Wine

Our favourite drink, life is too short to drink bad wine. We'd rather have one glass of really good wine than a bottle of plonk (although if it's that good why settle for only one glass ?). We've had some very good vacations combining travel with wine. A couple of weeks in California's Napa and Sonoma valleys wine-tasting - that's what we call a vacation !

14th February (1996 ?) - about to board the Napa Valley Wine Train

Some of our Californian favourites:

Saintsbury

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great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Carneros (south of Napa and Sonoma). On our last vacation we were fortunate to get a personal tour and taste each of the vineyard lots for the coming vintage direct from the cask. Incredible how each varies.

Cakebread

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delicious Chardonnay and other varietals but now getting quite expensive at $35/bottle. Of course it was only half that when we discovered it (discovering you enjoy expensive wine is good news and bad news).

Schramsberg

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the best American sparkling wine, made exactly like Champagne and as good as Champagne, particularly the J. Schram. The cellars are caves dug by Chinese labourers in the early part of the century. A fascinating tour.

Opus One

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a joint venture between Rothschild and Mondavi but at $90 / bottle this is not for every-day drinking (unfortunately)

Ridge

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on top of a mountain overlooking Silicon Valley this is the best American cabernet (and we have 6 bottles of the magnificent 1996 laid down !)

We haven't had wine tasting vacations anywhere else yet but that'll come ! Since we both love Pinot Noir maybe Burgundy ?

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