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Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living. - Robert Mondavi

Escape the Fog with Frog




Thursday, July 8, 2010
On one of those frustrating early summer days in San Francisco when the sun is shining yet the thermometer can’t quite break 70, and the foreboding sound of the fog horn reminds you that the fog is creeping in under the Golden Gate Bridge and threatening to shroud the sun at any moment, there is onlyone logical thing to do: Head north to 90-degree Napa heat and have some wine while
you’re at it. Thus, our entourage of four packed our swimsuits, sweaters and sunglasses and hit the road for a North-of-SF adventure. We assumed the day would be spent wine tasting, but the enticing sun had us yearning for some poolside R&R.

We settled for Bardessano, a “luxury hotel” that is simply elegant, contemporary, and “trendy-green” as all smart new venues are these days. Bardessano’s approach is appealing – it is bonafied green, even leed certified, yet the crunch you’d expect to feel is replaced by modern sophistication. From the modern art flanking the walls to the chic and minimalist bar and spa, Bardessano is like a perfect blend of the W Hotel, the St. Regis, and Calistoga. We were graciously welcomed to the pool, stealthily hidden on the second floor roof of the spa, thanks to some insider assistance. The little oasis of the pool is flanked with covered cabanas and a trendy little bar and its elevation allows views of the Napa Valley hills and vineyards. The trendy Nikki Beach-inspired sound track lilted smoothly and the sun baked patrons enjoyed the lime-green foam rafts in the pool and so we ordered our first bottle of wine and some sustainable fresh, local, organic food to pair it with. Freshly seasoned herb-citrus infused olives and almonds and a salad made from vegetables so fresh that you imagined they might still be growing while on your plate were a light, delicate treat to accompany Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc.
The Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc is one of those wines that is so crisp, elegant and refreshing, that you can easily lap up two bottles of it – which we did. The Bardessano pool staff did their best to keep the wine iced in a bucket near our lounge chairs, but the wine seemed to heat up to tepid warmth as soon as it was left sitting in the glass for a couple of minutes. This kind of wine is dangerous in the summer for two reasons: The first is that it is as light and refreshing as “spa water”, with hints of white peach, lemon, grapefruit, and minerals, that one begins to drink it as though it is indeed water. The second is that white wine this crisp warms up so quickly in the heat, that to enjoy it at its proper temperature, you must drink it soon after it is poured. Fortunately, the Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc is relatively low alcohol and made in stainless steel, not oak barrels, so it holds up better than most other whites would in the heat.
Still, it made me realize that in sub-three digit degree weather, it might be better to sip a rose that can be enjoyed even when it warms up slightly since it has a it more body. Never one for regrets, I suggested we have a rose with dinner, and so we did enjoy a delicious rose with our pork, pasta and salmon that evening inside the cave-like, sexy restaurant, Bottega...but that is a different chapter.
 

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