I’m no sommelier, but I know what I like. Lucky for me and my elementary palate, Napa doesn’t discriminate.
We visited in December which is technically the off-season. Despite the vines being bare, the rusty landscape was spectacular. Dawn temperatures were frosty (Mr Flashman was sporting some impressive icicles on his nose after an early run) but by midday it was sunny and pleasant while we pottered around town.
Settle back with a glass of your favourite Bordeaux and a killer cheese platter. Your taste buds are about to be teased.
Napa is an easy one hour drive from San Francisco, notwithstanding peak season traffic.
I recommend you travel inland via Berkeley. Stop at Cafe Fanny and order a stiff espresso. Walk around the university campus and pretend there is a nobel prize in your future like a dozen of their feted alumni.
For the return trip, head down the western side of San Pablo Bay and stop by the French Riviera inspired towns of Tiburon and Sausalito before driving across the Golden Gate into San Francisco. Have your camera ready to capture the impressive view.
Napa Wine Train
Do yourself a favour and book the Vista Dome lunch on the Napa Wine Train. Be transported to another time aboard the refurbished 1950’s Pullman Cart. Enjoy starched linens, crystal wine glasses and a delicious three course meal paired with local wines. It’s the perfect way to get your fix of wine country without having to get off your caboose.
Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & BBQvia
Shout your hubby dinner at Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & BBQ. Order the Beer Can Chicken or the St Louis Cut Ribs. Take a wine flight. Broach the subject of diamond eternity rings while he’s high on the smoke from the grill.
With such an abundance of delicacies on offer, it’s easy to over indulge in Napa. If you are looking for a light meal, head to the Lounge at Iron Chef’s Morimoto and get comfy in one of the canary yellow tufted chairs. Order from the small bites menu and wash it down with a vanilla sky cocktail.
Silos Jazz Clubvia
The meal of a lifetime awaits at Thomas Kheller’s French Laundry in Yountville. Book eons in advance and don’t think about the cost.
more than a winery
- A medieval castle in wine country. Why not? Seek out your Lancelot at Castello Di Amarosa.
- Every Mrs ought to make the pilgrimage to the home of bubbles - Domaine Chandon.
- Francis Ford Coppola is the winemaker at Inglenook Chateau in Rutherford.
- They call her Domaine Carneros. She’s one pretty lady.
Tasting Tip: $25 = 12 different tasting rooms. That kind of math, I understand. Get your paws on a Downtown Napa Wine Tasting Card.