Goosecross Cellars - This year send an engraved bottle

November 2003

Subscribe to the newsletter

Collective Tasting Rooms
An Exciting New Way to Taste Wine!
Holidays in the Wine Country
A Wonderful Time to Visit!
Wine Country Featured Destination
Cedar Gables Inn
Wine Country Recipe
French Toast Soufflé
Wine Country Featured Event
Festival of Lights in Yountville Contest!
Enter your Wine Country Inspired Recipe

From all of us at FreeRun - Thank you for using our sites!
MontereyMendocinoNapaValleySanta Barbara
Santa CruzSonomaWineCountrySan Luis Obispo
Gold CountryVirginia
Visit the Redesigned:


The California Wine Club
"A tasteful gift from California"

The California Wine Club - A tasteful gift from California Make this holiday season stress free with no shopping, no shipping, and no wrapping from The California Wine Club. Since 1990 The California Wine Club has been delivering tasteful and unique gifts of wine that are not soon forgotten. Each month your gift recipient (or why not treat yourself?) will receive two bottles of award-winning wine, hand-selected from the best of California's boutique wineries. Wines not found in local stores! Monthly shipments start at $32.95 plus shipping and include an 8-page newsletter called Uncorked. Special holiday discounts on gifts of 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.

Plus each holiday gift is tastefully wrapped in the colors of the season. Order early and receive no billing or shipping until December 2003. Call 800.777.4443 or visit their web site at It's a California Wine Adventure!


The Yountville Inn
Winter in the Wine Country October 30 - March 31, 2004

Yountville Inn - Visit the Napa Valley during Harvest Season

Visit the Napa Valley during a "time less traveled" this Winter Season. Enjoy great room rates starting at $175 at the Yountville Inn! During this time of year guests will be able to visit the local tasting rooms, secure restaurant reservations and move about the valley in a leisurely fashion.

Nestled into the lush landscape of Hopper Creek, the Yountville Inn provides visitors with a warm and welcoming experience indicative of wine country hospitality. The fieldstone exteriors with slate entryways, wood beamed vaulted ceilings and luxurious furnishings please the most seasoned traveler.

Guestrooms are appointed with king or queen beds, fieldstone fireplace, robes, refrigerator, honor bar, coffee maker, patio, balcony or high vaulted ceiling. A complimentary California breakfast is served each morning, and the large heated pool and spa are open until midnight. In-room massage is available, as well as nearby golf, bocce ball and spa services.

Visit for information and special promotions.



Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
"Kick off your HOLIDAY Season at our HOLIDAY Inn!"

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites - Kick off your HOLIDAY Season at our HOLIDAY Inn!With the holidays almost upon us, now is the time to find those perfect gifts for the special people in your life. The Holiday Inn Express invites you to come stay with us as you shop for that special gourmet gift or unique item at wine country Holiday Arts & Craft Fairs, or that fabulous bottle of wine among all the new Fall Releases at the local tasting rooms, or the perfect Christmas tree at one of our local farms.

At our Holiday Inn Express in Sebastopol you will find spacious, well-appointed accommodations convenient to all of these attractions. Complimentary continental breakfast, free local calls and wireless internet connectivity, in-room coffee makers and refrigerators, outdoor pool and spa, fitness room, guest coin-laundry, and a friendly staff to accommodate you. It is the perfect place to begin and end your days!

Call (707)-829-6677 to reserve your room at the Inn, or reserve on line now.

Collective Tasting Rooms

An Exciting New Way to Taste Wine!

An exciting new way to taste wine has arrived in both the Napa and Sonoma wine regions, the Collective Tasting Room. This new breed of cooperative room offers larger collections of wines like a shop, but is actually many small-production, artisan wineries under one roof. Staffing is independent and focused evenly across all wines offered. This approach results in a comprehensive, instructive and engaging tasting experience, spanning wines from a variety of microclimates, winemaking styles and vintages. The difference warrants your attention when you visit wine country!

Wineries of Napa ValleyA recent visit surveyed two interesting rooms in Napa, and one in Sonoma. If you are new to the Napa Valley, the Wineries of Napa Valley might be a great way to start. Wineries of Napa ValleyLocated conveniently in downtown Napa, at the southern end of the valley where many begin their visit, this tasting room also offers Concierge services and is open until 8pm.

Here they pour around 30 wines from 8 wineries in rotation (about 15 different wines each day), and you will receive 5 interesting tastes for $5. The room is bright and clean, with a nice outdoor seating area where you might relax and enjoy wine by the glass. Food is available nearby, so you can enjoy the equivalent of a busy day visiting wineries and a meal, all in one stop.

Vintner’s Collective Tasting Room

Within 3 easy strolling blocks is the Vintner’s Collective Tasting Room. Housed in the interesting historical Pffeiffer Building, the oldest stone building in Napa, inside it feels modern and comfortable. Vintner’s Collective Tasting RoomHere 10 wineries share the room, with production ranging from 300 to 16,000 cases. The Tasting Fee is $10 for 4 wines, only $5 if you’re a local. Again the wines offered are diverse as well as representative of quality artisan Napa winemaking at its best.

Both rooms are near the sensational newly re-opened Opera House and Copia. City parking garages abound, along with some on-street, 2-hour parking. If you will be arriving later in the day, the later hours are really a plus to getting your visit off to a satisfying start.

LOCALS Tasting RoomTraveling north, out of the Napa Valley through Calistoga on Highway 128 (about 1-1/2 hours unless you make other stops!), or just minutes north of Healdsburg off Highway 101 in Sonoma County, is the quaint town of Geyserville. Here LOCALS Tasting Room offers perhaps the most interesting angle to help you survey 50 wines from 7 small-production, artisan wineries; they specialize in tasting by varietal flight.

Whether you are looking for a new favorite Zinfandel or to explore something new, or both, the friendly LOCALS Nouveau Hicks will pour wines to your preference, test it, stretch it, maybe you’ll find something really new and exciting. The Tasting Menu here is organized by grape varietal, allowing you to easily compare wines with similar flavors. LOCALS Tasting RoomThe flights of Zinfandel, mostly Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Pinot Noir are extensive, and many unusual varietals are also represented. The presentation style is fun yet informational, and most tasting is complimentary. While in Geyserville, you also might enjoy lunch or dinner at Santi (, the excellent Italian restaurant which is the talk of the area, and recent winner of an Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator.

The advantages of these rooms are numerous. Time saving. Longer, later hours. Special wines of popular as well as unusual varieties. Most have Wine Clubs, more interesting than most with the exposure to so many different wines. Comparing Napa to Sonoma styles is also fascinating if you explore all three rooms…measure the lighter, elegant, highly filtered Napa wines against the bold, rich character of the minimally processed Sonoma wines.

Whether novice or expert wine connoisseur, we all need more tasting rooms like these. In fact, we will probably see a lot more like them in the future, as this is one of the most agreeable ways to explore and enjoy quality wines. No matter what your experience or interest in great wines of the area is, these rooms deliver the goods to you. Check them out soon!

Wineries of Napa Valley
Tasting Daily 10am-8pm, Concierge 8am-9pm
Corner of Clay & Randolph, near the Pearl St. Garage, Napa
(707) 253-9450

Vintner’s Collective Tasting Room
Wednesday - Monday, 11am - 6pm, closed Tuesdays
1245 Main Street, Napa 94550
(707) 255-7150

LOCALS Tasting Room
Wednesday - Monday, 11am - 6pm, closed Tuesdays
Corner Geyserville Ave. & Highway 128, downtown Geyserville perched on the 3-way stop
(707) 857-4900

Article submitted by contributing writer Taylor Poff

Holidays in the Wine Country

Holidays in the Wine CountryA Wonderful Time to Visit!

It is November in the Wine Country. The sky is taking on that crisp, invigorating autumn quality and the sunlight angles in lower each day. The air is heavy with aromas hinting at the promise of yet another extraordinary vintage. Soon the vines will drop their colorful cloaks of golden and amber foliage, leaving bare, gnarled branches that create interesting visual patterns as you drive past vineyard after vineyard.

The change of seasons is undeniably evident throughout the regions, even though the weather remains agreeably mild. Summer is gone and crush is becoming a memory, but winter is still a wonderful time to visit the Wine Country! Tasting rooms are quieter, some with toasty fireplaces and comfy sofas inviting one to linger a while. There are numerous holiday festivities to attend and fantastic deals to be found during the "off season." Hotels, restaurants, and wineries offer gourmet Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, a myriad of celebrations, special topic tastings, "passport weekends," and holiday open houses. Local artists offer handmade gift items at colorful bazaars and craft fairs. So much to see and do!


Yountville's 15th Annual Festival of LightsLook carefully through this issue of the Lifestyle Online newsletter to find information on seasonal events and promotions, such as the 3rd Annual Holiday Ball (including an impressive wine auction), the Sonoma Valley Olive Festival , and Discover Winter in the Wine Country. Read about this month's Featured Event, Yountville's 15th Annual Festival of Lights . Click through to the Current Events Calendars for each region to find more festivals and events, including the Napa Valley Symphony League's Festival of Trees, the Mendocino Wine & Mushroom Fest , and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.'s "Run Forrest Run" 5K Run at Cannery Row in Monterey. While you're there check out Cannery Row's 84 stores in an "ocean view treasure hunt" for the perfect holiday gift!

Cannery Row in Monterey

The Wine Country always has something beautiful and unique to offer, any time of year. Consider the holiday season…you may find winter to be your favorite time of year for an exceptional Wine Country getaway!

Featured Sponsor
The Sonoma Valley Olive Festival

The Sonoma Valley Olive Festival
December 6, 2003 through February 22, 2004. Celebrate the Season of the Olive with food, wine, art, and special events, plus lodging and spa specials, tastings, tours, cooking classes, winemaker dinners, and much more. Events are at venues throughout Sonoma Valley; highlights include the Blessing of the Olives, Feast of the Olive, and Artisan Market Weekend. 707-996-1090

Wine Country Featured Destination

Cedar Gables InnEnchantment, Romance, and History Await You at
Cedar Gables Inn

Tucked in a quaint neighborhood, you would never guess Cedar Gables Inn was in downtown Napa. Described as an Inn of "Shakespearean Elegance," the exterior was magnificent and looming, inviting us into a different era, apparent from the first glimpse of the Inn. Built in 1892, this mansion was designed and modeled after the 16th Century country manors of Shakespeare’s day, by famed English architect Earnest Coxhead. Rene, Cedar Gables’ Innkeeper (all the way from Wisconsin!) greeted us warmly into the stylishly rich mansion filled with gorgeous antiques offset by the redwood interior. Being the only people occupying the Inn for the evening, we were treated to a full tour! Each of the nine rooms has a different theme and feel, filled with exquisite antiques, funky bathrooms, and most with fireplaces perfect for sipping sherry at the end of your evening. We stayed in Lady Margaret’s room, otherwise known as the "Honeymoon Suite," which was very charming and elegant. Historically, this space was used as a "gentlemen’s smoking room," with a hidden stairway leading up to the quarters. Adorned with beautiful furniture, a cozy fireplace and a whirlpool tub for two in the spacious bathroom...we truly felt relaxed.

Cedar Gables Inn

Once settled in, we made our way downstairs to the parlour where Renee hosted a wine and cheese reception – just for us! We wandered into the spectacular dining room with a grand dining table and elegant chandelier with historic photos on the walls perfect for conversation. The kitchen nook is bright and cheerful, where a delicious gourmet breakfast was served the next morning – French toast with fresh strawberries (we included the recipe in this month’s newsletter!), just home baked muffins and scones and then for an extra treat: a baked banana with whipped cream. Heaven!

The overall impression we received was warm, elegant hospitality. For a true treat in luxury combined with the comfortable feeling of being in someone’s home, Cedar Gables Inn is not to be missed! You will never want to go home. For more information, visit their website at

Featured Sponsor
Discover Winter in the Wine Country

Discover Winter in the Wine Country
Up to 50% off on lodging, free wine tasting, dining deals, spa specials, shopping discounts & more from Nov 1st thru March 31, 2004. Discounts only available with a Wine Country Gift Pack. $25 Gift packs include 2 logo wine glasses, ID card and more. Must show ID card to accesses discounts. Valid Nov 1, 2003 thru March 31, 2004. For listing of participants or to order, call 800-799-6456, 707-942-6333 or visit

Wine Country Recipe

Cedar Gables Inn RecipeFrench Toast Soufflé, courtesy of Cedar Gables Inn

Serves 12

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter or margarine
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 C. Maple Syrup

Bread Cubes - 1/2"-3/4" pieces (We use sliced sour French bread cut into cubes.)
12 large Eggs
2 C. Half & Half
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
Ramekins or 2 - 7x11" glass baking dishes

  • Butter baking dishes well.
  • Fill dishes 1/2 full with bread cubes
  • In small bowl (after softening in microwave) mix butter, cream cheese, and syrup together. OK to leave a little lumpy.
  • Spoon this mixture over bread cubes, distributing evenly to edges.
  • In large bowl, beat eggs, half & half, and vanilla together.
  • Pour egg mixture over bread. Your bread cubes will be floating at this point. Make sure all cubes are moistened.
  • Dust with cinnamon, cover, store overnight in refrigerator.
  • Bake at 360 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Dish is done when center is raised and firm and the whole top is lightly browned.

To Serve:

  • Cut into serving pieces (we cut 6 per casserole dish), top with diced strawberries and/or sliced bananas and chopped walnuts. Pour a small amount of syrup over each piece and dust with powdered sugar.
  • Serve immediately….This crashes quickly!


Featured Sponsor
The 3rd Annual Holiday Ball

The 3rd Annual Holiday Ball
Black tie is welcome but optional for this event of unparalleled elegance, featuring gourmet dining, dancing, and remarkable live and silent auctions. The Holiday Ball is a social highlight for this year, providing an unequaled setting for entertaining friends or clients while supporting the Queen of the Valley Hospital. The Ball will be held Sunday, December 7, 2003, at Silverado Country Club. For information call 707-251-1882.

Featured Sponsor
Tasting On Main

Tasting On Main
Home to nine boutique wineries, all in one location in downtown St. Helena. The collection features wines crafted by some of the most acclaimed winemakers in Napa Valley. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to the wine country. Open until 6:00 pm, weekends until 8:00 pm. 1142 Main Street, St. Helena. (707) 967-1042. Click here for a 2-for-1 tasting coupon.

Wine Country Featured Events

Things to Do in the Wine Country:

November 28 -- 15th Annual Festival of Lights - Yountville's Town Lighting Ceremony & Street Faire
Carolers, dancers, and delightful holiday characters join Yountville's world-class restaurants and Napa Valley wineries to kick off the Holiday Season in style! Ice carving demonstrations, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa Claus! Shops open until 8 PM, restaurants open late for dining. Commemorative wine glasses will be sold at this magical winter wonderland event.
Fee: No Admission Fee Time: 1 PM - 6 PM, Santa visits with Children 1 PM - 4 PM, Shops open until 8 PM
Phone Number: 707-944-0904

For a complete calendar of events by region, visit: Gold Country, Mendocino, Monterey,
Napa Valley
, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma County, Virginia Info Contest: T-shirtFor all the Food & Wine Lover’s out there…. Now’s your chance to show your stuff! would like to offer you the opportunity to enter your favorite Wine Country inspired recipe in our contest!

The best Wine Country recipe will be determined by our editorial staff, and the winner will receive a prize, and their winning recipe published in our next Newsletter! (By submitting your recipe, you are granting Freerun Technologies the right to include it in our newsletters and on our web sites).

The winner receives either 2 T-shirts or 2 Riedel Wine Glasses !

To enter the contest:

1. Click here and fill out the entry form! It’s that simple!

** Deadline for response is 8:00 am (Pacific Daylight Savings Time) November 17, 2003**

***No purchase necessary. To participate you must be 21 years of age or older. Only one entry per person permitted. Prize is same as cash, Freerun Technologies, Inc/ is not responsible if lost or stolen. Winner name and state of residence will be announced in a future issue of Lifestyle Online newsletter. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited. Info...

For weather predictions, please visit:

Past Newsletters:

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you and you would like to SUBSCRIBE please visit:

To UNSUBSCRIBE follow this link:

Our privacy policy can be found here:

Contact Editor:

To Advertise:
For information on advertising in the Lifestyle Newsletter, please contact Carolyn Lewis at or 707-857-4100.