Adventures in Wine Country

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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I joked that yesterday was the third best day of my life, behind my wedding day and last year’s adventures to wine country. Ok, the day that Mal and I closed on our new house was pretty epic too, so maybe yesterday was the forth best day of my life! 😉

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When Jenna, Anne, and I arrived in Santa Rosa (via bus), we headed straight to lunch at Bruno’s on Forth, a cute neighborhood restaurant that serves tradition American cuisine.

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For lunch, I ordered a cappuccino.

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And a salad made with baby greens, candied walnuts, apples, and a herb goat cheese crostini. Both hit the spot.

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Once our bellies were full, it was time to taste wine! Our first stop was Dutton Estate Winery.

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I liked all of the wines that we tasted at Dutton Estate, but my favorites were the 2008 Vine Hill Chardonnay and 2008 Thomas Road Pinot Noir.

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Our next stop was Hartford. It was gorgeous!

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Of course, we took advantage of the beautiful location and took a zillion photos.

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In addition to snapping a ton of pictures, we did a tasting at Hartford. I loved all of the wines that I tried, but I especially enjoyed the Stone Côte Chardonnay and Fanucchi-Wood Zinfandel. I loved them so much, I actually debated buying a bottle of each, but, sadly, they were out of my price range. 😕

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Even still, I loved tasting them! 😀

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Clearly, Jenna and Anne enjoyed the tasting too! 😉

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Our final wine tasting of the day was at Kendall-Jackson. (FYI: Kendall-Jackson has a new wine blog. Be sure to check it out! 😀 )

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We had worked up quite an appetite wine tasting, so we snacked on some freshly made pizza as soon as we arrived. Pizza + wine = my heaven.

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It was so delish! :mrgreen:

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Then, Anne and I each participated in a wine pairing. I went with a wine + cheese pairing, while she went for the wine + food pairing.

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The wine + cheese pairing included six Artisan Cheeses from Sonoma and Marin counties, paired with six food-friendly wines from Kendall-Jackson. Each cheese was paired with a different wine that complemented its flavor and texture.

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Check out the pairing menu!

  • 2008 Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc + Délice de la Vallée, The Epicurean Connection
  • 2008 Jackson Hills Chardonnay + California Crottin, Redwood Hill Farm
  • 2008 Vintner’s Reserve Riesling + Carmody, Bellwether Farms
  • 2006 Grand Reserve Syrah + Estero Gold, Valley Ford Cheese Company
  • 2005 Highland Estates Trace Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon + Capricious, Achadinha Cheese Company
  • 2006 Late Harvest Chardonnay + Point Reyes Blue, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

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My favorite pairing was the 2008 Jackson Hills Chardonnay + California Crottin, which was a goat’s milk cheese with a sharp, meaty flavor and earthy aroma. It was both dense and fluffy in texture. The combination of the two was outstanding.

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In fact, I raved about the pairing so much, the nice folks at KJ sent me home with a bottle of the 2008 Jackson Hills Chardonnay. Sweet! I can’t wait to break it open! 😀

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Happy camper! :mrgreen:

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The wine and cheese pairing concluded with a refreshing palate cleanse, which was basically a Jello shot made with Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir. Interesting, right?

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I thought the tasting was over after the wine Jello shot, but the chef sent out a few squares of dark chocolate, which was paired with a small glass of port wine.

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Mmm! It was the perfect way to end the tasting.

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A few hours later, we met Kath and her husband, Matt, for dinner at Syrah Bistro in Santa Rosa.

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We enjoyed a nice Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon with dinner. It was bold, complex, and a little “juicy,” which is exactly how I like my reds.

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As an appetizer, the table shared a cheese plate with three local (and stinky) varieties.

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Before our entrees arrived, the chef sent out a couple of tasting plates for each of us to enjoy. The first included sweet potato, bacon, and blue cheese.

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The second was a cold celery-apple soup with a piece of skate. I really liked the unique flavors of both dishes.

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For my entree, I ordered the gnocchi, which was served with brussels sprouts, bacon, and shaved Parmesan. I loved it and ate every last bite.

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After eating all day long, I wasn’t sure if I had room for dessert. But, the table ordered the Fig Tart with Latte Ice Cream and the Chocolate Puddle to share, so I made room for a few bites. And I’m so glad that I did because the Chocolate Puddle was chocolate heaven in a mug! It basically tasted like partially cooked brownie batter. We devoured it!

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Recap of today coming up next. It’s been a full couple of days for me!

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42 Comments

  1. this post IS epic. your pictures are absolutely STUNNING and i am so envious of your wine tasting adventures. it’s something i’ve been dying to do since i turned 21.. which was only 1.5 years ago… ha

  2. Yeah, that does look like a pretty amazing day! That pizza looks so awesome, I love when they are “well done” and the cheesy gets a little brown. I wish we had more time and could have gone and done some wine tasting- there is always next year 🙂

  3. Thank you for stopping by Dutton Estate and we hope you visit us again soon. All of your pictures are amazing. West Sonoma County is a hidden gem; an enjoyable discovery experienced by you and your friends. Cheers!

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