Is this thing on? Wow – it’s very hard for me to believe that it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything here on my blog. How in the world did an entire year fly by so quickly? I have still been cooking, creating recipes, going on food adventures and enjoying life, but blogging took a back burner because it’s what I do for a living – ALL DAY LONG. Enough of that – I enjoy my blog and sharing with family, friends and fellow food lovers, so I’m bringing Foodiddy back. I can’t think of a better thing to do while watching election coverage tonight.
I’m going to use a time machine to travel back a few months to September. I decided it’s a good place to start. I attended a dear friend’s bachelorette weekend in Lake Tahoe and part of our intinery included attending the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival and a special winemaker luncheon at Petra.
Petra is a casual wine bar located in the Village at Northstar. They have over 150 wines to choose from with a focus on limited-production and family-owned wineries from California and around the world.
We could not wait to dive into our multi-course food/wine adventure.
I have been to the Village at Northstar on many occasions, but this was the first time venturing into Petra. I loved the simple decor and upscale rustic vibe of the place.
We learned the history behind Albatross Ridge Winery and it’s creators, the father and son team of Brad and Garrett Bowlus. Their vision was to find a place where they could plant two styles of grapes – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their search included many places along the California and Oregon coasts. They finally found what they were looking for high upon Monterey’s Carmel Coast – a place near and dear to my heart.
I’m kind of obsessed with wine labels and the story behind each one. The Albatross Ridge rep explained how the name Albatross Ridge came about and the connection to the name. I later went to their website and learned even more.
“In the 1930s, famed engineer and pilot William Hawley Bowlus, whose pioneering sailplanes are in the Smithsonian, used to fly gliders of his own design off the ridgetops of Monterey’s majestic Carmel Coast. Eight decades later, his grandson and great-grandson unknowingly came to the same mountain slopes, where they have established one of California’s most exciting vineyards.
It was only after planting the vineyard, when Brad and Garrett were searching for a name for the site, that they discovered an old book on local Monterey history. On its very last page, they found something as remarkable as it was improbable—a photo of Hawley Bowlus launching his Albatross sailplane off the same high mountain slopes where they founded their vineyard. “It was such a serendipitous discovery,” says Brad. “It affirmed everything we had been working so hard to achieve.” – Source: albatrossridge.com
Let’s bring on the food…
First up was Spring Ricotta Spread – pea shoots, basil, lemon, ricotta and toasted flatbread points. The balsamic drizzle on top made for a delicious first round. At this point we were all wishing we had a lighter breakfast knowing what was to arrive next.
Albatross Ridge Chardonnay was served to be paired with our next course – Handmade Artichoke and Crab Ravioli.
Lemon cream sauce, heirloom zucchini and cherry tomatoes were the perfect pairing to the artichoke and crab stuffed raviolis.
Next up was Dry Rubbed Berkshire Pork Tenderloin served with a creamy polenta, cremini mushroom sauce and charred green beans. This dish made me ask the same question I ask myself every time I have polenta at a restuaruant – Why the heck don’t I make polenta at home? The pork was delicious and served with Albatross Ridge “Vivienne” Pinot Noir – equally fabulous and my favorite glass of the day.
We did manage to save room for dessert. This was prior to playing a game of trivia about what we learned throughout the event.
Artisan Cheese & Chocolate – triple creme brie, fig jam, dark chocolate dipped strawberries, toasted flatbread points and honey glazed marcona almonds. This course was paired with Albatross Ridge “Reserve” Pinot Noir. Chocolate dipped strawberries… YES PLEASE! I was very full, but those were the perfect ending to our delicious meal.
We definitely needed to walk around after our two plus hour lunch. We checked out some of the booths and stopped at every dog along the way. I was lucky to be with three other dog lovers that equally missed their fur babies.
We later drove to Incline Village – a place where I spent many summers full of fond memories. We enjoyed a few more beverages at Lone Eagle Grille and then headed back to the cabin for a walk to the beach with more wine… in our custom sippy cups – thank you very much.
It was a wonderful weekend away with some pretty amazing women/friends. We chatted a lot about the upcoming wedding, but most importantly just chilled/relaxed. Very different and more my style compared to the bachelorette parties I attended in my 20’s and 30’s.
Wow, that was like riding a bike. One post down and a handful more in the works. I just had to rip the band-aid off – no turning back now. Thanks for sticking around during my long break, it feels good to be back.