Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Pride Mountain Vineyard picnic area

Last Saturday I went wine-tasting with Stef, Philip, and Phil's friend Richard. Richard has the connections - his uncle is a wine maker at Pride Mountain Vineyards in St. Helena. We started off in the tasting room with a Chardonnay, Viognier, and a red (I don't remember the varietal). Then we went on a tour of the wine caves.


I don't remember how many wines we tried inside. I do remember that the Reserve Claret was amazing, and has a ten-year waiting list for purchasing. Oh, it was good though! The caves were like a labyrinth and very cool. The wines were very good too, though a bit dry for my tastes. After the cave tour we went back to the tasting room where I nursed my glass of the Claret. Then they brought out a dessert wine that was very tasty. I'd be a happy girl if I had a bottle of the Chardonnay, Claret, and dessert wine. I just don't know when I'd drink them, since Chris isn't a wine fan.

We headed back down to Napa and had lunch at the Rutherford Grill (menu here). I had the best veggie burger - they make their own with grains, veggies (including beets!), and a soy glaze. Their slaw was really good too. Rich had brought a bottle of wine from Pride with us for lunch as well, and Stef and I drank most of it since the guys were drivers.

I wish I had more pictures from Napa, but I was too... drunk... to be taking many pictures. Phil took quite a few good ones and I begged for a few from him, but I don't think that's happening. We had such a good time, and I can't thank everyone enough for the invitation and generosity!

* * *

Tonight's dinner was a Barefoot Bloggers entry, Mexican Chicken Soup chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats. My changes were halving the recipe, using baked tofu in place of chicken, and omitting the cumin since Chris doesn't care for it.

The lineup

Mirepoix, the aromatics onion, celery, and carrot sautéed in butter or oil, is a common base for many soups and stocks and is often referred to as the Holy Trinity of French cooking. Also on the cutting board is minced garlic and minced green and red jalapeños. Those brown blocks are baked tofu from Trader Joe's, in savory flavor. I love this stuff so much and kept snacking on it while cooking.

Always a good start

Once the mirepoix is ready you add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a while.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

Then top with grated Cheddar, sour cream, and avocado (mine aren't ripe yet) and enjoy. This is a really tasty and easy soup. I made a quick batch of cornbread muffins to serve along side the soup. I'll definitely make this again!

Dinner is served

* * *

In other news, Mac is a very, very bad boy.

*Le sigh*


Liz and Kurt said...

Don't worry, I'll drink wine with you. The three of us (me, you, Stef... you, Stef, and I... whatever) will have to get our calendars to match up, this spring maybe? Now tell - what happened with the rooster!?!?

Misty said...

Ahh... the rooster. Many comments about being able to make it peck, and shouting "DANCE!" at random times during the day. And wondering if the stuffing is supposed to be removed, because it seems it would be mighty scratchy. The rooster went over well.

You have to come up in April for Spamalot! Katie too!