Sunday, March 7, 2010

More wine please wine please wine please wine please

My flight touched down at Oakland airport a little before noon on Saturday and I picked up my bags and stood at the curb waiting for Thereasa, my friend whom I've known since high school, grade school actually, forever actually, and she picked me up and we headed north towards Napa. The weather was sunny and warm and perfect as it always is in California and I looked out the window at the sea of wild mustard and row upon row of grape vines stretching into infinity.

We stopped at a winery to do some tasting and were presented with a menu and the gentlemen behind the counter suggested we start of with a riesling and I said how about we just get right to the reds? And he said well of course and we did. Pinot noir and merlot and a cabernet decanted in a large glass cylinder and more pinot and a dessert wine of some sort.

Next we headed to St. Helena where Thereasa had made reservations at a restaurant called the Martini House and we sat down and she ordered a bottle of some kind of Spanish wine because it was only fitting, seeing as how we're going to Italy and Spain in September. We toasted our upcoming trip and enduring friendship and soon we were met by Thereasa's friend Neil and he toasted with us. More wine was brought, an Australian shiraz, and food began to appear. Marinated olives and a mushroom mousse piped onto pastry and something called a lobster slider. They were delicious and I toasted each one. My eyes swam over the menu and I ordered a hanger steak and the waitress asked how I wanted it and I said medium please and she said no, that wouldn't do, the chef only prepared it medium-rare, so I said medium-rare please and she walked off and I was left wondering why she'd asked in the first place, but no matter. But then it arrived and it melted in my mouth and there was more wine with this, I have no idea what kind of wine, but Thereasa was ordering different wines with each course.

I know enough of wines to look at a menu and ask for the house merlot and if I'm feeling cheeky I'll detect a hint of oak, but we had wines to compliment the salad and the steak and even the dessert, which was a hazelnut pot de crème, good god, and by the end of the meal the wine was complimenting my hair and my shoes and my breasts and then they brought coffee and a pitcher of cream and the cream had been heated and frothed and if I could have had sex with the coffee I would have. There were cubes of raw sugar which I stirred into the coffee and which made lovely swirly patterns in the coffee and I watched these converge one into the next and someone that wasn't me paid for the meal and finally they set a tray of three chocolates on the table.  Neil ate one and said we needed to try it and we said no in the way that one who is so completely, irrevocably sated says no and he said no really, you need to try it, so we did. We each took a chocolate and put it in our mouth and bit into it and then paused and our eyes opened wide and we looked at one another and we each had a petite mort by chocolate right there in the Martini House.

Next we drove to Bodega Bay, we not being me, winding over verdant green hills until we pulled into our lodge. I sat back in the car and closed my eyes while Thereasa got out to check us in. I could hear the surf and smell the ocean smells and feel the breeze on my face. When I opened my eyes Thereasa was handing me two glasses of wine through the car window because apparently when you check into a hotel in Sonoma County they give you glasses of wine.

We went to our suite where I built a roaring fire (lit a presto log) and we sat and talked about all the things friends talk about when they haven't seen each other in too long. We ordered room service and they brought us a plate of artisanal cheeses and fresh fruit and I sipped more wine and bit into an almond drizzled with honey and every cell in my body buzzed with pleasure and I said hey let's go to the beach she said yes let's, and we stripped off our clothes and donned our clitter and ran naked through the surf and I said, baby I feel so alive.  No not really. We were tired and it was late so I crawled into bed and sunk into six thousand feet of down and slept for days, weeks, eight hours at least. When I awoke I stumbled to the window and opened the shutters and this is what I saw.




Behind me I heard Thereasa say they have eggs benedict made with dungeness crab you know. I said really? And she said really. And it all started over again like some glorious, Tom Hanksless groundhog day.

Ah, California.













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23 comments:

  1. OH MY GOSH that sounds AMAZING - there is nothing better than a good friend, mutual petite mort over food, drowing in wine and sunshine...glad you had it Kristin!
    ~m

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  2. I am a tad envious. Just a tad! Here's to more wine and more wine and more wine. Clink.

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  3. /jealous.

    That sounds WONDERFUL! :)

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  4. This sounds AMAZING! Sounds like you had a great time!!

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  5. Brenda is a "tad" envious, I am super envious, although I would have started with the riesling.

    AV

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  6. That sounds so nice...I wish I could have been there 'til the end. Neil

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  7. Wow...I wanna go to Napa now! I'm not even a huge wine fan (but I'm slowly developing a bit of a taste for it...unfortunately my husband says it's always the expensive stuff!) Great post. I felt like I was with you on your drive.

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  8. I am here to the end and I don't want to leave!

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  9. This morning was french toast and belgian waffles and potatoes and coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice in bed, in front of the fire. In case anyone was wondering...

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  10. Hi Kristin,

    OK, so yesterday was the first time I've ever been on your blog, but I didn't have time to comment.

    Can I just start with saying that your profile is amazing! I have a clear picture of who you are in few words. By the second sentence, you had me. By the end, I was a follower of your blog. It doesn't hurt that your posts and photography are fabulous.

    I'll have you know that I don't go writing all pretty & nice on everyone's blog. There's something in your subject matter and style that uniquely speaks to me. I think the same Universe that (who?) dumped you in Kansas dropped me on your blog.

    Wish we were in Napa talking about all of this over a bottle of wine instead of in Connecticut and Kansas. Until we meet (blog/comment) again.

    -Anne Marie

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  11. I so wish I could appreciate the pleasures of wine. It sounds so magnificent, but completely eludes me, just like chocolate and cheese and lobster and all sorts of other stuff that makes people happy.

    I will assume this is not the work part of your trip.

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  12. Anne Marie, wow, thanks for the beautiful compliment. I enjoyed your blog as well. And Celeste, what do you mean you assume this isn't the work part of my trip? When I said someone paid for the meal that wasn't me I was referring to our employer. Have been expensing all!

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  13. I'm a native Californian so this post is especially delicious to me. I love seeing your photos and hearing about the wine with friends and food. Ahhh.....the wine!

    Enjoy!!

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  14. I want to go to California now. I particularly enjoyed the enormous quantity of wine put away and something about 8 hours sleep - wow.

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  15. Your detail is exquisite, and not being a wine lover, even I felt slightly heady from your descriptions. Pass me some chocolate please!!

    My only problem with your whole story is that you seemed to rush through that one paragraph that describes your whole wine dinner at the Martini restaurant. I literally felt my eyes flying over the words, and running out of breath. It's beautifully written (once I slowed down and reread it) but a few more periods, less ands new sentences wouldn't hurt. I find myself doing this too, rushing through the memory to make sure I get it all out there before it is forgotten. Sometimes, it pays off to take a breath.

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  16. Ah, Napa. How I adore Napa.
    I was there last weekend and ate Brix...the best meal I've had in a long while, if not ever.

    What I loved about this, and you'll have to tell me if it was intentional or not, is that as I progressed through the piece it seemed as though your writing reflected that you grew more and more tipsy from all of the wine.

    Great post. :)

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  17. @ Nichole, thank you and yes, that was the intention. I think I could spend the rest of my days eating in Napa, it has the most wonderful restaurants!

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  18. I would've skipped the coffee and had sex with the chocolate. Sounded amazing!

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  19. Love it! I lived near Napa for 4 years and I could picture exactly what you were describing. Well done. More wine please. :)

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  20. Lovely, intoxicating descriptions. Please let me come on your next vacation :)

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  21. We hit LA this past summer, and though it was fun, this post makes me sad that I didn't have my first California experience in Napa. Sounds incredible - wine mixed with ocean smells and coffee sex - my favorite.

    One question though - Do those places ever call people a cab?

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