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Bubbles Across Napa and Sonoma

So, when you go on vacation is it good to have goals? I made it a goal to drink as many bubbles as possible so I could write a blog for our website with the highlights of a fabulous vacation linked together with the world’s most perfect beverage: SPARKLING WINE!

It really is who you share them with, no?

It starts: The first glass was upon arrival, before we even made it to the hotel. A fine glass of rose sparkling…Schramsberg Rose 17’…and it was just what I needed after the incredibly long day of travel. Off to meet Dan Petroski and bubbles number 2. This was a super cool presentation of a wine list. The restaurant is known for their domestic list, but after asking the Sommelier if she carried any Champagne, Dan and I were presented with a “Harry Potter” like wine book. It was hand written and crossed off when an item sells through. It was super cool for me to see something that wasn’t electronic, printed, etc. The Champagne selected did not disappoint but the company was even better. I always learn something from listening to Dan.

Then Alycia Mondavi invites us to a J Bubble lounge tasting!! Duh!! Angelina shows up as well. It was great to catch up with the girls. The bottle of vintage sparkling we enjoyed at the end was the highlight…. not as many bubbles with the pairing as we thought it would be…so what does one do? Buy more….

Hog Island+ Champagne + Oysters!! Endless smiles with the one you love.

Schramsberg tasting and cave tour… I finally made it!! Super incredible. I purchased a 2000 J Schram that I am waiting to have with a fellow bubble head back home. Maybe Joe??

Dinner with Tyler Olbres and Paula Kornell started with Rose Champagne and oysters before moving into Nellcote Cab 14’ (more serious sexy wine of course), but the bubbles were gone in a flash. I guess that means we more than enjoyed True Champagne catching up with friends….

Artesa: Anne greeted us with an ice-cold flute of cava…ahhhh!! What a truly delightful conversation and the views were breathtaking.

Kieu Hoang: I never heard of these bubbles before, so I had to try. Pretty crazy labels…this was a spontaneous stop. You never know right?

Auberge with Kirk Venge and Pommery…larger than life…always on the move, that one.

A quick “pop” into Bell winery to taste their sparkling…too fun.

VERY cool cava with Tony Poer at lunch…

The 4th of July with Tony and Rachel Poer: we “poured” Champagne Palmer and Delamotte Brut while watching an amazing firework display and eating fried chicken…Happy Birthday America!!!

Bubbles at JCB!! Quick get me out of there before I get caviar tempted AGAIN!!

I finally got to meet Karen Meyer (delightful) over a bottle of Champagne in the Meyer family living room…then off to drink more Champagne with a dozen or so oysters!!

Paula Kornell! The hostess with the mostest… I had the privilege of Paula cooking for us. Meeting Queenie and Cowboy while sipping Roederer Stark 09’ was priceless. The meal in the garden with Jean Pierre Blanc de Blanc 10’ was incredible…. fresh garden goodness.

Iron Horse: Joy! Joy! Joy!! We had such a great time drinking through the bubble selection currently offered at Iron Horse…again more oysters from the fabulous oyster girls…Sundays in the Summer at Iron Horse hanging in the gardens with Joy Sterling, I know you are all jealous. Get out there for yourself!! I purchased a magnum of Joy 2005. I have always wanted to taste this wine…who may be the lucky one I share it with. Hmmmmm Emily perhaps?

Clam Chowder, sourdough bread and Roederer Brut…Dungeness Crab and Heidsieck…don’t let it stop.

Sadly…they do not serve sparkling on the flight…I guess there is a reason we work so hard. To enjoy bubbles and the connection they will bring around the world. Those without the passion for such a fine beverage…there is still hope.


Crusading always,

Gwen Collins

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