Thursday, August 15, 2013

{Wine Wednesday} Napa Nostalgia: Cakebread Cellars

There are things you are eternally grateful for in life and for me, I feel like I owe gratitude to a former executive I once worked for who always made sure Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon was served at his functions.  I had never tried the wine at any of these functions and never tasted any of the brand’s varietals before visiting the Napa Valley for the first time in 2009.  Regardless, it was on the top of the ‘must taste’ list my husband and I created prior to that trip.  

There are a lot of excellent wines in California.  A lot.  But Cakebread Cellars set themselves apart from the other delicious wines we tasted on that trip for several reasons.   First, the grounds are impeccable both inside and outside.  I mean, you can literally eat fondue off of the floors where the wine is made.  I have not seen a cleaner wine production area to date.  Second, they have a fantastic chef.  I’ve never attended their special culinary events at the winery, but I have tried many of the recipes posted on their site (remember the post about my favorite crab cakes?). Third, their tour is straight forward and to the point, which matters when you’re trying to squeeze in as many tastings as you can on a weekend visit.  Something else I just loved about the tour was that they offered recipe cards with all of the wines we tasted.  I grabbed one of each! Fourth, their wine club is worth it.  Not only do you get a sizable shipment of quality wines, but you also get tasting notes, delicious wine pairing recipes, and general winery updates.  Included are also order forms with discounts for members and they also offer members an inexpensive flat rate shipping cost.  Oh and they have wine club events all over the country, not just in Napa,  which is particularly rewarding when you live on the ‘other’ coast.  And last, but certainly not least, rarely does a winemaker do everything, and I mean everything, well.  While I prefer full bodied reds, I have tried and thoroughly enjoyed different vintages of all of the following: the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, the Chardonnay Reserve, the summer ‘porch wine,’ the Merlot, the Pinot Noir, the Rubaiyat, the Zinfandel and the Cabernet Sauvignon.  There wasn’t a bottle that I thought was lacking.  This is a tasting room where you will genuinely enjoy everything your fee buys.  I was sad to deactivate my membership to the wine club when I became pregnant but I did give myself several bottles as a ‘new mommy’ gift to myself.  I call it catching up on lost time.  Nothing pairs better with motherhood than fine wine!

Wouldn't you like to eat here one day?

The super clean facility with the recipe cards next to the wine.  

My 'new mommy' gift to myself.  We've enjoyed many of these!  All photos: my own
Writing this post is making me super excited for my next visit to California Wine Country!  The official countdown: 7 days!!!


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