We arrived in wine country... mid Thursday for my friend’s wedding. We figured we would make a long weekend out of it given the drive and therefore ambitiously left Los Angeles at the crack of dawn (3am to be precise) in order to make our 12:30pm reservation at Bouchon before an afternoon of wine tasting. It was crazy but it worked and despite the lack of sleep we actually had enough energy to last late into the evening. On the drive in we met up with our driver for the day. Full disclosure, Dryver is my husband’s company, a nationwide professional service that drives your car (or rental car in our case) so you don’t have to. It’s essentially a replacement to a black car service that’s much less expensive and way more convenient. Obviously I’m a bit biased, but I've always had a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend it for any day of leisure, especially for a big day in Napa. 

Our first tasting was at Del Dotto, a winery which has three locations in the Napa Valley. The one we visited is known as the Del Dotto Estate, in St. Helena. All of the locations have wine caves but not all have an entrance quite like this! The wine cave was quite impressive, with chandeliers from Murano, Italy and beautiful tile paintings. I believe we sampled about 5-7 various red wines on our tour, in addition to the glass of rosé upon arrival and brut rosé I requested. Our guide was a bit smug but he did know a lot about wine and gave a thoughtful tour. My favorite part, however, were the lovely snacks at the end, which included cheese, charcuterie, chocolate and some yummy pizzas. I don’t exactly know a lot about wine but I do believe this should be a mandatory requirement for any and all tastings, or even just for all glasses served in a cafe, as the Italians do in the afternoon.

After Del Dotto we had a little extra time before our next reservation, so we tried our luck at Joseph Phelps, which unfortunately didn’t have any tasting options available but did let us spend some time exploring their beautiful property. It reminded me of a modern ski chalet with lots of high ceilings and beautiful wood finishes. But as stunning as the interior, the sprawling patio and vineyard view really sealed the deal for me. I could easily spend a full day here with or without wine!


After our brief hangout at the serene Joseph Phelps winery, we headed to Mumm Napa, which I was excited about given my consistent love for their brut rosé, a staple in our household, as it's the only drink aside from vodka my husband will consume. We didn’t do a tour at Mumm but instead sat down and did a causal tasting. The patio was lively and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as the sun was slowly setting over the beautiful vineyard. Our server was beyond amazing with such a great personality- just something to note. We ordered a tasting with about 4, maybe 5 glasses of various sparkling wines and strongly considered a cheese board order before opting to leave for pizza my husband was dead set on getting at the Oxbo Public Market

So many of these types of markets have started popping up everywhere, I've been to about three now, in Wisconsin, Santa Barbara, similar to Eataly but with various types of cuisine. They are essentially gourmet food courts to put it simply and I loved Arthur's choice at Live Fire Pizza where he ordered us a margherita pizza and bottle of brut rosé. It was delicious, but apparently, not enough, given my friend Emma and I decided we also needed a yummy cheese plate from Oxbo Cheese and Wine. We ordered The "eurotrip" cheese plate with additional charcuterie and loved it, especially the fig paste. Clearly I just can't ignore a seasonal twist! Before leaving we purchased one last bottle of wine to take home, before calling it a night. Our driver helped us get our stuff into the hotel and we settled in after our big start to the weekend!


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