Monday, July 9, 2012

I left my heart in San Francisco

Okay, the title isn't exactly accurate but I somehow thought it sounded a tad more classy than
"I left Sonoma in a wine induced coma?"

It's no secret to anyone that knows me well that my absolutely favorite things in life revolve around my family and friends.  However, I'd have to say that wine and fabulous food are a close 3rd & 4th priority for me.  So obviously when we plan a trip that's primarily focused on and in wine country, It's essentially my ideal vacation.

The 19 year old Caroline would be rolling her eyes at the 26 year old Caroline, mainly bc at that time, my idea of fine wine was a bottle of Fish Eye Merlot. (not that I'm knocking cheap wine bc let's be honest here- I have yet to find a wine I absolutely won't drink!) However, once college ended (as did the end of $8/ all u can drink Thursdays at Avio, which I still consider to be a tragedy.), you tend to figure out that there are actually better tasting wines out there that won't give you quite the insane headache and hangover that a box of Franzia tends to cause. Shocking, right?  Wait, let preface that last comment by saying that I'm pretty sure ALL wine can give you a headache if you drink enough of it...which I normally do, soooooo nevermind. 

Anywho, I've been counting down the days to this vacation since December, especially since Kev was actually pretty pumped to go too. Last time we went to San Fran & wine county, my ever-eloquent husband immediately informed our wine tour guide of the following:

"Hi. My name is Kevin. I am from Kentucky. I only drink beer and bourbon. I just think you should know that going in."

Umm geeze. Way to be open to new things. Not. Our wine tour guide was like 65 years old, and she refused to be detoured from Kev's pissy attitude regarding wine. She gave it right back to him by looking him up & down, and then saying, "Son, by the end of the day, I guarantee I'll have you drinking wine of some sort. Mark my words." At the time, I didn't know if Kev was intimidated by her or if he had just sampled so many that he didn't care, but she was right because by the end of the day ole buddy was slamming back some wine & loving it.

These days, kevs taste for wine has expanded something serious, which is why I was more excited about this trip out there than any other time I've been (sorry, momma!).  On this trip, Kev jumped right in to the wine tasting aspect of our trip, and immediately realized how much his wine palate had exponentially expanded from our last trip.

And when I say wine palate has exponentially expanded, I'm not just saying that.  Unfortunately, that sentiment regarding Kev's highly developed taste palate was discovered by a gentleman who helps run the Benzinger Winery in Sonoma.  THEN, it was confirmed by another wine-maker at a different winery in Napa.  Kevin being told he possessed a superior palate was hilarious because I'm prettttyyy sure it made Kevin feel like a rockstar at every tasting.  However, it began to get even funnier because he INSISTED on telling people at every tasting about his amazing tasting skills.  I'd say the best part of this is when the winery hosts would ask Kev if he tasted items that Kev refuses to even try, such as mushrooms, while sampling the wine.  
Kev's response would then tend to be something along the lines of this:  

"Ohhh you know, I knew I was having trouble pin-pointing every aspect of this particular wine selection.  I bet (fill in the blank of the item that he has never tried) that is it exactly!"

Uh huh.  Sure honey. Or, the other hysterical thing that Kev has now started doing while tasting wine is for him to read the label and SWEAR he tastes the most random ingredient in the wine, such as green pepper?  
I will say that Kevin has been blessed with an insanely acute sense of smell, so I'm not doubting he can taste different aspects of wine that other people cant.... But I'm doubting its as developed as he's making it out to be. However, its highly entertaining to listen to-- just ask the friends we were out there with on the trip :)

Don't worry though- it wasn't just my husband that was entertaining.  The three of us should win an award for some of the hilarious comments that came out of our spouses' mouths.  
For example:  While doing a private tour of a boutique winery, where the bottles are all $40+, which included a private tasting & dinner in a wine cave, one husband (who shall remain nameless) asked our host this jewel of a question

"Sooo, my wife & I also drink two buck Chuck... like from Trader Joes?  Can you tell me what the difference is between your alls wine & this wine?  Because I can't tell a lick of difference!"

 Gotta LOVE us some Kentucky boys in California.  After his wife quieted his awesomeness down, we got to enjoy an amazing amazing amazing dinner in a wine cave.  


Literally, such a thrill.  I think we all felt like we were major celebrities at this point.  (Random side note: this particular winery was where Ben's season of The Bachelor was filmed.  Also- Ben does NOT own that winery & they have cut off ALL ties with him... in case you were wondering.  :)  )

Believe it or not, we also did do some beautiful hikes in the Sonoma Valley while trying to detox after consuming mass quantities of wine.
I swear Kev isn't wearing a purse- its a water holder thing.  Because were SOOO rugged and all :)

Anwho, after about 5 days out there, yall know my homebody self starts to miss Kentucky & our plethora of animals.  However, I definitely think that our trip out there lands in one of my favorite trips of all time.  Amazing company, perfect weather, great hotel, and phenomenal wine.  Whats not to like?  Now I just have to convince Kev that we need to take a trip out there at least once a year :)  I mean, we can't possibly waste the talents of his highly developed palate now, can we?? :)   

Until then, I guess I'm gonna have to curb my desire to head back out west with me drinking the wine we bought & looking at pics off my phone that look like this....

Weeellll, that about does it for me!


  1. Awwwwwww that picture of you and your hubs sitting at the table is just to cute! You guys look great! I've never done the whole tour a winery thing, my fiance' enjoys wine a ton, we just haven' t made the time yet!

  2. Sooo fun!! And I just wish I could be a fly on the wall and watch "Kev, The Wine Connoisseur" in action!! I would be dying.

  3. Everything about this trip sounds amazing! I want to do more wine tastings I think it's a lot of fun even though I know very little about wine. :)

    side note: love your hair!

  4. 1. I love the "Son," comment from your tour guide. I would LOVE to have seen that!

    2. "Can't taste a lick of difference," ummm I love this also. I can totally hear that happening from any KY guy.

    3. Can we talk about your bad-ass arms in the flowery dress picture?! MUSCLE! :)

    4. I need to develop more of a refined palette when it comes to wine. I guess I should start by going to a tasting or two or three. Ha!

  5. Lucky!! I live like 2 hours from there and we never go! I would love to do a long weekend or something. Sounds amazing!

  6. Seriously DIED laughing. Y'all are too funny!

  7. i'd loooove to know what winery (the boutique one) you guys had dinner in the cave! I live in SF and we venture to napa/sonoma once a month! :)

  8. Looks like you had an amazing time! I defintiely want to take that vacation soon!