Let’s face it: Not all of us marry people who are as enthusiastic about wine as we are.
This can make taking a “wine country” vacation a challenge. Your significant other may be fine with visiting one or two tasting rooms, but he or she may not be thrilled about swirling and sipping all day long (hey, nobody’s perfect).
Where to go so both of you can have a good time? We suggest the Sonoma County town of Glen Ellen, where the main drag (Arnold Drive) has wooden sidewalks and even a saloon.
Within just a few doors of one another, one can experience an array of culinary delights of the non-vinous variety (oh, how it pains us just to type those words!) at Raymond & Co. Cheesemongers, Figone’s Olive Oil Co., and Wine Country Chocolates.
John Raymond knows his cheese, and he enthusiastically encourages visitors to sample his delicious enemies of the lactose intolerant. With little prompting, he’ll even demonstrate the proper way to slice cheese.
Frank Figone is equally knowledgeable about olive oil; in fact, he’s a pioneer in California olive oil-making. Sampling opportunities abound here as well, from the light and grassy La Visione (made from olives grown on a tree that his great-grandfather transplanted from Italy in 1927) to the peppery Tuscan blend.
Our favorite? The California blend, which we use as a “dip” for crusty bread, alongside a nice glass of California Chardonnay.
For “dessert,” a couple can head over to Wine Country Chocolates and taste samples of ganache – the soft, squishy stuff you find inside a truffle. There are lots of flavors to try, but since you’re in “wine country,” ask for the one infused with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Your significant other duly satiated, you then can get back to tasting the liquid pleasures that are in abundance in and around Glen Ellen.