The redheaded McCollister women are at it again!

Auntie Carol and Meg enjoying the sun outside at the Cline Pendulum Club.

Auntie Carol and Meg, enjoying the sun outside at the Cline Pendulum Club.

Relaxing in the sun, drinking some delicious wine, tasting the yumminess of truffle, and enjoying the company of our handsome hubbies. What a great way to spend a Saturday!

Tio and Jake, enjoying wine on the patio.

Tio and Jake, enjoying wine on the patio.

EDK truffle fries, the most amazing thing you ever taste in downtown Sonoma.

EDK truffle fries, the most amazing thing you’ll ever taste in downtown Sonoma.



“Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy”

If you’ve ever visited Balletto Winery near Santa Rosa, you’ve seen this sign in the tasting room! It was the last stop on our Father’s Day tour of the wine country, but let’s start from the beginning…

My Dad wasn’t there per se, but we did have two Dads with us to celebrate for Father’s Day on Sunday. Tio (okay, I SUPPOSE he can have honorary “Dad” status:) and Jake (Dad to two beautiful puppies!) were our guests of honor for the day, so Auntie and I decided we would do what they wanted to do. And what did that entail? Wurst Sausages and wine tastings, of course!

First we drove up to Healdsburg to visit Wurst Sausage. Very yummy I must say. We sat outside while eating our polish sausages and hand-cut fries, and enjoyed the breeze and the warm summer day.

Next, we took a little adventure into Russian River to stop at Korbel. Someone told us they actually had a tasty Cabernet Sauvignon. I can’t say I was super excited about their reds, but they actually had some decent champagnes aside from the cheap ones you always think of at the grocery store. The muscatto was particularly delightful.

Lastly, we stopped at Balletto, one of the wineries Auntie and Tio now belong to as wine club members. We were served by a nice gentleman named Richard, who engaged in great conversation and made us feel right at home. I continue to be surprised by their Pinot Grigio, which is nice and crisp without having the sharp taste I never seem to like in whites. The grounds surrounding Balletto are also beautiful, so I took a few pictures of the vines while we were there.

It was a delightful day in the wine country. We never seem to tire of the adventures we can have on a given Saturday or Sunday afternoon here in California. There are so many things to explore, and we never know what we’ll stumble upon next. Tio and Jake, I hope you had a wonderful day!

Just another Saturday in Sonoma

Jake and I finally had a Saturday to ourselves this weekend, so we tried to come up with something wonderful and exciting to do. We were a little too exhausted to go on a new adventure, so instead we decided to do one of our favorite standby activities…head into Sonoma, drink some wine, and eat some truffle fries.

First we stopped at Cline Cellars, where we got married back in May 2010. We finished off our tasting with their Late Harvest Mourvèdre. It was a port-style red, paired with bittersweet chocolate chunks. Absolutely delicious!

After our tasting, we walked around the Cline grounds. We stopped at the fountain near the courtyard where we were married, and then the courtyard itself.

When we left Cline, we headed to downtown Sonoma, where we met our friend John at the Roche Tasting Room. Since we’re members at Roche, we do go there on the occasional Saturday afternoon. Today, we were delighted to see both John and Harry, who are always a joy to be around and very knowledgeable about wine. And of course, the day would not be complete without El Dorado Kitchen’s truffle fries.

Jake was feeling particularly adventurous at this point, so he decided to order a new favorite called a “Moscow Mule.” It has vodka, lime juice and ginger beer, and it is very refreshing. Mostly, I like the fact that it comes in a copper mug, and I thought it made for a great photo.

It was a great afternoon. I think sometimes we work so hard that we need to remember all the wonderful things to do in the area, and all the joys there are to experience. As we walked along the square, I looked over at one point and saw Jake leaning against the wall, happy as a clam. We really do love living here!

Sonoma’s Tuesday Night Market

There are so many reasons we love living in California. Now that Spring has sprung, we can add one more reason to the list. Downtown Sonoma’s Tuesday night farmer’s market.

Our new friends, Laura and John, live in Sonoma near the square, so we were excited to get together for the first Tuesday night market of the season. The square was full of people enjoying the evening. Picnic tables and blankets were spread throughout the park surrounding city hall, and the market was bustling with vendors, customers, and lots of delicious eats. The best part? You could carry your wine glass through the whole event. It truly is a wine country market!

Jake was particularly excited when he found the corn dog stand. For some reason, I just can’t understand the draw to the corn dog. It is such a bizarre food, but people seem to love it. These particular corn dogs looked delicious, so I did try a bite. For a corn dog, it was pretty yummy!

All in all, the evening was lovely. We met some wonderful people, a really cute baby (don’t worry, she wasn’t actually drinking was an empty glass!), and had some delicious food and wine.

I look forward to going again soon!