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sdnewfie's Profile

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Hunters Valley recs

Heading to Hunters Valley in the beginning of April. Any reccomendations on local great restaurants, anything from hole in the walls to fine dining would be appreciated. Also any recs on the local wineries(I am from San Diego), would be great. Cheers

Bottle shock

I think my main issue with Montelena was that for 20 dollars, other places(Carter free if only one bottle is purchased), or Jordan (includes food pairing with jamon iberico and wonderful cheeses) offer much more for the same or less price. It is just dissapointing in general as most places in that end of the valley(calistoga) arent quite as tourist filled and my prior experiences have been of reasonable and enjoyable tastings that didnt leave me with a bad taste or feeling ripped off.

Bottle shock

Was recently in Napa/Sonoma for 5 day tasting/eating trip. Finally made it to Chateau Montelena after wanting to for many years. Word of advice, beware the bottle shock. There tasting room charges 20 dollars for 5 pours of 20-50 dollar wines and a snif of there 135 dollar estate cab. Seriously....Ohh and if you buy more then 100 dollars per person they will wave the 20 dollar fee. What happened to buy a bottle and wave the fee? What happened to reasonable tasting fees in general. Other similarly vaulted and critically acclaimed vintners dont charge as much or if they do they include a food and wine pairing or a teaching/sommelier type session.
Yes I know there are some out there that charge upwards of 50 dollars and I dont even want to get started on that topic. I just expected alot more from CM as I have enjoyed there wines in the past and communicated the pourer that day. Please let me know your opinion on CM and other tasting room issues

On a side note, we found a great italian restaurant off the healdsburg square called Scopa that was just awesome, fresh grilled squid, sardines with breadcrumbs, dungeness crab in swuid inked fettucini, exceptional and reasonable.

Small wedding reception in San Diego -- where should I NOT go?

Defintely reccomend WVB. Food is more than above par and equates to most things coming out of George's. The usually have about 7-8 beer handles at any given time with stone being one or two of them. My company has had 3 private functions there now ranging from 30 to 70 people and I have been impressed every single time with the food and the service.
Call there general number (619-295-3939) after 5pm and ask to speak to Marie (one of the owners) about your needs and she will be more than willing to help you out and provide pictures.

Dec 11, 2009
sdnewfie in San Diego

Wine Shop in San Diego?

Winesellar and Brasserie has one of the best french(Bordeaux and Burgundy) and california selections in town. While it is a bit more expensive then the Wine Company(10-15%) there selection is by far larger. Talk with Eric the wine manager, he is always around(preppy long hair with a goatee), he always has good recs and is willing to deal on the higher end stuff.

Sep 11, 2009
sdnewfie in San Diego

Oysters in San Diego?

I think that the oyters at both Fish Markets(downtown and del mar), have always been fresh and consistently good. Usually have anywhere from 3-4 varietys from what I remember.

Sep 11, 2009
sdnewfie in San Diego

Sonoma Farmers Markets/Zinfandels

Thanks for the help everyone.
Had an amazing time in Sonoma. Went down to Point Reyes for the Drakes bay, Tomales and hog island oysters. Drakes were by far the best for taste and price. Tomales were huge and we wound up bbquing those. Hog island(kumis and atlantic) were tasty, but small and a bit pricey(relative I know).

The Dry Creek peach farm had ridiculous peaches that we roasted on the fire then drizzled with balsamic and mint over burrata(yummy).

Went to Rafanelli (yummy), Maruitson (tasty), and Ridge (good but pricey). Macphail in Healdsburg for some awesome Pinots. Also went to a smaller winery called Forth and was treated like absolute royalty(great cabs and syrahs for very reasonable price).

Tuesday at the square was great with tamales and the paella by Gerard at the oakville grocery was aweinspiring. Went to Johns and got some CK lamb chops with a blackberry(picked them on the road to point reyes) reduction that paired great with the Forth Syrah.

Found an awesome new bakery called Nightingale in Forrestville area that IMO had some of the best sourdough I have ever had.Give them a look if your in the area(wierd hours though, open wed-sun 11am-6pm), but so worth the visit.

Cooked up some mussels and clams in rom tomales bay in a rose/butter/leak/garlic broth and had the bread on the side. Mussels were excellent and the clams were superb. If you have easy access to tomales bay then I reccomend them.

Sonoma Farmers Markets/Zinfandels

Heading to Sonoma in a week for a three day trip of wine tasting during the day and cooking in the condo at night. Any suggestions on places in the Healdsburg area that have locally produced fruits/veggies/meats? Also any recs on the better Zinfandels in the area(Rafenelli, Martinelli already on tap). Thanks so much.