Sunday, June 19, 2011

First things first…

to our awesome dads!
(sorry it’s a little late…)

our dining room displaying James’ grandfather, uncles and dad, Papa C, and Sara’s dad during his hippie days, Skippy! Thanks for all y’all do!

And now onto the wine drinking!  This week, James and I chose a winery that is very special to not only us, but also Phil & Amy: Rombauer.

Rombauer: The Joy of Wine

Backstory…for our honeymoon, James really wanted to do something completely relaxing and tropical…sandy beaches, tropical drinks and tons of sun.  I, on the other hand, really wanted to go to Napa Valley and drink wine for 7 entire days…perfect California weather, endless wine tastings and amazing fine dining.  James won that battle as he’s already been to Napa…so since we went tropical, James promised he’d take me to Napa Valley for our one year anniversary…and boy, did he deliver!  I’m gonna go ahead and tell everyone…if you plan on going to Napa Valley, definitely go with a chef!  Those wineries LOVE when chefs come to taste!  As a result of James having an exclusive Rombauer Wine Dinner at the country club he was working at, the National Sales Manager was acting Somelier.  After the dinner, he invited James and a few guests  to spend some time in Napa at the Rombauer guest house.  Needless to say, we took him up on the gracious offer and Phil and Amy came with us!  So, we flew to San Francisco (spent a night there…which wasn’t long enough!), packed up the next morning and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Napa Valley.

James, Sara, Phil & Amy infront of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Once we got into Napa Valley…we oooh’d and ahhh’d at the beautiful scenery on the way to Romabuer Vineyards.  We were lucky enough to have a tour of the winemaking process, caves where they keep the barrels and enjoy a wine tasting.

Amy, James, Phil & Cary Larson (a high school friend who was in California visiting family and road tripped to visit) at the Rombauer tasting.

 We spent 4 days in Napa Valley and we had the most amazing vacation ever! 

the Rombauer Guest House...ain't to shabby, eh?


James admiring the Rombauer Zinfandel grapes, which were in the front yard!


Phil enjoying Rombauer wine and assorted cheese & crackers from a local grocer and freshly picked blueberries!


Amy & Sara soaking up the beautiful Cali sun!

So, a little background about Rombauer Vineyards:  they are best known for their Chardonnay (which IS amazing…I’m not really into white wine, especially Chards, but if you get a chance…you’ve definitely gotta try it!).   Rombauer Vineyards was founded in 1982 by Koerner and Joan Rombauer.  The winery features caves that extend for over a mile, which provide a constant temperature and humidity which result in optimum conditions for aging their wines.  Koerner’s ancestors made wine in the Rheingau region in Germany.  His grand- aunt, Irma Rombauer was the author of the ‘The Joy of Cooking’…(surely you’ve heard of it?  If not, crawl out of the rock you’ve been living under and go buy it.  Seriously, every person who has made anything in any kitchen should have this cookbook at arms length!)  For the Rombauers, it’s all about pairing great wine with great food and great company!  If you get the chance to go to Napa Valley, BE SURE to stop by Rombauer and enjoy the beautiful scenery and awesome wines!
Consumer: James & Sara
Name: Rombauer Vineyards
Region: Napa Valley, CA
Grape Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2005: Diamond Selection
Price: $48.24
Alcohol content: 14.2%
Food pairing: Bone-In Ribeye with Sautéed Heirloom Carrots, Steamed Artichoke and Boursin Twice-Baked Potatoes

No, I did not consume the entire Ribeye...

Color & Appearance: Translucent Crimson

Initial Pouring

We tried something a little different this week…we did an initial tasting right when we opened the wine, decanted it for about an hour and then tried it with our dinner. 

Nose/Aroma: Takes us straight back to California!  Initial: Dark-dried cherry, bold and oak barrels.  Decanted: A lot smoother and more complex…but still a young tasting wine.

Mouth/FlavorsInitial: Medium-flavored, dry-tartness and very smooth for a Cab.  Decanted: Much better, fruity, ripe berry flavor and nice earthiness that’s not offensive.  You can definitely tell that it’s a CA red.

Rating: (scale of 1 to 10) Initial: 7   Decanted: 8 ½-9

Impressions:  We should have waited a bit longer before opening this one…you can definitely taste the youngness in it by the fragmented flavors.  The initial smell was perfect but there just wasn’t tons of flavor.  After having it open 2 hours, it was even better.

Food RecommendationsAll of your Cabernet favorites: game and red meat, blue cheeses and big pasta dishes.

p.s.-that ribeye didn't stand a chance on James' plate.


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