Friday, August 28, 2009

Want To Get Messy This Weekend?

Then the annual grape stomp at Vino Con Brio in Lodi is just the event for you and your family. It starts at noon on Sunday and runs through 4PM. The cost is only is only $20 ($10 for children and club members) and includes food, music and games.

Be sure to wear your grubbies, and if you decide to take a limo, be prepared, as we may want to hose you down before you come back! (Just kidding!).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Comments From a Recent Wine Tour Participant

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of taking a bachelorette party wine tasting in through the rolling hills of Amador County. The ladie are pictured here enjoying the wines of Karmere Vineyards and Winery.

Angelina, our Wine Concierge planned their excursion, and this is what they had to say about their experience:

We had the best time!! I even had a girl ask me if I could do her bachelorette. We had so much fun and were even able to fit in one more winery. Our chauffeur was fantastic - he was very accommodating and was a wonderful driver. I have attached some photos of the great event. Thanks so much for all your help!

If you would like to have a similar experience for your next wine tasting or for that matter, or just want to make any upcoming occasion special, just give us a call.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Staff Appreciation Night at Raley Field

Our Chauffeurs have been really working hard lately. Many of their trips require them to be away from home at night and on weekends.

To help make up for that, we have invited our staff and their families to Raley Field tonight for a little R & R. Hopefully they will be able to watch our River Cats get one step closer to the playoffs by defeating the Portland Beavers tonight. I hope they enjoy the game and if you happen to see someone who has driven you in the past, make sure you say hello.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Limousine Company Information

The latest issue of one our industry publications has some interesting facts about limousine companies. The Limousine Digest reports that as of the first of the year, there were 11,866 limousine companies in the United States. Of these, 1,602 were in California, 1,388 in New York and 1,011 were Florida. The states with the fewest? No real surprise - South Dakota had 15, Montana had 12 and Wyoming had only 10 (wonder how many of those were pickups that had been converted to limousines?!).

Other stats of interest were that only 7.5% of the limousine company owners had a Masters or Professional Degree (not to toot my own horn, but I have both), 41% of the companies have between 4 to 10 vehicles (we currently have 8), and only 54.1% of customers report that they are very satisfied with the service they received from their limo company (this is exactly the reason why I got into the business - I was unsatisfied with the service that I received as a customer).

Speaking of customer satisfaction, only 39.6% of limousine operators report that they treat their chauffeurs as employees. I believe that if chauffeur is not an employee, it is much more difficult to control his or her behavior - that is why we treat all of our chauffeurs as employees, not independent contractors. In addition, as a CPA, I know all to well how the IRS makes distinctions between employees and contractors, and believe me, the other 60.4% of limousine companies would have a hard time justifying their tax treatment of their chauffeurs.

Finally, only 68.6% of the companies report that they utilize a chauffeur training system. Interestingly, the system we use (The Smith System) is used by only a little over 8% of these companies. This is despite the fact that the Smith System is the mostly widely used system by Fortune 500 Companies.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stiletto Crawl Was A Huge Success!

On Wednesday night, we had the privilege of chauffeuring 71 ladies in five of our limousines for Sacramento's first Stiletto Crawl. This ladies night out was the brainchild of Rachel and Sarah Campbell of Twin Soup fame.

The ladies started the evening off with a private shopping event at Madame Butterfly in the Pavilions. From there they sipped Champagne courtesy of Luxury Limousines and Muscat Blanc courtesy of James David Cellars as they headed to the best pizza place in town, Hot Italian.

After Hot Italian, it was off to Mix for some dancing and socializing. Apparently there must have been a lot of cyber hype about the Crawl, as I understand there was a long line of men waiting to get into Mix for what must have been a "Target Rich Environment"!

Pictured here are some of the ladies enjoying some of the bubbly on our Party Bus. For more information about the Crawl, check out Sacramento Press Article, "March of the Stilettos" and for more pictures from this fun evening, check out our Facebook page.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Want to Tast Over 100 Great California Wines in One Location?

The good news is that you can do just that on August 23rd at the Family Winemakers of California annual tasting event held at Fort Mason in the City. The bad news, is that the event is only open to the public from 3-6PM on that Sunday. So that will give you less than a minute to visit each of the wineries that will be participating.

However, my advice would be to use this opportunity to try some wines from wineries that you have wanted to visit but never have. For example, maybe you have never made it all the way up to the top of Spring Mountain, but have always wanted to try the wines from Barnett or Keenan (two of our personal favorites!).

Or maybe you have always wanted to meet the owners or winemakers from a little bit more distant winery such as the makers of the wonderful Pinot Noirs from Pisoni. Well, this is your opportunity.

The cost is only $50 per person in advance, or $45 if you have a group of 10 or more (hello, Party Bus!). Click here for more info.

Great Article on our Wine Concierge

Writing in yesterday's Sacramento Bee, Rick Kushman describes Angelina our Wine Concierge as "a bright example of the new face of American wine, and of wine in this region - young, enthused, comfortable teaching, thrilled to learn".

If you would like to experience her enthusiasm first hand, just give her a call at our office or email her at She will be happy to help book your next wine tour, or for that matter, just chat about anything wine related.

If you mention this article when you book any ride of three hours or more between now and September 30th, we will also take an additional 10% off our hourly or package rates.

Friday, August 14, 2009

September is California Wine Month!

California is the world's fourth largest producer of wine in the world, producing over $18 Billion in annual sales for our state. To celebrate, Governor Schwarzenegger has declared September to be California Wine Month.

Here at How We Roll, we will be celebrating by featuring a guest blogger each day describing their favorite California Wines. We will also be inviting our readers to participate, so if you want to get a head start, feel free to submit your wine recommendations - you can include your own tasting notes, places where you have enjoyed the wine, and maybe even a food paring if you have one!
You can make your submissions either by replying to this post or emailing them to

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bay Bridge is Closing Again This Labor Day

For the third time in four years, the Bay Bridge will be closed on Labor Day Weekend. According to Cal Trans. the bridge will close on Thursday September 3rd at 8PM, and will reopen at 5AM on Tuesday September 8th.

During this closure, a football size portion of the eastern span will be cut and rolled away to make room for a double-deck detour that will be used until the new bridge opens sometime in 2013. For a great simulation of how this engineering feat will take place (including a time-lapse sequence of a similar procedure performed back on Labor Day Weekend in 1997) check out the Cal Trans video by clicking here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Very Much Planned - Plan B

Most of us have a Plan B when it comes to decisions. Lucky for those in the Arden-Arcade area, their “Plan B” is a restaurant featuring European culinary experience and New York business savvy.

Lionel Lucas, Plan B’s co-owner, greeted my friend and me with a smile as we entered and admired the restaurant’s contemporary atmosphere, clean lines and open space. Even though it was a lazy weekday evening, my gut (and not just its growling) and nose led me to believe this would be an enjoyable dining experience.

I am a big believer that every great dining adventure begins with a cocktail. The toughest part is deciding which one! Admiring a beautiful bar manned by a skilled mixologist is like shoe shopping at Nordstroms. So many pretty bottles, textures and colors to choose from that you want to try each one. Our bartender Matt, like any good cocktail consultant, created the “Perfect” Perfect Manhattan; with just the right amount of vermouth and that hint of bourbon. For my companions drink, he chose Patron’s favorite companion, the Margarita. Although Matt created one that most bartenders would be proud to shake, my friend’s discerning taste and more importantly his sampling of my own ‘rita concoction, has spoiled his taste buds. My Jimmy Buffet loving uncle taught me that all girls should know two things in life; how to change a tire and make a Margarita. Thank goodness I have AAA!

We were one of the first diners to arrive and I was utterly impressed to see that Lionel, who prefers to be called Lucas, was taking orders and juggling roles and plates in his own place. I’ve learned through my own hospitality industry experience, it should be admired when an owner roles up his sleeves to know first hand what the troops face on the battlefield.

A butter lettuce salad with blue cheese, dried cherries, walnuts and a dijon vinaigrette caught my eye and taste buds. I have been obsessed with butter lettuce lately and by far this salad continued that obsession. For our wining and dining pleasures, I complimented my salad with a bottle of Arrogant Frog Rose. This French wine and its rosewater essence brought me to les domaines de Provence and complimented the blue cheese and cherries perfectly.

My cohort had the half chicken breast with ratatouille. We learned that in addition to his charm, smile and Perfect Manhattan, Matt could also recommend the perfect wine. In this case the Deloach Pinot Noir. The succulent chicken fell off the bone allowing one to try and capture the juices between the tasty pieces of skin and white meat. The flavorful broth was unable to be soaked up any more because the chicken was already so juicy. The ratatouille with all its rustic Italian flavors made each bite one to savor . Even the side of “skinny” fries were rave-able!

We retired to the patio to finish our wine and enjoy the last hints of flavor that it brought out from our meal. To my surprise, my friend ordered cheesecake as the final note. I was too engulfed in the last bits of strawberry, rosemary and floral tastes of my Arrogant Frog to desire something sweet and creamy. However, the presentation enticed me towards a bite and I can’t say I regretted it. Plan B is a Luxx recommendation for those wanting to experience a great meal with an equally great setting. Don’t forget to tell Matt we said hello!

Plan B Restaurant – 555 La Sierra Dr, Sacramento

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meet the "Top Chef Masters" on Sunday

This Sunday the four "Top Chef Masters" from Northern California are hosting a Zin 'Ribs' Party at the Bottega Restaurant in Yountville.

Michael Chiarello, Cindy Pawlcyn, Herbert Keller and Elizabeth Flakner will all be there to sign books or bottles at 11:30 which will be followed by a cooking demonstration at 1. Guests will dine on Tuscan BBQ Ribs will enjoying Chiarello's 91 Point Zinfandel.

You can even bring kids as there will be lawn games for them. Best of all, the cost is only $30 ($35 day of the event). Kids under 6 are free and those over 6 but under 21 are only $15.

For even more information on this event, check out

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

1st Stiletto Crawl is Coming Up!

Our friends over at Twin Soup are sponsoring a Girls' Night Out on August 19th. The ladies will start with a private shopping party at Madam Butterfly in The Pavilions, and then head down to my favorite pizza place, Hot Italian.

From there it is on to Mix Downtown, where they will enjoy their own VIP Section and bottle service. All this for only $50! (No, that is not a typo - $50 gets all of this!).

Sorry dudes - ladies only!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Great Comments About Chauffeur Adrian

After their game on Saturday (which they almost pulled out in the final seconds), Jodi Bacon from KHTK took some of the Monarchs out in our Hummer. Pictured here from left to right are DeMya Walker, Assistant Coach Monique Ambers and Jodi.

From their Facebook postings, I think they all had a good time, and they especially liked their Chauffeur, Adrian. Here is what they had to say:

Jodi - Adrian from Luxury Limo headache, the worst!

Yesterday at 11:54am · Comment ·

like this.

Lisa A.
Adrian is amazing..lets invite him over for the bbq!
Yesterday at 12:15pm

Laura A.
Love Adrian..he is the best!! Can't wait until we go out again
Yesterday at 1:04pm

Ac W.
he was....and he was fine!
Yesterday at 2:20pm

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Great Day in Napa

Eight of us spent the day in the Napa Valley yesterday visiting three of our favorite wineries, Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente, and Larkmead.

Both Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente were having their 2006 Cabernet Release Parties. At Nickel & Nickel, we sampled 13 of their single vineyard Cabs. Of the 13, our favorites were the Cooper Streak (named for the red, copper like streaks found in the vineyard soil), Tench (sorry, I really don't know how this vineyard got its name, but I can tell you it is the only one of the 13 Cabernets sampled that didn't really need to accompany food), and the Sullenger (which is named for the original settler of the Nickel & Nickel property). One other note - while enjoyable, we think these wines will be even better in 3-4 years or perhaps even longer.

At Far Niente, they were only serving three wines - their one 2006 Cab, their 2007 Chardonnay, and their wonderful, albeit expensive dessert wine, Dolce. Our time at Far Niente was highlighted by very briefly meeting Beth Nickel as well as getting a tour of her late husband's garage which included such historic vehicles as a 67 Shelby Mustang, a 61 Vette (the last year "scoops" were available), and two historic Ferraris. We also took advantage of the almost unheard of 25% discount they were offering on their Chardonnay.

Our last Vineyard stop was at Larkmead. You may not have heard of this winery, but Robert Parker has - two of their current vintages received 95+ from him - a very rare feat! Pictured above is the Winery Manager, Colin MacPhail who conducted a tour of the vineyard and winery for us. If you look closely at the Merlot grapes Colin is holding, you can see that some of them have already started to turn from green to a yellowish color, while some others are already purple. Colin estimated that it would only be another two weeks or so until all of their Merlot grapes were ready for harvest.

After the tour, we spent almost two hours on their veranda just chatting among ourselves with Colin coming over every so often to bring us a taste of another of their wines. While all of their wines were wonderful, we especially enjoyed the 07 Tocai Friulano. This is a white wine originally grown in the North Eastern parts of Italy. Perhaps it was because we had been tasting almost all reds earlier in the day, we found the Tocai to be refreshing with hints of pear, apples and even a little almond. Available only at the winery, this wine alone is worth the stop!