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Published: October 26th 2013
Ridge Vineyards, Lytton Springs
This was our first stop of the day.
I did not intend to blog about this trip so please forgive the sketchy details.
My reason for traveling to the Bay Area in March 2013 was not a happy one. In early March, I received news that a close friend from grad school had died suddenly. I made a last minute decision to go for his funeral in San Francisco. Fortunately, my cousin A. lives in the East Bay, and she and her partner T. graciously put me up. This was a good thing as far as I was concerned because they were there to listen and help me process the loss of my friend. The funeral was held on Friday March 8th and it was my saddest day in recent memory, but at least I got to say goodbye to M. and reconnect with some of my friends from UCLA.
Anyway, A. was due to go to Sonoma the day after the funeral. On that day, a number of wineries opened their doors to hold barrel tastings, with unlimited tastings at participating venues for a flat fee of $50. What a steal! So, early on Saturday morning, we set off from the East Bay with her friend
Unknown Winery #1
The wineries were a blur! This one had a mission-style building with a beautiful courtyard.
K. First order of the day: greasy fast food breakfast, which is apparently useful for whetting the appetite and absorbing the wine that was to come! With greasy breakfast in hand, we set out on the interstate (the I-580 I think) up north to Sonoma.
As I wasn't planning on blogging about this, I did not take notes, and so the wineries were a blur to me. The first one we visited was Ridge Vineyards. After that, we visited another five or six wineries and at each venue we sampled wine and grazed on cheeses, dips, breads, stews and sausages. I'm not much of a carnivore but today I sure ate my stress/sorrows away. Our second last stop of the day was Medlock Ames, a small bar known for serving drinks infused with fresh herbs from the garden. We had aperitifs there as the sun set. Our last stop of the day was Hawkes Wine, where A. had booked us for a private wine pairing event. Hawkes is a friendly family run business. The wine pairing was done in two batches that day, and we were in the second batch. While waiting, the friendly guy at the bar shucked
We stopped here for sundowners garnished with fresh herbs from this garden.
oyster after oyster and I downed them one after another until I started feeling self-conscious. The staff there also came around with several rounds of canapés. After the pairing, we headed back to East Valley with full tummies.
I flew back to Honolulu the next morning. The flight back was the first time I had been alone in two days, and my mind wandered towards my friend. I was pretty depressed by the time I arrived in Honolulu, so as soon as I landed, I made a beeline for my favorite sushi restaurant - Mitch's Sushi - a small joint situated in an industrial area near the airport. The fish at Mitch's is very fresh, but pricey too. The nigiri sushi selection pictured cost $35! But, it was a good pick-me-up and it put me in a better frame of mind as I headed home to seek comfort from my kitties.
This blog entry is dedicated to M. RIP my friend. I miss you.
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