Sunday, October 25, 2009

Road Trip Part III - Sonoma County, Day 2

After a great night's sleep in the Farmhouse comfy bed, we went down for our first breakfast at the Inn. We had fruit with yogurt and a strawberry muffin to start, and then had a choice of eggs benedict over a cheddar chive biscuit with potatoes, or waffles with peach compote and a sausage patty. It was lucky that we didn't have reservations for lunch until 1pm!

After breakfast we headed out to our first winery, Lynmar. The tasting room is a new facility with an amazing view. We spent an hour looking out over the valley enjoying the wines, and ended up buying two bottles of their Syrah.

Next it was onto Merry Edwards, our only winery appointment in Sonoma, a sit-down tasting just for the two of us. The pourer gave us a little education about Merry and her winery and poured 4 amazing pinots. When everything you taste is that good, it's tough to decide what to take home! We bought 6 bottles and then headed out to lunch.

From what I read before the trip, Willi's Wine Bar is known for their international small plates and their wine flights. Well, I can tell you that we enjoyed both. We made up our own wine flight of 4 different wines, 2 oz pours for each of three different 2007 Russian River Valley pinots and one Turley zin (the wines were all excellent). For food, we had the mu shu pork bacon (basically very yummy thick cut bacon with the fixings for mu shu pancakes), scallop dumplings, mac and cheese, BBQ duck over cheesy polenta, and truffle fries. I though the duck was the winner, but hubby loved the mac and cheese more, but it was a hard call because every dish was super good. It was about $100, including tip.

After lunch we hit Gary Farrell winery, which had even better scenic views than Lynmar, though we didn't find a wine we liked there.

Back at the Farmhouse Inn, the Inn's master sommelier and his assistant gave us a primer on blind tasting wines and the use of key characteristics to try to determine the origin and varietal. It was very educational and a lot of fun!

The rest of the afternoon we spent much like the previous one, with wine and cheese on our balcony, enjoying the bathtub, and then the cozy bed with the fireplace on for a nap before a wonderful dinner at Mosaic, which was just 5 minutes from the Inn.

We were sat on the back patio at Mosaic and were greeted by a very friendly server who made a point to look at what wine we brought from Sophie's Cellar so that she could bring us the right type of glass. It was here that we'd broken out the Paul Mathew Ruxton pinot we'd bought at Sophie's Cellars, and we loved it.

The server explained how the tasting menu works. You just pick out dishes off the main menu and the chef makes them smaller. We did the 4 course menu, and picked three appetizers and one entree. The appetizers: tomato soup en croute, which was great, a saute of mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes served with a wedge of brie and crostini, also good) and their fennel pollen-crusted scallops with local cherry tomatoes and polenta (the winner!). Our entree was a coffee-crusted filet with mushrooms, mashed potatoes and blue cheese butter with a chocolate cabernet sauce. This too was excellent, but we were both too full to finish! The total for this meal, with tip, came to about $175.

We came back to the Inn, lit a fire in the fire pit (not an easy task at 11pm since there aren't many lights in the garden), and toasted our marshmallows for the s'mores. It was a great end to a great day!

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