Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today is our wedding anniversary! While our outings were limited, they were special.

Sandwiched between a visit to Yountville Fitness

and a few afternoon hours at the pool, we spent a bucolic three hours at Mumm Napa Valley.

Mumm is one of my favorite Napa Valley wineries for more reasons than just their excellent sparkling wines. Their tour is one of the best in the Valley and even those who have no clue of hour Champagne is made, come away from the tour with clear understanding of the process.

Also, Mumm has a fine art photography gallery, part of which showcases the private collection of Ansel Adams photography The Private Collection Gallery exhibits Matthew Adams' private collection of his grandfather Ansel Adams’ photographs. Another part of the photography gallery features changing exhibits. The current exhibit of the work of George Rose "Hollywood, Beverly Hills & Other Perversities" Pop Culture of the 1970s and 1980s, presents fascinating photographs of Hollywood celebrities of the 1970s and 1980s. It will be here until August 21, 2009.

There is no charge to visit Mumm's photography galleries. For the first guided tour of the day, at 10 a.m., there is no charge. For the rest of the day's tours, there is a charge of $20 which includes a tasting of three of Mumm's wines on the original tasting terrace.

Three months ago Mumm opened its Oak Terrace, another outdoor tasting area where it offers its higher end "library collection" wines. We opted for the Oak Terrace where we enjoyed flutes of the 2002 DVX Rosé and the 25th Anniversary Brut Reserve. To go with it, we ordered a platter of a selection of cheese, nuts, fruit, and crackers. They served Louie a bowl of water and a very large doggie cookie. Cost for our two glasses of wine was $30; the cheese sampler was $20...very reasonable for this special tasting.

Sitting in comfortable arm chairs, overlooking the Valley, we had no problem passing several hours here enjoying our wine and what turned out to be a light lunch for us.

Our special dinner was in St. Helena at Terra, one of our longtime favorites that we've forgotten about for a few years.

Chef owners Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani continue to work their magic in their eclectic menu that has an Asian emphasis.

We shared the Fried Rock Shrimp as an appetizer. The Chive sauce was so delicious that we sopped up every drop with our warm bread and the salad greens.

Jim's main course was the fish of the day, a whole Petrale Sole, cooked in "magic broth." They boned his fish for him and it was garnished with Broccolini, olives, zucchini, and roasted tomatoes.

My choice was Halibut on a bed of white bean purée and haricots verts.

Everything was perfection.

We share sorbet with a coconut tuile for dessert. The sorbet flavors were strawberry and cantelope. And they wrote "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate on our plate.

Happy Anniversary, Jim!

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