FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Trip Recap

May 6, 2015 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Trip Recap 

8 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Rock Star Patrick

Cute, Cuter, Cutest!

  • Lodi, Sutter Creek, Murphys – now that we’ve stayed at 2 out of 3 – Sutter Creek would be a definite if we come back.
  • Accommodations ranged from $100 to $150 – lunches ranged from $10 to $45 – dinners ranged from $75 to $150 including wine. (that crab is not cheap)
  • Cell service was spotty in the foothills which I had no problem with!

Wine tasting – we loved the “unpretentiousness” of all the places we visited – many didn’t charge or waived the fee in lieu of buying a bottle – we share one tasting when visiting multiple wineries – wine clubs saved us 20% to 40% + no shipping

  • All in all, we made a good haul – good thing we brought the truck!
9 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Rock Star Colin

  • Cute, Cuter, Cutest! – The best part was seeing our Rock Stars & Pinewood Derby Queen!

FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Sutter Creek to Plymouth – Day 2

April 28, 2015 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Sutter Creek to Plymouth – Day 2 

2nd stop Sutter Creek – we needed to fuel up on a good lunch. As we drove down Main Street I spotted Hotel Sutter and just knew it was “the place.” My California burger was cooked a perfect med-rare topped with bacon, avocado and pepper jack and a side of garlic fries. Heaven! (I don’t eat that much meat so when I do it has to be really good) The entree beet & kale salad was bursting with flavors from the combination of shaved brussel sprouts, oranges, toasted almonds, and pomegranate seeds; drizzled with white balsamic vinaigrette. Nice selection of wines by the glass and draft beers. The Runquist 1448 blend at $25 a bottle was a good choice. (The name refers to the elevation where it’s grown)

6 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Hotel Sutter

3rd stop Plymouth – located in Amador County, which is the heart of the Sierra Foothills, they boast over 40 wineries. Two that were recommended were Runquist and Renwood. Since our tasting time was limited we started at Renwood and then discovered Turley was just across the street from Runquist. We’ve been drinking Turley wines since we discovered them in Paso Robles back in 2007. They don’t offer a typical wine club with discounts. I had to wait several years before being allowed to order their new releases. Our Amador favorite was Runquist hands down. We joined their wine club and got 15% off of our mixed case of Barbera, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, and the 1448 red blend.

7 Trip to Modesto 3.15

Sutter Creek

  • We stayed here specifically to have dinner at Taste. It has been named as one of the Top 100 Wine Restaurants in America by Wine Enthusiast magazine. I read that this was “one of the best meals ever” but that was not our experience. We started with their signature Mushroom Cigar appetizer – crimini, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, fresh herbs and goat cheese wrapped in phyllo – followed by the roasted beet salad, and for the entrée Roasted Halibut. Maybe we had too much FUN wine tasting but it just didn’t taste “off the charts” fabulous as we had expected. I did like the local red wine flight priced at $14 and the service was exceptional.
  • The top rated TA hotel was the Shenandoah Inn. While the outside looked like any other non-descript motel, the rooms were large, clean, and had been nicely remodeled. The staff and manager went out of their way to make us feel welcome and accommodate our needs. FYI – Taste is opening a 17 room boutique hotel called Rest at the end of the year. And probably a whole lot more money too!

2 Trip to Modesto 3.15

FUN-fact – Sutter Creek, known as the “Jewel of the Mother Lode,” was named after John Sutter, who sent a party to the area in 1846 in search of timber. Sutter’s discovery of gold at nearby Coloma in January 1848 triggered the California Gold Rush.

More FF – When you buy local wines in the restaurants they don’t gouge you by more than doubling the price.

FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Modesto to Sutter Creek – Day 2

April 25, 2015 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Wine Tasting – Modesto to Sutter Creek – Day 2 

1st stop Lodi – to pick up our wine club orders at Oak Ridge and Klinker Brick. Oak Ridge is Lodi’s oldest operating winery and has some incredibly good wines and even better prices! We are members of their VIP club – 2-3 select bottles each month – cost $25 – 35% tasting room discount. March’s special deal was Pinot Noir at an additional 5% off. That was a no brainer, we got a case. What makes it even better is they have 8 different varietals for a total of 48 different labels that include whites, reds, blends, champagne, sherry, and port. This is by far one of the best wine clubs we have joined! Their Moss Roxx is off the charts! We love the smoky richness. We had it at a restaurant in San Diego and that is what brought us here.

Lodi 2

  • Klinker Brick is much smaller, offering only zinfandel and syrah wines. Their tasting room is fairly big and has lots of FUN items for sale including a large selection of jewelry. This week’s special was too good to pass up – free pair of earrings with each necklace purchased. I found a great chunky amethyst one.
  • As we headed off, we started doing the math on the Oak Ridge pricing, and  turned around to get another case. That saved us $25 in shipping and as we say, “You can’t drink the shipping charge.”

FUN-fact – Lodi is the “Zin Capitol of the World” producing a whopping 35%. More grapes are grown in Lodi (100,000 acres) than in all of Napa (45,000 acres). They are known for their Zinfandels and Syrahs which are intense in color and concentration of flavors. And YUMMY might I add!