Marcia and Matt showed up at 1pm to go wine tasting and I answered the door in a towel with a toothbrush in my mouth. I dressed, gathered my bearings, and we got in the car and drove up to Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg.
We stopped at Lambert Bridge which I think was the first winery I went to as part of my Sonoma County Appellations class. I don’t remember being too impressed then, and as much as I like the fireplace burning actual wood and the fancy members-only, candle-lit, barrels-to-the-ceiling tasting room, their wines didn’t do much for me. But they did let us go without charging for the tasting. I love flexible capitalism. When it works in my favor.
Next we stopped at a cute little place in a geodesic dome structure with great view called Armida. It was ok, I didn’t get the best vibe from the woman helping us, but I think I enjoyed their Chardonnay. Cleverly, they have a wine called Poizin, as in Zinfandel.
After that we stopped by the much touted Roshambo tasting room, a place marketed towards young happening hipsters like us. We were served by a nice boy wearing eyeliner from West County, and I think we tried like 10 different wines off both their complimentary and reserve list. No charge! At that point my discriminatory powers were deteriorating, but I picked up a bottle of their 2002 Dry Creek Valley Syrah, aka Justice. Matt joined their “party army” aka wine club.
Our last stop was Belvedere, not a place I’d heard of, but then there are many wineries I haven’t heard off. The font of their winery is in that all caps light-serif font that you might imagine the Romans chiseled into marble. Which I tend to find immediately off-putting. I’m a sans-serif boy at heart. But their wines were quite nice. Matt was jonesing over their Cabernet and picked up a bottle, I quite liked their 2001 Sonoma County Zinfandel (a blend of Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Zin) and did likewise.
Stick a cork in it I’m done. Next stop: meat! So we went back towards Healdsburg proper in search of something that might approximate a nice juicy barbequed tri-tip. We ended up at the Bear Republic Brewery with high hopes. Their Racer 5 IPA did not disappoint, oh is it ever good, but the “Carolina-style” pulled pork barbeque sandwich could have been better informed by a trip back east. Nonetheless, beer, garlic fries, and friends, really, what more could I ask?