Archive for April 8th, 2010


wines with a view

Well my family and I are back from San Fran and Napa and not happy about it either! It was a great trip and we all had a ton of fun! We ate a ton of great food and had some wonderful vino along with it. I took as many pics as I could, which was quite a lot, so I’m going to do this in installments. Up first will be days 1 and 2.

After we landed we were treated to several circuits around SFO picking up other shuttle passengers and then nearly two more hours being taken around every corner of the downtown area we were finally dropped of at our hotel, The Argonaut. It’s in the old Del Monte cannery building at the western end of the wharf next to Ghirardelli Square and the Powell and Hyde turnaround. It was a great hotel and we even lucked out with a Golden Gate view! We chose to stay here as one it was a 4 star and two because it was right on the wharf and with a 12-year-old along for the ride this time it was a better location for her. The hotel hosted nightly wine tastings/receptions in the lobby but I only managed to grab a glass that first night. Once we settled in we headed out to Pier 39 to have dinner at our favourite little tourist restaurant, Neptune’s Palace, which has, IMHO, one of the best bowls of clam chowder I’ve ever had and stunning views of the bay. The chowder, we were informed by Jorge has been made by the same chef for over 20 years! As it was still Lent I went for the seared ahi tuna with a citrus butter sauce and paired it with this:

2007 Merryvale, “Starmont” Chardonnay, Napa

This was a bright and crisp chard with wonderful acidity tons of yellow apple and pear flavours and just a hint of oak.

Dinner for day two was another Wharf spot Castagnola’s where I had the Cedar Plank Salmon and paired it with this:

2008 Le Crema, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Very smooth and supple on the palate with lovely fruit flavours balanced by some lovely earthy spice and silky tannins. I liked this one so much that I ordered it a second time at a different restaurant when I saw that they had it as well.

I’m going to try to tackle the Napa and Sonoma pics in the next few days and will probably try to cover one winery each day so stay tuned.