Saturday was intended to be a bit of a down day for us but even so, the calendar began to fill quickly. Today like most mornings began with a 10 AM tasting which brings me to a Donna quote, “one of the best things about wine country is that you can start drinking wine at 10 AM and no one judges you ;-).”
If you look at a map of Napa and Sonoma it appears that the trip between them is just a short hop from one wine country to another. The drive from Napa to Sonoma can take 45 minutes to an hour through beautiful winding mountain roads. The two areas both make great wine but in many ways that’s where the similarities end. One person told me to think of Napa as Las Vegas and Sonoma as Reno. The description isn’t far off. To me Sonoma is very reminiscent of the Napa I first visited 27 years ago. The countryside has much more of a rural feel and the folks seem much more casual and relaxed.Our first stop was Emeritus Pinot.
Each day we will give a summary of the day before. More detailed stories about many of the places we visit with specific wine recommendations will be posted in the weeks to come.
The fall B&B Napa/Sonoma sojourn I must admit had a dubious start. We were up at 5AM to make an 8:30 flight to San Francisco. While standing in the security line Donna received an automated call from Southwest Airlines saying our flight was delayed an hour due to weather in San Francisco. If you’ve ever been to the San Francisco airport and rented a car, you know what an arduous experience that is, including a 50 minute wait in line because Hertz had no cars. Fortunately, we got all the rough stuff out of the way early and had a great rest of the day.
Recently I was reading an article on our slow to rebound economy. The writer interviewed an upscale restaurateur who claimed his sales were still off by 60% from a couple of years ago. I have no idea where the restaurant is but that doesn’t seem to be the case in my two cities, Denver, CO and my beloved Austin, TX.
Donna and I spent a little time discussing the restaurateurs claim and agreed that we don’t eat out as much as we did. So we asked why? We came to the conclusion that there are a number of restaurants we like very much but refuse to pay their exorbitant wine mark ups. In my early days of wine collecting (that was a long time ago) in Austin I’ll admit I was spoiled (Henry and Jay, you know who you are). Back then wholesale laws and enforcement were much more lax and I’d buy cases of great wine wholesale, compliments of my restaurant buddies. So very early on I learned the real cost of wine.
Here’s my rant. What the hell am I getting when I pay a restaurant 200% or more than I can buy the exact same wine retail.