Sunday, April 20, 2008

the wind turns up the soil

Spent yesterday afternoon in Livermore winetasting that area. We ate at Garre. They are a restaurant/winery. Their spinach/crab dip appetizer was quite good. The duck confit was overly sauced for my sister's taste. The meatballs and linguine were more meatballs than anything else and slightly overpacked. But a decent meal overall, not great, but decent.

The wind kicked up outside and we walked by the Bocce Ball court where a group of friends popped open a couple of bottles of wine and aimed for the small white marker ball. Their tasting room was free. We tried their flight but weren't really impressed by any of them. I was sipping and spitting since I was driving afterwards. Maybe they needed more time, maybe more aeration and maybe we won't buy a bottle right now.

Next stop was Bodegas, where my sister loves the pinor noir or was that petite syrah. They carried a very tasty flight. I bought a bottle of the merlot. The wind whisked away any warmth between the doorway to the car. And my sister thought her tongue was done, but I convinced her, eh, let's try one more, a threesome, so we stopped by Steven Kent and LaRochelle which sit on the same lot. Steven Kent was packed with folks since it was in the middle of their winery row, called Tesla Road. They set aside large blocks of gruyere for you to carve and a table full of costume jewelry for sale. Lots of distractions. The wine was a bit better than Garre, but the price and the taste just didn't work for us.

Off the main building was nice cute building marked LaRochelle. It looked closed. But when we entered, there were tables and wine glasses lined up on each side of the tables. For $15, you could pick one of two flights and share a food pairing for the wines. Hmmm...ok...we could find room in our stomach for this one and we could sit in the car while I waited out the wine consumption. We had a great time here, nice leisurely sipping, with a full plate for various cheeses, olive and fig tapanade, and truffle mousse to mix and match. My sister got one flight and I got the Pinot Noir flight. We found the Pinot Gris just as the description noted, "assertively acidic". Fortunately the triple creme French cheese killed its assertiveness and really brought out the softer fruity side. I ended up buying a couple of bottles of an Oregon Pinot Noir that I thought was both good and at a decent price.

My sister tells me that they don't want to be like Napa. And even though they don't want to be like Napa, some of the places sure price like Napa! Alot of young wineries here many which cropped up only in the last couple of years, so it'll be interesting to see how they develop.

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