Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday in Carneros!

Each year the Carneros wine region puts on a two day wine open house event, including more than 20 Carneros wineries.  In addition to serving a selection of their wines, participating wineries feature live music, food pairings, and special tastings.  A group of friends and I were in attendance this year, and here is my report!
We began the day at Schug Carneros Estate Winery, where we sampled delicious Thai Style Pumpkin and Creamy Wild Mushroom soups, to pair with the whites and reds, respectively.  I loved the 2007 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay with the pumpkin soup, and the 2007 Carneros Pinot Noir with the mushroom soup.  We also sampled Calolea olive oils here.
Next we visited Cuvaison Estate Winery, and loved the very modern lines of the tasting room.  The winery served delightful little pulled pork sliders, which were delicious and paired wonderfully with the 2007 Carneros Syrah.  I particularly liked the 2008 Carneros Chardonnay, and took a bottle home.  The '06 Mount Veeder Cab was great as well!
We visited Etude, where they were serving delicious cheese samples in the beautiful tasting room with it's Great Wall of Wine Bottles. 
Our next stop was McKenazie-Mueller – the standout winery of the day for me, where we loved every wine we tasted!  The 2006 Los Carneros, Napa Valley, Pinot Noir was stupendous, as was the 2001 from the Library collection!  The 2005 Malbec was another standout wine – I had difficulty choosing which one to buy.  Combine these fabulous wines with a pleasant cheese spread, very friendly winery personnel, and live music with a bit of a CSN vibe going out front, and our visit to McKenzie-Mueller was a wonderful mid-day respite.
We made a very quick visit to Ceja Vineyards because we knew they would have superb live music, and we weren't disappointed!  They had run out of tapas, which was a shame for us, but I enjoyed the 2006 Sonoma Carmeros Pinot I tasted.  (This is Lisa by the sign.)
Our last stop was the beautiful Truchard Vineyards, with the lovely gazebo, grounds and cellar, outstanding food and music.  The Chardonnay, Pinot and Syrah they poured were all really nice, and I particularly liked the '06 Cabernet – yummy!
It was all in all a delightful day enjoying food, wine and festivities with good friends!

No comments: