In Vino Veritas

Part of travel for me is getting to experience new places, landscapes, food culture, and WINE. I try to visit Italy yearly and there my favorite wine regions are Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Lombardy. My favorite wine from Italy is Lambrusco (secco/dry) and when I arrived in Anacortes, Washington I found a few bottles at Compass Wines, THE local wine merchant. I was instantly enamored with the great staff there and the fact that they are so knowledgeable and helpful.

I’ve looked for dry Lambrusco in every state we pass through and it is a very hard wine to find. I had one wine merchant tell me he had never heard of anything but dolce/sweet Lambrusco (ew!) and that I’d have to go to Italy to find the secco type. The fact that Doug at Compass Wines knows his Lambrusco and carries it is one reason I wanted to return to Anacortes. Every Wednesday they have a tasting and I get to experience new wines from Pacific Northwest wineries and expand my palate. I’ve also gotten to know a few French wines that I love.

Apparently, Pinot Noir (I’ve never met one that I didn’t like) is the grape varietal that Vin de Bourgogne (Burgundy Wine) is made from. I had occasion to try one, so I did a little research and learned that the reason Chambolle-Musigny doesn’t have Pinot Noir on the label is because of the Domaine.

Pinot Noir offers a very varied palette of aromas which are a direct consequence of the terroir on which it is grown. That is why the name of the varietal is rarely mentioned on the label of a bottle of Bourgogne wine, which gives preference to its place of production.

Now, I’m more partial to Italian wines than French, but I’m open to new things. So when I visited Compass Wines one Wednesday for their tasting I tried a few wines from… one of which I really liked and was a Bordeaux-style wine. It was the Avennia 2015 Sestina Red (Columbia Valley (WA)).

Sestina celebrates old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from the Red Willow and Bacchus vineyards. The initial punch and power gives way to a wine with sharp acidity and somewhat constrained, leafy fruit flavors. For those who crave old-vine complexity and embrace the herbal side of Cabernet, this wine will be a revelation. Tight and focused, it responds well to several hours of decanting.

And then…from a case in the back of the store Doug brought out a 2011 of the same wine. The Avennia 2011 Sestina Red blend is made from some of the oldest vines in the PNW, and the extra years of aging mellowed out the sharpness leaving me with well-rounded fruit flavors lingering on my tongue long after the sip. I had to purchase a bottle. I got in line to initiate the transaction when something else amazing happened.

This was my IG post about the experience:

“Yesterday I went to @compasswines and had the chance to taste two amazing wines [that another customer had purchased and opened]: a 1964 Domaine Clair Dau Musigny Grand Cru and a 2010 Dom Clair-Dau Musigny. They were both fantastic Pinot Noir bottles with the ‘64 showing a mature color, raisin/jam notes, and a lovely lingering smoky fruit finish. The 2010 was great on the palate with a rich fruit (berry/cherry) profile. It was a phenomenal experience! Thanks, Doug! #compasswines #domaineclairdau #cbcgblog #citygirltravels #Airstream #airstreamliving #liveriveted #airstreamlife #rvlife #naarva #girlcamper #glamping #rvingwomen #travelista #unlikelyhikers #blackpeoplehike #blackcamper #snowbird #nolagirl #anacortes #pnw #ptsdwife #armywife #wanderlust #loveisgreaterthanptsd #bourgeoisie #bornbourgie”

This is what RV life has brought to me; the wild outdoors at my doorstep, luxe travel accommodations from our “stream of air” travel trailer named Silver Belle, experiences across America that would never happen if I was anchored to one location in a home all year, and opportunities to connect with people and places in a way that a short vacation somewhere would never give me.

So, I was in just the right place at the right time and got to expand my wine experience a little more. I’m now just a little bit obsessed with Domaine Clair-Daü Vin De Bourgogne. I plan to research and buy another vintage that is more in my price range. It’s not everyday you get to taste $1000 bottle of wine. My 15th wedding anniversary is coming up though so….

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New Orleans to Washington State 2018

Our 2018 TransAmerican road trip in our R-pod 180 HRE will take us from New Orleans to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) again. We loved it up there last year and have decided to become reverse snowbirds this year from May to October 🙂

On the way to the PNW we will stop along this route:

  • Dallas
  • Albuquerque
  • Zion National Park
  • Salt Lake City
  • Yakima
  • Olympia
  • Anacortes (San Juan Islands)

Follow us @countryboy_citygirl on Instagram for photos of our travels and tips on free camping spots.

Anacortes, Washington & San Juan Islands

My BFF since first grade now lives in Anacortes, WA. I miss her terribly and hope one day she gets sick of the PNW and moves back to south Louisiana. Well, at least I thought that before I got to know where she lives now. She has invited us to visit several times but we hadn’t made the trip.

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So, after a year or two of invites we have finally made the trip and boy should I have gone sooner! First off, it’s GORGEOUS there.

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We stayed in the uplands and had Norweigan Fjord Horses for neighbors. I found the whole town (of just 16,000 people) to be cute, quaint, and full of little gems that I found during my stay. Compass Wines become my new favorite wine shop as the owner loves Lambrusco… and I love anyone who also loves my favorite wine.

 

I even got to try Ferry Witnessing for the first time. The Friday Harbor Ferry has pretty views, including some of Mount Baker.

 

 

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink… but the mountains that pop up out of the water and make up these islands offer much to do in the way of hiking and biking so we took advantage of that while there. Use the Washington Trails Association website to find trails near you (wta.org)

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Cap Sante Park is just up from the town marina and has lovely views.

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Sharpe Park has several trail loops to take you to an amazing view of the San Juan Islands. I will caution you to choose wisely as some of the trails are steep.

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Deception Pass State Park is breathtaking. We will be sure to camp there on our next trip.

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Mount Erie is part of Anacortes Community Forest Lands (ACFL) and offers several great trails with outstanding views.

 

Mount Erie ACFL (from wta.org)

 

Fragrance Lake Trail was a bear! It’s so steep, so skip the Fragrance Lake Trailhead and go the easy route from a trailhead on Cleator Road or one on Fragrance Lake Road that is a mile from the lake… use the WTA website for directions and reviews. The lake is worth the hike either way, though 🙂

 

Lady of the Sea statue is a must see. It’s a quick drive to the marina for this one.

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Rooftop dining at the Majestic Inn & Spa.

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We visited the mainland towns of Mukilteo, Bow, and Edison (make sure to get coffee at Tweet’s in Edison!).

 

Titan had a good time, too.

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We took the Port Townsend ferry to Port Angeles and drove over to the Olympic National Park visitor center. There is nothing about the Olympic Peninsula that I don’t like 🙂

 

This picture sums up Anacortes. It’s a shabby chic, rustic place just bursting with evergreens and wildflowers in July. I will definitely be back.

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