Trying to avoid holiday weekend traffic, I took Rte. 1 home Friday afternoon and made a few chow stops along the way. A half square thick slice of warm spinach, artichoke and pepperoni pizza ($2) from Bovine Bakery in Point Reyes was a lunch starter. After progressing a little further north, this was followed by a chaser of six oysters on the half shell at Hog Island (pictured below).
Crossing the Sonoma County line and then cutting over to the Bodega Hwy, soon I was in downtown Sebastopol. I decided to take a break instead of fighting traffic up 101 at 5PM, I parked myself at the wine bar at Sebastopol Fine Wine Company (6932 Sebastopol Ave., Ste A, Sebastopol, 707-829-9378). Perfect timing, as the place was soon packed with locals stopping by for a glass of wine and company after work.
More than a dozen wines are poured by the taste or glass. A small café menu offers inexpensive daily specials, salads, antipasti, panini, soups, and a cheese plate ranging in price from $5 to $7. Owner Tony Marti was bragging about how good the tomatoes from his garden have been this year, so it was a no-brainer to order Tonys Homegrown Heirloom Tomato Salad, $5/small, which was slices of vine-ripened red, orange, yellow and white tomato with fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamico, a grind of fresh pepper and a little sea salt. This snack hit the spot, and Tony is justifiably proud of his crop this year!
For wines, I had the 2002 Jackson Estate Marlborough (NZ) Sauvignon Blanc, $13.99/bottle [disclaimer: the US importer is a personal friend] and the 2002 Morgan Santa Lucia Highlands Metallico Chardonnay, $16.99. Tastes were $2 each. The Sauvignon Blanc, in a screw-capped bottle, was classic Marlborough with lime blosson, chili peppers and gooseberry plus some nice ripe tropical fruit on the palate, ending with a crisp and tangy finish softened by a slight residual sugar. The Chardonnay had a fullness and creamy texture despite the non-ML and no-wood treatment, but not much depth behind the apple and pineapple fruit, and was clean and straight forward with a moderate finish.
Then I headed over to Screamin Mimis around the corner for some ice cream. I didnt care for the cantaloupe flavor I sampled. This time I opted for ginger, which had chunks of intense candied ginger and the chocolate-chocolate almond, which was rich dark chocolate ice cream studded with chocolate coated almonds.