Wine Tasting in Napa Valley (Part 2)

Last time I left you I was in the amazing ‘just the right amount of drunk so I’m super confident and will talk shit to anyone / get me some food right now before I fall asleep’. We stopped in THE CUTEST little town in the valley for lunch called Yountville which looked super posh, so I decided to down a litre of water and act normal before we found a place to eat.

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I wasn’t going to mention lunch in this post but after we went to Bottega how the hell could I not!? After travelling for nearly 3 months and not having a proper sit down meal this was heaven on earth. I’d like to think that the food was actually delicious and it wasn’t just our craving for actually good food that made it so. That sounded like the food wasn’t good, it was SO GOOD!

We started with an antipasti board which we gobbled down in about 3 seconds, then we ordered starters and mains.

I had:

Tuna sashimi
Frutti de Mare in Aqcua Pazza. HOW POSH DOES THAT SOUND!?!?!?

Chris had:

Polpette alla Griglia (short rib meatballs from heaven)
Bistecca Marinata (paprika oil marinated steak with a super swanky salad)
Before we get onto the food, let me just have a rave about the bread and garlic spread that they just kept bringing over – not that I’m complaining AT ALL!! The bread was freshly baked and super crusty and delicious and with it came a little pot of heaven. From what I gather it was garlic, parmesan, salt, parsley and oil all mashed up. At least I hope that’s what it is because as soon as I get home that’s what I’m gonna whack in a blender and pray to GOD a that something similar pops out. As I’m writing this it doesn’t sound that impressive but it was the BEST thing we had both eaten in a long time.

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^ I need a moment alone with this photo * LICKLICKLICKLICK*

Tuna sashimi wasn’t the official swish Italian name for my starter (the waiter told me but I forgot, sue me) but that’s basically what it was. Oh yeah, and it was served on a GIANT ICE CUBE!!!! And it came with fried capers.

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Chris’ starter was also freakin’ yum; the meat was soooo sweet and juicy and just fell apart in your mouth. There were lots of ‘mmmmmmmmm’s’ going on and the big fat meanie only let me have one bite. How rude.

Onto mains. Mine was a seafood soup with cod, prawns (which they had SO THOUGHTFULLY taken the fiddly body off so I only had to pull the head off, I hate that about prawns, so mega thoughtfulness points going on there), clams, squid which, if I’m gonna complain about something was a leeeeeettle but chewy, but nobody’s perfect, and a massive toasted crouton. The broth was lovely and was packed full of fresh tomatoes and herbs.

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Chris’ steak was cooked to perfection – a little charred on the outside and pinky pink on the inside. I’m gonna have to invest in some paprika oil and start marinating my steak in it.
Deciding we were stuffed like Thanksgiving (we are in the USA after all) turkeys, we got the bill and spent a few minutes wandering around before we spied gelato and actually decided we weren’t that full after all. Funny how that happens, innit?

After that feed I could have done with a nap but sadly (or not) we had another winery to get to. It’s a tough life.

The last winery we went to was called Jacuzzi. Yup, the same people that invented the actual jacuzzi. By now – let’s not beat around the bush – I was pretty hammered and slipping into a food coma so the notes didn’t exactly write themselves. We tried 5 wines here but I especially remember the Pinot Noir but my favourite was the prosecco. It was so light and dry it was basically like swallowing sparkly air. Perked me right up.

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The grounds of the winery were just bloody gorgeous.

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Also at Jacuzzi they make their own olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yes I KNOW I said I was full but… well, whatever. My absolute fave was the fig vinegar. Lovely sweet figs with the tanginess of vinegar was scrum-diddly-umptious.

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If you ever find yourselves in Northern California (why wouldn’t you!?) then you can track Bottega down via its website here.


Whitehall Lane Winery @Whitehalllane
Markham Vineyards @MarkhamVineyard
Jacuzzi @JacuzziWines

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^ stopped here to take in the view and fell in love with San Fran.


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