Dallas wine aficionados are making the pilgrimage to Napa and Sonoma in droves, and not just for the wine. The draw? Fields of lavender. Olive trees. Mud baths. And dreamy B&Bs. Here are some great ideas for living the wine country life right here at home.
Dinnerware you might find while browsing at Vanderbilt and Co. in St. Helena. Gien Dinnerware in yellow- dinner plate, $120 for set of four; dessert plate, $82 for set of four; relish dish, $54 each. Available at Yves DeLorme. 4270 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-526-2955. www.vanderbiltandcompany.com. >>
<< Napa Style Gray Salt, harvested naturally from France’s Brittany coast, is the only salt found in Napa Style host Michael Chiavello’s kitchen. Available at Sur La Table, $8.50. 4527 Travis St., Ste. A. 214-219-4404.
Round Pond Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, $24. Infused with organic Meyer lemon that is estate-grown and milled, this finishing olive oil is wonderful on salads, fish, and vegetables. Round Pond Rutherford Red Wine Vinegar, $20, is a blend of three estate wines – Sangiovese, Nebiolo, and Petit Verdot – all aged since 2003 and milled on the Rutherford Estate. Both available at Napa Home. 4012 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-520-4880. >>
<< This walnut wine cabinet was designed by Leo Dowell; it’s based on period cabinetry of the 18th and 19th centuries. A beautiful addition to a wine cellar, $19,999 at Robb & Stucky. 7240 N. Dallas Pkwy., Plano. 972-403-3000. www.RobbStucky.com.
Olivina Mud Bar Soap is made of all organic ingredients and available in clove, lavender, olive, and meyer lemon. Available at Napa Home, $16. >>
<< Garlic Panini Mayonnaise from Olivier is derived from extra virgin olive oil made from manzanillo olives, and adds pizzazz to any sandwich. Available at Williams-Sonoma, $8.50. 327 NorthPark Center. 214-378-6216. 51 Highland Park Village. 214-219-1753.
|From The Bathhouse at the exclusive Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley: Bay laurel and Eucalyptus Bath and Shower Gel, $19 for 8 fluid ounces and Bay Laurel and Eucalyptus Hand and Body Lotion, $19 for 8 fluid ounces. 707-254-2820. www.calistogaranch.com. >>|
<< The wine country is nothing if not earthy, and handcrafted is always preferred over machine made. This beautiful, weighty chandelier was hand forged from wrought iron in a five-step finishing process. Thirty six inches by 42 inches with 39 pure paraffin candles (electrified) $3,999 at Robb & Stucky.
From Olivier cooking oils – handmade in small batches, extra virgin olive oil is combined with other seasonings. Liguerian Pesto Infused oil is enriched with Parmesan cheese, basil, and garlic. Sicilian Lemon and Herb oil is enlivened with lemon, rosemary, and thyme. Available at Williams-Sonoma, $14 each. >>
<< Tomato Wild Mushroom Savory Sauce with Merlot from Tulocay’s Made in Napa Valley. Available at Sur La Table, $9.95.
Alain Saint-Joanis Tonga Flatware five-piece set in black, $326. Espelette tea towel in Saffron, $23. Both available at Yves DeLorme. >>
<< Cabernet Sauvignon Vinegar is made exclusively for Williams-Sonoma, $15. From the St. Helena Olive Oil Company CASK 85 Napa Valley Cabernet Vinegar is barrel-aged for 19 years. Available at Williams-Sonoma, $27.
Made by woodworking artisans from Taber & Co., this credenza is made from solid mesquite, hand-cut and carved, with hand-forged hardware – a perfect example of wine country rusticity. Each piece of furniture produced by Taber & Co. is a one-of-a-kind. Available at Robb & Stucky, $17,799. >>
<< Napa Style Olive and white bean spread, $8.95, blends white beans with California olives and tomatoes for rich flavor and texture. Spread on your favorite rustic bread or lather on bruschetta. Napa Style’s Tuscan Artichoke spread, $8.95. Tulocay’s Made In Napa Valley Fig Roasted Shallot with Sherry Tapenade, $8.95, is a Mediterranean delight. Serve as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or pork. White Porcelain rectangle tray with three sections, $19.95; three salt squares, $2.95 each. All available at Sur La Table.
Parmesan garlic dipping oil with capers from Tulocay’s Made in Napa Valley is great for dipping, tossing with pasta, or grilling vegetables. Available at Sur La Table, $12.95. >>
<< Chamomile & Aloe Vera hand and body lotion is a super-hydrating lotion containing healing herbal extracts of chamomile and aloe vera that soothe and nourish the most delicate, sensitive skin. Available exclusively at the Spa du Soleil in Napa Valley, $25 for 10 ounces. 866-228-2490. www.aubergedusoleil.com.
From Vietri, the Incanto collection, made from a brown clay (terra marrone) traditionally used for sculpture or wall art in churches. This particular line features a multitude of shapes and some wine country motifs including olive branches and wildflowers. Dinner plate $43; salad plate, $36; cereal bowl, $36; all available at Robb & Stucky. >>
The French Laundry Cookbook, by Thomas Keller
Available at www.frenchlaundry.com, $50.
If you can’t bear the two-month wait to get a coveted seat at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned restaurant, bring the French Laundry to your kitchen. Apart from just sounding impressive, the recipes are accompanied with Keller’s “personal essays on the importance of fresh ingredients and precise preparation. Profiles of Napa Valley artisans and stunning photography surround exact reproductions of French Laundry fare.
Bouchon, by Thomas Keller
Available at www.amazon.com, $31.50.
Thomas Keller opened Bouchon right next door to the French Laundry to offer a simple, delicious alternative. The restaurant and recipes alike embody the straightforwardness of bistro cooking, while retaining the comforting quality, making ordinary ingredients extraordinary thorough preparation.
Casual Cooking: Wine Countries Recipes for Family and Friends, by Michael Chiarello
Available at www.amazon.com, $22.05.
Michael Chiarello, founder of Tra Vigne in St. Helena and host of two PBS cooking shows, offers recipes that balance his Italian heritage with the easy-going California Valley lifestyle. These are uncomplicated recipes for people that want to spend the extra time gathered around the table enjoying the relaxed company of friends and family. Also, tips from the chef, such as how to stock your pantry with quality store-bought and homemade ingredients.