Tag Archives: Arrowood

#CabernetDay – bringing back good memories

For those who didn’t know, Thursday was officially #CabernetDay on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets that I’m sure I haven’t discovered, but will waste plenty of my time in the future. So, what is #CabernetDay? And why does it have that number sign (#) in front of it? Cabernet Day is hosted each year by Rick Bakas, a local Sommelier. He also hosts several other ‘days’ throughout the year. That number sign is what they call a hashtag and in Twitter speak it is used to group tweets together. So, everyone who was tweeting about #CabernetDay could do a search for other people participating. Thus, creating a special place for all the #CabernetDay tweets.

So now that you’re fully aware of what a special day it was for Cabernet yesterday, I’ll share what I was drinking…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If only I could actually share it with you! This is one of my all time favorite wines. It also carries some special meanings to me. For starters, it is the Cabernet vintage we were pouring when I first was working at Arrowood. It was also my first job in the wine industry – pouring wine and conducting tours at the Arrowood estate. But for me, Cabernet goes much deeper than that.

Cabernet was the first wine I remember drinking. My parents didn’t drink much when my sister and I were growing up (at least not to our knowledge) except when we were at parties and family gatherings. If the Manhattans weren’t flowing, then I remember my dad drinking Cabernet. Now, I have a terrible memory so this could all be wrong, but makes for a good story. So, of course when I’m first offered the opportunity to drink I choose Cabernet. Can’t recall whether I was old enough to consume legally, but let’s just say I was. I liked Cabernet for its boldness. Although not right away. Like most alcoholic drinks wine is an acquired taste.

The first bottle I remember sharing with a group of friends (a big milestone in a wine lover’s life!) was a 1995 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges De Latour. For me it was a bottle I’ll remember forever. But it wasn’t until I started working at Arrowood that I fell in love with Cabernet. And until recently it has been my favorite varietal. While I still love it, Zinfandel is quickly catching up and may have even surpassed. Although my wine cellar tells a different story with Cabernet being the most common varietal and consuming almost 25% of the space. Of course, much of that has to do with my time at Arrowood.

I only have a few bottles left of the wine above and I look forward to enjoying them in the near future. Likely those will be enjoyed with company. And there really isn’t any reason to hang on to them much longer as it tasted great now. I would be very disappointed if I let them go much longer and then didn’t enjoy the flavors. Hope you do the same with your favorite wines. #CabernetDay was fun, but I’m also looking forward to the other #days coming up. Maybe Rick Bakas will do a #ZinfandelDay – that would be great!

Cheers!

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Meritage (Martini, Oyster Bar & Grill)

Last night we celebrated my last day at my job by going to one of our favorite restaurants in Sonoma….

Meritage (Martini, Oyster Bar & Grill), located just steps off the Sonoma plaza has some of the best food in town. The produce used in the dishes is picked fresh that morning (often by chef Carlo Cavallo himself). We almost always end up eating three courses of food here and last night was no exception.

We started with Pan Fried Oysters….

You likely won’t believe it, but I’ve never had oysters before. I figured this was a good way (and a great place) to start. The appetizer did not disappoint. It was very flavorful and the acid from the lemon added a nice brightness to the dish. We also had parmesan truffle fries and bruschetta too. Both very tasty.

And, of course, I started with a martini (because when you go to a restaurant with the word martini in the name, it’s a requirement)….

This one was a Hendrick Gin martini with olives. My new favorite bar drink.

Wait, no wine? Yes, of course there was wine. Two bottles, in fact….

A 2009 Cuvaison Zinfandel from Bald Mountain Vineyard up on Mt. Veeder. These vines are about 45 years old and are producing some outstanding fruit. And a 2002 Arrowood Vineyards Reserve Cabernet. Reserve at Arrowood means a barrel select from all mountain fruit.

Wine tasting tip: Reserve does not have a legal meaning, so ask the source of the wine what it means for their winery.

For the main course, I chose a New York strip steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables….

I didn’t like it all….

If only I had thought about scraping up the sauce with one of the pieces of bread.

As if I wasn’t stuffed enough already there was then dessert! Starting with house made gelato…

And their version of creme brulee, chocolate torte and panna cotta….

Not to be out done by the refreshing sorbet….

The amount of flavor that Carlo packs into his cuisine is really quite amazing. The food and the friendly staff keeps us coming back again and again. Next time you’re in Sonoma go for a visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Cheers!

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Filed under Wine, Food, Sonoma