Read below for day 4 of Mark and Kathie Johnson’s Lake Tahoe via Sonoma and Napa food and wine report:
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1
It was another beautiful day so we drove around the lake with a stop at Truckee www.truckee.com . We got back as the sun was setting and the sky was turning pink. Tonight’s dinner was at Café Fiore www.cafefiore.com , a tiny little Italian restaurant, and one of our favorites. We started with our usual cheesy garlic bread oozing with butter. Sinfully good. Then after a simple salad and minestrone soup we received our entrees. Kathie got the spaghetti con salsiccia: thin spaghetti tossed with spicy Italian sausage, spinach, crushed red chilies, garlic, olive oil and lots and lots of pancetta. Delicious and a huge potion too. I ordered lamb chops (3 thick double cut) that were brushed with Dijon mustard, then coated with Italian bread crumbs, pan fried, then roasted to a rosy pink. Finally they drizzle an aromatic butter-garlic sauce on top. It was heavenly – crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. But as great as the meal was it was topped by the wine: a 2004 Kosta Browne “Amber Ridge” Pinot Noir www.kostabrowne.com . This is the Holy Grail of Pinots, the kind of wine that you always search for but rarely find. It was simply amazing. A fabulous nose, bright cherry fruit, smooth yet complex…just nirvana. Kathie said it was possibly the best Pinot she had ever tasted. Alas, this was my very last bottle of the 2004 KB Amber Ridge, bottle # 1956 of 2546 bottles produced.