Foxen, Take II


Central California wine country is new territory for me
& Catch.  We love heading off on
little weekend escapes, but usually our wine escapes involve the Temecula
.  It’s easy to get to and
reasonable to stay there.

Then, at my birthday dinner last year, my mom brought along
a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir from Foxen Vineyards.  I LOVED that wine.  Enough that I didn’t want to let my brother
have any sips of mine.  It was too good
to be wasted on a barely nineteen year old. 
(His birthday is the day after mine. We are almost exactly 12 years
apart in age.  My stepmother says she “suffered
through an extra day of pregnancy just for me” so that we wouldn’t share the
same birthday, but I think it would have been awesome if we’d shared birthdays.)

Back to my point…


I finally got to take Catch to Foxen on our trip last weekend,
and she loved it as much as I do.  It’s a
fantastic winery. 

My favorite “new” taste from our trip was the 2010 La
Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir
.  Yum.  Throw it in storage for a few years and it’ll
be even better.  I would buy a case, but
even with our wine club discount, I can’t afford it!


Yes, those are temporary tattoos on the counter, and yes, we both wore them proudly.

Cambria Winery

While we were in Santa Maria, we found ourselves driving through wine country contemplating stopping at another winery, but undecided.  We saw a sign for Cambria, made a sharp turn up a hill, ran over a snake (!), and decided to go for it.  

Here's a snippet of the scenery from the top of the hill…


We were greeted in the tasting room by two friendly ladies who were so nice–the customer service was excellent.  I was already feeling tipsy from our previous stops, so we agreed to just share a tasting.  

We both enjoyed the 2011 Tempusquet Pinot Gris–it was very light and crisp. It would be perfect for sipping on the back patio in late spring/early summer.  I was certain it was going to make our "buy" list, but at the end of the tasting, it was actually a Chardonnay that won us over. And let me tell you–I am NOT a Chardonnay drinker.

The 2011 Clone 76 Chardonnay caught me off guard.  I was fully prepared to dislike it.  I just prefer my whites to be not-so-oaky.  But this wine–all I can say is that it tastes like butter.  Really.  That's the most memorable thing about it.  I vaguely recall pineapple, but butter is what stands out in my mind. We only bought one bottle, but I'm already trying to plan the perfect meal to go with it.

We both thought the 2010 Bench Break Pinot Noir was nice, but not very memorable.  I thought for sure that we'd take a bottle of the Clone 115 Pinot home, but in the end, it was the 2010 Clone 23 Pinot that won us over.  I can't wait to find the perfect meal for that one. The tasting notes indicate cherry-cola, smoke, and spice and I totally agree.

I am looking forward to a chance to bring my mom by for a tasting.  I'm curious what she'll think.

Garden Love

I have been waiting and waiting for this particular tomato to start ripening.  Looks like we've finally had enough warm weather!

Giant Tomato

Our carrots are getting bigger by the day and they are so sweet.  Last night, Rolo sat in front of the barrel they're in and whined and whined.  He LOVES carrots.


I've been collecting recipes for stuffed poblano peppers on my dinner recipes board on Pinterest and I can't wait to try some of them.  Our Poblanos are coming along beautifully.


It's been a long week, so it was nice to sit outside with a bottle of wine (from Palumbo Family Vineyards in Temecula–we're wine club members–LOVE them) and relax for a while.  

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If only we could fast forward to the weekend–I am ready for some R & R!

Friday Love

While Catch is away in Colorado this week breathing fresh air and watching her sister’s new horses run through the beautiful meadow at their ranch, I have decided to bunker down at Chateau Mom.  On the list of pros and cons of staying at mom’s house for a few days, the pro column includes:

  1. A wine collection she will gladly share if I cook her dinner.
  2. A beautiful swimming pool with an average temperature of 82 degrees this time of year.
  3. A 15-minute commute to/from my office—versus the usual 45 minutes.
  4. Central air conditioning.

So tonight after work, I am headed to Chateau Mom for sangria, padron peppers (courtesy of yesterday’s delivery from the Fruit Guys), and BLTAs.  (Tomatoes from the garden, butter lettuce & avocado from the Fruit Guys.)

I love it when a plan comes together.  Now if only we could find a way to speed up the clock.