And so the gal's weekend in California wine country began.
Karen and I made our way to the charming and historic Napa River Inn, where we delighted in our luxurious accomodations, the ample marble bathroom and the comfy beds outfitted with goosedown and such, and even the soft echoes of "choo-choo" emanating from the Napa Wine Train across the river. The only drawback? The room's working fireplace, which both made us regret that we were on a gal's weekend instead of a romantic escape.
Still, we made more than the best of it. Much more...
*Visiting Clos de Val for a wine tasting and oddly enchanting decanter demonstration involving a glass dreidel.
*Hitting a strip mall in Napa, only to find kickin' Memphis-style Baby Back Ribs and Painted Hills Brisket tucked in between the Target and Trader Joe's at the beloved barbecue joint BarbersQ.
*Looking deeply into the mesmerizing gaze of a blue-eyed winemaker at Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Recognizing a wild flirt when we see one, Karen and I turning heel to focus on the winery's mesmerizing Abraxas, with hints of exotic spice and white nectarines.
*Being told we smelled wonderful by a busboy at dinner at the much-lauded Redd, where the Carnaroli Risotto with Maine Lobster and Truffle Oil was sublime, the Halibut with Sunchoke Ravioli ho-hum, and dessert of Strawberry Pain Perdu perfection.
*Realizing that we are being unwittingly followed by a burly blue-shirted gent and his Flamingo bedazzled wife, as we hopped from Stag's Leap Winery to Shafer to Regusci Winery, all the while enjoying the breathtaking vineyard views.
The finest vino experience during our stay? Not at a vineyard at all. Got you curious now, don't I? Stay tuned...