Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wine Tasting - Healdsburg

Work's been crazy - it always is the first week of the month.  But last weekend I managed to have a bit a fun and hosted friends for the weekend.  I always get a bit nervous having friends stay at my home.  It just feels so new still.  But good nervous, like butterflies in the stomach nervous, or when you're a kid and waiting for relatives to come over for a holiday.

I made snickerdoodle muffins {recipe here} and salted toffee chocolate chip cookies (recipe coming soon, I promise!).  It makes my house smell lovely and it always makes people smile to see a platter full of treats.

We spent Saturday wine tasting in the Healdsburg square (i.e. Alexander Valley - a bit northwest of Sonoma and Napa).  Sometimes it feels so luxurious living so close to the heart of Wine Country.

Dan and I end up spending a lot of weekends visiting different wineries and tasting rooms.  They're just so close and so gorgeous, plus Pacino gets to come too :)  We have some favorites in Healdsburg, but last weekend we discovered a few more that I just had to share.

Kendall Jackson - It's just up the street from my house, but the last time I was there was almost 10 years ago looking for a wedding site for my best friend.  The grounds are gorgeous.  They do food and wine pairing which is always fun and they have great outdoor seating in the back.

{this was the "before" shot}

Oakville Grocery - This is always our first stop for lunch.  No seriously, I brought Dan here once and it's the only place we can eat at now when we're in town.  Oh but it's so so good.

Topel - Directly across the street from Oakville is the Topel tasting room.  The guys here were so friendly and they even had treats for Pacino at the door.

Roadhouse Winery - Just on the other side of Oakville grocery - a small selection but definitely worth popping in.  Mostly pinot noir, plus a deliciously chocolatey dessert wine.  I'm not usually into the sweeter stuff, but just a few sips was perfect.

Vintage Wine Estates - This is always one of our stops when we're in the Healdsburg square.  They've got quite the family of labels so there's always something fun to try.  Fire Station Red was one that we discovered here and it's perfect with anything off the grill. A real mans wine if there is such a thing.  Paul is our favorite behind the bar.  It's so much about the people you meet too.

JCB - Now we didn't taste here, I'm only mentioning it because the space is pretty cool lookin'.  I've been here before and I hate to say this, but the taste is just a bit lacking, which was a huge disappoint since I'm such a fan of bubbles.  But if you happen to be walking by, definitely pop your head in at least for the design decor.

Toad Hollow - Paul from Vintage Wine Estates suggested we go here and I am so so glad he did.  We had such a great time and Ben left as a wine club member and with a case of wine, claiming we'd have it drunk by the end of the night. (That didn't happen.)   It's just off the square - less than a 5 min walk.  Just past the delicious restaurant Willi's Seafood.  Go there too :)

Williamson - Loved it here!  That's Jason in the back in the photo.  He's the owners son and was so great in putting up with our shenanigans.  He did wine and food pairing for us and we bought this delicious tasting beet horseradish mustard - sounds weird, I know.  But it's delicious!

Spoonbar - We were on our way to the car and passed by this bar / restaurant and had to stop.  It's part of the h2hotel and has this  fantastic indoor/outdoor seating.  We're will definitely going back soon to check out the eats!

Cutest couple shots:

I think B & P win :)


Disclaimer - this is a fairly aggressive wine tasting day, we shared flights and not everyone tasted at every place  :)


  1. This sounds like my dream weekend come true!

  2. Hi! I just discovered your blog through Cup Of Jo! Congrats! I have been to Napa once, like 5 years ago. But I am from Spain, and trust me, I appreciate some good wine/good food/good company!/...Good vibes! xoxo

  3. Okay I really feel like you and I could be really good friends :) Wine tasting in Healdsburg sounds like a dream. Next time come over to Santa Barbara wine country! Have a great weekend!

    1. Aww, thanks! I feel the same way when I read yours. A Santa Barbara weekend is definitely on the to do list!

  4. Sounds like a fabulous time! I love wine tasting. Have been to both Napa and Sonoma numerous times but have never been to Alexander Valley. Next time :)

    Hope you're having a great weekend! xoxo

  5. Tebowing?! a good time must have been had by all.


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