Thanks for the kind words. I visited your blog and yours is very nice as well. Great photography. :) And thanks for stopping by!
One Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal
A Book Review:
One Hundred and One Days gave me nightmare that I almost stopped reading it. I dreamt that I was in the midst of war. I am glad that one bad dream did not stop me from continuing to read this book.
One Hundred and One Days is about a journalist’s account of her experiences in Iraq before, during and after the war. Asne Saierstad is a female Norwegian journalist who decided to stay in Iraq despite the threat of the American invasion of Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s regime.
While almost every journalist left Baghdad, Asne bravely stayed along with the other war correspondents.
Wine Tasting at V Sattui Winery
The girls and I are in love with V Sattui’s Gamay Rouge. Gamay Rouge is a rosé which is a pink wine the color of roses and tastes like sun-ripened strawberries mixed in with cherries. Gamay Rouge is a beautiful summer afternoon in a bottle - refreshing, full of sunshine and full of happy girlfriend memories. At least, this is how I feel whenever I drink a glass of this wine.
Our girls’ trip to Napa Valley is not complete without a stop at V. Sattui Winery. While most wineries are posh and elegant, V Sattui is laid-back and down to earth. The picnic ground is the perfect place to unpack a picnic basket and enjoy a bottle of wine on a sunny day — just like the super-fun picnic that the girls and I had!
6 tastings are only $15 which is one of the best prices in the valley. Since I am member, our tastings were free and at the private cellar! (I bought a case of Gamay Rouge last January that automatically made me a member for free!) Score! :) Our faves are the rosé wines as well as sparkling and dessert wines. Oftentimes, we get to taste as many wines as we want until we have enough!
Lots of fun memories of friendship at this place. V Sattui is one of my happy places on earth!
Girls Summer Picnic in the Wine Country
After visiting a couple of wineries in St. Helena, 4 happily well-imbibed girls were ready for some yummy bites. Instead of having lunch at one of the Napa Valley’s famed restaurants as we have done in the past, we decided to have a picnic instead.
Oh, what a fun idea! And what a perfect warm sunny day to have a picnic in the Wine Country. We brought picnic stuff from home but we stopped at Dean and Deluca for our main salads. Dean and Deluca is a cheese, wine and fine food mecca in Napa Valley. If you want to experience California cuisine —deli style— this gourmet grocery/fine food store is the place. Visiting this place a treat for every foodie who craves organic, farm to table and truly delicious artisanal food.
We drove across the street to V. Sattui Winery where we had a nice spread at one of the picnic tables.
Our Picnic Menu
From Dean and Deluca:
- Farro Salad
- Quinoa Salad
- Sweet and Sour Tofu
- Fried Chicken Tenders
- Smoked Oysters
- Hummus and Pita Bread
- Wasabi Peas
- Apples and grapes
- Havarti and Cheddar Cheeses
And of course we had to wash everything down with a bottle of V. Sattui’s chilled Gamay Rouge. Think roses, ripe strawberries and tart cherries! Oh, so refreshing and our favorite wine!
After picnic, we went for another wine tasting at V. Sattui where I am a member of. Tasting was delicious and free!
BFFs, wine, sun, picnic, Napa Valley — a beautiful day full of blessings of friendship and life’s simplest but happiest pleasures!
Girls Napa Day Trip: Hall Winery
Girls Day Trip to Napa: Wine Tasting at Hall Winery
The second winery we visited in Napa Valley was Hall Winery. The giant rabbit sculpture from the road was what enticed us to check out this winery.
Hall Winery is posh, very modern and huge. The building had wraparound glass walls and contemporary art. We drank our wines while admiring the breathtaking view of the vineyards.
Wine tasting was $35 for 4 pours. The girls and I actually enjoyed the wines but not the experience. Although the staff were nice and welcoming, we felt neglected by our pourer while attending to the busy wine room. We paid for what we tasted and left without finishing the tasting.
Since we liked the view and the wines, we will give Hall Winery another try on our next trip to the Wine Country.
Olivier Napa Valley
Girls Day Trip to Napa: Olivier
Olivier is a foodie heaven in St. Helena. After wine tasting at Orin Swift, we did a little window-shopping. Well, let me tell you a little secret. If you need a little snacking while in downtown St. Helena in Napa Valley, just enter this gourmet shop.
Olivier is snack-place galore. This spacious fine food store is pretty generous with food samples. You can taste almost every item.
And that was what the girls and I did. We sampled almost every flavors of mustards, caramels (yup!), dips, olive oil, lemon curd, jams, etc.
Pretzel sticks and bread cubes were provided for sampling. I think we made a meal out of the samples. Ha! Ha! The staff were cool with it!
Well, in the end, we touted a few jars of stuff — Alexis bought a fig balsamic vinegar, Heather got a couple of jars including a thing of caramel. I know that J got something and I brought home a jar of nuts in honey! Now I regret not getting a jar of caramel as well!
This has not been our first time here. In the past, the BF bought me a few bottles of olive oil that you get to pour yourself from the vats. Pretty cool.
A must visit when in Napa Valley. (Your inner foodie will thank you.)
Girls Napa Day Trip: Orin Swift Cellars
First wine tasting during this trip was at Orin Swift Cellars. My gf Alexis really likes Orin Swift’s Palermo (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc) that she suggested that we try their other wines.
Orin Swift is a wine tasting room that is located in Downtown St Helena. The place is small but very contemporary. The bar is dark wood and pages of books were used a floor tiles. We also admired the very cool wine labels — dark and gothic.
We had a very enjoyable experience during our tasting. The tasting room was busy but our pourer was very friendly, kind and just plain down to earth. None of the snooty and pretentious service at other bigger wineries.
Another big plus is wine tasting was only $10 for 4 pours including a dessert wine. This is unheard of in Napa Valley where the going rate for tasting is at least $35! He even let us have an extra taste of the another wine that had an intriguing name, Veladora. It was a light Sauvignon Blanc. It was not our favorite but we found out that 100% of the sales of this wine goes a local charity.
We found the wines to be delicious that Alexis and I ended up taking home a very interesting smokey red each, D66 for $41 (after tax), and very pleased with my purchase. J bought a bottle of the dessert wine.
My girls and I were happy to have found a new cellar in Napa that we like, and will most likely visit again next time.
Note to Self: Get the Mannequin which is a very nice refreshing white.