Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Napa Style!

While the day got off to a rocky start due to some issues at work, my dad had a great birthday and we ended up having a wonderful day in Napa. We had reservations at two of the wineries that have been on my parent's wish list for forever... Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente. AND we got to do the one thing on my napa wishlist... go to Bottega! Wins all around!

Nickel & Nickel was perfect because the party of seven that was supposed to fill out the rest of our tour didn't show up, so we got a nice little private tour & tasting and the wine was SO GOOD. They are unique bc they only bottle single vinyard wines... no blends whatsoever. Anything that is 75% of a single vineyard can be considered a single vineyard wine even if 25% comes from somewhere else, but all N&N wines are 100%. Kinda cool.

This was by far our favorite out of the two. As evidenced by the fact that my dad bought a case of wine to take home, joined the wine club, AND backed into the Nickel & Nickel barn on the way out. WOW! It was his birthday though, so what's a little barn damage among friends??
Far Niente is the sister winery of N&N and is supposed to be a little bit higher end. The grounds were gorgeous... much prettier than N&N, but we all agreed that the wine wasn't as good, even though it was twice as expensive as Nickel & Nickel. The caves were very cool though:
The highlight of my day was when we went to Yountville to go to Napa Style. Napa Style is a home goods store owned by Michael Chiarello (the chef, for those of you who aren't foodies) and he also owns the restaurant Bottega.

We had already tried to get into Bottega to no avail, so after Napa Style we decided just to go grab a drink there and take a break. As we are about to walk in, four ladies ask me to take their picture- I do, and as I'm walking back to my my parents my mom is pointing towards the walkway. Apparently as they were walking in someone who looked a lot like Michael Chiarello opened the door for them on his way out and said 'welcome'.

So I go running after this person, camera in-hand, in the direction she pointed. He was already way ahead of me so I never actually saw his face but I knew it was him. By the way he walked. I could literally confirm the identity of a food network chef from the back by his mannerisms. SAD.

After grilling our waiter to an uncomfortable degree further investigation it turns out it WAS him. Apparently he's back in the kitchen most nights (very cool).

This is me eagle eye-ing the bar to make sure I didn't miss him if he came back (yes, I'm creepy):
To make a long story short, we did get to meet him. And might I say: he is quite sexy for a 47-year old. (yep, sure did google him when we got back to the house...). One of the rare times I have been MORE impressed with someone famous after meeting them. AND the food was delicious!
The only downside to the whole evening was when I met him, I told him that I was a big fan and that I also loved Giada and Tyler. To which he said, "oh, Tyler's a good bud... he was actually in here yesterday having lunch." GAH!!!!! Now, I'm not bitching since I had a fabulous evening, but SERIOUSLY?! Y'all know how much I love Tyler. And come to find out, I didn't almost miss him by a week, I literally missed him by 12 hours. I. would. have. died.

All in all though, it was a great day... thank you pops for taking me to Bottega and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

1 comment:

Legallyblondemel said...

Ooh, I adore both Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel. How fantastic that you got to go to both!

And I hadn't heard of that tv chef before, but he IS a fox. I do like me an Italian chef (so much that I married an amateur one, in fact)!