Monday, September 15, 2008

The Magic of Wine

Yesterday was my birthday.

The day begin pretty sweet with the Ol' Man traveling all the way home from Buellton Saturday night so as to arrive at about 3am Sunday morning. A few short hours later we woke up and headed to my folks' house for a delicious birthday brunch to which I have three words... bacon wrapped prawns. Yum!

Post breakfast the ball was in my court. What did I want to do? It was a tough call. The two of us have been so overwhelmed with the "joys" of running a magazine that a whole day off to do whatever we please was just to much to even consider. The first thing that came to mind was driving aimlessly around the foothills which is what we settled on.

It all started out fairly pleasant. Beautiful fall leaves were changing color all around us, and with each passing mile taking me out of Sacramento I felt lighter and lighter. We made a short cruise through Auburn and then I though hey, let's head south on hwy 49. I pretty much never do that. Yes.

So I'd say about 20 or so minutes down that windy highway we stopped in Coloma with the intention of taking the dog for a stroll and sight seeing. We parked and I turned to collect said dog and was confronted by a heap of nacho cheese colored puke right square in the center of the back seat, with the arm of my coat resting in it - which I fortunately never came to need. To further enhance the experience the Bud walked in it and left precious little orange footprints here and there around the back seat and on my jeans:)

After taking the pup to the women's room and cleaning him and wiping out the back seat we decided to motor on as the Bud was looking a might peekid and not really up for a hot stroll through a gold rush discovery zone.

We continued to meander down 49 for a piece and decided "F"-it lets just finish off our day in Placerville. Mind you I'm abridging this version to leave out my long wait in the car with said sick and overheating dog while the Ol' Man geeked out in the Indian Trading Post looking through 1950s paperbacks for an extended amount of time. You know, because we're short on paper goods in our house. In fairness, however, I did score a gift for muggs in there and a new skirt.

By the time we arrived in Placerville I must admit I was a little grumpy. That was until we stopped in the Auriga tasting room across the street from the hanging tree in historic old town. I went in with low hopes because the free tasting rooms in foothill towns can be hit or miss, but this was wonderful. We were the only ones in there and it was relaxing and lovely and the wine was great! After a few pours we decided on taking home a bottle of their Red Giant table wine and then headed next door to one of my new favorite places in the world... The Wine Smith.

The Wine Smith feels like the perfect combination of European Cafe meets Gold Country institution. Of the narrow little shop's two long walls one is covered in a delightful selection of local wines and the other offers the usual Foothill tchotchkes and trinkets you would find throughout region i.e. novelty swizzel sticks, decorative plates, wine stoppers with grapes and golfer figurines on top or say a painting of a mermaid drinking a glass of vino. Nestle amongst the gifts on offer, however, was a cooler with a surprising selection of regional and international brews which we passed on this time in favor of more wine.

I got a glass of the Uvaggio, Vermentino in honor of our Sardinian friends the Rippers and it was lovely. Smelling like fresh cut apples with a slightly briney finish the wine reminded me of an Orvieto Mr. Mulvaney offered at the B&L a couple of years back. Accompanying the wine the shop's proprietor gave us a complimentary cheese plate featuring a Roccheta that sent me over the top. The combo of Vermentino and Roccheta was unholy delicious. I'd take that cheese over most any dessert any day of the week. Yum!

Did I mention that this adorable dog hangs out in the Wine Smith too? I'm telling ya, the Gold Country's answer to a European cafe.

On the way back to the car we bid adieu to the Hangman's Tree. Yesterday was their last day at the original location. Structural problems are forcing them to relocate while they renovate the original spot which boasts the stump of the actual hanging tree in the foundation. As you can see shit was getting crazy. I heard mumblings that they were going to ride the horse into the bar but that may have just been sweet, sweet drunk talk.

Finally, my loving and thoughtful Ol' Man contacted Ms. Hebert last week about a good wine to take to Masullo's for dinner. While, I'm anxious to crack into her suggestion neither of us had eaten at Masullo's before and didn't realize that they're closed on Sundays:( We're gonna go next week instead.

As a second choice we went to Hana Tsubaki and my perfect day of food and alcohol pairings ended with a Kiku Masa Mune and sushi. Perfect. On it's own the sake is lovely but once you pair it with the fish and pickled ginger the cedar notes in it go crazy.

Overall it was a lovely day and a testament to the magic of wine...


M. H. said...

Happy Bday Liv!!!!

fft said...

Happy B Day!

Amy's bday was yesterday, too, but we went West, to the Delta! And brought the dogs, and Leroy almost died on a hike!!!

9/14 rules!

beckler said...

happy birthday! i didn't know that about masullo's, that's a drag.

Levi said...

Sounds like a fun day. I love meandering around south of Auburn. Lots to see.
I tried Massulo's and its worth the trip for sure.. Brought the wee ones and that may have been better suited for a lower brow joint but the food was amazing.

Mr. T said...

happy birthday!!!

Wine and dog barf - what could be more magical?

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I hope that Buddy has better manners on your next birthday.


Liv Moe said...

thanks dudes!!! and hello mr. t! long time no see.