Napa Valley AKA Wine Country.
We’ve all heard of it.
And yes. The French Laundry is here.
So you already know that Napa is KING of food and wine (OMG the food! I might need a sep post for that).
Anyways, the wine. You really can’t go wrong with any of the 400+ wineries in Napa, each one with its own uniqueness and appeal depending on your personal tastes.
Plus, wine tasting is fun. I’m all about the ambiance, good vibes and having a good time. But you know what’s even more fun? Wine tasting AND food tasting. The food at these wineries were all soooooo YUM (made in-house, fresh ingredients from their gardens, etc). So basically it’s my version of heaven.
We had the perfect itinerary (went to 5 diff wineries and ate the best foods).
Literally, everything was so well-planned out that I need to give props to my friends from Florida for doing all the research (Thanks Rach & Jono!)
If it’s your first time in Napa, follow along, but skip the falling asleep part.
Here’s what we did:
Cakebread: 11am-12:30 (food & wine pairing)
As soon as we arrived, they poured us a glass of Sauvingon Blanc- a solid detail that really just sets the mood for the entire experience. We were taken on a tour of the estate, then escorted into heaven… I mean, this room full of hors d’oeuvres. Guys, it’s a real, serious party in the mouth.
Side: Did you know their last name was actually Cakebread?
Anyways, each hors d’oeuvre was paired with a different type of wine. Basically, they teach you how wine and food go together like chocolate and strawberries.
I’m still OMGing over these fried mushrooms. Try it and you won’t be sorry.
After Cakebread, we had a quick lunch down the street at Oakville Grocery (killing time before next tasting)
Its a super rad spot for a quick lunch. We picked up some sandwiches, cheese & crackers, dessert, and had a mini picnic in the patio out back.
These $5 mini bottles of wine were delish. I almost wanted to grab a few to put in my purse.
Opus One: 1:30pm- 2:30pm
Opus was literally right next door to the grocery store. This was one of the most gorgeous wineries I’ve ever been to. Everything was so grand (I totally felt like royalty here and wished grapes were hand fed to me #goals).
It’s definitely a MUST visit, plus their wines are one of the best in the valley- it’s exclusive, pricey and worthy of being on a pedestal.
But to be honest, I thought the tour was SUPER boring err maybe 1 glass of wine was not enough (sorry tour guide!).
Tip: skip the tour, do the tasting and chill on their rooftop terrace instead. Look how pretty:
The tasting went even longer than it was suppose to have (almost fell asleep), so we were late to the next winery.
Silver Oak Winery: 3pm- 4:30pm
Since we were late to this appt, we missed half the tour.
But since we were nearly bored to death by the previous, I wasn’t mad about it. We hopped in towards the end and had a wonderful time tasting their wines.
Note to self: the wines at Silver Oak were very good, but unless it comes with food.. stick with the tastings instead of the tour.
Check in hotel
We grabbed some cheese and crackers, popped open a bottle of Opus One, and chilled at our hotel till our dinner reservation at 8:30.
It was the perfect plan.
Except… after that bottle of Opus, we decided to take a quick nap. Here’s what happened:
And sooo yeah. That’s what happened.
Jefferson woke up at 11pm and grabbed sushi by himself at midnight.
He brought some back for me. Thanks babe!
PS: Morimoto was bomb and super packed on a Friday night- according to him (huge sushi connoisseur if you haven’t guessed already.
All in all, I’d say the first day was a success.
We were on our way to a tasting at Caymus.
But last minute, we decided: what better way to start the day than with some bubbly at Domaine Chandon.
We did the Prestige Tasting: $20 bucks for two glasses of champs (Brut & Rose)
And I’m glad we made the right decision because this place was beautiful. Once you drive in, you’ll notice a wooden bridgeway, rose bushes and a water pond at the entrance.
This is the perfect spot to day drink with plenty of seating outside. You can even order oysters and food with your drinks! (kinda genius)
Side: we didn’t take advantage of this because we were on our way to lunch at Bouchon.
11:30: Lunch at Bouchon (1 Star Michelin)
It was the BEST breakfast I’ve ever had… I went CRAZY & tried everything.
When we sat down, we told our waiter that we might need a bigger table. He didn’t believe us.
This was also the first time a waiter cut us off from ordering by saying “uhm, I think that’s enough for now.”
Soooo then, we decided to start off this brunch with some bubbly!
Round 1: appetizers
Round 2- we need a bigger table
(And yes, I’m sure you’re wondering: I gained 5 pounds after this lunch alone ).
Side: If you haven’t heard of Bouchon yet, it’s down the street from The French Laundry (also by Thomas Keller- the best chef in the world).
2pm: Del Dotto
If you’re ever in Napa you have to ( have to, have to ) go to Del Dotto.
I’m so glad we saved it for last.
Plus, everything about this place just screams gorgeous. This is the outside:
This tour is unlike anything I’ve ever been to- it’s INSIDE A VENETIAN CAVE. (yah, pretty cool huh)
We actually got to taste the wine straight out of these barrels and not from a bottle.
After the cave tour, they gave us all this food!! (cheese & house-made salumi, hot sandwiches and pizza straight out the oven) Gah, not even sure how I ate this after my huge meal at Bouchon already. But I did. And every bite was fantastic.
And that’s a wrap! It was honestly the perfect 2 day getaway from San Francisco (1.30 hrs)
Do your research and see what kind of wineries you like. For me, I like the ones with food. Go figure.
Until next time, Napa!