Napa: Wine and More

You don’t have to like wine to enjoy Napa, but if you do appreciate it, there is much to taste.  You may have to pick and choose because after a while it’s hard to tell the difference between one wine and another, at least for me.  When it comes to sampling, here’s something you may not know: it’s best to do it in the morning when your palate is clear.  That may be true, but I had a hard time thinking about morning wine!

NapaSo, what were my favorites? Rombauer Chardonnay;  Goosecross Syrah;  Silverado Fantasia, a blend of sangiovese and cabernet; Hall T Bar T Ranch Sauvignon Blanc; Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon.   What is unfortunate is that several of my preferred wines are available only through the winery which means you either have to order or be a wine club member which is not as easy as going to your local purveyor.

As good as sampling wine is eating.  In a few days, it’s hard to try every place, but among the ones we tried these are standouts:

NapaOakville Grocery which is a great place to pick up a sandwich or prepared food as well as to shop for locally produced products.  Don’t be fooled by the exterior and pass this place by as it’s well worth a stop.

NapaV. Sattui Winery & Italian Market (St. Helena) where you can create a feast from the deli

Napaand picnic outside under clear blue sky.

NapaBottega (Yountville) serves up excellent Italian food in a charming space that is not overly noisy.  I don’t know about you, but we like quieter restaurants as opposed to those with hard surfaces and blaring music.  Here I had my first shaved brussels sprout salad and loved it!

NapaAcross the way from Bottega and also owned by Chef Michael Chiarello is Napa Style, a shop filled with tempting home and kitchen accessories.

NapaLucy (Yountville in the Bardessano resort) where fresh and local products are created with a modern aesthetic and served in a calm and casual environment.

NapaAngele (Napa) where French cuisine is delightful any time of day.  

NapaMy mouth waters as I remember the pate board.

Experiencing Napa is a treat on many levels.  When you plan your visit, I highly recommend reservations at places you are sure you want to visit.  Even in the slow season, that is helpful, but from spring through fall, it is a must.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


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26 thoughts on “Napa: Wine and More

  1. What a wonderful day! You take such lovely pictures!

  2. What a dreamy trip, I would love to visit Michael Chiarello’s restaurant and shop! It certainly sounds like you hit all the hot spots!
    I have trouble spitting wine out at tastings, but I bet I could do it in the morning!

  3. Hi Linda, I love both wine and Napa! It’s been many many years since I last visited. My husband and I would love to return sometime soon. It seems like a lot of new places have cropped up since my last visit. I love Napa not only for its wineries but for its superb restaurants and charming shops as well. I haven’t heard of those shops and restaurants you mentioned. They all sound inviting. I’ll certainly keep them in mind for my next visit. Thanks for all the tips.

  4. I do like visiting Napa, but am not a wine drinker. What I notice most, is the culture and attention to culinary detail everywhere. It is such a ‘cool’ place. I enjoyed your tour. I was there last year on a vacation and did not take more than a handful of photos.

    1. Yes, food is a big part of the Napa experience.

  5. Hi Lulu, looks gorgeous there! Sadly, I can’t even have a glass of wine because of dumb old migraines, but I thought all your photos were lovely. I’d dive right into that brussels sprout salad. This place really reminds me of the winery at Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC.

    1. Believe me, there’s much to enjoy without a single sip of wine!

  6. Love Napa and this was a lovely tour of the wines and delicious food. V. Sattui Winery is one of our favorite stops.

  7. Lulu, I really enjoyed this journey! We are not wine drinkers, but I’ve always wanted to visit Napa valley. The brussel sprout salad is very interesting. I would have tried it also. The meats and cheeses at the deli look wonderful! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. Oh! You make me wanna go to Napa so baaaaaad! Great post.

  9. Hi Lulu,

    Lovely post! So enjoyed the tour of all the different specialty products and places. I’ve been a fan of Chef Michael Chiarello’s for a while and love his shows for his contagious enthusiasm and simple recipes that use the best of fresh, seasonal produce. I’m not a big wine drinker, but I will sip on a glass of dry red or white, on a special occasion.

    Thanks for sharing all the fun!


  10. What a great and interesting trip. I love the wine country!….Christine

  11. Napa i snow on my wish list! It looks a great place to visit – and wow that deli counter so much choice to be had. I discovered shaved brussel sprout salads last year, and they ar ea revelation – I’m wondering what the dressing was on yours?

    1. Napa is a great get away, probably not too convenient for you but maybe one of these days you will make it.

  12. My mouth is watering as I scroll down your post. The deli shot makes me want to be there checking out all the details.

  13. What an enchanting visit! Looks like you enjoyed yourself. Hope I can plan a trip to Napa in the future!

  14. I’ve always wanted to go to napa-cheese, and wine, that looks like heaven!

  15. Your post brought back memories of a trip we took a couple of years ago, but in a different time of year. V. Sattui was unbearably hot when we tried to picnic outside and incredibly crowded. I had hoped to wander around around the grounds but it was too hot to even consider it. Our group kept sliding back into the air-conditioned shop, but even that was too warm. I’m pinning the post as well, both for the great restaurant tips and for the table setting.

    1. I can imagine that on a too warm day eating outside here would not be too pleasant, but on this January day we were very lucky to have perfect weather.

  16. Oh, Linda, you are making me want to go to Napa. Funny thing that I thought while our son was stationed in Las Vegas we could go. Wrong….it is a ten hour drive from there and with two small children that would not work.

    The brussel sprout salad interests me. Any ideas on the ingredients in the dressing? Love that table setting too. I will pin this post so if I get to Napa I can refer back to the recommended restaurants.

    1. I hope you will make the trip as it is a very pleasant get away. No, I can’t remember the dressing on the salad but I’m wishing I could.

  17. Linda, I have no trouble drinking wine in the morning *hiccup* 🙂 We stayed in Yountville when we were there before and enjoyed Bottega and stopped and picnicked V. Sattui. That shaved brussels sprout salad looks delicious!

  18. I’m a little envious here! So glad you are having a great time! Thanks for sharing these lovely places and a little inside info. 🙂

  19. The Napa Valley is a lovely spot! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Great post and photos! I have liked it 3x’s and each time the like has been erased~

  21. this looks like an absolutely wonderful trip Lulu! You got me good at the Sattui Winery and Market photo… wow

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