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Wine Country - Please Help! Food and Drink Recommendations

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We are visiting wine country this weekend and wouldn't mind some help with our itinerary. We are headed to French Laundry Thursday for dinner and staying at The Wine Country Inn in St. Helena for the duration. We also have our wineries picked out for Friday and Saturday:

Friday - Ggrigich(? - might drop this as we've heard mixed reviews), Schramsberg, Cade, Phelps
Saturday: Rubissow, Opus, Staggs Leap

We haven't picked out lunch or dinner spots to go with what are hopefully some great wines. Any recommendations would be appreciated. As we will probably blow through our budget at FL, small places on the cheaper/mid-range would be best.

Also, any recommendations for any wineries that are not on our list that would be great. But what would be even better is to hear any recommendations for craft breweries or distilleries (as we have no prejudice against any type of booze) that should not be missed.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. If you are going to Cade (haven't been), I highly recommend nearby Neal Family Vineyards. Small, beautiful winery with fantastic reds which are great value and best of all, tasting is free (cc charged if you are late or no-show). Alternatively, you can attach Pride Mountain Vineyards along with your Schramsberg visit as they also have some great reds & fantastic views to boot.

    One winery I'm eager to visit is O'Shaughnessy situated in Howell Mountain (appt time didn't work out last time). Have heard/read great things about their wine recently; but call & find out what they're pouring because website shows several varietals sold out.

    For lunch you may want to think about picking up sandwiches from Sunshine Market or Giugni's since depending on your wine tasting appointments, you may not have time for a leisurely meal. There's also Gott's Roadside for burgers. Lunch or dinner (been only for former), I recommend Rutherford Grill; however, long wait during peak times as they do not take reservations. Another reasonably priced option for dinner is Cook - have read very good reviews here.

    1. If you're in the mood for Mexican, El Molino blew us away last weekend, and it's cheap.

      1. El Molino is in Sonoma County & OP will be in St. Helena/Yountville area. Oops, to carbonara

        1 Reply
        1. re: ceekskat

          That's what we did, too (stayed in Yountville, ate a meal in Sonoma)--El Molino was entirely worth the drive for us, especially since the OP wants a cheaper place.