Delightful Del Dotto

Having been a life-long resident in Napa Valley, I have been spoiled by all my experiences in wine-country. There are countless wineries that have sprouted up and down the Silverado Trail and along Highway 29. I tend not to visit new wineries until they have been established several years, as I’ve learned that it takes them a while to “Get their groove on”.

Del Dotto Vineyards is no “new kid on the block”. They’ve been in Napa for almost 30 years, and now in 2 locations. Back in late November I got a special invitation to experience their new Wine Paired tasting at their oldest winery, inside the caves. They did not disappoint!

My hosts were so gracious. The food was prepared by Del Dotto Executive Chef Joshua Schwartz and every course was more stupendous than the last. This is a new tasting experience that isn’t offered daily, but by appointment only.

They started me off with their very own Brut Bubbles from Sonoma Coast paired with smoked sturgeon, Delicious!!! Next up was, a seafood favorite, Maine Lobster on a toasted brioche, was perfect with their Chardonnay. I was tentative on course number three as Foise Gras has always been hit or miss for me, but the black truffle jus and yams balanced everything, including the fabulous Pinot!! The final savory dish was out of this world, Wagyu beef slider pimped with some fine Cabernet from the Villa Del Lago vineyard.

Well no trip to Del Dotto Vineyards is complete without trying their Dolores Red dessert wine. Chef paired this with his bacon butternut chocolate pumpkin seed cake that was to die for. After this experience I needed a serious nap to recover from my food and wine comatose. Seriously, this is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve taken in so many.

The cost was only $95 for this five-course wine paired experience.  If you are foodie, you need to book this next time you are in the valley. Be sure to call me and I will get you hooked up for transportation so you can relax and enjoy your whole day.

That’s all for now, Crystal Rose, Concierge of The Valley signing off.

 

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Napa County Wine Tours!!

Napa County Wine Tours!!

 

When people say Napa County, the first thing that comes to mind is wine! When coming to Napa County, a wine tour must be on the to do list! Let’s be honest, not going on a wine tour in Napa County, is like not going to see the Golden Gate bridge on a trip to San Francisco; it just doesn’t happen. Napa County ‘s winding roads, beautiful sceneries, amazing weather, and endless wineries, make this one of the best places in the world for a wine tour.

There are so many wineries out there, how does one decipher which ones to go to? The answer to this question is simple, an experienced concierge service. Wine tours are supposed to be relaxing, tasteful, and elegant; a time when you let your mind rest and simply enjoy the finer things in life, not a time to pull out a cellphone and constantly try and locate best wineries near me. Let a concierge service handle everything for you so that the trip is as stress free and relaxing as possible. Concierge of The Valley is your concierge service; they were voted Napa’s best business for 2014. Their white glove service goes above and beyond to satisfy every customer. They arrange the driving, the tours, the food, and they do so with the guarantee of satisfaction. When setting up a wine tour it is hard to imagine not having the luxury of this company at your side.

Napa Valley and its wineries are simply amazing! The tours are unforgettable so don’t wait any longer, book your wine tour today and see what Napa Valley has to offer. Also, check out Conciergeofthevalley.com and book your trip through the owner, Crystal-Rose. The summer is near so get this trip on the calendar and start counting down the days. Napa County rocks!

Napa Valley Wine Tours

Author: Paul Wilmott

Date: 3/23/2015

52 Ways to use a Concierge

52 Ways to use a Concierge

By Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

 

One of the questions I get asked by the media is what does a concierge do?  The quick answer is that a concierge will do anything as long as it’s legal, moral and ethical.

Everyone single one of us tries to squeeze 36 hours into a 24 hour day, and when you do that you inevitably don’t do it very well. You get stressed …

Which leads to tired …

Which leads to not eating healthy because you’re craving “comfort” food …

Which leads to sickness.

Not good!

A concierge is here to do the things that you have to, leaving you the time to do the things that you want to like spending more time with family and friends, putting more time in at the office, or relaxing with a good book!

That being said, below is a list of 52 ways you can use a concierge. Since the real list of what a concierge can do for you is endless, the list below is merely here to get you started.

  1. Obtaining tickets to concerts, special events and sporting events
  2. Transportation Services – train, plane or automobiles … concierge can get it!
  3. Travel and Vacation Planning
  4. Business Referral Service – need a landscaper or a plumber?
  5. Restaurant Recommendations and/or Reservations
  6. Pet services
  7. Internet Research – need research done and you don’t have the time to do it?
  8. Personalized shopping and delivery
  9. Running to the post office
  10. Dry cleaning pick-up and/or delivery
  11. Grocery shopping
  12. Running to the hardware store
  13. Senior care
  14. Modified house sitting – need someone to wait for the service technician while you’re at work?
  15. Picking up or returning a gift
  16. Meal Delivery
  17. Home Inventory – video the contents of your home and keep it in your safe deposit box
  18. Bill paying
  19. Auto Maintenance
  20. Home Organization
  21. Notary Services – many concierge area a traveling notary and can actually come to you.
  22. House Cleaning Services
  23. Courier/Delivery Services
  24. Delivering lunch to nurses and doctors at the hospital
  25. Delivering a Meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner
  26. Prescription Pick-up and delivery
  27. Repair and Service Calls
  28. Returning a library book or a video
  29. Sick Care – sick in bed? Call a concierge and they’ll do your errands, arrange for dinner to be delivered and can be on hand to help your family out
  30. New Mommy Services
  31. Meeting and Event Planning; private parties
  32. Personal Chef Services
  33. Single Parent Helper
  34. Employee Relocation Services
  35. Gift baskets and Flower Delivery
  36. Landscaping Services
  37. Special Day Reminder Service
  38. Charter a Private Jet, Yachts or Helicopter
  39. Hire a concierge to assist you at your event, wedding or conference – also called “event concierge” and “wedding concierge”
  40. Need Security?  They’ll hire a security company to assist you.
  41. Day Spa Services
  42. Fashion and/or Stylist Consultant
  43. Nanny Services
  44. Estate Planning
  45. Arrange for your Tee Time at the golf club
  46. Book your appointments for you
  47. Hire a Butler
  48. New to the area?  A concierge will give you a tour of the town
  49. Catering Services
  50. Get Away Weekends
  51. Office help
  52. Moving assistance – let your concierge unpack those boxes and put it all away!!  All you’ll need to unpack is your toothbrush.

 

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http://www.triangleconcierge.com/2010/09/52-ways-to-use-a-concierge/

 

 

The Flavor of bASH

Favorite Foods from 2012 bASH
Favorite Foods from 2012 bASH

This Saturday at The CIA in Appellation St. Helena celebrates food and wine Awesomeness.  Rockstars in St. Helena’s kitchen served up their finest. Extraordinary local vino complements this rich event. My favorites were David Fulton, Corley, Crocker & Starr and Revana. I attended last year’s soiree and was impressed. Napa Valley came out in droves. Dressed up and taking in the wondrous bounty. I won’t even tell you all the ingredients above. You have to be there to experience it. Tickets are almost sold out so I suggest you get yours now! Don’t let the kids keep you from this “Must Attend” event. Email me and I can arrange childcare – Cheers COTV – Email Me

bASH Bottles of 2012
bASH Bottles of 2012

Arts in April Napa Valley

Planning a Napa Valley getaway during the month of April will definitely not disappoint.  Arts in April is a celebration of the beautiful connection between wine and the arts , this program spans the entire month which will guarantee to satisfy any craving you might have for the various art exhibits and tastings planned that will allow you to experience a truly authentic dose of Napa Valley culture.

Now the diverse schedule of events is so wide ranging that you can’t possibly experience it all but I will share my top 5 with you.

bash_headlineApril 13, 2013

Taste a variety of wines from St. Helena Appellation wineries, sample food and wine pairings created by St. Helena restaurants, caterers and food purveyors as well as by student chef teams from the Culinary Institute of America, and vote on the best food and wine pairing.  Wineries and chefs collaborate to offer sips and savory bites from a variety of St. Helena restaurants, caterers as well as “rising star” students selected by the teaching staff of the Culinary Institute of America. Greystone Campus,   This will be a delightful treat for the palate and one where you will more than likely require a driver or taxi following the event and I can certainly help you there.

st-helena3~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Domaine Chandon featuring photographer Vi Bottaro
and partnering with Napa Valley Film Festival  ~ April 1-30

During the month of April, Domaine Chandon will host a variety of events including art receptions, art tours, specialty cocktail and artist lectures.  And for an extra special treat, from April 19-21, The Napa Valley Film Festival will provide visitors of Domaine Chandon the best of food, wine and films,  offering five favorite short film viewings including Table for One and Stakeout.  What better way to enjoy Napa at its best than to stop by one of the best places for bubbly and get a small glimpse into one of the newest events to Napa Valley that will be in November so feel free to plan to come back and enjoy the full film festival from Nov. 13-17, 2013.

Old vine from To Kalon vineyard
Old vine vineyard from To Kalon #2 by photographer Vi Bottaro

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Cornerstone Cellars in Yountville will be featuring Artist Janet Ekholm

One of my favorite places in Yountville has to be Cornerstone Cellars and I guarantee you will find at least one wine you love there, if not the entire lineup.  During the month of April, there will also be amazing pieces of Janet Ekholm’s on display.  However, if you are visiting between April 18th through the 20th, the artist will be on hand to personally provide tours of her onsite gallery while guests enjoy complimentary tastings and live music.  Janet’s focus is on the human figure, especially the female body and how special it is to find someone who purposely highlights the inner strength and grace of women.  You will enjoy the stunning wines Cornerstone produces  and take advantage of the sale prices offered on the wines that feature her art on the labels, perhaps even have the artist sign the bottle while you are there. I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed when stopping by Cornerstone Cellars.  Say hi to Jeff, Craig or Michael.  Cheers!

Inside Cornerstone Tasting Room
Inside Cornerstone Tasting Room

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Yountville Art, Sip & Savor April 20th

Now, while in Yountville to visit Cornerstone and Domaine Chandon, why not combine your visit with the Yountville Art Sip & Savor. This will feature an array of tasting stations adjacent to some of the most popular public art installations.  Each tasting station will feature a Yountville Appellation Winery paired with a sweet or savory treat from the local restaurants in town.  Now the route is very walk able while in town but there will be a trolley running from Domaine Chandon through town and to the Yountville Park.  The best part is this event is practically free, donations may be requested of merely $10.00. So what better opportunity to try out local food and wine while enjoying the quaint town of Yountville!  Hope you can visit soon!

Arts, Sip & Savor
Arts, Sip & Savor

Live Taping of “Wine Booty” with Judd and The Pirate
Judd’s Hill Winery ~ April 26

Judd's Hill Pirates

Judd’s Hill Winery founder Art Finkelstein isn’t just a talented winemaker, he is also a talented painter.  So on exhibit between April 22-28, a collection of his paintings will display and all purchases of Judd’s Hill Founder’s Art Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon will be sold at a 15% discount.  To add excitement to this month of artistic displays, the winery will present a live taping of the winery’s popular web based video series “Wine Booty” from 5:30-8 p.m. at the winery.  Show up in black tie or nautical attired and walk the red carpet, enjoying an evening as part of the live audience, meet the creative cast and spend time with the Napa Valleys finest winemakers and artists.  An interesting menu of Hollywood Legendary Pink’s hot dogs will be flown in for enjoyment paired with the lovely wines produced by Judd’s Hill.  The ticket price to attend is only $25/each and proceeds benefit the Arts Council Napa Valley non-profit.

No Taxi?! Try Napa Designated Drivers Service

Today, as posted on the front page of The Napa Valley Register, we are faced with one of Wine Country’s most frustrating growing pains. This time it’s the notable lack of on-call car services, and the sad state of customer service when it comes to cabs or taxis on-demand.

I was happy to take part in this article, and provide the feedback I’ve received from my clients here in Napa and Sonoma Valley.

Concierge of the Valley’s Designated Drivers program began in response to client needs. If you’re planning an outing, there’s no need to hire a limo, or depend on the whims of a grizzly cab driver and dispatcher. Call Concierge of the Valley.

Call Concierge of the Valley and we can arrange to get you where you need to go: wineries, tours, Girls’ Night Out (and home again), Date Nights, just dinners or call a few hours ahead to check availability for an on-demand pick-up. If you’re having a party — call and we’ll get your guests home safely and courteously.

You can count on Concierge of the Valley for first class, white glove service, with no hassle. Just convenience.

#BottleRock #PorchFest #GirlsNightOut #NapaCab #Napa #WineCountry #Chauffeur

Cause for the Paws

PAWSPORT ticket
PAWSPORT ticket

Was great to experience the second annual PAWSPORT 2013 this last weekend. I love how the Napa Valley steps up to support worthy cause. Surprised to find how many wineries are dog-friendly. Twenty were participating from Friday March 22- Monday March 25. I thought about bringing my dog, but she’s a puppy and not quite ready for adventure. Of course if you need someone to watch your do while you visit the valley I can certainly arrange that.

Many wineries had special Dog treats for PAWSPORT pass holders with the proceeds from tickets sales going to the Napa Humane Society.

Clos du Val Vineyards
Clos du Val Vineyards
Clos Du Val 2010 Ariadne Sem/SB blend
2010 Ariadne Sem/SB blend

Our first stop was at Clos Du Val Estate winery. I have driven by many times but never visited. Nestled in the Stags Leap District on Silverado Trail, they have deep valley roots. A beautiful property with outside picnic tables to take in vineyard views with friends and furry one’s. Started in 1972 they have deep heritage with vineyards in the Languedoc region of France. A sparkling winery in South East Australia.

My Favorite wine was the Ariadne 2010 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend, graced by the 3 Graces (Mischievous daughters of Zeus). Highly recommend you pickup a bottle of this rare Napa Valley blend. They also had great reds including the 2010 Primitivo.

Bubbles & Menu

We needed to pace ourselves and we decided our next stop was going to be Mumm Napa.
Nothing like enjoying Bubbles on a sunny patio, pooch at your side, although our pubby was home.

Every visit to the valley should include a sparkling wine stop. Everyday here is a celebration and they pair with almost any food.

Mumm 2005 Devaux Ranch Sparkling
2005 Devaux Ranch Sparkling

We had so many great choices on their menu.  I was blown away by the 2005 Devaux Ranch. (a vintage rarity that isn’t available anywhere else) A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunneir and Pinot Gris. You won’t find in stores so you have to visit. Highly recommend you invest in good Bubbles for your next event or party in Napa Valley.

I can help you plan that and take care of all the sparkling details.

We decided to head back to Yountville and not try and hit more up-valley wineries.

It doesn’t take much to go over your limit at 2 wineries. If you find yourself wanting to hit more than two  in a day I highly recommend you get a limo or driver service. I have some of the best drivers that will take good care of you and provide the best tours.

Cornerstone Cellars always provides first rate experience. Well educated staff and amazing cheese plates are a treat. Our favorite was the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc.

Hill Family Estate & Cornerstone Cellars
Hill Family Estate & Cornerstone Cellars in Yountville

Although across the street Hill Family Estate provides a very casual experience. We sat on a leather couch and enjoyed potato chips and wine. It used to be an antique store until a few years ago. A reverence for music with guitars and memorabilia were elegantly presented for guests to enjoy. I have always enjoyed their Merlot and the 2010 didn’t disappoint. The staff was gracious enough to give us a special doggy bag even though puppy was home. Awesome experience that rounded out a wonderful day, SuPAWorting a Furry Cause.

Easy Ideas for Your Football Party (GO NINERS!)

Neighbors will come over. Friends will call you out. You’ve got the best pad for it… why not just have them all over for the 49ers game tomorrow?? (BTW, it’s at Noon PST on Sunday.) As your go-to party planner, I’ve got some ideas for you.

First: talking points. How about a few stats on Kaep? Or the Harbaughs? No need to be a genius, just get in a good note about changing quarterbacks late in the season… that poor other quarterback (what was his name again?).

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Beyond that, hmm, is noon on Sunday too early for a quick-and-dirty tequila set-up? Well, maybe start with serving a handcrafted beer (Boont Amber Ale, or of course SF’s own Anchor Steam Beer recommended), and wait to set out the tequila until after guests have feasted… and yes, a lunchtime party calls for lunch! Throw out the cheese and sausage plate, but to spruce it up, ideas include:

Gourmet magazine’s Chunky Guacamole. This recipe was published in 1998 and it’s been a go-to every playoff season since. Fresh and easy and a crowd pleaser.

 

This recipe for Aussie Meat Pies has been tried and true in puff pastry and in pie crust.
This recipe for Aussie Meat Pies has been tried and true in puff pastry and in pie crust.

Aussie Meat Pies. These are like maki-sloppy joes. This version is delicious and nice and small for bites — but double or even triple the recipe, use preformed refrigerated pie crusts and mini pie tins, and each one is a small meal, perfect for a footie lunch.

And while most of the guys at your place will balk at any variety of serving vegetables, you could easily steam

a few artichokes (see a guide on prep if you need to), throw lemon, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and fresh flat-leaf parsley into the pot, and serve them up as a finger food (provide tons of napkins).

That should do it — hopefully the big game is a good one. Remember to call, text or email if you need The Concierge to do any part of the prep for the big game: from grocery shopping, to pet sitting to a designated driver to get your guests home.

GO NINERS!!