We paid a brief visit to JD's dad and stepmom in Morro Bay, but the rain deterred us from doing anything other than going back to Sara's, opening a bottle of 2007 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills), and waiting for Bill to return. By the time he did, we were onto a bottle of the 2005 Kiamie Kuveé purchased the day before. We munched on cheese and crackers, and talked way too much about family, and finally it was time to head out to dinner.
We had reservations at Giancarlo's in Morro Bay. We had eaten there earlier this year, but it was on Valentine's Day, it was a special - expensive - menu, and it was so crowded we had to eat in the bar. Not the best experience. This time, it was a WONDERFUL experience. We brought wine, of course. We had a Mosby Teroldego and a San Brès from the Languedoc (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) to accompany Bill's rack of lamb, JD's scorpion fish, and the huge bowls of cioppino that Sara and I dug into. The boys were happy with their choices, but Sara and I were ecstatic about ours. Just the best cioppino I've had. Ever. 'Nuff said. Oh. Pictures:
|Rack of Lamb|
|Scorpion fish from New Zealand|
|JD & the Goddess|
Afterward, we were happy (see pictures).
We went home, drank a whole lotta water and hit the sack. The next day brought all new adventures as we packed up our gear, bade farewell to our gracious hosts, and headed out in the rain. And was it ever raining!
|Sara & Bill|
We had to go back to Paso Robles to pick up wine at Dark Star Cellars, so we headed back up Rte.1 to Rte. 46 to Anderson Road. When we got there, the sign on the door read 'Closed', but we ventured in anyway - it wasn't locked.
Inside the tasting room was open, but we weren't actually in a tasting mood - too much wine the day before and a long drive ahead of us in the rain didn't seem like the right combo to start tasting, so we had a nice chat with the barista, whose name I have completely forgotten...senior moment...and with Brian Benson, who blew in from the rain. Brian is as talented a winemaker as his dad, and we've known him since he was just a kid making wines that he wasn't old enough to drink. He's old enough now, and getting great reviews for his wines.
Tastes of the Valleys Pismo branch. Lissa baked us a flatbread pizza with olives and feta, and we had some wine. I ordered a glass of Labyrinth Haka Zinfandel to go with the pizza, while JD had a glass of Margerum Aliso Canyon Syrah. Both good choices! When Ash got there and saw us, he offered us tastes of some wines that were new to us.
2008 Rangeland Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, Limestone Reserve from the Adelaida Springs Ranch. $39. My notes say 'Yum.' That is actually a technical term, you know!
2008 Sinon La-Valleé Pinot Noir, Talley Rincon Vineyard, Arroyo Grande. Very cherry with a nice long finish.
As a major purveyor of Doug Margerum's wines, Ash was also offering Doug's M5 red blend for only $20 a bottle. So we bought 2 plus the Rangeland Cab.
Driving back to Burbank was a long, wet slog. Luckily, traffic was fairly light, so we didn't get backed up anywhere, and actually made it through Santa Barbara without incident or slow-up - very unusual! Still, we left Pismo a bit after 4 p.m. and the rain never let up the whole way home. By the time we got in - around 7:15 - we were beat.
All in all, a pleasant trip despite the rain. Good friends, good food, good wine. I love my life! Hope the three of you who read this have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year. I'll be back in 2011!