all throughout the valley. And while I was unable to attend all of them, the experience I had was unlike any other.
The final night included a small concert series at the iconic Napa Valley “Uptown” theater. The line up showcased Michael Ray, Cody Johnson, Brothers Osborne, and Little Big Town. And as if things couldn’t get any better, Jon Pardi played the after party at the staple “Blue Note Theater” in Downtown Napa. Needless to say I was in country music heaven by the end of the evening.
Thank you so much to Live in the Vineyard for the invitation to this amazing event. This intimate concert experience with some of Country’s biggest artist is truly a one of a kind and so memorable. I am looking forward to the November edition of Live in the Vineyard!