One Perfect Day in Napa Valley

October 23, 2006 at 7:21 am (present, the fam)

You know those “One Perfect Day in ____” articles? The kind that usually lists one tourist attraction, one locally revered restaurant, and a shop where Gwyneth once bought a pair of organic hemp sandals? They show up in airline magazines and convention center publications? Well that wasn’t my Saturday in Napa. My Saturday in Napa was the kind of perfect day that only good planning mixed with taking a chance and a touch of serendipity could bring.

We started at the Paraduxx open house with a glass of Duckhorn sauvignon blanc (in Riedel stemless glasses) with Spring Hill Jersey fresh cheese curds. That was followed by barrel tastings, then the 2003 Paraduxx accompanied by pork sausage and white bean stew with fresh parsley. Then the 2004 Paraduxx, then the 2002 with a cookie selection and chocolate covered strawberries.

A drive across the valley and one up treacherous Spring Mountain Road (remember those glasses mentioned above were tastes, not full servings) took us to the Terra Valentine tour and tasting. We arrived to the tour late, but having been several times, were really just there for the tasting. The TV tasting is unique. They sit you down at a beautiful big table, pour out the wine, encourage pairing it with the cheese, nuts, quince paste, and chocolate sitting on a small plate before you, and sit back to watch the conversation flow. My parents had a date to attend the Napa Valley Symphony with the tour guide (the TV comptroller) and his girlfriend (a tour participant) by the third wine, and I had housing recommendations from his brother by the fourth. We carried our box of wine out, took pictures in front of the barrels for our holiday card, and headed back down to the valley floor.

At Celadon, Greg Cole came over to check on our meal, and conversation quickly turned to the local landmark restaurant in my hometown. After feasting on calamari with with a spicy chipotle chili glaze, coconut prawns with mango, cucumber and greens, and Moroccan inspired braised lamb shank, we were too full for dessert and topped off the meal with a walk down main street Napa instead.

I drove home to that great kind of family conversation that takes years and years to develop. The kind no magazine article can ever capture and the kind that makes a day truly perfect.

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1 Comment

  1. fabulous girl said,

    OK, now I’m REALLY hungry.

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