Ode to Champagne

Napa was wonderful, thanks for asking.

We had a few false starts on the trip that threatened to overshadow the whole thing (miscommunications abound and a lesson on why you should never leave men to plan things, or at least, these particular men), but it turned around in the end. The first night, we passed the time playing Cards Against Humanity and drinking wine and/or bourbon. I had never played the game before  and I have to say that I did quite well, although Luffy and I might now be known for some very questionable things (our choices might have provided a little too much insight).

Saturday morning we congratulated ourselves on being capable adults as we managed to both pull together a breakfast feast of eggs, pancakes, bacon, and fruit AND have all eleven of us dressed/showered/ready-to-go by the time our limo bus got there. We then cracked open two bottles of champagne for the bus and headed to our first stop: Domaine Chandon.

Now, if you know much about me at all, you’ve probably been able to pick up on the fact that I love champagne. I adore champagne. I will never, ever turn down champagne unless you offer me some $2 crap that is disgusting. (Also, because this is the internet and it helps to be clear, when I say champagne I mean sparkling wine, not the actual French champagne. I do not discriminate against sparkling wine or prosecco or cava or champagne. Does it have bubbles? Check. Pour me some.) Anyway, out of all the champagne that I’ve had over the years, I have a few favorites and one of them happens to be Chandon. I love almost every variety of theirs that I try and give mad props to them for being a great value (so good! so well-priced!). So I was super excited that of all the wineries in Napa, the birthday boy decided Chandon would be a great place to visit AND tour. Woo!!

It was fantastic. The tour was great (and enlightening! I had no idea how they made champagne) and our guide was fantastic. We did a private tasting and our group (which, to be fair, did have 10 drinking people) polished off five bottles of champagne and a bottle of wine. Glorious. And it wasn’t just me. It was unanimous that Chandon was our favorite stop of the day. We went to two wineries afterwards, but one was nothing special and the other was ridiculously expensive and pretentious ($30 for a tasting (which is basically one glass of wine), or a free tasting if you bought a bottle (of which the cheapest was $86)). Chandon was definitely the best! After our wine tour, we stopped off at a grocery store for snacks, liquor, and girl scout cookies (great combination, no?) and then headed back to our little abode for an evening of board games.

We had an AirBNB house that was really great – set up high on a mountain and far away from the town (seriously, it took half an hour just to drive up the mountain road). The sleeping arrangements were a little iffy because we had 11 adults and the house promised it could sleep 10. They brought an air mattress for the single guy and called the problem solved. Then we showed up and realized that, yes it could sleep 10, but one couple would be on a pull out couch and another couple would be on a twin trundle bed. Since we arrived the latest of everyone, Luffy and I got the pull out couch (we were saved from the trundle only because Luffy is 6’5″ tall and you try fitting all of that on a twin bed). Other than that hiccup, the house was great. The view, from the back porch, was gorgeous.

Luffy and I left early Sunday morning to head to San Francisco to meet  up with a friend for brunch and then head to the airport. We got back late last night, which means I’m dragging a bit today. But! The trip was short and fun and, most importantly, included really excellent champagne! Smashing success!