Amy Meets America: San Francisco, Napa & Berkeley in-between

20121229-140915.jpgThe last couple of days have been the best days of the trip so far. I got to hang out with a bunch of friends (and new acquaintances) and and around San Francisco.

After a brief dinner in the city Thursday night, I headed with them out to their place in Berkeley rather than wander back to the hostel for a quiet night in. I’m glad I did, and we got some quality catching-up in.

Friday allowed for a sleep in before we jumped in the Mercedes for the hour drive out to Napa Valley. None of us had breakfast – though our gracious host did walk down to Phil’s Coffee with me and managed my expectations in relation to American coffee while we waited for the others to change. By the time we got out there (about 1pm) we were famished!

Thankfully, Domaine Carneros – our first stop – had some tasty cheeses and meats to placate us. Their bubbles weren’t bad either. Actually, they were pretty good. Better than pretty good, even.
Given the choice, I’d definitely go back. Not only was the wine and food awesome, so was the setting – the tastings were in a gorgeous building standing proud upon the hill. We were seated by a fireplace, decorated for Christmas, and the service was great.
Our second stop was Cuvaison Estate, next door. This one was focused on still wines – a mix of white and reds.

Not only was the wine completely different to our first stop, so was the setting for the tasting. We were in a modern building with giant windows looking out onto the vineyard. It was a great place, too, but probably more fitting for the summer – when Napa’s at its best.

We grabbed a bottle of our favourite red from Cuvaison and headed into the city for a quality steak. Cue Bob’s Steak and Chop House in the city. They served a good steak. Perfect steak. And the beefsteak tomato salad was pretty tasty, too.

Perfect end to an epic day with friends.

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