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December 13th, 2006

So Tuesday I wandered back down to Russian River valley and hit some of my favorite wineries. Arista was closed, but I got to catch up with Porter Creek (organic and bio-dynamic). I raced past Davis Bynum before my taste buds died from proximity, then wandered by a few other Westside Road wineries on the way home.

cmdrsuzdal had liked Hop Kiln but I figured it was just because she was drunk last time we went. Turns out, she was right. They have a muscat/chardonnay blend that was just fabulous this year, and their big red is understated in title. Nice stuff. And they had hot bread and good cheese for me to pull together a snack lunch. Some innovative mustards, and wow before I knew it the bills were rolling.

From there I wandered down to Belvedere, a place I remembered more for the garden (nice) than the wine. Memory has failed me, or they improved. A dry, sophisticated gewurztraminer, and a killer, absolutely killer Pinot. Some splendid organic Zinfadels as well, but at $35 a bottle I was feeling too broke already to indulge. But the wine server was splendid company, and we chatted our way through the afternoon.

Last stop was Roshambo. The queen is dead, long live... yeah, Naomi is gone. She apparently broke up with the husband/boyfriend and sold Roshambo. Everyone there is trying hard to stay positive, but the fun feeling just wasn't there. I hope it recovers.

Finally, I wandered into Healdsburg and found a decent place to eat for decent prices (that's actually a Find! in Healdsburg). Chatted up a server, and found out the local dive bar. Went there and played pool (badly) drank (too much) and generally made a nuisance of myself. Left a little too late and had to struggle to stay awake on the drive home.

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