Sunday, January 30, 2011


Well. I'm pretty sure I just took an ultimate dream vacation. I finished up internal medicine at the VA at 7pm Tuesday night. Have you read House of God? That was VA medicine, in a nutshell. ahem, minus some inappropriate call room interactions, but I digress. The patient I "tucked in" by 7pm is portrayed in that book. I love medicine, but I am extremely glad I picked psychiatry. Let's just say I was more than ready for a vacation. Especially one that included sun and wine tasting.

Anyways, went home, packed up and went to bed. Up early in the am for a quick workout and airport ride by the bro and his gf. Board the plane, get my peanut m&ms out and get ready. We pull out, pull back in. Problem with a landing gear. Pull out, pull back in. Problem with a sticker. hmmm. Doesn't seem that important. Pull out, pull back in. Problem with an engine. Ok. Enough! That flight was canceled after about 2 hours waiting! Afternoon was spent in the sky lounge waiting for the evening fight. Not too bad, free olives and a bloody mary courtesy of Delta Sky Lounge. There are definitely perks of traveling with someone who flies weekly!

Finally we arrived in SF, picked up the rental car and headed to Napa. I got to see the bridge lit up at night, and we made it! Albeit a bit late, but whatever, still on vacation!

Up in the am for a quick workout before a glorious, and I mean glorious day of wine tasting. The "group" tour we purchased actually ended up being the two of us on a gigantic bus driven by a man in a top hat. Holy cow, this is going to be awesome.

First stop Flora Springs. LOVED this place. Here the winery is owned by an 85 year old lady, who approves all the wines. We learned some of the basics here, the role of the winemaker etc. Flora Springs had a ton of really creative mixes. Which we didn't appreciate at the time, but were actually really unique. Pretty fantastic wine. We actually went back the next day for lunch. It was next door to a Dean & DeLuca. I desperately wanted to stop there, because, well...Felicity worked there. I was indulged, and we ate a delicious lunch there the next day on the roof, 70 degrees, in CA. Ahhhh.

mmm. sun. wine. cheese. olives. heaven....seriously. This could not have been better.

Then on to.

Alpha Omega. This was a small, newer winery. I snuck back into the cooler area to snap a few picks. Here, I discovered Chardonnay is actually really really good. But, you have to pay $40 a bottle, :( not so good. Apparently, you are supposed to chill chardonnay, then remove from fridge about an hour before imbibing. Let it warm up a bit and you will notice the flavors that are released. yum. To oak or not to oak? That is the question.

Wine tasting lunch spread, picked up in the deli of V Sattui prior to the tasting. Again. Olives, crackers, meat, and salami. Crackers and salami certified GF. Napa is officially a GF girl's paradise. Ready to go back. ASAP.

Then on to the tasting.

This was a large winery, with pretty fantastic picnic grounds. Ended up tasting a Midori here that B&B will be getting, whenever they get their snowbird butts back to MN.

Next up...these tiny pours are adding up. Time to start dumping!

Black Stallion. Another smaller winery, that unfortch, does not distribute to MN. Here I discovered Moscato is fantastic.  Yummmm.

Our final stop on the tour actually was closed. So our top hatted friend improvised and took us to Luna.

Excellent choice. Another fantastic Chardonnay was had here. Plus a tour of the grounds. Misty and beautiful.

The last winery, tear, was the next day prior to SF departure. I had to stop at Robert Mondavi. Because, well, its famous. And it was delicious. Another really really tasty moscato was had here.

Beautiful grounds. You could really get up close to the grapes! It was so nice to have a splash of green in January!

The goods

Off to san fran. So long Napa, I'll be back, Arnold would approve of my CA tourism endorsement. I hope.


Dad said...

Looking forward to the Midori, but currently enjoying the feel of beach sand between my toes.

B and B said...

The Midori will have to age a few months longer...

Great photos. What kind of tree is in your last picture?

qwerkyqook said...


Marlys said...

Great photos, Suzanne, and the trip sounded wonderful! What a perfect thing to do between rotations! You deserved it!

B and B said...

Wow! Doesn't look like grape leaves, though. Or clumps of grapes. Interesting.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! Love the Dean and Deluca reference - I am a HUGE Felicity fan. I adore that show.

This really makes me want to visit San Fran! Maybe that will be my 2012 trip!