Bucher Wines

I was chatting with some friends earlier this week and one of them asked about any new wineries I’ve been introduced to lately. Typically I spend most of my wine country time in Sonoma, but I have been trying to expand my adventuring lately. So, when asked this question on new wineries I immediately reflected back on my recent trip to Bucher Wines new tasting room at Grand Cru Custom Crush in Windsor, CA. It was a blast and a new area for me to explore!

bucher-45

Just about a month ago I hopped into the car and cruised up to to Windsor, CA to attend an event with Bucher Wines to showcase their new tasting room at Grand Cru Custom Crush.  What’s really cool about Grand Cru Custom Crush is not only does Bucher Wines do tastings here, but there are several various wineries that make their wines here and offer tastings too. Obviously as we toured the facility there was plenty of incredible wine to enjoy.

bucher-57

As I arrived to the venue I was greeted by Emily, from Emily Martin Events, and Diane and John Bucher. We sipped on our glass of rosé while touring all the facility, and ended up at our tasting area. It was a gorgeous space that could host approximately 8-10 people. The garage-style front door opened up to let the fresh air swarm the room. It was the perfect setting for our tasting. This space is available for tastings by Bucher Wines, as well as all other wineries located at Grand Cru Custom Crush.

After enjoying a taste of several different wines (the Rio Oro Chardonnay was my favorite!) we switched up the scenery and headed over to the Bucher Vineyards in Healdsburg for a picturesque lunch. Upon arrival I learned that the Bucher brand extends further than wine. There is also Bucher Farms! They provide Clover Sonoma organic milk from their 800+ milking cows. I thought this was SUPER cool. If you know me, you know I love cows. I almost shrieked with excitement when John Bucher brought out our surprise guest, baby cow Emilio! (Fun fact – we named him after our gracious hostesses, Emily Martin. Emily and Emilio almost share the same birthday).  

bucher-239
bucher-146
bucher-130

The day wrapped up after lunch, and after a play session with the Bucher’s adorable puppy Maggie! A day full of wine, cows, and dogs, I was certainly living my best life.35460114_10212075843026476_481824072808792064_n I’d highly recommend checking out these wines and doing a tasting at the new tasting room at Grand Cru Custom Crush. You can book an appointment here, and if you do make sure to say you’re a follower of MakSnacks for a special surprise!

bucher-104

I’m heading to Maine next week, so stay tuned to hear about my lobster devouring experiences next!

Cheers!

Makenzi

 

P.S. HUGE shoutout to Viera Photographics for taking incredible photos at this event 🙂 

Three Sticks Wines at the Adobe

Venturing to wine country is always a favorite of mine. I love the scenery, food, and obviously the wine. Recently I headed up there for a lovely event at Three Sticks Wines, hosted by Emily Martin Events. Three Sticks Wines at the Adobe, is located just off of Sonoma Square, and must be added to everyone’s wine tasting list!

TS-36TS-21

 

Walking in the front door of The Adobe I was greeted with the perfect welcome gift, a TS-41glass of their Castenada Rosé. Immediately upon arrival I noticed the picturesque décor. Each room, a perfect balance of chicness and comfort (Fun Fact – even their bathroom is instaworthy. Huge shout-out to Ken Fulk for really bringing so much fun and detail into the whole venue). After peeking around each corner I headed out back to their one of a kind patio area. If you don’t already know this about me, I am a huge sucker for a good outdoor seating area. The Three Sticks Wine team has created a stunning back yard filled with various fire pits, tasting areas, and greenery. It was a pleasure to hang out back there for a bit. As the rest of the group arrived we scooted on over to our tasting room in the Storehouse tasting room.

TS-2

TS-8

We started out the afternoon learning a bit more about Ryan Prichard, the winemaker at Three Sticks Wines. What a fantastic man! Ryan is super friendly, down-to-earth, and knowledgeable about the industry. As we began our tasting experience he walked us through his philosophy on the wine making process and his story about getting to Three Sticks Wines. We were tasting their newly released small batch collection which releases in April. Alongside the wine was a beautiful pairing of food done by the girl & the fig team (just located right across the street). Their 2016 PFV Estate Pinot Noir was my favorite to taste. I thought the wine itself was incredible, and the duck food pairing matched exceptionally. I’d also recommend their 2016 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Chardonnay!

 

We wrapped up the afternoon finishing our glasses of wine outside while Elise, of Elise Aileen Photography, snapped some adorable group shots. Seriously, this place is picture perfect.

TS-158

If you know you you’ll be traveling in the Sonoma area I strongly recommend making a reservation for a tasting. Three Sticks is located right off Sonoma Square and is appointment only, so make sure to plan ahead as you won’t want to miss out.

Cheers!

Mak

 

 

 

 

The Den SF

IMG_2398San Francisco is known for its epic food and beverage scene. It seems like there is a new restaurant, bar, or cafe opening up every week. I find myself keeping a running list of all the “hot spots” I want to check out next. I recently Ubered on over to the Mission to check out The Den. The Den is a 15-person bar that is owned by, and literally attached to, the WesBurger. They are known for their homemade punches ad late night food menu all encompassed in an extremely small space. I’m not joking when I say it is a 15-person bar. Anymore people and you wouldn’t be able to move.  It is almost like a private party! Although it may be small, they do not disappoint when it comes to the food and beverage front. The Den makes low ABV punch bowls, bringing a tiki theme to the establishment. During my visit the featured drink was a Hibiscus Margarita. It even came in a The Den branded cup – so cute! If a punch bowl isn’t your thing, they also have a great selection of craft beer, sake, and wine.

When I first heard about The Den it was the punches and intimate atmosphere that caught my attention, but the late night bar menu really sold me on stopping by. (Fun fact – this menu is served all the way until 3am. Can you say perfect late night spot?!) I, of course, had to try a bit of everything. The food started coming out one by one and it kept getting better and better. First the Brisket Sausage Corndog, then the Smoked Brisket Tater Tots, after that the Double Smash Burger, and finally wrapping up with the. Nashville Chicken & Tot Skewers. That burger was MY JAM. It is two 3oz patties smashed together with cheese, pickles, onion, and a special sauce, yummy. I thoroughly enjoyed my time sipping punch and chowing down scrumptious late night bites.

The Den is located on Mission Street between 18th & 19th. Perfect location to pop in and check out during a night out in the Mission. I know I will definitely be back for a late night snack 😉 That’s all for now, but stay tuned for my next update as I’ve got a lot in store for 2018.

Cheers!

Mak

 

 

#ClifFamilyWinery

The last week of 2017 was certainly one for the books. I spent the week exploring all around California (Sonoma, Pleasanton, Monterey, SF) with my family having an absolute blast! During our time in Sonoma, my guy and I stole a few family members and headed over the hill towards St. Helena to finally go visit one of our favorite wineries – Clif Family Winery. I’ve been drinking Clif wines for months now and have yet to be let down. I figured since I would be up in wine country it made sense to stop by and drink some of my favorite wines. My experience was phenomenal!

We walked in the door and were happily greeted by Troy, the assistant manager, who was about to show us the best time. Seriously, if you go make sure to say hi. He is such a gem! Anyway, the tasting room is also a little store where you can buy various Clif jams, nuts, chocolates, and obviously wine. After exploring around the shop we sat down in the gorgeous front room for a tasting and food pairing.

IMG_1738

Troy started us off with some sparkling wine and continued to have us taste two whites and two reds. The ’16 Rte Blanc was hands down my favorite. It is a Sauvignon Blanc that is filled with hints of passion fruit, green apple, and peach – So delicious. My second favorite was a bit of a shocker to me. I’m definitely more of a white wine gal over red, so when I loved the ’14 Kit’s Killer Cab it was a fantastic surprise. This cab was exceptional and when I say exceptional, I mean we all bought a few bottles to bring home. This Cabernet Sauvignon is filled with aromas of black fruits and a burst of sweet tannin. It was a huge crowd pleaser both at the tasting and back home for dinner that night.

While we tasted our wines we also enjoyed a food pairing. Boy oh boy does the Clif team have this whole food pairing figured out. They have this adorable food truck that makes scrumptious bruschetta. They use seasonal ingredients from the Clif Family Farm to create an ever-changing menu of bruschetta to pair with each wine.

They can even do gluten free and/or vegetarian options if you let them know in advance! Our bites included porchetta, beef brisket, and funghi. I had to refrain from asking for seconds, it was just so good!!! The food truck sits right outside the tasting room and it was slamming with business the entire duration of our stay. (Fun fact – their food truck can even drive down to SF to parties. I definitely made my BF make note of that for my b-day next year hehe.)

IMG_1796Our time ended with some more shopping around the store to purchase some of the yummy curry cashews and caramel sea-salt balls we sampled. And of course, we bought plenty of wine to bring home. I will definitely be having a glass this week to reminisce on our wonderful time. Next time you are in the Napa Valley area I highly suggest taking a pit stop at Clif Family Winery, located right on main street in St. Helena. Maybe I’ll see you there 😉

 

 

Cheers!

Mak

#Healdsburg

Recently I had a 24 hour trip to Healdsburg and boy was it fun! Never have I had so many activities packed into a weekend getaway. We traveled up to Healdsburg on a Saturday morning. The sun was shining for the first time in weeks which made me ever more excited. Our first stop was to check-in at Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites. This is the perfect spot to stay!!! It is right in Healdsburg square, very central to everything. In fact, two of the tasting rooms we visited were practically right beneath it. The suites consisted of three rooms with a common living room and kitchen. Oh yeah, and each room had its own bathroom – SWEET! It was so nice to have this amazingly comfy bed to head home to after a long day of wine tasting. It isn’t every day that I get a king size bed all to myself!!! I’d highly recommend it for a weekend stay, especially if you are going with some gal pals or on a couple’s trip. We had a nice little impromptu photo shoot before we headed out on our adventure.

First up was Siduri Wines. Their tasting room was gorgeous! They had the windows wide open and the sun shining through! Adam Lee, Winemaker, was there not only to greet us but to join us for our tasting as well. He was incredibly personable and funny! I enjoyed laughing with him as we tasted their amazing wines. I have to say, they have wonderful selection of wines and their food list is great too! We were each given sampling of all their food options. We have fried chicken, sliders, mixed nuts, and more! It was a pretty amazing start to the beginning of the day!

FullSizeRender (11)FullSizeRender (8)IMG_1539IMG_1535

Our next stop was over at Banshee. This spot was extremely hip! I think we were all taken back at the awesome decor and staff. Their rosé there was delicious, I even brought a bottle home. (Fun fact: if you join their wine club you get a free shirt AND you are able to order their rose in the magnum size!) This was definitely the hippest spot and is located just off of the square. We had a blast here sipping on rosé and picking what records to listen to.

After Banshee we had a QUICK 30 min break. Megan (The Urbanite Insight) and I went to check out the Shed. What an adorable place. We stopped in quickly to grab a cup of coffee, take some pics, and to make our wish list of all the goods we want to get!

IMG_1595

Our third wine tasting adventure of the day was at La Crema. I personally thought this was the most educational! We had a “Wine 101” class that taught us the ins and outs of the wine world. The biggest lesson I learned was all about the diurnal shift. This is a term that refers to the variation from highest to lowest temperature during the day. We learned how this affects what wine grows where and why. I definitely learned a lot in this visit! Also, we were able to try some delicious local cheeses. You all know I LOVE cheese. They have a stunning private room that I highly recommend for a tasting.

IMG_1610IMG_1601FullSizeRender (10)FullSizeRender (13)

After this full day I was feeling ready for a nap, but we headed back to our rooms for girl talk while freshening up for dinner. Our dinner reservation was at Valette. This was just across the square from our hotel. I hadn’t ever been before, but had heard amazing things. The lighting was perfect when we got there so we did a quick photo sesh – so fun – and then headed into the restaurant. We decided to give the five-four “trust me” dinner a shot. The chef, Dustin Valette, surprised us course of course with amazingly tasty dishes. Of course, we shared each dish which was my favorite part! I always love sharing plates because I get to try even more. I dessert was incredible, but I think my favorite was the Hawaiian Ahi Poke Style. I am such a sucker for Hawaiian Poke.  After stuffing my belly full of phenomenal food it was time to head home. We had and early start the next day with brunch and a visit to Reeve Winery!

The next day came early…. I slept SO cozy in the bed at Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites. I cannot tell you how amazing their beds are, so nice and fluffy. But my alarm went off and I had to be ready to rock at 9am. Our first stop was The Parish Cafe. We nom’d hard on French Toast, Eggs Benedict, Beignets, and other delicious goodies. It was the perfect start to the last day! Also, if you stay at 235 Luxury Suites it is within walking distance – woo!

Brunch concluded and we hustled on over to Reeve Wines. When we first drove up I was in awe of how gorgeous this place was! They had a private outdoor tasting set up for us with winemaker, Noah Dorrance. He is a complete doll. So knowledgeable of the industry and is very easy to talk to. We tasted our way through several different wines. All were overwhelmingly delicious.  We had a special treat after that – touring the estate house! All I have to say is HOLY CRAP. This is easily the most beautiful house I have ever seen. You can rent it too if you want!  I’m sure you clicked the link above, and I am sure you saw how damn beautiful that property is. You can clearly see why I probably took a thousand photos there. I didn’t want to leave! We hopped in the back of the truck and rode back down the hill to wrap up our tasting.

I was so sad to end this magical experience in Healdsburg. Emily Martin Events did a fabulous job putting together this impeccable itinerary. Our group was so lucky to be able to experience all these amazing wineries and restaurants. IMG_3164My aunt and uncle were actually up there a couple weekends after and I had them check out our spots! I’ve decided it’s a new goal of mine to travel up to wine country more. I mean, it’s only about an hour and a half away.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with another post. xx

Cheers!

Mak

 

 

 

 

#ZeroZeroSF

IMG_2437 (1)
I am definitely a pizza person. And I’m not one of those people that only like cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza, not that there is any issue if you are one of those people. I love to try anything on pizza. Living in SF I feel like I am exposed to SO MANY wonderful pizza places. My most recent pizza discovery was Zero Zero over in SOMA. The first thing that made me a huge fan was the fact that I could walk to it from my house. Yes, I am one of those snobs that is bias towards places I can easily get to from my house. We all know the struggle of commuting around SF.

ANYWAY, I headed on over to Zero Zero for an evening of delicious food, drinks, and dessert. Wait until to hear about the dessert below. It was incredible. I knew that the pizza here was supposed to be terrific, but I wasn’t aware at how many other options they have on their menu. We started off with some Marinated Italian Olives, Hamachi Poke Crudo, Brussels Sprouts, and Taleggio Stuffed Arancini. I could have eat the Arancini all night. If you haven’t had this before, you need to now. I tried to not stuff myself full of food because I knew we still had two more courses to go. The second course was filled with two different salad options. There was a Caesar Salad and a Baby Kale Salad.

FullSizeRender (5)

Ok, so the first two courses were great, but these next two were freaking amazing!!! We were presented with three different pizzas, and then three pasta dishes – gnocchi, spaghettoni amatriciana, and Fettuccini. The pizzas were divine. I managed to sneak home some slices of the Filmore Pizza to eat the next day (Fun fact- it’s almost just as good heated up the next day hehe!) 

After stuffing my face full of pizza and pasta we moved on to our fourth and final course – dessert! Not sure how many of you already know this, I didn’t, but Zero Zero has a build your own sundae bar. Come on, any restaurant that has this should be on everyone’s radar. It was so cool! We loaded brownies, sauces, and other various toppings on top of our ice cream. Not only was it extremely tasty, but super fun to make. I’m obsessed with this as a dessert option. 

IMG_2843

The evening was a incredible. A huge thanks to Emily Martin Events for hosting such a beautiful gathering. I probably gained at least five pounds being there, but it was worth it! Check back to the blog to hear about my next adventure soon. 

Cheers!

Mak

#KellerEstateWinery

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a dinner with Keller Estate Winery hosted at Belga. The event was hosted in the beautiful back room at Belga, and was filled with wine, food, and bloggers! An event is always off to a good start when you get greeted at the door with a glass of sparkling wine 🙂

During the beginning we were able to share oysters, crudites, cheese, and fries. All these were paired with delicious wines from Keller Estate. If I had to pick just one wine from the evening, I would say that the Keller State Chardonnay was my favorite. I sipped on this while enjoying my oysters and fries. (Fun fact – I freaking LOVE french fries, and the ones at Belga are some of the BEST in SF).

Before the food started rolling out we had a chance to hear from Ana Keller. She is the daughter of Arturo Keller. It was so nice she was able to join us and to hear more about her journey with Keller Estate. She shared so much knowledge with us, and it was clear she lives with so much passion for Keller Estate.
IMG_1432

We had a great time chatting while enjoying many courses of delicious food. We had mussels, croquettes, flatbreads, rotisserie chicken, and veggies on the side. Oh, and obviously there was dessert – chocolate and an amazing strawberry custard dish. Anytime I am at an event I always have the problem of wanting to stuff my face with every dish LOL… I am trying to be better at simply tasting each thing so I don’t get too full. I thought the chicken was cooked perfectly!

IMG_1435IMG_1436IMG_1444

Throughout the dinner we were able to sip on carefully selected wines from Keller Estate. It was very informative to hear why each wine was paired with each dish. At the end of the event I was lucky enough to take home a bag fill of treats – wine, olive oil, and soaps. I hope I am able to venture up to Keller Estate soon to explore their property and try some more yummy wines! Thank you to Emily Martin and the Belga team for hosting a beautiful event!

Cheers!

Mak

 

#CIACopia

I feel like lately  it’s been pretty clear on my Insta that I have a growing obsession with wine. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a wine-girl, but more recently I have been more adventurous about really embracing the wine tasting experience and trying new things. I was SUPER excited to have received an invite to the California Institute of America at Copia’s grand opening in Napa! This place is beautifully designed for exploring and experiencing food and wine. If this doesn’t have my name written all over it, I’m not sure what does…

CIA at Copia exterior credit Phil Mansfield 2

The BF and I headed up to Napa early Saturday morning, which kinda sucked due to all the flooding, but were amazed when we got there. The CIA Copia is a beautiful space. The building itself from top to bottom and inside to out is fascinating. Even before entering the building it’s impressive. In front of the building are charming gardens. (Fun fact: the gardens provide different herbs for the restaurant). I obviously made the BF stop and take pics of me out there (sorry not sorry, babe). It was too perfect. Once we walked inside I was taken away by all the natural lighting and wide open space. Such a stunning event space.

IMG_201116864490_10208712844713620_5318614653715172407_nAtriumParty_CIAatCopia_VictorMSamuel

The main reception area was filled with different wine vendors for tastings. We had such a blast walking around to different wineries to experience what they had to offer. There was even a photo booth, which was tons of fun! It was nice to have a chance to explore around a bit before we attended a live cooking demo. We were Class with Amanda Freitag 3 Copia photo credit John Barkleylearning to make cheese – burrata and mozzarella! The demo room was great because it is set up as theater style seating with an open kitchen down in the front. There are big TV screens around the room so you can see up-close what the chef is doing. There are many different interactive cooking demonstrations. If you’re interested in checking one out take a peek at their website.

After the demo we headed into their private room for a cheese and wine pairing. This part was fun as I was able to reconnect with old blogger friends, as well as have the opportunity to meet new bloggers – and OBVI enjoy some amazing cheeses and wines. My favorite wine throughout the day was a Pinot by Lola. The strawberry aromas and hints of vanilla made it stand out.

The whole day was a great experience filled with tons of friendly faces, wine, and cheese. I would highly recommend the next time you’re in Napa to check this place out, even if it’s IMG_2027just to walk around. Check back at the blog to hear about the rest of my weekend in Wine Country.

Cheers!

Mak

#WenteVineyards

Happy cows really do come from California…. I learned this at my visit to Wente Vineyards a couple weeks back. Their cows are fed a bottle of wine daily – this was one of the many fun facts I learned from Chef Mike during lunch.

The BF and I went to explore Wente Vineyards a few weeks back, when we actually had a sunny weekend (that’s a rare occurrence nowimg_1904 for all my friends that don’t live in the bay area). It was amazing! The afternoon started with an incredible lunch at The Restaurant. If any of you plan to go, I HIGHLY recommend making a reservation to sit outside on their patio. They even have heated lamps to make it enjoyable if it is on the cooler side.

So, I am a big fan of a surprise menu. It is more fun for me when the chef makes whatever dishes they think are best and send them out for you to try. It’s too much pressure when I have to make all the decisions on my own LOL… Anyway, shortly after we sat down Chef Mike came and talked to us about Wente, his journey getting there, and what it’s like to work there. He is an extremely down to earth and approachable guy. We laughed and chatted for probably close to 30 minutes before actually getting down to the ordering. I jumped on the opportunity when he asked if we wanted him to make us a four-course menu for lunch.

I sipped on my glass of Sauvignon Blanc while enjoying salad, scallop, pasta, and pork belly dishes. We also were able to try a couple of their desserts – these were off the hook! Over all, my two favorite things were their twice-cooked pork belly and their scallops. Both dishes were cooked perfectly. It was difficult to share as I wanted it all to myself, HA.

img_1865

 

After we enjoyed our drool-worthy lunch, we heading on over to the tasting room. Little did we know that our tasting would take place during a walking tour of the property, which included the wine cave, ½ acre garden, and event space. img_2035(Fun fact – during the summer Wente transforms the lawn into a concert venue! They have had artists such as Train, Colbie Caillat, and Third Eye Blind. How fun!) Needless to say their wine was amazing. I walked home with a bottle of Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc. I think that many wineries have great wine, but you need to have an amazing team to make people want to come back. The team at Wente is top notch – friendly, knowledgeable, and creative. If you haven’t already, definitely check them out!

 

Check back to the blog to hear about my weekend in Napa & Santa Rosa. Posts and pics will be up soon 🙂 Even though it POURED we had a fab time, and I now have plenty of recommendations.

Cheers!

Mak

#VDayTreats

Wine and chocolate, what a wonderful pair. Use these two words together and you’re sure to get my attention. You know, I like to drink wine but I’ll admit I don’t know much about it. I’m not great at guessing what fruits or flavors are used to make the perfect glass. But hey, isn’t that sort of what wine tastings are for? To further your knowledge of wine? Any who, that’s how I see them and why I like them so much.

Last week I was able to check out Cameron Hughes wine. This guy was super cool and his concept is great. The philosophy of the company is “great wine doesn’t have to be expensive.” How true! Now keep in mind that they don’t own any vineyards. They work on finding the BEST wines and figuring out the best price. It makes it so I can go and buy a $100 cab for $25 if I want. Cool right? 

Over the course of the event I was able to try seven different wines.  

wine-and-cheese
Genet Brut Esprit Champagne, $29 This is a ‘Friends of Cam” wine. Not ours, but available on chwine.com

Lot 411 Moscato d’Asti, $13

Lot 529 Santa Maria Chardonnay, $14

Lot 539 Oregon Pinot Noir, $13

Lot 508 Los Carneros Syrah, $19

Lot 575 Washington State Red Blend, $16

Lot 606 Rutherford (Napa Valley) Cabernet Sauvignon, $29

My top three favs were the Chardonnay, the Moscato, and the Pinot Noir. The Moscato had me wishing it was a warm summer day and I was out on the boat. This would make the perfect summer drink for me.

 

Following the tasting was a special announcement. Cameron Hughes is partnering up with Christopher Elbow Chocolates for a Valentine’s Day treat! They are pairing a nine piece chocolate set different wine options. (Fun fact – ordering starts January 31st so you can have it in time for V Day. Check out their gift page for more deets! You best believe I have already sent this info over to the bf…. I am trying to make it easy for him!) These chocolates are super delish too. I was sent a box as a thank you gift at work and they were a hit! My team and I spent the afternoon trying all their unique flavors.
wine
I’m not too sure what I will be doing for V Day yet. I’ve been dropping hints about a weekend in Napa 😉 who knows if the bf has actually caught on to these hints. Stay tuned to hear what I end up doing. And if you haven’t started planning your V Day yet, don’t worry. I just gave you the perfect gift! 

Cheers!

Mak