The San Francisco saga continues...

Our second day in the city was actually spent just outside the city limits, in the Wine Country. Lauren & I rose at the crack of dawn, jet lagged and tired from the day before, but it was fine since there was wine!

We were conveniently picked up about a block from where we're staying and started our journey to Napa around 9am. First stop, Madonna Estate Vineyards (completely unaffiliated with the pop star).
 

Our host was wonderful and outrageously informative, and she explained the proper way to sip/taste your wine. Madonna is a smaller winery, and they do not distribute, so if you want a bottle, you have to order direct from their site or visit them like we did.

Next came the tastings!



Obviously inexperience, this is how I held the glass when I stepped to the counter. I was promptly corrected. It seems, holding the glass towards the top causes the wine to warm quicker - nobody wants warm wine.

Here's the proper way to hold your glass, by the stem.


It feels a little strange, but it's easier to swirl the liquid this way, which further releases the aroma. Tasting wine is done through the nose, as well as (if not more than) through the taste buds.

Who knew?!


Here we tasted Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and a sweet Muscat Canelli (my personal favorite).

The next stop on our journey was to Sutter Home Winery, in the Central Valley, where we sampled Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel, and a vintage Muscat of Alexandria - all wonderful.




Once we finished up at Sutter Home, we headed out to the Sonoma Square for a leisurely lunch.






Grilled Chicken & Avacado Sandwich (mine)
Lauren had the Grilled Salmon & Bacon Sandwich

We were completely stuffed by the time we finished our food, but we decided to do some cheese & gelato tastings anyway (... no comment).





I love gelato.
I love it.
I love it.

Last stop on the tour - Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery!



Chardonay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Rosé and Cabernet all filled our glasses and quickly disappeared. Everything was wonderful.

Another amazing host



Cabernet grapes surrounded by a lot of red roses

Since we had a luxurious day, we decided to tone it down for dinner.
 



Animal Style Fries


Our evening concluded with another walk along the Wharf, topped off by an impressive street musician.  
 


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