I spent the afternoon with my brother, driving through the Dry Creek Valley to visit wineries and take in the scenery.
One of the comparative joys of California wine country (versus the various wine regions of France) is that for the most part, no appointment is necessary to visit wineries and taste wines. They aren’t usually free, but the $5 or $10 tasting fee (typically for 4 wines) can be applied to a purchase, and in most cases two people can share one flight.
Our favorite stop was at Family Wineries, a tasting room collective of smaller winemakers. I saw the name Dashe on the sign and smiled. My friend Sharon had instructed me to seek out these wines; I hadn’t sought, but here they were.
I bought a couple bottles of grenache and we hit the road.
At the freeway entrance my brother turned to me and said, “I generally like to end an afternoon of wine tasting with a delicious beer.”
Proof that we are related.
People ask me what foods I miss when I’m in Paris, and my usual answer is beer (don’t say it’s not food). Sure, there is beer in Paris, including some fantastic Abbey ales from that little country to the north. But I love, I mean love a good California-style IPA or ESB, laden with hops.
You know what else I love that’s hard to find in Paris? A good burger.
So instead of heading back to Santa Rosa we drove into Healdsburg and bellied up to the bar at the Bear Republic brewery.
Family Wineries 4791 Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg, CA 888-433-6555 website
Bear Republic Brewery 345 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, CA 717-433-BEER website