I'm traveling to Sonoma with my girlfriend on Saturday. Tragically, we're only able to spend a single afternoon and evening there (from noon onward), and while that's a mighty limitation, I'd like the experience to be as great as possible. To that end, although I know there are a lot of old posts on these topics, I've got two questions. I should mention that I was planning on visiting Healdsburg (though that can change, depending on the answers to the below questions).
First: Can you recommend a good place to taste sparkling wine? We've got two or three wineries already picked out, but find it really fun to try sparking every once in a while.
Research has turned up Gloria Ferrer and J, but the former is in Sonoma and doesn't really offer tastings, and I'm not sure if the latter is still worth visiting now that they've done away with wine/food pairings outside the Bubble Bar. (If it is, please let me know!)
Second: I made dinner reservations at Dry Creek Kitchen, but there are a lot of posts on this board that give the restaurant remarkably poor reviews. All of the posts I saw, however, were over a year old. Has anybody eaten there fairly recently? If so, would you recommend it? If not, is there another restaurant of roughly comparable price that you *would* recommend?
Also; I discovered this website a week ago and have spent much of my time since then exploring reams of old posts. I'm excited - this community is definitely going to improve my eating for the better.
Thanks in advance!