I recently signed up for LivingSocial. It’s one of those sites that offers discounts on local services, products & experiences for a limited time. Last month I received one about an “adventure” being held at Andretti Winery in Napa. When I read the part about Andretti I was instantly in, I knew it would be a great thing to write about here and I didn’t even know that Mario Andretti owned a winery. So in addition to writing about tasting the Andretti wines, I also get to tell you about the mustard-making class that was also included.
We arrived on a rainy Sunday morning at, like, 11am, and walked into a cellar room with wine barrels stacked around a group of round banquet style tables. After checking in the event began quickly. We received answers to the frequently asked questions that all had to do with when Mario, Michael and Marco Andretti visit the winery and Mario visits the most about at 4 times a year. They host events over the Sonoma/Infineon Raceway IndyCar race weekend and that’s when the rest of the current Andretti Autosport drivers visit the winery as well.
It’s relatively small in terms of buildings, there are only two, connected by lovely courtyard that features a cute fountain, but the overall vineyard is 40 acres. I really, really wish it hadn’t been raining that day because we might have hung out longer. Oh and when I say “we” I’m including my boyfriend who served as my photographer that day. I highly recommend dating a guy with a DSLR camera, it’s very helpful when you need photos for your blog. He did a great job, if I do say so myself.
So after the introduction we launched into the tasting of 5 wines, starting with their Rose, then to the Sauvignon Blanc (my fave), on to the Pinot Grigio, then Merlot and finally the Cabernet. I actually only tried the first two, and maybe a sip of the Merlot (I’m not a red wine person). We ate lunch at the same time, a pretty yummy box lunch featuring a turkey sandwich, fruit salad, caesar salad and biscotti.
Once the tasting was over we headed into the main building and the kitchen area for the mustard-making class that was lead by Chef Richard Haake of WineryChefs, a company that specializes in cooking classes and creating wine & food pairings.
There were four other chefs there to teach us how to make 4 different mustard recipes. We all got to take home whichever mustard we decided to make. There was honey mustard, spicy chipotle, pale ale (beer), and violet. We went to the pale ale station where we got to use a mortar & pestle to grind two kinds of mustard seeds together. It was really fun to get hands on and make something that turned out to be very tasty & flavorful. All of the participants got to take home their mustard creations in these cute little mason jars.
It was a rainy day so we didn’t get to tour the vineyard, which is what I’m assuming we would have gotten to do if the weather hadn’t been so crappy. Overall though we had a great time. I totally recommend checking out Andretti Winery when you’re in town for the NASCAR or IndyCar race weekends at Infineon Raceway.
(All photos credit The Fast and the Fabulous)