Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Post 8: Carpe Diem Wine Bar --> Robert Mondavi Winery

By the time we were done at Artesa Winery, it was close to 4pm. Most wine tours end around that time so we needed to occupy ourselves with something to do before dinner. We dropped by Napa Premium Outlets, walked around a bit (didn't buy anything but was very close to at Cole Haan hehe), and headed to downtown Napa for food around an hour or so later. 

Downtown Napa is really really small, and honestly not much to do or see there. But we figured anywhere downtown is worth a visit. My brother wanted to go to a wine bar and Carpe Diem was the one we finally ventured into. It was still relatively early at the time, so the dining room was pretty deserted, whereas the bar near the entrance was filled with people.

Carpe Diem's menu consisted of mainly small plates to share.

We ordered this cabernet sauvignon - "Taken". Reminds me of the movie with Liam Neeson (one of my favorite actors haha).

First came the Smoked Salmon Brick Oven Flatbreads - Not feeling this at all. The smoked salmon was quite dry and tough, not the usual slimy (sorry for the lack of a better word) and soft smoked salmon I expected. 

The flatbread was hard and a bit on the colder side too.

Cabernet Braised Short Rib Sliders - Radicchio and snap pea slaw, ABC potato bun. I opted out of this since there was only three sliders. It looked good but my family members didn't really comment on it.

Calabrian Red Pepper Calamari - Chorizo, fingerling potatoes, baby arugula. This was everyone's favorite. Very flavorful and a bit spicy. The calamari was tasty and the potatoes were also seasoned really well. 

Wasn't a full meal I must say, but it was sufficient at that time. We didn't feel like ordering anymore plates either, so maybe that's an indication that we thought Carpe Diem was just "meh" at best.

Next day, we dropped by Robert Mondavi Winery in the morning. Although I'm not a big fan of their wines, but It just feels wrong leaving Napa without visiting Robert Mondavi

The following facts about Robert Mondavi are taken from Wikipedia which I find interesting, and along the way are pictures I took from the winery.

"Robert Gerald Mondavi (June 18, 1913 – May 16, 2008[1]) was a leading California vineyard operator whose technical improvements and marketing strategies brought worldwide recognition for the wines of the Napa Valley in California.From an early period, Mondavi aggressively promoted labeling wines varietally rather than generically. This is now the standard for New World wines..."

"...In 1966, he founded the Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley with the goal of producing wines that would rival the finest wines of Europe. Robert Mondavi is the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the post-Prohibition era..."

“Mondavi successfully developed a number of premium wines that earned the respect of connoisseurs and vintners alike… In 1968 he made a dry oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc, an unpopular variety in California at the time, and labeled it "Fumé Blanc". The wine was a success and, in time, Fumé Blanc became accepted as a synonym for Sauvignon Blanc…”

"...In 2003, Mondavi expressed regret and criticized his sons for the business strategy that emphasized the inexpensive Mondavi lines, Coastal and Woodbridge, over the premium wines, allowing the company name to lose its association with fine wine it held in the past. He said, "We've got to get our image back, and that's going to take time..."

"...On December 22, 2004, Constellation Brands acquired the Mondavi winery for nearly US$1.36 billion in cash and assumption of debt.[8] Following the sale of the company, Mondavi traveled the world as an ambassador for wine..."

"...On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Mondavi into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts..."

"...Robert Mondavi died at his Yountville home on May 16, 2008 at the age of 94."

Wow, Robert Mondavi lived till he was 94. Proves how wine can be good for your health =D

1001 2nd St
Napa, CA 94559

My Virgin America Trip to Los Angeles, Caifornia