Eating gluten-free has been quite the adventure for me to say the least. I feel I have a somewhat unique point of view as I am not gluten intolerant or allergic and I am not trying out the newest fad diet to become popular. I told Jen when we were engaged that when we got married I would go 100% gluten free to make things easier for cooking, shopping, etc. but most of all I wanted to walk along side her and support her in this.
It has not been easy for her. She didn’t have a choice, but I haven’t really viewed it as a choice either. We both have our cravings and we often joke about how we really miss this or that (CHICK-FIL-A!!!), but all in all it has not been as hard as I thought it would be.
So anyways…I love to cook. I have been encouraging Jen to write blogs about gluten free stuff because we are always meeting people who have been doing it a lot less time than we have and we have definitely done our homework on things. The hardest things with gluten free anything is TASTE! Sure Betty Crocker can slap “Gluten Free” on a box, but if the brownies tastes worse than the box that it comes in….FAIL.
So hopefully sharing our secrets and recipes will help you guys out!
After getting the news of my grandmother’s death the day after the wedding, we debated postponing the trip. However, after hearing that she intentionally wanted for our time to not be interrupted, we wanted to honor her request and go ahead and go on the trip.
First, let’s get one thing cleared up. You may be thinking “Wait, Napa? With your husband…that just had his first glass of wine when you got engaged?”
Ok, so champagne at Domaine Chandon wasn’t his favorite (can you see it on his face?). But he enjoyed trying the wine…he was a trooper to try all the wines, even the ones that were a little strong, even for my taste buds. Win for the wife. We even found a Merlot at Sterling Vineyards that he liked enough to buy!
We actually only visited a few wineries: Sterling Vineyards (our favorite) and Domaine Chandon. Some people attempt 5 tastings in a day (tipsy, much?)…but we enjoyed the admittedly slower pace of 2 in a week!
But, before we got into wine country we drove up through San Fransisco and stopped to walk around the Firsherman’s Wharf and grab something to eat.
Sterling Vineyards has got it figured out. First, you take a gondola ride up to the winery. The ride affords you great views of the property and by the time you reach the top, you’re overlooking the whole valley.
At the top, you are led through several different wine tasting “stations,” weaving through the cellar rooms. Eventually, you end up at a rooftop patio overlooking the valley.
We sat on the patio for a while and David found the Merlot that he really likes! We enjoyed our time at Sterling and there were very few other people there at the same time.
Our other visit was to Domaine Chandon, a “sparkling wine” (i.e. champagne) vineyard. Domaine Chandon was much more modern than Sterling, but we liked it too!
During the rest of our trip, this is where you could find us!:
I went online and found this place to rent for the week. It ended up being cheaper than getting a hotel room…and much more private and spacious! A married couple, both artists, live on the property and they rent out this cottage. The wife is into gardening (not like we think about someone “into gardening” here), so the whole backyard is a huge garden with a wide variety of plants and flowers.
We hit up the gluten-free friendly grocery store staple, Whole Foods, stocked up on snacks and food, and did a lot of lounging. We did not leave the cottage until at least noon every day and it was glorious!
We did take a few small side trips while we were there:
La Vera Pizza – yummy gluten free pizza place that David found in Santa Rosa!
Our last day in Napa, we made a day trip to Point Reyes Lighthouse.
These cows have it made! They are grazing in a pasture that overlooks the ocean.
Here is our steep decline to get to the lighthouse! The stairs are 30 stories tall…it reminded me how out of shape I am 🙂
…and here is the lighthouse! We even spotted a few whales while we were hanging out; regrettably, the camera was out of focus when we tried to snap a few shots of them!
Lastly, we drove around our “neighborhood” and found a few fun things:
We found the firehouse!
We had an awesome time – the weather and scenery alone are worth the trip! Add experiencing new things with the one that you love: unique wine tastings, great food, and easy access to San Francisco, the Redwoods and the coast…now I’m really smiling.