Living & working in wine country has it’s perqs — like really good food & wine all over the place! Of course, we don’t make enough money in this industry to retire, but we sure get to eat and drink well…so that’s something.
I was just reading in Tom Wark’s Fermentation about great restaurants in his area of Sonoma County. And clearly, much has been written about the culinary cornucopia in Napa Valley. A consistent favorite of mine is Zuzu’s on Main Street in downtown Napa. It isn’t the biggest restaurant in town (tiny in fact) but it is one of the warmest vibes in town and consistently puts out great small plate meals. Mick Salyer runs the show there and never will you meet a nicer guy, or one more engaged in his business. His wine list is always well thought out and interesting. It is a favorite of many locals, especially within the wine community because so many of the wines are from outside Napa, giving us a chance to explore & learn.
I was just there the other night to drop off a bottle of my Humanitas 2006 ‘Gap’s Crown’ Pinot Noir for Mick to sample and to dine with my distributor from Colorado out visiting. Zuzu’s, as always, was buzzing with locals & tourists alike. The Valley has it’s share of characters — both living here and visiting — it is one of the things I love about the place. And I swear, straight out of a Yogi Berra conversation, I overheard the guy at the bar say to his friend about V. Sattui Winery:
“No one ever goes to V. Sattui anymore…it’s too crowded.”
I just about snorted my sangria all over my visitor. Being a huge fan of Yogi Berra, or at least his supposed malaprops, I just loved this. Now it is true, V. Sattui is crowded — very crowded. So clearly people still do go there ‘anymore’ — in droves. And actually, maybe some of the other Napa wineries should go there again (‘for the first time’) to see that not only are the wines quite good, but the customer experience is quite enviable.
I overhear some of the most interesting things in wine country (and that would be the universal ‘wine country’), how about you? If so, please share and post a comment. Meanwhile, I have to run as I think it is getting late. Anyone know the time? As Yogi would say, ‘You mean right now?’