Thursday, March 12, 2015

Playing Hooky in Wine Country!

This week my team from work went to Napa for an offsite team building day.  We started the day off with a limo ride from San Francisco to Napa.  Our first stop was lunch at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, sister restaurant to the Thomas Keller's famous French Laundry.  Bouchon is a traditional French bistro, featuring an amazing raw bar.  Seeing that we work at a French company, it's only natural that we lunch at a French bistro!

Lunch was absolutely amazing.  Every table gets freshly baked braided French bread with butter upon sitting down... a very "French" thing to do.  We started off with a bottle of the 2009 Harmonique Pinot Noir, some escargot with mini puff pastry, and truffle fries to share.  I ordered the steak frites, which was absolutely delicious.  The steak was cooked to a perfect medium and topped with caramelized shallots and an herbed butter.  It being truffle season, Bouchon was featuring dishes with fresh truffles.  One of my co-workers ordered a house made pasta dish with freshly shaved truffles and it was heavenly!

One thing you can't do is eat at Bouchon and skip dessert.  Needless to say, by the end of lunch we were too stuffed to eat anything else, but how often do you get to go to Bouchon?  Of course we all ordered our own desserts.  I got an apple crumble with maple ice cream.  If you ever get this at Bouchon, it is large enough for 2-3 people to share!  Do not attempt to finish this yourself!  They were also featuring a chocolate brownie with candied walnuts, caramel sauce and ice cream.  Half the table got that and scarfed it down!

The front of Bouchon in gorgeous Yountville, CA

Menu doubles as a napkin holder

Steak frites and an apple crumble with maple ice cream

Two hours later, we finished lunch and headed to Turnbull Wine Cellars for our tasting.  We were a bit short on time since we spent so much time at Bouchon, so this was the only winery we went to.  Turnbull looked like an art gallery as you walk in.  They were featuring original Ansel Adams prints and had a great collection of wine to taste.  We had a flight of Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  To give you an idea of how good their wine was, I wanted to buy a bottle of the 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which was part of the tasting, but it turned out to be $85 per bottle!  It might have been worth $85, but I know it will probably just sit in my collection for years before being consumed.  My co-workers were making fun of how I brought a bottle of Veuve Cliquot for the limo ride up that I had from my wedding (3 years ago, mind you).  Luckily, it was still bubbly, but they were impressed that I hadn't finished it off already!

The grounds also had a nice outside seating area with a fire pit and a cute little vegetable pairing garden.  I'm not sure who owns this place, but there were a bunch of old antique cars on the lot as well, so the owners must be huge car collectors.  I would highly recommend checking Turnbull Wine Cellars out on your next trip to wine country!

1 comment:

Evan Blake said...

What a day! I'm so glad your trip to wine country was nothing short of amazing. I can just imagine how lovely it must've been, coming and going from place to place in an awesome limo. You guys really know how to enjoy yourselves. Hahaha! Thanks for sharing that! More trips like that to come, I hope.

Evan Blake @ Antique Limousine of Indianapolis