August 21, 2012

Weekend in Calistoga, CA

Summer time means wedding season and we were in Calistoga for a beautiful winery wedding complete with a reception inside a cave and endless bottles of delicious wine. I had no idea summers in Calistoga meant dry hot days with temperatures as high as 115 followed by cool evenings in the mid 50s. I didn't get to enjoy 4 full days in the area like the rest of my party, but the 32 hours I did get to spend there were a lot of fun. 

The welcome reception was held at the Luxe Hotel, which apparently only has 4 rooms and the couple rented out the entire place in order to have the reception on the porch. The chef used to work at The French Laundry and cooked up quite a few delicious appetizers for all the guests. My favorite was the pork belly over kimchi. 

The rehearsal dinner was held at Tra Vigne in St. Helena, which also happens to have the worst traffic between Napa and Calistoga. We ate in the private room just off to the side and it was air conditioned, which was a plus. The menu was predetermined which included a family style pasta course, which was my favorite and a choice of short ribs or flounder for the main course. 

The wedding was held at Hans Fahden Winery in Calistoga followed by a beautiful reception inside a man made cave. The steak and lemon mashed potato was absolutely delicious and the best wedding dish I have tasted to date. 

Now I can cross Calistoga/Napa off my list and look forward to Paso Robles as my next vino destination.

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