Sunday, May 29, 2011

Red's Java House

Yesterday, we took a walk down the Embarcadero and stopped into Red's Java House for a greasy breakfast. Red's is a little shack on the edge of the water that was established in around 1912 (and looks like it has not been updated since).


The Bay Bridge was built alongside it.


The bridge construction crew ate at Red's, as well as countless longshoreman, sailors and dock workers -- and now Tom!


After breakfast, we continued our stroll down the Embarcadero. Tom entered a restricted area, and almost slipped and fell into the bay.


We saw a little harbor seal, gnawing on a piece of seaweed. Here is a picture if his little head.


He was pretty cute, but quite elusive for picture taking purposes!

Friday, May 27, 2011

East Bay

Last weekend, we made a trip over the Bay Bridge to the East Bay. Our mission was to get some Kinder's meat.


I like it because the mascot is a Longhorn.


They also have delicious, marinated, ball tip roast, which we got, along with some potato salad and macaroni salad.

On the way home, we did some other "errands." First, we stopped at Elliston Winery and had a tasting.


Their schtick is to age the wine before they sell it so that you can drink it right away. That might work for red wine, but the whites were aged about 8-10 years and were not too tasty. However, we love their sparkling wine, so we ended the tasting with that and were on our way.

The next stop on our list of errands was Wente Vineyards.




We had a tasting there, too. It's important to a wine snob to give the wine a swirl to check the color and clarity:


Aaahhhhh, an elegant nose with hints of leather, dust, barnyard, and raspberry on the mid-palate, and a medium-long, tannic finish.


The Wente wines were all wonderful.

After that, we headed home to grill up the meat for Tom's friend, Phil, who was in town on business from London.


It was another great meal from Tom's grill!

Nice Sunset

Flowers

My sweet husband brought me some beautiful flowers yesterday.


He's the greatest!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Drooooooooooool

Homemade pizza on the grill!!!

Cloudy Day

The other day, when the weather forecasters had predicted rain, rain, and more rain, it was sunny with some stunning clouds.




Monday, May 16, 2011

Tom's SF Life

For those of you interested in what Tom has been up to lately (besides grilling meat and drinking wine), he went sailing on the Gentle Storm II this past weekend in the bay with some friends who were in town from the OC.


He left me at home, which was fine with me, since it was way too foggy, chilly, windy, and gray out there for me!




Tom's friend, Greg, at the helm.


It ain't no Caribbean, but they had fun!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bottle Shock

Has anyone seen the movie, Bottle Shock?


It is a cute little movie about the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, nicknamed the "Judgement of Paris," where a blind tasting was held in France with wines from France and California. Before that time, it was a well-held belief (especially by the French) that the only good wines came from France because of its terroir, the combination of microclimate and soil. Steven Spurrier, an Englishman who owned a wine shop in Paris, was able to line up some of France's most respected wine authorities to judge the Paris tasting. To all of the judges' surprise (and France's), the California wines came out on top. A 1973 Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena in Napa won the prize in the white wine category, while a 1973 Cabernet from Stag's Leap in Napa was judged the best of the red wines. Because of their contribution to wine culture in the
United States, both wines are enshrined in the Smithsonian. The contest put Napa on the map, and its popularity has grown exponentially since then.

I am still not sure exactly what "bottle shock" means. It is defined as a reaction that occurs in wine immediately after corking resulting from oxygen being absorbed during the bottling process. It is characterized by muted or disjointed fruit flavors in the wine. It is said to be only a temporary condition. It is portrayed in the movie in a dramatic scene in which the owner of Chateau Montelena throws out the entire 1973 vintage of Chardonnay because it turned brown. However, in true Hollywood style, the vintage is saved and the wine turns back to its regular color and flavor before the famous tasting.

Ironically, the winemaker who crafted the winning Chardonnay is not portrayed in the film. It is rumored that he did not like the script and/or would not cooperate with the producers. His name is Mike Grgich, a Croatian immigrant who now runs his own successful winery, Grgich Hills. We have visited his winery and the wine is quite good, although really pricey!

We recently visited Chateau Montelena, which is a stunning winery that was established in 1882.



We got to see a bottle of the famous, winning wine.


We did not taste any wine, however, because the tasting room was too crowded for Tom. He likes to have the place to himself! So we headed down the hill and stopped at another couple of wineries, Summers and Envy, that were very good, yet not as crowded.

As on most of our trips to wine country, we saw some charming scenery






and some interesting wildlife.



It never gets old!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

To the best mom ever!





And in remembrance of Tom's mom and grandmothers.



Here are a few other great mothers I know (knew) and love:









Happy Mother's Day to all!