Kate and I have a new favorite everyday wine, the Villicana Cuvee from Paso Robles


Last year Kate and I went down to San Luis Obispo to visit my dad, and we made a side trip to do some wine tasting in Paso Robles.

We were heading to a winery that someone had recommended to us (I can’t remember which one) but we got lost. Eventually we decided to stop at the next winery we saw. Randomly we found ourselves at Villicana Winery, and we LOVED it. We walked out with a case.

Right now they are having an amazing deal on their 2007 Estate Winemaker’s Cuvee. This bottle is normally $24 but right now it’s $144 for a case. That’s only $12 each!

This is about as good a wine as you’re going to get at that price. So we just bought a bunch:


Total production on this wine was only 300 cases. Between what Kate and I bought, and the case I bought for the office, we purchased more than 1% of the entire run.

I highly recommend Villicana. Visit the winery down in Paso, or buy their wine here.

Continuum winery with the Backtype guys. Met the Mondavi family, drank great wine, enjoyed gorgeous views


Kate and I joined the guys up to Napa today to visit Continuum Winery, which was started by Tim Mondavi, Robert Mondavi’s son.

It was incredible. We drank amazing wine, ate great food, and played with cute puppies.

But best of all, we were taken care of by the Mondavi family. Tim was incredible, nicest guy in the world. He went out of his way to get Kate a glass of wine when he saw her empty handed. Kate and I cracked up when he violently threw his white wine into the grass, calling it undrinkable :).

Carissa, Tim’s daughter, gave us a great tour of the property, which included fabulous views of the entire valley. Continuum is on quite a bit north east of where Kate and I usually taste. We were up on Pritchard Hill, where the land is steep. This means lower yields, but incredible wine.

Thanks to Backtype, the Mondavi family, and all our gracious hosts. It’s not often you get taken care of so well, and especially by legends in the wine business.


Kate and I celebrated our anniversary with dinner at Michael Mina


Dinner was great. All the food was unique and delicious. The service was pretty much perfect. The servers were young yet professional. We asked questions about the menu and they commented how “most people don’t know what that is, and don’t ask.” They were happy to explain.

The drinks were mediocre, especially sad since they were $15 each. We wanted wine with dinner but the wine list is ridiculously long and expensive. The server recommended the Michael Mina house cab which was excellent.

There is only a three course pre fixe menu. Each course we got actually consisted of a plate with 3 small tastings on it. I liked the format a lot, we were able to try a lot of different foods.

The bar room has a good looking menu, but it’s a very uncomfortable seating situation and i’ll never eat there.

Summary: I will be back. But you won’t find me here as frequently as you will at Gary Danko. I think Danko is as good, though slightly less experimental. Danko is also about 30% less cash. You can pretty much walk into Michael Mina without a reservation, which is a huge plus when you get a last minute craving for a nice meal.