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{ TRAVEL }: A Wine Country New Year + Blog Updates - Champagne at Shannon's

{ TRAVEL }: A Wine Country New Year + Blog Updates

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Soooooo, I’m late, but I realize I never shared our wine country weekend for the new year!

Well, I guess I’m only 2ish weeks late, but it was so memorable, I figure I’d post here before it gets wayyyy too late.

Erik & I both agree that one of the coolest parts of blogging is having an online scrapbook of our travels. In fact, the other day I was going through our Cabo post & man, it made me ache to get back there in a major way!

So, let’s talk Sonoma!

I mentioned for the holidays that we had a staycation… & tbh, it was my one of my favourite memories of 2016. We both had off work from the holidays until the new year. There was something so calming and theraperutic of just having uninterrupted time together – in fact, it kinda felt like a honeymoon in our own city!

We decided at the last second to do wine country for the new year. We originally planned on staying at Silverado in Napa. If you follow me on snap, you KNOW my boyfriend is a huge golfer. Well, if you stay there, you get full access to their sick course. Unfortunately, we let the ball drop on that one, because come 12/29 when we finally decided to book, it was sold out!

Sooooo we are scrambling to figure out what to do. We knew we wanted a fireplace in our room & a sick golf course. We started looking at Big Sur & Half Moon Bay. To be honest, Big Sur is on my list for a special occaission and I didn’t want to blow it on our poor planning & Erik wanted a larger golf course than the one in Half Moon Bay. We did a search and then found the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn (with sick deals on the rooms). SCORE!

We booked a room with a fireplace and prepared our weekend trek to Sonoma the next day.

We left on Friday, December 30th first thing in the morning. On our way up, we decided to hit up Healdsburg. We have some winery memberships that we have been slacking on so we had plenty of wine to pick up. We started at Twomey, where I was able to pick up the Silver Oak Cookbook I am OBSESSED with. This was my Christmas present to myself! You will 100% see this in the cookbook club!

I’ll talk about it more when I feature it, but pretty much, it’s a cookbook by the winery chef at Silver Oak. The recipes are all about what is in season & parallel with the winemaking process (& pairs with wines from both Twomey & Silver Oak beautifully). The recipes are seriously off the charts & has improved my cooking instantly! I HIGHLY recommend it.

After Twomey, we went to Porter Creek. I talked about it a bit here, but this is our current favourite winery (was happy to see some screenshots on snap when I mentioned this too! I hope you get your hands on some bottles!!). I personally love the Chardonnay & Pinots.. not to mention the Old Vines Zin is out of this world. While there, we asked the tasting room host where to go & he said 100% do not miss De la Montanya so off we went.

This winery was way too fun & I was happy to see that they had a Gewürztraminer – one of my favourite varietals! I made sure to bring a bottle home (ps – so good with Japanese cuisine). By now, it’s about 5:00p so it was time to head to Sonoma.

We were starving so we head over to our favourite place to go that we just can’t get in SF… Chick-fil-a! ha! I LOVE chick-fil-a in a major way and it’s perfect for a long afternoon of wine tasting (especially if you’re the only one tasting because E was driving).

At around 6:00p we checked into the Fairmont. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because I was too busy snapping #typical – I need to get with it. So, like in Palm Springs, the only room with a fireplace left was one with 2 queens. We really wanted the fireplace so didn’t think twice about it. However, funny enough, I was surprised that I got a ton of questions about this on Snapchat so I wanted to mention it here. I was posting a lot of the room, and really didn’t think twice on the bed situation. We travel semi-often, so we really aren’t stressed on what the bed situation is. Erik & I are more than ok 🙂 You guys are verrrry observant lol

We head over to the lounge, and plotted out our plans. We wanted to make sure Erik was able to golf, & figure out what to do winery wise the next day.

The concierge at the Fairmont was amazing and super helpful. She let us know which wineries to make it to, which ones to skip (as to what we were looking for), and printed us out a list of both Napa & Sonoma wineries that showed which ones were closed & which ones were open for the holiday. It was VERY handy since the majority of them were closed for both NYE & NYD.

The lobby lounge was very modern. The glass walls were perfectly lined with wine, & the menu was on an iPad. Since the room was dark, that made reading much easier – not to mention, the menu was interactive, so you can select a wine & read all about it. We all know I love to read menus so that kept me entertained for a good while.

By now, we are starting to get hungry again and try to figure out what to do for dinner. Now, this was really fun, but since Erik booked us NYE dinner at Sonoma Grille, we wanted to go super casual so we decided to hit up the taquiera next door for carryout to bring back to the room, fireside, with some wine! We got a triple order of fajitas (Steak / chicken / shrimp), tamales, & plenty of chips and salsa…. & seriously, it was perfect and so memorable. It was actually one of my favourite 2016 memories.

The next day, we hit up the wineries – we went to Deerfield & Ty Caton. They were both very close to the hotel, so that was a plus. Another plus being Ubers in Sonoma. Also, Erik has never been in a wine cave before so it was neat to do that!

Deerfield prides themselves on removing sulfites from the wine. It’s a passion project between a husband & wife (he even has a wine he made inspired by her #goals) and their poodle named Obi Wine. There is a huge Star Wars theme with the winery too so that was fun. They also opened some Library Wines so it was neat to go back in time, wine-wise!

Ty Caton has vineyards in Sonoma but a tasting room in town, so we just did the tasting room. The rose was bomb (literally tasted like a dry watermelon jolly rancher) so I was sure to take some home.

Then we chilled for a bit before dinner which was fun. Hopefully you caught Erik’s green hat moment on snapchat! It was a prix fixe dinner where we enjoyed champagne, oysters, beef tartare, filet, & sticky pudding (aka one of my favourite desserts). Yum! We took our Uber back to the Sonoma just before midnight.

The Fairmont teamed up with Veuve to host a party, so I was sure to get a glass of champagne to bring back to the room to enjoy by the fire for midnight. The clock stuck twelve, I gave Erik his new year kiss, finished my champagne, and was in bed by 12:30a.

The next day, Erik got to golf the course & I treated myself to brunch. There, I had a huge fruit plate, chicken sausage, a glass of bubbles, coffee, & tea. What can I say, I love my beverages. I was also able to catch up with Scott, an old friend and mentor in the wine industry which was also a lot of fun.

Before we knew it, it was time to check out & head back to the city. We headed back down to the city, ordered a pizza, & watched The Accountant.

We LOVED our New Year’s and I am so blessed to spend another year with Erik. The staycation really had me on Cloud 9.

Anyways, let’s talk BLOG UPDATES!!!

So I spent the weekend cleaning up the site. Nothing big, just a lot more… clean, if you will.

I now have a Cannabis section since I’ll be talking about that more. Anything you want to see / know, let me know! You can also e-mail me or snap me (@shnnnlynn) if you prefer in private.

Also, under Food, I have the Cookbook Club in it’s own section! Talked about it here but it will commence in February so get excited!! Let me know what books / recipes you want to see.

Then finally, I cleaned up my Music section. I have two categories: Music Friday & Playlists.

Music Friday is where you can find all my featured songs posted each & every Friday. The Playlist section is still under construction, but it will be a one stop shop for all my playlists from travel, to fitness, to everything! I mentioned on Snapchat that for every trip (especially international), I make a playlist to really capture the “vibe” of the city & continue to add while we are there. We are off to somewhere VERY special next week for the first time, so I’m very excited. I have been sharing a snippet of each song on my special playlist for it each night – lmk if you can guess where!

Speaking of playlists, you can check out the following travel ones:

+++ Australia
+++ Fiji
+++ Amsterdam

Well that’s about it! Let me know in the comments anything you want to see. Cookbooks, recipes, weed anyone? Also, let me know your favourite wineries! I’m always looking for more to add to the list. I’m off to the gym!

xx Shannon

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