Sonoma is one of the last places I'd expect to see Lady Gaga, that flamboyant goddess of pop music. We're a little light on paparazzi and six-inch stiletto heels around these parts, but last week Gaga and her modest entourage were repeatedly spotted at restaurants around the county, as well as Napa and Marin.
For the unenlightened, Lady Gaga is a 25-year-old singer who is recognized around the world, in part because of catchy dance hits such as "Bad Romance" and "Born This Way," but also because of her edgy live performances, savvy social media skills and willingness to pull outrageous stunts like wearing a dress made entirely of meat to the MTV Video Music Awards. Saturday Night Live fans caught Gaga in an outlandish wine-themed outfit in a musical number with Justin Timberlake last year.
So she's obviously more Vegas than Sonoma, but perhaps she simply needed a quiet getaway before she kicks off her latest world tour in April. She reportedly had dinner at the French Laundry on Friday, then was spotted having lunch at Nick's Cove on Tomales Bay on Saturday. That night she had dinner at Catelli's in Geyserville with her actor-model boyfriend Taylor Kinney, then on Sunday ate lunch at the bar of the Girl & the Fig in Sonoma.
She happily snapped photographs with fans, if all the photos on Facebook and Twitter are any indication. There's no clue what brought her to Northern California wine country, but according to published reports, she told the staff at one restaurant that she was shopping for a house.
"The valley would never be the same!" Sondra Bernstein, owner of the Girl & the Fig, said of Gaga's potential move to Sonoma. Bernstein reports that she ate mussels, a beet salad and a croque madame.
As for wine, I wasn't able to confirm a single glass. She skipped the all-Rhône list at the Girl & the Fig and drank something called a Fig Kiss, a cocktail that includes Limoncello, St-Germain liqueur and cranberry juice.
If she ends up calling Sonoma County home, let's hope she experiments with something less Gaga-ish: perhaps a nice local wine? Of course, knowing her reputation, they couldn't be just any wines. In the spirit of Lady Gaga's fondness for grandeur and showmanship, I've selected a few wines that just might suit her style.
With its bold aromas and festive flavors, the Schramsberg J. Schram Rosé 2004 (92 points, $130) is a perfect choice to start her off. Then we could move on to something like Martinelli Chardonnay Russian River Valley Zio Tony Ranch 2008 (94, $50) with its ripe and fleshy flavors and exotic, floral aromas. Gaga could follow that with La Follette Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Sangiacomo Vineyard 2009 (93, $40), with its intense, rich and plush texture, which would logically lead to ripe and fleshy Merlots like Pahlmeyer Napa Valley 2008 (91, $75) and finally to a collectible Cabernet Sauvignons like Lewis Napa Valley 2009 (94, $90), which turns up the volume with bold dark berry and melted chocolate flavors.
I'm fairly certain she could afford whatever Lady Gaga-friendly wine I could recommend. Can you imagine what it would be like stocking her wine cellar?