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What to eat after a day of wine tasting?


s9498
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My husband and I are spending a night in Sonoma (Healdsburg) during our trip out to SF. We will be spending the day tasting and touring. We've never spent the whole day tasting before and I'm just wondering where we should eat when we are done. I can't imagine that we would want to eat something heavy for dinner. Thought?

Thanks.

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I'd go easy on my tasting, and definitely try Cyrus at the Les Mars Hotel in Healdsburg. It's probably THE hottest wine country dining destination going!

And, you CAN take it easy when you taste...that's what the "spit bucket" is for! :biggrin:

Edited by samgiovese (log)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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My husband and I are spending a night in Sonoma (Healdsburg) during our trip out to SF.  We will be spending the day tasting and touring.  We've never spent the whole day tasting before and I'm just wondering where we should eat when we are done.  I can't imagine that we would want to eat something heavy for dinner.  Thought?

Thanks.

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]

Cyrus would be a great place to dine while in the Healdsburg area. The experience has been compared by some as equal to The French Laundry in the Napa Valley.

If you like something slightly less expensive you could try Zin Restaurant http://www.zinrestaurant.com or Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar http://willisseafood.net.

Willi's is a tapas style restaurant so you can try several small plates of various dishes. I've never had anything less than a great time at Willi's.

David

Willi's looks perfect, except they are closed on Tuesday night, which is when we are coming up. Should I make a reservation for Zin?

Cyrus looks great, but we've already made reservations for Gary Danko in SF, and can only go to one high dollar restaurant during this trip.

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In Healdsburg, I am a huge fan of both Manzanita and BarnDiva. Willi's didn't thrill me (minimal amount of lobster with lots more filling than seafood).

Down the road a bit, in Windsor, is Mirepoix which is great for small plates.

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I don't have a rec for dinner in the area--but on a related topic, does anyone have any comment on the Jimtown Store that is near Healdsburg in Alexander Valley? I just looked at their cookbook recently and was quite impressed. Their main focus besides selling various food items seems to be lunch in their cafe and take out picnic lunches but I'm not sure if they serve dinner as well. In any case, it could be a great place to pick up a lunch for a picnic at one of the wineries you visit.

I can't believe I haven't checked this place out all the times I've been up in the area. It just wasn't on my radar screen.

edited to add: Here is a link to their website: Jimtown Store and Cefe

What wineries are you thinking of hitting, s9498?

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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How about after all that wine tasting you try for some beer? The palate and senses can be shot by the end of the day. It's nice to switch it up. When I make the trip to Healdsburg/Dry Creek I always enjoy a relaxed bar/pub meal and a beer (or three) at the Bear Republic.

"It takes a lot of great beer to make good wine"

Hell yes.

Devin

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I don't have a rec for dinner in the area--but on a related topic, does anyone have any comment on the Jimtown Store that is near Healdsburg in Alexander Valley?  I just looked at their cookbook recently and was quite impressed.  Their main focus besides selling various food items seems to be lunch in their cafe and take out picnic lunches but I'm not sure if they serve dinner as well.  In any case, it could be a great place to pick up a lunch for a picnic at one of the wineries you visit.

I can't believe I haven't checked this place out all the times I've been up in the area.  It just wasn't on my radar screen.

edited to add: Here is a link to their website: Jimtown Store and Cefe

What wineries are you thinking of hitting, s9498?

I'd love to go to any place that has amazing chocolate pudding. We are going on a tour with Dan Dolen. He was recommended by our B&B (Grapeleaf Inn). He gave me a link to www.wineroad.com and said that we would go to places there and he gave me a list of possible wineries to go to. That list is currently buried under a mound of paperwork under my desk. But the one winery that I remember is Roshambo. I am open to any suggestions too. When I ask my friends, they tend to offer suggestions for big wineries, rather than smaller ones.

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If you're looking for smaller, friendlier wineries, I'd recommend spending at least 1/2 of your day in Dry Creek Valley. It's a short drive from Healdsburg, but with so many wineries, it's going to be hard to choose. A couple I'd recommend are Raymond Burr Vineyards (yes...THAT Raymond Burr). They have excellent Chardonnay & Cabernet Franc, and the Perry Mason memorabilia is really fun! Nearby, you will find the funky Preston Vineyards. In addition to being a vintner, owner Lou Preston is an artisan baker, and he sells his bread right in the tasting room. If you're lucky, you might see him at work in the bakery just off the tasting room. A couple of other suggestions would be David Coffaro (very small...great zin);Ferrari-Carano (bigger venue, but the gardens and tasting room are simply stunning...you can see what Reno gambling money can do (Don Carano owns The El Dorado & Silver Legacy in Reno)), and one of our favorites...Dry Creek Winery. Right across Dry Creek Road is the Dry Creek Store...very funky looking, but serving terrific fresh sandwiches.

Hope these recs help...have a GREAT time!

Edited by samgiovese (log)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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I'd love to go to any place that has amazing chocolate pudding.  We are going on a tour with Dan Dolen.  He was recommended by our B&B (Grapeleaf Inn).  He gave me a link to www.wineroad.com and said that we would go to places there and he gave me a list of possible wineries to go to.  That list is currently buried under a mound of paperwork under my desk.  But the one winery that I remember is Roshambo.  I am open to any suggestions too.  When I ask my friends, they tend to offer suggestions for big wineries, rather than smaller ones.

I spent last Saturday wandering Westside Road in Healdsburg (almost felt like it did when I was blogging wineries every bloody weekend!). I hit Roshambo, Rabbit Ridge, Potters Creek, Alderbrook, Belvedere, Rochioli, and Arista.

Of all of them, Roshambo was the biggest hit for me (in fact, I joined their wine club -- something I haven't done in over a dozen years!). I really liked everything they had to offer, especially their Roussanne. From Belvedere, I picked up some great Sangiovese. Potters Creek was good for both a Carignane and Syrah and Rochioli is always good for Pinot (although not their famous vineyard-specific bottles which require being on a list for six or eight years). I bought a few syrah from Rabbit Ridge but regretted it when I got to Roshambo and Potters Creek. Arista is the new one on the block and worth the visit just to see the garden fountain. Picked up a couple of their vineyard-specific pinots which Kevin liked a bit more than I did.

You can have a great day on this road, hit some fabulous wineries, and be within ten minutes of downtown Healdsburg. Alternately, if you want to avoid the drive, downtown Healdsburg is also home to a handful of tasting rooms from nearby wineries like La Crema, Lake Sonoma, Selby (another fav!), Simi, Toads Hollow, and more...

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A word of advice if you are not used to a day spent wine tasting or even if you are: lunch is more important than dinner. It's imperative to have a decently full stomach otherwise you run the risk of getting completely toasted. Those little tastes sneak up on you after 4 or 5 wineries (20 or so tastes which is the equivalent of a bottle of wine or more). :cool: If you are a breakfast eater, have a decent breakfast and make sure your guide either provides or stops for lunch. Even a take-out sandwich will help and many of the wineries have picnic tables where you can bring your own bag lunch to eat. Also, many of the more expensive restaurants have quite reasonable lunch menus.

Lobster.

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A word of advice if you are not used to a day spent wine tasting or even if you are:  lunch is more important than dinner.  It's imperative to have a decently full stomach otherwise you run the risk of getting completely toasted.  Those little tastes sneak up on you after 4 or 5 wineries (20 or so tastes which is the equivalent of a bottle of wine or more).  :cool:  If you are a breakfast eater, have a decent breakfast and make sure your guide either provides or stops for lunch.  Even a take-out sandwich will help and many of the wineries have picnic tables where you can bring your own bag lunch to eat.  Also, many of the more expensive restaurants have quite reasonable lunch menus.

Our guide did say that we are going to stop at a local deli/store to get a picnic at a winery. But that's great advice. Thanks.

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