Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ceja Vineyards

After trying the Vino de Casa red blend wine at Bistro Sabor last night -- and thoroughly enjoying it more than I expected -- I wanted to hit up the Ceja Vineyards tasting room as soon as possible and see what their other offerings are like.

I called Sarah from the VINE bus and asked if she'd want to join me at the downtown tasting room -- also on First St, not far from Bistro Sabor -- which I could make it into just before they close (open until 6 pm most days, but open until 8 pm Thurs - Sat... this is the benefit of being a tasting room within city limits, the restrictions on hours isn't as stringent)
She was under the weather, but I was on a mission. So I ended up at the tasting room, but I really felt she should be there with me in case I found some I liked and wanted to know if they would be worth purchasing. The tasting fee is $10 (refundable with pruchase of $100 or more) and no Napa Neighbors discount*, so we would probably just share a tasting like we usually do.

The tasting room is nicely decorated and lit -- as most of them are. People here know marketing and aesthetics are a huge factor. In addition to tastings, they also run as a lounge/wine bar where you can order wines by the glass. Surprisingly, they are even more expensive per glass here than they are at Bistro Sabor! (the Vino de Casa red is $9/glass and the pinot is $12) However, they might pour bigger servings... the Bistro Sabor pour seemed pretty skimpy (maybe 4 ounces?) You can also buy wine by the bottle and drink it there (same prices as Bistro Sabor in this case), but it's a much better deal to simply buy the wine at retail (which they also offer) and take it somewhere else to drink.

This is exactly what I decided to do, getting a bottle of the Vino de Casa Red ($20. they also have a white blend which I have not yet tried) and bringing it home to have with dinner. The pourer also gave me a two-for-one tasting card for when we decide to visit and taste.

Our fridge was empty and we've been sort of shelling out the cash lately, so not to break the bank I picked up some good old-fashioned American unhealthy fast food.

Vino de Casa red -- which is 40% pinot noir, 40% syrah, and 20% cabernet sauvignon -- pairs surprisingly well with Wendy's** double-stacks and junior bacon cheeseburgers!

* Actually, come to think of it, they were listed on the Napa Neighbors website as having 10% off wine purchases for locals... but I didn't get my 10% off and didn't think about it at the time.

** There are better burgers in the area, notably the classic California chain "In-N-Out" and the iconic Napa Valley establishment "Gott's Roadside", located in the Oxbow Market and originally known as "Taylor's Refresher" with its flagship location being in St. Helena. But these are both more expensive and a little more time-consuming, so Wendy's did the trick just fine for this time.

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