The Wine & Food Affair. This event is my favorite of the Wine Road events - wine, food, wine, food. My mouth loves it, my waistline hates it, but that's a separate blog entry. My girls and I headed to Healdsburg for a weekend of amazing wines paired with delicious food. We paid a whopping $60 for this event this year, and expected great things...
This isn't a pic from the weekend, but man, looks good eh? Maria Manso restaurant in San Rafael. If you're curious.
Winery 1: J
We usually end at J, but decided to change it up a little this time. Guess what? Not impressed. Not even a little. Normally my friend A loves J, but nothing jumped out at even her! The Pinot was boring, the sparkling was dry (how I like it if I'll ever drink sparkling again) but unappealing, and my girls said that the Chard was just bad. The food portions were small and unappetizing.
Winery 2: Rodney Strong
Walking over to Rodney from J, up the stairs, we followed the signs and I get carded. Carded. On the Wine Road. Should I be flattered since I'm almost 30? Maybe. Was I? No. The pretentiousness that we never find in the Russian River/Alexander Valley/Healdsburg area wineries was too apparent for the first hour. It was discouraging. Extremely. The first wine we had was great - an '05 Reserve Cab. Yum. Paired with the smallest piece of steak on the ittiest piece of bread with the tiniest dollop of cheesy goodness, the wines were good. Good, but not great. They moved you too quickly from wine station to wine station, so fast that you didn't even have time to down the first taste before being moved along to the next one.
Our thinking at this point: J & Rodney Strong need event planners and FRIENDLY customer service training for their staff. Like all great events, when they get too big, they lose the fun! Think Halloween in the Castro. Think New Years in Tahoe. We hoped for the best on the way to the next round.
Cheers to the first hour of Saturday! Cheers to more wine reviews (finally)...coming soon!