There are so many wonderful things available to us here in the wine country. I am constantly finding new wines, restaurants and food items worth writing about and I hope that you will enjoy my discoveries.

This blog is not just about weddings, but about what makes this part of the world such a draw; great food, excellent wine and wonderful people. I hope you enjoy reading these posts and can find yourself here, enjoying the same amazing things we do.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I had a fabulous wedding last night at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  The wedding was gorgeous, the guests were gracious and the bride and groom were thrilled. There was one thing that really struck me last night, the teamwork and level of effort that both the caterer and florist showed was at the highest level. 

As you can see from these two pictures, we had to flip the room between the ceremony and dinner.  This is never an ideal situation, but as I watched the Global Gourmet staff ( and the staff of Nancy Liu Chin ( work together to transform the space in just over an hour, I was thoroughly impressed.  When you spend the time assembling a great group of vendors, it is a joy to sit back and watch them do their thing.
What a pleasure to be a part of and what a wonderful wedding!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Room with a View

I went to look at two new venues several weeks ago with my friend Natasha from Paula le Duc.  While they are very different properties, I loved specific things about each and could see their potential for an unbelievable celebration.

The first is located right outside Calistoga, up a mountain with a view all around of surrounding vineyards.  The house is similar to a Tuscan Villa with a gorgeous infinity pool and a beautiful natural amphitheater of redwood trees for an intimate ceremony.  This gorgeous private estate is best suited for weddings around 60 guests.

The other private estate is about 25 minutes east of Napa on a winding, beautiful two lane road that leads you to such a quiet, idyllic spot that it is hard to believe you are only 25 minutes from world class restaurants and wineries.  The potential of the open, airy barn, bocce courts and age old oak trees dripping with beautiful green moss is hard to beat.

These two amazing properties just show you the limitless potential that lies right on our doorstep if you know who to ask.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Usual Suspects

We had another fabulous dinner party last night with our usual group….one thing I realized before I get into the wonderful food and wines, I am very lucky in that my friends are all fantastic cooks!

I was responsible for the main course and followed Ina Garten’s advice once again, prepare as much as possible before your guests arrive as then you can relax and enjoy their company.  I made homemade meatballs (with three kinds of meat!) and tomato sauce from scratch and I am not going to lie, it is a lot of work but it was delicious and I had it all done and my kitchen clean before anyone arrived.

This is the same group of friends that I have been cooking with for years…we know each other well and we are not afraid of trying new recipes out…we have all had our flops and our standouts but I have noticed one thing has changed, the menu selection has now become more kid friendly with the recent additions to our little group.

I thought I would share a picture of some of the fabulous wines from last night…now, before anyone thinks we are a bunch of lushes…many of these were half-bottles my husband brought home from work but when one of your friends is a well known wine maker in the area with a great collection of wines, there are always some new and fun ones to try.

My two favorites from last night were a 2009 Botani, a Jorge Ordonez selection from Spain that was crisp and clean and not typical of the moscatel from that region of Spain as they are typically sweet – this is a wonderfully dry and fruity wine that works great with seafood (we had seared scallops).

The red from last night that was everyone’s favorite was a 2008 Ciro Rosso from the Calabria region of Italy.  It is 100% Gaglioppo grapes  - a varietal most of us are not familiar with.  It has soft tannins with light spicy-ness that paired beautifully with the spaghetti and meatballs.

We ended the evening with some delicious homemade biscotti, some Barbeito Malvasia, Tannat Dessert wine (had an intense vanilla flavor) and strong coffee.   The kids hung in there and promptly collapsed well after their bedtime…another great evening.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birds of a Feather

Here is a gorgeous color combination – taken straight from nature.  It combines fresh chartreuse and teal with the richness of dark purple – it is both sultry and exotic and at the same time, clean and fresh.  I am totally in love with this palette and how easily it transitions to weddings for a new take on an old classic.