Why the break from blogging? I’ve been traveling! (And working a ton, but talking about travel is way more fun!)
Brandon and I joined my family on a trip to Carmel-by-the-sea for my cousin’s wedding. We had a great trip. It was exactly the escape that we needed. We flew in and out of Oakland and enjoyed the leisurely drive to and from Carmel.
Always down for a wood-fired pizza (we’re almost done curing ours!), so we took Sunset Magazine’s advice and left Carmel for the 15 mile drive east, into the Carmel Valley. It was a scenic drive and really reminded us of Central Washington.
We started at Cowgirl Winery and ate our wood-fired pizza outside among the chickens. We both ordered the red tasting flight, with a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir. Brandon and I both preferred the Pinot but they both paired nicely with the Wild Forest Mushroom White Pizza (truffle oil, parmesan, thyme, shallots, tomato sauce and mozzerella) we ordered.
As we were tasting, we noticed the tractor-pulled wine wagon mentioned in the Sunset piece. Of course we had to try it out.
Cowboy Pete Azevedo took us a few blocks away to the Joullian Vineyards. It was a bumpy, but extraordinarily fun, ride.
Joullian’s 2011 Sias Cuvee Zinfandel was just awarded the Best in Class at the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2014 Wine Competition. We love Zins, so we knew we needed to check it out. And? It didn’t disappoint. Neither did their other wines. We enjoyed all of the wines so much that we joined their wine club (#4!) and bought a bottle of the Zin to enjoy in Seattle.
We also tried (and bought) Joullian’s wine-filled chocolates. They were delicious! The milk chocolate truffles were filled with Muscat and Zinfandel. The chocolates that we sampled weren’t labeled (we think we both had muscat) and we bought a package of the Zin-filled chocolates.
We also stopped in at the Talbott Vineyards and we were less than impressed. I’d recommend skipping Talbott Vineyards next time you’re in the Carmel Valley. Not only did their wines suck, they were really rude.
That last experience aside, we’ll definitely be back to the Carmel Valley. And we’ll be looking forward to getting our three bottles of Joullian wine delivered this fall… and next spring. And beyond!