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  • Writer's pictureJon Watkins

Napa- 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

You never know who you may run into while tasting wine in Napa! We're pretty sure that we ran into Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. At least that's our story! Before you go to Napa or Sonoma (or both), make sure to listen to this episode for important tips. Otherwise you may end up being a mess while at the Ralph Lauren Tasting Room.

We'll give you our favorite wineries from Domain Carneros to Gun Bun. Also our favorite restaurants like "Girl and the Fig" and "Hog Island Oyster Company".

Transcript from our podcast:


John: Not just another episode, a celebratory episode today. We did it, we did it everyone. We're national, no international. Yeah. Do you know the difference between national and international, if you're a travel podcast.

Jen: You would think so.

John: Welcome to Our Savings Starts Tomorrow.

Jen: Never gets old,

John: Never gets old. We're a married couple. I'm John, that's Jen. And we drink some wine and just talk about our travel trips. And in fact, why we're celebrating today is that we made the Canadian podcast charts. A Canada's borders just opened up also after being closed for 17 months.

Jen: I can't wait to go.

John: I know that's like my thing, like let's do this.

Jen: Yes.

John: And we always drink some kind of wine when we do our podcast. So, we're drinking a Canadian wine today.

Jen: Really.

John: Did you know that Canada specializes in Ice-wine?

Jen: No, I didn't.

John: It does not sound like it would speak to us. It's like a dessert wine.

Jen: Sounds very sweet.

John: Yeah. It's like the sugars they kind of freeze them and it's syrupy and it's just, you know, but if you're the home of maple syrup, of course, you're okay with a syrupy type wine. I'm really just talking down all of our Canadian[inaudible01:15]

Jen: You know what maybe it's good over like ice cream.

John: Ooh. Right.

Jen: Let's get some ice wine and pour it over ice-cream.

John: But we are drinking a white wine from Lightfoot in Wolfville from Nova Scotia, which is part of Canada. So, speaking of wine, we have a lot of great wine stories from Napa and Sonoma that we're going to share with you. But first, a brand new sponsor Military True Crime Addict is a podcast about crime relating to actual life events of military personnel, veterans, family members, and really those associated with the military in any way, they explore just actual true crime stories, which you love true crime stories.

Jen: I love true crime.

John: They give me nightmares.

Jen: Yeah.

John: I live in this like fake Disney world life where everyone's just smiling and singing like happy songs and these true crime stories when I realized that people are so horrible it ruins me as a human.

Jen: I know.

John: So, I let you listened to them and then you filter and tell me. And a lot of these stories have never been reported on by the news outlets or media. So, these are stories that upon hearing, you're going to be astonished by and we got to learn from history. So, you don't need to know anything about the military to enjoy this podcast. They're just original, true crime stories. And the latest one, which I did listen to because I wanted to make sure I listened to it. It was great. It's about the original Buffalo Bill and if you watched silence of the lambs, you know about Buffalo bill. So, again, it's called Military True Crime Addict. All right. Let's talk, Napa,

Jen: Napa and Sonoma.

John: Sonoma.

Jen: Both. We're doing both.

John: What? Is there a difference does it matter?

Jen: I mean, there's technically a difference, but it's all the same.

John: The difference is a hundred dollars per night at a hotel room.

Jen: Yeah.

John: Not anymore. That's.

Jen: Not anymore. It used to be that Napa was much more commercialized and Sonoma was more like laid back, like go in and get free tastings, like how Napa used to be. But now they're both the same.

John: They're both expensive.

Jen: They're both expensive.

John: They're both bougie as can be. You can't go anymore and kind of slum it when you go to these places. It's kind of high-class inexpensive weekend, but it's a lot, of fun

Jen: So, much fun. I love me some wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma.

John: I would say that this is one of the places you've gone to the most.

Jen: It probably is.

John: Like, yeah, not even exaggerating. We've gone together. We've gone separate. I think sometimes you fly there on a weekend when it's been hard with the kids.

Jen: I’d like to.

John: You've done a bunch of like bachelorette parties there.

Jen: Yup. I've done just girls' weekends there.

John: Any excuse?

Jen: Any excuse.

John: Birthdays.

Jen: Yes.

John: Whatever it is And I think the only way to start this podcast is to tell the story of you in the Ralph Lauren tasting room.

Jen: Oh my gosh. Why would we start there?

John: I feel like it's you know, to let people know who you are as a person.

Jen: Okay. I've got a bunch of tips. That I'll be sharing throughout the podcast. Tip number one, gosh, there's so many. So, tip number one is eat. Okay. And just so you know, as much as I love cheese, cheese is not a meal. Okay. You go to these, you go to these tasting rooms at different wineries. And none of them have like actual food.

John: No, they have a bunch of like tacos, like little appetizers,

Jen: not even that it's like cheese and crackers or nuts. That's not a meal. Okay. And you're having so much fun and anyway,

John: Its beautiful weather and you're just enjoying yourself. So, what happened if you're telling us we need to eat.

Jen: This was probably the fourth winery that we decided to go to on a girl's weekend and I had had too much to drink. So, we go into this Ralph Lauren tasting room. And so it is decked out all Ralph Lauren. Like the furniture. I mean, there are little chotskies and things that you can buy, but like they're crystal. And we sat down at this beautiful table that was like all decked out and all Ralph Lauren silverware and everything, it was so nice. And then they do this whole tasting and I was, I was that person. Yeah.

John: You're the one that they're like, oh gosh,

Jen: please.

John: Yeah.

Jen: I was so obnoxious.

John: Give her some water.

Jen: I was so obnoxious. The, the wall paper that they had, it wasn't wallpaper. It was like this padded fabric that was on the wall. I was up against the wall. I'm like, look at me, I'm laying on the wall, I was a mess. I was ridiculous. People had to tell me to stop picking things up because I was like,

John: You must have been 22 when you did this.

Jen: Oh, no. That was like three years ago.

John: You are a mother; you are a business woman. You were as bad as the college girls in Vegas.

Jen: Oh yeah.

John: Yeah. You're a mover.

Jen: For sure.

John: Oh my God.

Jen: Bad, bad.

John: One of my favorite times that we went to Sonoma and really Napa, but we stayed in Sonoma though, was we stayed at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.

Jen: So, pretty there.

John: Which was beautiful. Yeah. And the water's like, I don't know it's classy water. I think they fill it up with like a Evian water every morning.

Jen: On I think so.

John: The pool was like that nice. And the only reason we stayed here was we, again had too much to drink at an auction...

Jen: Gosh there's really like a theme every week.

John: We overbid at an auction and we ended up winning this trip, which ended up being great.

Jen: I wanted this trip, like I was like, we were going on this trip. I don't care the cost.

John: And it was really when we got to go, just you and I with a car service around Sonoma and Napa. And that is tip number.

Jen: Oh my gosh. Get yourself a driver, do not try to drive yourself.

John: First of all, it's not fun.

Jen: It's not fun.

John: And you don't know where things are. You got to follow your Google maps and then I'm telling you right now you think, oh, three wineries. I can do that. I'm an adult.

Jen: Yeah, no, you cant.

John: No, you...

Jen: I'm an adult and guess what? I was laying against a wall at the Ralph Lauren tasting room. I'm pretty sure I'm never allowed back

John: They start pouring you start drinking. You don't ever eat enough. It's kind of hot out some days. And the next thing you know, by the third winery, all wines tastes the same at that point. You're not noticing any kind of notes of hibiscus or lavender. You are just tasting grape and your tongue's kind of like,

Jen: Yeah, and it’s so fun.

John: And then, you know, wineries four through six. And by the end you go back to let's say the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn because you had too much and you decide to start on another auction.

Jen: Oh Gosh.

John: Because why not? Because one auction to get there isn't enough. You find an art auction going on and you start thinking to yourself, oh, I'm a millionaire. I'm going to participate and buy this really expensive piece of art

Jen: Yep, that happens.

John: And then you wake up say two o'clock in the morning because you fell asleep like at six in the afternoon,

Jen: In full panic attack mode thinking, did I actually bid that much money?

John: Or surely someone must have outbid us at some time.

Jen: Please God, please, God, please. You know that we don't have that much money.

John: And that's when you have to check your email to find out, no, you won the auction, you won the piece of art and it's coming shipped to you and they've already taken it off your credit cards. Still paying for it.

Jen: Yep.

John: Still paying for it

Jen: Beautiful art.

John: Love it.

Jen: It’s so nice.

John: I couldn't look at it for the first year after buying. It made me sick. Every time I saw it to know that we did to ourselves. Now, I love it.

Jen: I know.

John: But like, oh my gosh, our kids can't go to college.

Jen: I know.

John: it's terrible.

Jen: I know

John: All right. Should we talk about some of the wineries that we love?

Jen: Yeah. Let's talk about some that we love

John: And you want to go first? Sure. Let's go back and forth. What's your favorite one?

New Speaker: Duck horn.

John: Oh, Duck Horn. Yeah.

Jen: First of all, I love Duckhorn wine, but then the winery itself is just like plantation style. And first of all, all, winery, there are so beautiful. Like the grounds are incredible and these grounds are just as incredible as everywhere else. But it's like this plantation, you can sit outside on this big porch or you can sit inside so beautiful.

John: I would've thought you would've said Domaine Carneros.

New Speaker: Oh, shoot that one.

John: Was that not even on your list?

Jen: No, it wasn't. It was on your list. I read your list. And so

John: Domaine Carneros is known for sparkling wine.

Jen: I love Domaine.

John: Champagne, but it's not champagne because it’s not from France. It is this huge estate.

Jen: So, pretty.

John: And you pull up and you have to walk up like a hundred stairs to get up there. So, go early. Because if you go after a few wineries, it's harder to get up the stairs and...

Jen: Just go there first. Why? Because you'd start breakfast with sparkly, like a mimosa, but without the juice

John: And your favorite sparkling wine is Le Reve. And not only is the wine great, but the food's great there. You know what we did realize though, so.

Jen: Again, it's not food. It's like.

John: Food with quotes.

Jen: It’s like snacks. You can't see my quotes snacks.

John: They don't actually give you anything,

John: But they whisper food into your ear and you feel like your full

John: But one thing we did learn and we're from Utah. So, it's a little different for us. When we go to like Napa and Sonoma, they try to get you all to sign up for their wine clubs.

Jen: Yes, I wish we could,

John: Where they ship you... I'm glad we don't, because man, if you don't think we couldn't afford this art, we could not afford the amount of wine clubs you'd want us to get. But they shipped like six bottles at a time. I don't know what it is. We've never been a part of one, but they can't ship it to Utah.

Jen: I know.

John: So, we always say like, oh, we're from Utah and they won't bother us as much. And we used to be like, oh, high five. Look, they can't upsell us, they're going to leave us alone. But now we've learned because they can't upsell us. They also won't give any special pours. So, if you're trying to be wined and dined, they'll end up pulling out some like their reserve stuff, things that aren't on the tasting menu. And they'll pour it for you in hopes that you'll sign up for these clubs. They won't even do that for us anymore.

Jen: Nope.

John: The people next to us at Domaine Carneros, they were trying to get to sign up. This is how we realized this.

Jen: Yes, I remember.

John: And she was like, you know what? I'm going to go down to the basement and I've got...

Jen: The cellar.

John: The Cellar, and I've got this really nice presidential wine, something, whatever. And they're like, oh yo, we love some of that. And we're like, well, we, some of that

Jen: And she was not that friendly about it.

John: She was not because it was only something for members. And they ended up pouring us a thimble.

Jen: Thimble.

John: We couldn't even taste it. Like that's how tiny it was because we were not going to sign up as a member.

Jen: Which is kind of crazy because first of all, we paid for the tasting and we got the like expensive testing. And then we also bought like two bottles of rev,

John: They should have given us something.

Jen: Which is not cheap, like really?

John: But I appreciate you while we're at Domaine Carneros, not rolling around on the walls. So, thank you.

Jen: So, you went there first. You got to go there first, go to your classy place first

John: Ye and then downhill. You know what though? Speaking of tastings, you should know, like tastings, you used to be like 10 bucks.

Jen: Oh no, they're like 50.

John: Yes.

Jen: Well 50 plus.

John: And each one lasts about an hour. So, if you think about it, if you go to four places.

Jen: Yeah,

John: You're going to spend...

Jen: I really recommend that was kind of one of my tips. I have three.

John: Three,

Jen: Honestly,

John: And then just drink a bottle back at the hotel

Jen: Honestly, you get too sloshed

John: You get too sloshed. Maybe someone who's a little more classy, would not get us....

Jen: I'm very classy. First of all. No, But like you said earlier, it all kind of starts tasting the same. So, it's like, you should go to one maybe two go have a nice late lunch somewhere. Maybe do one more and call it and then do a nice dinner.

John: Okay. But by dinner it doesn't matter. Anyways, dinner is taco bell.

Jen: Okay. Just so you know, on that same trip, we booked a nice Italian place. I meant to look it up. I forgot. But it was like on the main strip in Napa, it was probably very good and very expensive. I do not remember it at all.

John: So, you paid like a hundred plus dollars for your

Jen: I'm pretty sure. I just handed all the girls my card and was like,

John: Ah, great.

Jen: I don't know.

John: And they used to at the tasting, if you bought a bottle, they'd comp the tasting.

Jen: Yeah.

John: They don't do that anymore.

Jen: No, no.

John: We didn't even get, like, I think we got like 10% off. Like they've really changed the way they sell things.

Jen: I still love it though.

John: I know.

Jen: I'm not knocking it. It's just, it's not the way that it used to be.

John: Another great winery was Gun Bun.

Jen: Oh yeah. That's a fun.

John: Gundlach Bundschu winery.

Jen: I love... yeah Gun Bun's good. And they have their porch Pounder.

John: Yes. Yeah. I looked it up. It's their Mountain Cuvee, which is their porch pounder. Another one you really liked there was the Rhinefarm Rose. But it is the oldest, continuously family owned winery. And it's like, one of those, if you've never been to Napa, you have to go to Gun Bun it's... you just have to.

Jen: And it's very low key. It's not as like bougie fancy, like some of these other ones it's like picnic style, but beautiful. I mean, again, the grounds are beautiful, they have these lakes that you can sit over and they also had some like different snacks, more hardy snacks I feel like.

John: Can I get a winery that I wouldn't recommend?

Jen: Oh yes.

John: Is that okay? Please do.

John: Is that... I mean, we're positive. We love Napa, but I just want to say there is when we went to it's called Castillo de Amorosa and it's medieval times meets Napa valley. It's literally a medieval castle that this rich dude built. And you do a tour,

Jen: Okay but the castle is

John: No, the castle was cool.

Jen: Really cool.

John: It was fun. The tour was fun. It was long.

Jen: It was a little long.

John: But you walked through this castle that was built recently, But it looks like an old medieval castle. And they even have like all these like torture equipment and sword that you can look at. And then you walked down through the barrel room, but the wine...

Jen: Not good.

John: is not good at all.

Jen: No.

John: And you could tell everyone felt that way.

Jen: I know.

John: Like, not one person.

Jen: And you feel like very pressured because you're in that like small little tasting cellar with like nine other people. And you're just like trapped in there. I think they lock the door and then they make you try all the wines. And then they're like, Hey, what do you want to buy? And we're like, oh, we're from Utah, we can't buy anything

John: Let us out. I got to pee.

Jen: I think we even thought about buying their grape juice to bring home for the kids.

John: We did.

Jen: But that wasn't good.

John: It was not good.

Jen: I know. No offense to those that like it, I mean, if you like it...

John: You're wrong no. All right. What's another winery that you have.

Jen: Let's see. I've been to... I've been to so many.

John: Cake bread?

Jen: Cake bread was on there. That was a cool one and we've done the tour there.

John: Yeah. Cake bread was really fun. And they will let you sample even the Chardonnay, which is what they're known for. Ménage à Trois .

Jen: Yep. It's more of a tasting room. Yeah

John: It's kind of smaller, but you can't have like a picnic outside, so that's really, yeah.

Jen: Paradox, it's another I think it's like a sister of Duckhorn, but they have a really pretty like outside picnic area. That's really cool.

John: Not a tasting room, but another thing everyone does in Sonoma and Napa is it's the food. Right.

Jen: Great food.

John: And I will tell you personally, one of my favorite places we went to was it The Girl In the Fig or the Fig in the girl? Well, the girl and the fig makes more sense,

Jen: Girl and the fig yeah. We ate there twice, when we were there,

Both: That's how good it was.

Jen: And we didn't make reservations, which you really should make reservations if, especially if you've got more than two people and you want to go at like, [inaudible17:33] I don't know, we’re all old. So, like we literally had dinner at like four o'clock.

John: Yeah. I know. But we ended up finding like a tasting room while we waited, so ...

Jen: Yeah. But, oh my gosh, the food was amazing. I think we got like two or three different things and shared them both times.

John: We also love Hog island, which there's a place like in San Francisco. There's one in Napa, but Hog island is oysters and the best oysters you will ever eat.

Jen: So, good. Get yourself some oysters, some sparkling.

John: You know my one problem with Hog island is. It's like that community table setting. [inaudible18:07] anymore since COVID.

Jen: Oh yeah, you're right. I remember that.

John: I hate sitting next to people.

Jen: I know we were next to like a bachelorette party with those girls, the girls that I was a couple of years ago and yeah. And we were just kind of having more of like a couples romantic thing, and that kind of killed it a little bit, but that

John: I was enjoying the bachelorette party next to us.

Jen: But the where Hog island is they have like a bunch of restaurants in there. And do you remember who we saw there?

John: That's when we saw our friend Kevin Bacon.

Jen: Yup. That's when we had dinner with Kevin Bacon.

John: That what we like to tell everyone we weren't actually, even at the restaurant, we were just walking by and we're pretty sure we saw Kevin Bacon and Kira Sedgwick.

Jen: No, we did.

John: We're pretty sure.

Jen: I'm sure. We walked by and then I turned around because again, we had gone to too many wineries.

Jen: That’s why you shouldn’t go to too many.

John: And I was like KEVIN BACONNNN!

Jen: No, he did not.

John: And I think he gave like a little bit of like a wave. And so we're like, oh my gosh, we had dinner with Kevin Bacon. You never know who you're going to run into when you're doing wine tasting.

Jen: I know.

John: And your final tip for, I guess you really have two. We said reservations, that was one Okay. And what's your last one?

Jen: I said he don't go to more than three wineries. That's just my personal opinion. Look for someone who's done like five to six in one day. Make reservations at the wineries. Get a driver, obviously there's Uber too, but I'm going to ....

John: Don't even do that. If you're going already, if you're spending the money, find a driver.

Jen: Oh my gosh. It's just so nice to just know that like your guy like right there, or girl, whoever do your research. There's so many wineries, so many. So, if you like, like a specific kind of wine, research it and make your reservations. And then last but not least ...

John: The most important of them all.

Jen: Drink water.

John: Oh, That will be a good idea.

Jen: Drinks of water in between. Also, if you don't like the wine, you don't have to drink it.

John: Cause you always told me to finish it.

Jen: I know.

John: You said,

Jen: Well, when you're paying like $50 for a tasting, I'm like, no, you drink it all.

John: Yeah. You finished that. I'm like they have a bucket I can pour it into like, they make fun of you if you do that.

Jen: No, but you really can't do that.

John: Yeah. And then you can have some more water. Thanks so much for listening to our podcasts. We've just had a lot of fun just watching it grow. I mean, it's just a little hobby and all of a sudden we're on all these charts and we got this sweet review saying, love the husband, wife, duo. These guys are hilarious. Good audio quality. All right. Great stories. It's from CentOS 1978. So, thank you for that great review. Subscribe on Apple podcasts on Spotify you can listen to it. I don't know we're everywhere podcasts are and then you can follow us on Instagram and we're going to post photos of all these wineries, including some where Jen looks ridiculous.

Jen: You're welcome.

John: She's eating in every single one.

Jen: I can't help it.

John: No, at least you had some food in your belly. Our Instagram is @oursavingstartstomorrow

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