Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mollydooker party at Molly's!

As promised in my last wine country post i will be blogging about our many wine opening/tastings. perhaps i should change my blog name to "finding my inner foodie with a buzz"...hmmmm...that would make my parents proud :).
This "wine tasting" was actually with our friends Molly and Nick and although we sampled some of their Napa Wine (they joined Mumm while on their honeymoon last year!) We also opened our first California wine this night. We have been itching to get together and drink all our MollyDooker wines! (they were all Shiraz) and erin isn't a big red she choose to open our first Imagery wine: it was a White Burgundy. I was jealous at first because this was one of my favorite whites on the trip. BUT since we are members of this wine club we actually received a bottle in the mail. So we had duplicates. Oh, and I may have taken a few sips from erin as well....

Nick had looked up what food goes well with Shiraz and luckily for us it was Mexican! This was as close as he would come to posing for the food blog :). (he's cooking up the chicken fajitas and shrimp for me!).

Of course I wanted to contribute something and I decided on this fresh "Mexican flavored" veggie Salad.

-fresh green beans (steamed)
-bag of frozen corn (defrosted)
-small purple onion
-pint of grape tomatoes
-small avocado
-lime juice
-cumin (a few shakes)
-diced cilantro
-Tbl. of Olive Oil
I literally just diced everything up and combined. I seasoned with Mexican spices (cumin, fresh cilantro, chili, s+P). It tasted light and fresh! The avocado paired with the lime juice and oil created a light creamy texture. Molly and I agreed that perhaps it needed just a bit more lime juice, but all in all it was a success!

Nick and Molly introduced us to this wine and I instantly LOVED it. I then recommended it to the owner of the restaurant I work at and he liked it as well. As a thank you he gave me two bottles of Mollydooker Shiraz (a 2006 and the other was their Blue Eyed Boy release). Molly and Nick contributed their 2005 Shiraz. We officially had a tasting :). We didn't end up opening our 2006 Shiraz, but instead did a tasting with the Blue Eyed Boy and the 2005. Molly and Nick didn't want the Shiraz to sit much longer. They were amazing as expected!

We've all learned alot about tasting on our respective wine trips, so it was fun to put our knowledge to use. We could really tell the difference between the 2005 and the Blue Eyed Boy. The Blue Eyed Boy was actually a bit more surupy (as Nick put it) then the 2005. I loved them both and went back and forth between my favorite. We also tested each other's palates by doing a blind tasting and having to pick the correct Shiraz...
I actually got it right! Erin did too...after a few tries haha. Hey, she drank that white all alone so her palate was, off :).

Since we didn't break into the 2006 Shiraz we have an excuse to have yet another Mollydooker Molly's. that was too easy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cinco de Drinko

In honor of Cinco de Mayo we of course had to celebrate with one of our favorite repeat dishes, shrimp fajitas...YUM. They were delectable as always! I wasn't sure if there was anything blog worthy of this night and then I thought I can't believe that i haven't talked about one of my favorite adult beverages...margaritas!
I am a tequila lover. cheap, expensive, i can pretty much throw it back with the best of them. With that said ordering a Margarita at a bar typically means getting tequila, sweet mix (this has such a wide range even though most menus read "fresh lime juice" right...), frozen or rocks. I NEVER order a margarita at a restaurant anymore. Honestly the few times I have tried...erin gets an extra drink. Instead I order: tequila on the rocks with a splash of couintreau and a bunch of fresh limes for squeezing. Sip away! With that said that's a pretty potent drink and I acknowledge sometimes (and some people) you need a healthy substitute for something that is closer to your "normal" margarita.

Back when I discovered HG they sent out emails not only about food, but cocktails as well. The margarita seemed worth a try and with my love of tequila i thought...what is there to lose?! Ironically, three years later, I received another email about their drinks and HG says that the Low-Cal Margarita is the most viewed cocktail ever!!

Erin is in charge of this one! She was always the bartender at our gatherings so I gave her free range with this one. She did not disappoint! There are so many changes she makes and she can either do a whole pitcher of these bad boys or a single serving (for school nights :). As you can see in the link you can also changed up the flavors by using alternative diet/sugar free mixins...really, how can you go wrong with Tequila?!

Happy Cinco de Drinko (that's what it should be called come on!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

San Fran Sushi

Our last day in California started out much like the rest...i went for a run (taking in the beautiful scenery one last time) and by the time i got back erin had plotted out the day! We had purposely booked an overnight flight so we would get another full day of vacation. Going into the trip we didn't know if we would be wined out by the time this day rolled around, or if we would want to squeeze in a couple more wineries...we went with the latter! The two wineries we hit up were right near downtown Sonoma, and only a few miles apart so it was a good last day! We went to a really laid back breakfast spot to sip on a great latte and plan our day. (the latte was grrrreat!)

We decided to stop one last time at the Sonoma Cheese Factory to load up with supplies so that we could picinc at the SF bridge (more to come). Next we headed up the hill to Ravenswood. I actually drink Ravenswood Zin so I was excited to see all the different vintages and wines they offered. We even got a complimentary glass for this tasting. Then we moved onto one of erin's favorite Gundlach Bundschu! (picture does not do it justice) She had done some reading about this one and really wanted to try it. She actually had her favorite wine of the trip here (we purchases a red and white!!). What a great way to end our tasting extravaganza. They are also known for their picnic spots so we hiked up a little hill to take in Sonoma one last time...

Then we were on our way to San Fransisco. We decided ahead of time to stop before crossing the bridge to have a picnic and take in the view. We drove up a very steep and winding road, but the views did not disappoint:

Our original plan was to picnic outside...however the wind won that war and we were happy to eat in our nice warm rental car!

We had plans to meet up with some friends that live in SF but we had some time to kill so we thought we would do the touristy thing and visit Pier 39. Of course we saw Alcatraz from afar and took in the sea lion's bathing in the sun. I have to say after living in NYC for eight years it reminded me alot of the South Street Seaport. I didn't care for the hustle and bustle, but I think I was spoiled by the calmness of wine country.
We drove around a bit and Erin forced me to drive down Lombard Street! When they say crooked they aren't kidding!!!! (the sun was not helpful in erin's photo ops up hill)
Finally I got to have my west coast sushi! Our friends had picked this cute sushi place that was suppose to be really good...but they were all booked up when we arrived (on a thursday night!). So we walked a few blocks and stumbled upon Yuzu. They actually had a great Happy Hour special (which erin and I miss living in MA's against the law!). The specialty cocktails were only $4 and they offered their apps. list at a discount as well. We all shared some of those while we drooled over their amazing menu! Of course I can't remember which rolls we shared, and they aren't listed on their site...but they were unbelievable. Can't you just see how happy we all are?!!
After this it was off to the airport. This is where the pictures stopped and reality began...okay that was dramatic :). We were just so exhausted at this point and so happy with our vacation. The overnight flight was a nice way to get back to east coast time and we couldn't wait to get our hands/taste buds on all our new wine!! (WARNING: many wine tasting posts in the future)