A visit to Maui is always a magical experience, so I was expecting nothing less during our stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua last month. From the moment we arrived up until we left, Nick and I were incredibly pleased with our experience. Sadly, we were only there for two nights, but it was an incredibly luxurious, relaxing and memorable way to start our vacation!
I definitely taste my fair share of wines from California, but Grenache isn’t something I come across all that often. I like Grenache, so it’s always fun to find a good producer. Meet Angela Osborne, the Kiwi behind the label, A Tribute to Grace. For the past few years, she’s dedicated herself to producing single-vineyard, 100% Grenache wines from California. And I have to say, her wines are awesome.
Ah, spring. Over the years, I’ve grown to really appreciate all that spring has to offer — spring green veggies, blooming flowers, the excitement that long summer days are around the corner… and spring brunchin’ with friends. So, to kick off the forthcoming “brunching season,” I got together with a few of Santa Barbara’s finest ladies in the food and flower businesses to throw a Spring Brunch with Wine Pairings — you’ll definitely want to recreate this at home!
Growing up in Santa Barbara, the majority of my childhood was spent at the beach. I did, however, spend a decent amount of time in the Santa Ynez Valley, where my dad had grown up on a ranch. I just remember expansive rolling hills, horses, cattle and cowboys. It’s true – before Santa Ynez was planted to acres and acres of vineyards, the valley was very much a ranching area. No more is this rich history in the ranching world evident than at The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort. Here, the majesty of the ‘Old West’ still lives on… in fact, there are almost as many horses as guests!
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, my idea of the perfect date night is staying in. Forget the fancy prix fixe dinner and crowds — I’d much rather cook a nice meal with my husband at home. But, since Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday this year, that meal has to be special without being time consuming. And the wine? Well, it can’t break the bank either. So, in order to help you nail your Valentine’s Day dinner at home, I’ve collaborated with fellow blogger Robin of CaliGirl Cooking on the perfect Valentine’s Day Wine Pairing Dinner.
Although I don’t drink many Cabernets from Napa Valley, there are a few producers that I admire and would gladly drink their wines any day. Larkmead Vineyards — located in the Calistoga area of the valley — is one of those producers. I first visited Larkmead back in 2008, just a couple of years after the tasting room first opened. So, when I visited Calistoga a couple of months ago, I was excited to return to Larkmead to taste how these wines and the winery as a whole have evolved. Bottom line, it did not disappoint!
Tasting rooms aren’t hard to come by in Sonoma’s downtown square. Wine tasting is one of the main draws of the area, after all. What you won’t find, though, is anything that compares to the charming and historical Adobe at Three Sticks Wines. Step inside The Adobe and you’ll be transported back in time… quite literally! The building is from the mid-1800s. Of course, it’s since been renovated by the Three Sticks folks, but is such a unique place to taste that you won’t want to miss it!
Is anyone else feeling like 2016 flew by faster than ever? It’s really hard to believe we’re just days away from ringing in a new year! While 2016 definitely came with some challenges, one of the best things about having a blog is being able to look back on all the great experiences I’ve been fortunate to have. From honeymoon adventures in Belize to staycationing in Santa Barbara and amazing wine and food experiences, here are some of my favorite blog moments of 2016 in no particular order.
Indian Springs Resort and Spa may be one of the oldest continuously operating resorts in California, but don’t expect it to feel old and dingy. The Bohemian resort, located on the main drag near downtown Calistoga, is charming and casual with a retro vibe. Although I had passed by Indian Springs on numerous occasions over the years, I was excited to experience the resort firsthand during my last trip to Calistoga. It was just as relaxing as I expected!
Last month, my friend and I took an impromptu trip up to Napa Valley for a couple of days of exploring to kickstart the holiday season. Although we spent a little time in Sonoma, the majority of our trip was in the Calistoga area of Napa Valley. Brand new to Calistoga is Davis Estates, a beautiful winery on the Silverado Trail just a few minutes from downtown. Since Davis Estates has only been open for a couple of months, we couldn’t wait to check it out!