Posts Tagged ‘Oyster’

For the Birds: A weekend of wine and oysters in Bodega Bay

August 6, 2012

This past weekend, Kara and I rolled up to Bodega Bay for an impromptu celebration of the engagement of our friends Richie and Erin.

Tucked along the Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay is a small fishing town North of San Francisco.  It’s a trip that should have taken us a little over two hours to accomplish, but after fighting rush hour traffic on Friday afternoon through San Jose, Oakland, and San Rafael it took us about three and a half.

We spent the majority of our first night in Bodega Bay celebrating the newly engaged couple with dinner, drinks, and a badass round of Apples to Apples.

A blast to be sure…

The next morning, we headed over to The Tides Wharf right along the Pacific Coast Highway to get some breakfast.  While we were waiting to be seated, I walked out on the back patio to snap a few pictures…

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The Thick Coastal Fog. The Signature of Bodega Bay.

To those not expecting it, the thick fog that covers Bodega Bay can come across as being quite eerie.  It’s for this reason that Alfred Hitchcock chose this spot as the backdrop for his 1963 film, “The Birds”.  Many of the scenes were filmed in the parking lot of The Tides Wharf.

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Here’s a few of the local celebrities.

For breakfast, I ordered the Hangtown Fry…

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The Hangtown Fry: Fried Oysters, Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns, and Rye Toast.

I love me some oysters, but I’ve never had them fried before.  These ones were great.  The outside was just crispy enough to give the oysters a snap without making the inside all rubbery.

After breakfast, we spent the rest of the day at the beach.  Trust me… It was beautiful… Foggy… But beautiful.  I’d show you some pictures, but I left my camera at the rental home.

After a fun day at the beach, and a tasty dinner, it was wine time.

On Saturday evening, we popped open quite a few bottles.  Here are some of the highlights…

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Rombauer Vineyards 2009 Zinfandel

Rombauer Vineyards 2009 Zinfandel:

Rombauer is a Napa winery that is more well-known for their Chardonnays, but I have always been a fan of their Zinfandels.  Kara and I picked up this California Zinfandel on a trip to their tasting room.  The fruit is 60% from their vineyards in the Sierra Foothills, with the other 40% from various vineyards throughout Northern California.

Color: Dark, dark burgundy red.

Nose: Raisin, cranberry, and plum fruit with red bell pepper and tobacco notes.

Taste: This is a big boy.  Super concentrated plum fruit layered with sweet oak and tannins.

Score: This wine was a real crowd pleaser.  It’s got that big fruit and alcohol that many folks love about Zinfandel.  It does have that “smooth” taste that is easy to fall in love with.  My only problem with this wine was that it didn’t bring anything else to the palate.  A bit one-dimensional… You dig?  89

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Haraszthy 2009 Dunbar Vineyard Zinfandel

Haraszthy 2009 Dunbar Vineyard Zinfandel:

Haraszthy is one of the oldest wine-making families in Sonoma County.  The 2009 Dunbar Zinfandel is their first single vineyard wine.

Color: Dark red.

Nose: Black pepper, blackberries, and raspberries.

Taste: Green peppers, raspberries, and cranberries.

Score: A solid Zinfandel.  A cool label.  Give it a try.  88

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De Loach 2008 Von Weidlich Zinfandel

De Loach 2008 Von Weidlich Vineyard Zinfandel:

Kara and I visited De Loach on our first wedding anniversary, and picked up this bad boy.  The Von Weidlich Vineyard is in the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County.

Color: Dark burgundy red.

Nose: Tobacco leaf, blueberries, blackberries, and bell peppers.

Taste: Tobacco and mint dominate the palate.  There is a good black pepper spice, along with some blackberry and cranberry fruit.

Score: This was my wine of the night.  Hella complex.  Hella balanced.  89

The De Loach also had something in it that the other wines did not…

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The cork was covered in diamonds… Wine Diamonds!

On Sunday morning, after saying our goodbyes to the newly engaged couple, Kara and I headed South on Highway 1 to check out some of the fishing towns of Tomales Bay.  We stopped at The Marshall Store in Marshall, CA to get us some more oysters…

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Oysters! Dope oysters!

If you’ve never had a chance to visit Bodedga Bay, and the surrounding areas, I would definitely recommend you checking it out.

It’s not just for the birds…

It’s for oysters too.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Cheers to the freakin’ weekend… and bubbles.

September 18, 2011

The more I get into wine, the more I get in to the sparkles.

Why wouldn’t you?

They are complex.

They are delicious.

They pair with hella foods.

And they are celebratory.

If the bubbles are flowing, things must be goin’ good.

And if they ain’t?

Bubbles will make things better.

Speaking of bubbles, check out where Kara and I had dinner last Friday…

A view from the patio at Bubbles Wine Bar.

In celebration of the weekend, Kara and I walked down to Bubbles Wine Bar in Morgan Hill to have a little wine and food on the patio.

To start with, I ordered from their keen wine flight menu…

Bubbly and Brilliant... Like me!

I opted for the Bubbly and Brilliant flight.

Here’s what they looked like…

Here's the flight from left to right: Pol Clement Rose Sec, Marques de Gelida Cava, and Perrier Jouet Grand Brut.

And here’s how they tasted…

The Pol Clement Rose Sec is a pink French sparkling wine from the Loire valley.  It’s made from the Gamay, Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot d’Aunis grape varieties.

Color: Dull golden pink.

Nose: You can smell sweetness on this wine… like sugarfied candies.  There is a nice hint of toast and crushed rocks on the nose as well.

Taste: The fruit is very muted.  There’s a bit of peach skin and grapefruit.  The star of this wine is its long, dry finish.

Score: A solid 88 and a good buy for under 10 bucks a bottle (retail).

The Marques de Gelida Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine made from Chardonnay, Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo.

Color: Pale gold.

Nose: The nose is an astringent mixture of lemon peel and chlorine.

Taste: Fruit of dried strawberries and peaches.  There is a very crisp, bread-like finish.  Something about this Cava reminded me of Zinfandel.  Aside from the bubbles, this wine almost drinks like a red… Almost.

Score: This wine is a decent 86+, but I probably wouldn’t buy it for 15 bucks a bottle (retail).

The Perrier Jouet Grand Brut was the only true Champagne in the flight.  At 15 bucks a glass, this is supposed to be the star of the bunch.

Color: Pale gold (very similar to the Marques de Gelida).

Nose: Yeasty toast, minerals, and fig.

Taste: On the palate, the Perrier Jouet brought some dope lemon peel and some fresh dancing acidity.  The finish was long, but subtle.

Score: You could call this 88+ a winner, but as far as deals go, I would stick with the Pol Clement Rose.

Though each of these wines can hold their own, I decided to see how they would pair with my most recent obsession…

OYSTERS!

The Pol Clement Rose Sec really helped to bring out the brininess of the oysters.

The oysters gave the Marques de Gelida a butterscotch type of finish.

In the Perrier Jouet, I noted a hint of cinnamon when paired with the chilled bivalves.  This was my favorite pairing.

As for the main course?

The grilled New Yorker sandwich was loaded with deliciously thin strips of raw steak and came with a dope green salad on the side.

The New Yorker sandwich was just fantastic!

So, how about that for a lazy Friday evening?

Great atmosphere…

Amazing food…

Rad sparklers…

Cheers to Bubbles Wine Bar!

I’ll drink to that!

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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