A Quick Trip to Napa: celebrating a MASTER SOMMELIER!

One of the best things about living in San Francisco is the close proximity to wine country. In fact, when I moved here five years ago {this past weekend was my 5 year anniversary of moving!! CRAZY & this year was actually a little more nostalgic for me}, I was living in Healdsburg and was pleasantly surprised by how close it was to the city.

I am much more of a city person so I found myself in San Francisco full time in 2014 but I head back to wine country quite often. It’s always a good time, an excuse to visit a new winery, & slightly nostalgic!

This time of year is THE BEST to go to wine country. Seriously! The weather is perfect {& the lighting is amazing for instagram – ha}, the air is crisp, the leaves are changing… but the coolest part? It’s right on the heels of harvest. You’ll definitely be seeing some grapes.

End of September & all of October is my absolute favourite time of the year to head north.

On Sunday, we had a really fun party to attend in St. Helena. Long story short, I used to be in the wine industry when I lived in Texas. There, I met my friend & mentor. He took me under his wing and there is no way I would of passed my Level II Sommelier certification without him. I have since left the industry but I do stay involved & keep up with the times. WELL- over the past month, he achieved MASTER. To say I am proud of him is an understatement but a celebration had to have been had so that we did.

The party started around 6 so Erik & I left the city around 2:00p and decided to catch an afternoon tasting before we hit the party.

{ Honig Wines entrance! }

We stopped by Honig in St. Helena which we LOVED. If you love Sauvignon Blanc & Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s the place for you!

This one has been on my list for quite awhile. What stood out to me was all the outdoor seating & I’ve been having a huge Sauvignon Blanc moment.

As soon as we arrived, I knew we made the right choice. It just felt like Fall! The winery was decorated with pumpkins, brown leaves scattered the floors, & our tasting table was surrounded by the vineyards. I also love how they customize the chalkboards with your name giving it that “VIP” feel. After the tasting, you can walk around the vineyards and really take it all in. We loved it!

I tasted through the Reserve Tasting which included 2 Sauv Blancs & 2 Cabernet Sauvignons {Erik was driving so I was the one tasting}.

The Honig line up:

2016 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford: very pleasant with notes of lemon grass, lemon verbena, & key lime notes.

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley:  this was a $50 cab that tasted like a $100 one! notes of cranberry, leather, & black tea finished with toasted oak.

2015 Cabenret Sauvignon Appelation Series: I loved this one! super complex with dark fruits & a dry, milk chocolate finish. It’s a blend of three Napa Valley vineyards from St. Helena, Rutherford, & Oak Knoll district. 100% Cabernet really showcasing Napa!

2016 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc: This was SO GOOD! I personally love ending a meal with a dessert wine vs an actual dessert. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes are left on the vines until November. By then, they are basically raisins when pressed. This was sweet, lower in alcohol {11%}, & a perfect pairing with blue or goat cheese.

We left around 4:30p & had some time to kill so we headed to downtown St. Helena & got some fries at Cook Tavern since I was starving.

ONE THING to note about wine country is that the restaurants are amazing. Seriously, they blow SF out of the water {not sorry}, & it’s one thing I miss a lot about living there.

Everything is so fresh, seasonal, & local.

You really can’t go wrong, promise.

It was finally almost 6:00p so we headed over to the party!

Basically, studying for the test is no joke. It is a HUGE committment. To put it very, extremely simply, you have to be able to know exactly what wine it is from sight / smell / taste. Really, the best way to do it is to taste, taste, & constantly taste.

He had hundreds of different wines in unmarked, little, airtight bottles. Sooo what better way to celebrate than breaking into them all with friends? In fact, it was Erik’s first time to try a few of them, like some of the Italian & French varietals {don’t worry he spit}.

Since I left the industry in 2013, it was my first time to really taste in 5 years & I sure am rusty with it! It was so fun to hear all the others room breeze through what they are tasting… I did get three right so there’s but I got a lot MASSIVELY wrong lol. Still fun though & it was Erik’s first time to really hear how somms taste.

We had a fun champagne toast, ate some AMAZING FOOD that it is now my mission to recreate at home. Think bbq’ed tritip, the BEST DAMN COCONUT SHRIMP {which I’m working on recreating for the blog it was SO GOOD & healthy}, a fresh tomato salad, and more.

{ a glimpse into studying for Master Sommelier }

I’m already itching to get back to Napa. It’s a must this time of the year, trust me. We get to Sonoma quite often but not enough Napa.

Any reccs for next time I’m in Napa? Others on my list were Seavey Vineyards & HALL.

I’m going to be incorporating a LOT more wine country here since it’s a pretty big part of my life & something I do often! If there’s ever anything you want to know, just let me know 🙂 also, hope you’re liking some of these more candid day to day posts – fun to share the day to day, right?

See you tomorrow for a FUN post!!!! If you like pumpkin like me, you will love 😉

xSLS

 ++ outfit details here
++ purse here

FOLLOW @SHANNONSILVER ON INSTAGRAM

  • maybe it’s the New York speaking but I’m kinda digging an 80s Wall Street vibe for fall {three-martini lunches included} ⚡️🍸🏦 #slsnyc
  • house hunting in west village ⚜️ jk... or am I?  #nyloveyou #slsnyc
  • graduated from #fohru yesterday 🎓📃 I learned SO MUCH from the @fohr.co conference but here are my biggest takeaways - which applies so much more than just influencers and Instagram but really any field:
⚜️ give life back to your content & passions. Whatever your niche is, make it come alive. Tell your story & give it life. Don’t be a character, be yourself. What is the story you are telling about your life?
⚜️ to “influence”, you have to teach someone something. Work with what you know and have and your niche is what you are an expert in. Stay true to your craft!
⚜️ create timeless content. The internet is forever so create content that will still get hits years from now.
⚜️ organic content is SO MUCH MORE important than sponsored content. This is CRUCIAL.
⚜️ Be more than “just an influencer”. What can you provide others beyond an Instagram post? This can create opportunities you never thought was possible! Showcase your expertise & be dynamic.
⚜️ Collaborate, collaborate, COLLABORATE! Support likeminded influencers and grow your relationship. You will succeed together, create rad content along the way, & make lasting friendships {love you @colette.prime!}
⚜️ INSTAGRAM WILL DIE. This was written on a slide {wish I got a photo of that for the gram ha} but it will & sooner than you think. What is your plan beyond instagram?  Work on it NOW. Instagram is a {VERY} short game - play the long game to create sustainability.
⚜️ don’t worry about the numbers. Seriously, it’s dangerous to fret over follows & unfollows so take care of your mental health. I can’t tell you how many mega influencers and people behind brands said this: numbers don’t matter but who you are, the content you produce, your work ethic, and how you make people feel does.
⚜️finally, BE KIND & HUMBLE. I was in awe by how NICE everyone was, no matter how huge they are. Your numbers {which don’t matter!!} don’t make you better than anyone. Work hard, be nice, stay humble.
✨⚜️✨
Lastly, I can’t recc the @fohr.co youtube series “A DRINK WITH JAMES” w @jamesnord enough. Really just a wealth of information on the influencer world. It will set you up for success. Anything else you wanna know, just ask!!
  • skipping school to take photos 🍎 jk I was actually in the front row, taking VERY attentive notes and being teachers pet 📓🐛all jokes aside, had a phenomenal time at the @fohr.co conference - feeling reinspired and energized - love the celebration of individualism and embracing what makes you YOU! ok now time for a drink or ten, any nyc reccs, let a sis know bc she thirsty af 🍸✨ #slsnyc #fohru
  • Off to the @fohr.co happy hour & navigating the subway solo, wish me luck! 🚇 Here’s my look: vintage @giorgioarmani men’s shirt {LOVE men’s clothing, so versatile and I can steal from Erik when I’m in a pinch} ⚜️ @everlane boyfriend jeans ⚜️ @casio_us calculator watch #slsootd #slsnyc
  • 📟 spotted in Manhattan, SLS checking into the Palace with some tall guy 📲 xoxo #slsnyc #nyloveyou
  • loving a retro brown lip for Fall, you?! 💋This one is BIRKIN BROWN by @ctilburymakeup & I absolutely love it! Not only is it inspired by Jane Birkin but there are some super flattering brick red tones to it. ⚜️ any other lipsticks I need to check out?! #birkinbrown

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