Wine & Travel

Snooth User: napagirl68

Kenwood/Glen Ellen...

Posted by napagirl68, Dec 17, 2013.

Hi all,

Thinking about getting down there after NYE, but will have well-behaved nine year old with us.  Are most of the wineries in Kenwood/ Glen ellen child friendly?

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Replies

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Reply by outthere, Dec 17, 2013.

Enkidu is just a tasting room, very friendly. For that matter there are a bunch of tasting rooms on 12 in Kenwood. Including Muscardini and Ty Caton. Landmark has the whole winery thing going on as does Chateau St Jean.

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Reply by napagirl68, Dec 17, 2013.

I know many of them, Enkidu is on the top of the list...  it has been awhile.  Just concerned if a kid is ok. in tasting rooms.  Since Sonoma is more laid back than most, I am assuming yes?

 

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Reply by napagirl68, Dec 18, 2013.

Ok.. accommodation question..

which is better, Jack London Lodge or El Pueblo?

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Reply by outthere, Dec 18, 2013.

El Pueblo is less expensive I believe. Oldish rooms, convenient location. EMark stayed at the JLL. I've eaten there but never stayed, more historic.

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Reply by EMark, Dec 18, 2013.

As OT mentioned, I did stay at the JLL for a couple days last spring and enjoyed it--perfectly comfortable and at a reasonable price.  Location was good for me.  I had to scratch my head when OT spoke about eating there, then I remembered that across the parking lot there is place that is probably affiliated with the Lodge.  I did not try it.  We had dinner twice (second time with OT and Foxall) at the Fig Cafe which is an easy walk around the corner.  A great place, but I'm not sure how much kids would enjoy it.  Your 9-year old may like it.  You can certainly stick your nose and and make a decision on the fly.  I also twice went to a little place called the Garden something or the something Garden a block and a half from the Fig for breakfast.  I am, very much a breakfast guy and this place was great.  I'm pretty sure they also do lunch, but I am not sure about dinner.

Now, if El Pueblo is less expensive, I would definitely give it some consideration.

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Reply by napagirl68, Dec 18, 2013.

Thanks, Emark!

JLL is actually cheaper than El Pueblo... looks like they may have upgraded the El Pueblo.  

Back to JLL, did you find it a to be more motelish and dated, or did you consider it a nice palce?

 

 

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Reply by EMark, Dec 18, 2013.

I'm not exactly sure how to answer that, NG. Make no mistake, it is a motel--two rooms, TV on top of a dresser, queen bed, heating/AC unit below the window, small table and a couple chairs next to the window.  The room key is an actual brass key on one of those big diamond-shaped fobs.

It is not, however, a Motel6.  I would guess that it is owned by a local resident.  When we checked in, we had to wait for a lady who walked in just before us.  This lady made a kind of a stink about what room she might get, and I can see that the night manager lady behind the desk did not like the way she was being talked down to.  She stayed professional and the customer lady seemed satisfied as she walked out.  Peggy and I walked up and introduced ourselves as politely as we could.  When she checked what room had been assigned to us, she said that she would get us a better one.  It looks like getting a second floor room is preferred, because that is where we ended up.  Somehow we engaged the lady, and she asked how we happened to be in the area.  We explained that we'd spent a few days at Sears Point cooking meals for a NASCAR team while they were testing.  All of a sudden she's telling us about when she used to work in the PR department at Ford Motor Co., and group she was in interfaced with Ford race teams.  It turned out her job required her to travel to all the races.  We know that is a pretty grueling job--the season starts in February, ends in November and involves 38 weekends of traveling to races.  So, she moved on after a couple years.  Then she gave us some VIP passes for tastings in some of the local wineries.  As you might guess, there is a display right there in the office with info on local wineries, but, apparently, these were extra special.  We, in fact, used one of the passes she gave us--for Imagery Estates Winery.  The pass for Imagery waived the tasting fee, and the guy at the counter poured different wines for us until we said "Uncle."

Yes, it's more like a motel than anything else, and it is dated.  However, neither Mrs. EMark nor I were in any way uncomfortable there.  Their grounds are quite attractive.  Since you are looking at January, this is probably of no help, but they do have an attractive swimming pool.

I hope this helps, NG.  If I can explain anything better or a different way, please come back and ask.

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Reply by napagirl68, Dec 18, 2013.

Oh, thank you Emark!  You did perfectly!  Still deciding... nothing too fancy for us with a 9yr old!  I do love the little one street Glen Ellen!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 20, 2013.

Yeah, I'd pass on Gaige House with the kids... but worth it if you can find an off weekend and want a second honeymoon.  BTW, I thought Fig Cafe was a good choice with a kid, because they have some pizzas that look pretty sweet and there's NO CORKAGE!

Why am I not at all surprised that the Emarks engaged with the hotel staff, won them over, wiped out a bad memory of a rude customer, and, without any eye toward doing so, scored an upgraded room and tasting passes? 

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Reply by EMark, Dec 20, 2013.

Pizza.  Yes. I agree.

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Reply by napagirl68, Dec 20, 2013.

Ahh... great answers!   No corkage at Fig is a VERY GOOD thing.

Haven't made a firm decision... looks like a lot of availability and lower prices this time of year, but I need to commit soon! 

Foxall, we have been to several Four Sisters Inns, but never Gaige House.  I have drooled over it  for sure... But it just isn't in a location where I will spend that kind of money when I may drop major bucks on wine.  Tend to seek the ocean for that kind of bang for the buck.  Except...

This is where I am willing to drop bank, was there a few years back. I really wanted to try to do a two day getaway b/4 xmas... dreaming :-)  Salish Lodge, Snoqualmie Falls, WA

Photo

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Reply by EMark, Dec 21, 2013.

Wow, that's really pretty, NG.  I know somebody else who would love to visit there.  Also, not far from her sister.

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Reply by nddave01, Dec 23, 2013.

Mark, Enjoyed your recounting your experience at the motel. My wife retired from working at the hospital this year and decided to work part-time to supplement her retirement and support her hobby (she loves to visit casinos.) She is working the front desk at the local Hampton Inn and is amazed at how different the attidude is for some of her customers compared to the patients and families at the hospital. She would certainly respond positively towards anyone who treated her with a modicum of respect. Glad your courtesy was rewarded.

Warning the following is a brief unauthorized aside.

We are planning on having baked ham with glaze and fresh yams ( and an as yet unnamed sidedish ) for Christmas eve with my son who is driving in from Oakland. I am new to pairing wine with food, but from what I read it seems either a Riesling or possibly a Lambrusco might be a good choice. My wife is just learning  enjoy wine and the ones she has liked are eiswein, pink muscato, white zin. I want her to enjoy the choice. Suggestions for a moderate priced wine?  I will need several to choose from so I can find one locally.

End of digression. 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 23, 2013.

NDDave, thread drift is inevitable here.  It's a miracle when it stays in the realm of wine.  (Search "sharks" or "surf" for just a few examples.)

If she likes sweet, then an auslese or even spatlese riesling could work.  Even some of the really good producers are in the area of $20-25.  Willi Schafer gets a lot of love from JD and is a restaurant favorite. 

Any chance you'll come out here and visit your son this spring?  We can try to plan the next W. Coast tasting for a convenient time if you're interested.  I'm hoping to do a "Que Syrah" event with 2007 Syrahs from all over--I'm already covering Cornas, a few regions of Cali, and Cote Rotie.  Lamb cooked over fig wood (or plum--haven't quite decided) on the grill. 

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Reply by nddave01, Dec 23, 2013.

Thanks for the suggestion Richard. I did the alert because it was more of a thread high jacking than drift but with the people who we're posting on this thread all being people whose posts I have read. As well as people whose opinion I respect I hoped to get away with a quick request for suggestions. 

Not sure if we can make the trip this year. I had to take some vacation time this month to travel with my wife to her brother's funeral and my brother and his wife are planning a week long visit in July so vacation time is in short supply. Combine that with my wife's near phobic aversion to flying and  trip to CA would require at least a week. 

But the event sounds wonderful and when we do plan a trip out I will definitely try to give all the snoothers advance notice so something similar might be arranged. If any of you are planning a trip to this vacation Mecca let me know and I will try to arrange something here. I just did a little research and there are 6 wineries in ND including several that offer tours and tasting. Maybe a review of the chokecherry wine would entice some travel?

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Reply by EMark, Dec 23, 2013.

I have to admit, Dave, that more than once, I have been the cranky customer checking into the Hampton Inn after a day of being abused by imperial airport functionaries, sitting in an airline steerage seat next to the guy who is sneezing and coughing throughout a four-hour flight, schlepping my bag to the rental car lot and finding that my "no smoking" rental car was just turned in by some tobacco industry officials who were attending some sort of "conference."  Try as I might, there have been occasions where I have been short with the poor guy/lady working at the desk at 11:00 pm.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Returning to our favorite topic, I remember that 30 years, or so, ago I read that there were bonded wineries in 44 of the 50 United States.  Does anybody know if that number has been pushed to 50?  I know there are wineries in Hawaii, and I am not sure about Alaska.

 

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Reply by nddave01, Dec 23, 2013.

According to The Everything Guide to Wine there are wineries in all 50 states. That shouldn't surprise me since Anchorage AK has a more moderate climate than Bismarck if I remember my geography lessons. 

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Reply by napagirl68, Dec 24, 2013.

NDDAVE,

When you say ham, all I can think is pinot!  But being a finicky grape, I cannot just randomly recommend pinot noir because so many, especially those distributed, are done horribly wrong.  Riesling is a good recommendation.  Alsace Riesling tends to be a bit more dry (less sugar) than German Rieslings.  Since she tends toward sweeter wines, I would err toward the German end of things.  But what would be fun, is to blind taste a trocken riesling (dry german), sweeter german riesling, and throw in an Alsatian Riesling...  the term "dry" is often not interpreted by the user correctly.  Many people incorrectly say they like "sweeter" wines, when they mean "fruitier".  Trocken Rieslings are very fruity, which your wife may like. 

I still prefer a russian river or sonoma coast pinot noir with ham....

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Reply by nddave01, Dec 24, 2013.

Richard & NG,

I took both the advice both of you offered and bought a Riesling and a Pinot Noir. Always one to hedge my bets. I'll let my wife sample both and choose the one that appeals to her and I will have the opportunity to try a PN that should be a good test for that grape. The German wine was a 2011 Schmitt Sohne Piersporter Michelsberg Spatlese, which is made from Riesling and Muller-Thurgau grapes (this a close as I could find at Captain Jack's Liquor Land) and a 2010 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir which was available at the Wal-Mart liquor store. I will post a report later on my experience. Thanks for the suggestions,

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Reply by nddave01, Dec 25, 2013.

Well, the baked ham, sweet potatoes, and snow peas were wonderful. Before we ate, I opened both the   2001 Schmitt Sohne Michelsberg Spatlese and the 2010 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and gave my wife and son a chance to taste each and pick the one they preferred to accompany their meal. They both choose the Spatlese, leaving the nearly full bottle of PN in need of a friend. Always the good host, I jumped in to fill the gap.

My first taste of the La Crema PN did not impress me. From my previous posts it is obvious I like the Cabs, Zins, and Merlots. The first impression was the PN was thin almost watered down. I know not to trust first impressions, so I persisted. As I continued to drink the PN for the next several hours, (yes I am persistent) I began to appreciate the more subtle aspects of this wine. It actually moved to my buy this one again list. Question for my mentors and colleagues - I know some of the change in my opinion was adjusting to this wine and getting rid of my preconceptions based on Cabs, etc, but how much was due to the PN having a chance to breathe? If that is the case since I tend to have young wines would my experience improve by purchasing a decanter? I know this topic has been discussed in the past but I looked like several years have passed so maybe some of you will humor me and give me you current thoughts on the subject.

Hope the holidays are full of good food, better wine, and the great friends.

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