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Napa Valley

Posted Mar 28 2012 7:00am

First it was Boulder, CO. Now it’s Napa Valley. I’m referring to the “I just had the most amazing indulgent weekend away and now I want to permanently live here” effect.

Yup, Napa Valley, you had me at hello.

I spent this past weekend in Napa at Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives and had some free time to explore. “Exploring” in Napa is code for “eating delicious food and drinking wine” because really that was the theme of the trip.

We visited some really cool wineries including the more touristy spots:

Castello di Amoroso

Darioush

Del Dotto

And the local best kept secrets:

Bremer Family

It’s not every day I do a wine tasting but I really appreciate how much more knowledgable I am about wine afterward. For instance, I now know the difference between a creamy and an oaky chardonnay. I could tell ya what a Cab Franc is (and that I love it). But most importantly, I could guide you through an official barrel tasting.   It involves a lot of stirring, sipping, swishing, and sniffing. Being the foodie that I am, I totally appreciate the process of making wine and loved learning about it during this trip.

With great wine comes great food. I’m still swooning over a few of my fav dishes:

Spinach and ricotta raviolo. Farm fresh egg. Fried sage. Brown butter. @ Bottega

 Mozzarella (Hand stretched and made to order) @  Tra Vigne

Butterscotch and sea salt caramel panna cotta @ Tra Vigne

Other great local eats included Cook and Ad Hoc .

I managed to cook some of my own food too at HKHL with Chef Patrick. My coworkers and I made a beautiful Romesco sauce at a cooking class all about legumes and nuts. We had some fun getting our hands dirty in the CIA kitchen. I never realized how much patience it takes to separate the skin from the flesh of an ancho chile!

So great food, great wine, what more could you ask for you say? How about a beautiful landscape? Oh yea, got that covered too.

Herb garden @ French Laundry

Yep, Boulder, CO, you’ve got yourself some friendly competition. I could totally spend my days in Napa Valley soaking up the beautiful scenery, sipping delicious wine, and savoring local food.

Until next time, Napa.

Peace, love, and food,

Kara

Have you been to Napa Valley before? Have you had weekend away lately that you didn’t want to end?


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