This is Season 2 of Dan The Wine Man, a feature written for The Napa Valley Register and other media outlets. My angles are 1) Anyone can drink unique, delicious wines and I’ll show you how, and 2) I include guidance on how to find the wines I recommend. It’s 4-6 wines each time. Hope you like it and buy my picks! The article on NapaValleyRegister.com coming soon.
I like my spectator sports, especially my San Francisco teams Giants, Niners and Warriors. As such, as I’m working from home I often have the Bay Area sports talk station KNBR playing from my Echo. The talk show host marching orders are obvious. Talk sports, entertainment, pop culture – take it easy on coronavirus. They are their listeners’ respite from the news that feels like a terrible dream. They are the toy department.
It is my pleasure to have a place in your toy department. God-willing, we will get through this international catastrophe as we protect our most vulnerable and buoy each other’s spirits via kindness, caring, art, service and technology. I’ll do my part.
Napa Valley’s wine merchants will do their part too. As allowed by current government order, the following merchants will deliver wine, and in some cases food too, safely to your front door. Supporting local delivery service is a win-win. In the words of Compline’s Matt Stamp, “we are trying to keep as much of a restaurant staff employed as we can in a national crisis in which our dining room will be closed for at least 30 days.” On the receiving side, enjoy the pleasures of unique, affordable wines recommended by passionate wine-geeks. Wine merchants are a unique breed. They love all sorts of wine and love to talk about them. By supporting these businesses you’re not only getting a cool, tasty bottle of wine, you can also get the heart of the wine merchant as he/she tells you about the wine via phone or other communication. And if you’re needing more info, send me an email. I’m happy to share what I know about the wines you got.
Policies and methods of delivery and/or “curbside pickup” vary, and mobility restrictions may have changed between this article’s submittal and distribution. The business has the final word on what services they can provide you today. One hard-fast rule applies: wine must be transferred to someone 21 years or older. Key details of delivery and recommendations are included in this article. For more information, please go to DawsonWineAdvisor.com/deliveries.
Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant and Merchant
Owners Matt Stamp and Ryan Stetins are personally making food and wine deliveries while their restaurant is closed until at least mid-April. They carry perhaps the smartest selection of international wines in the valley and have a lunch and dinner menu to match the wine’s high quality bar. Call Compline at 492-8150 for a wine or food & wine recommendation from Matt or Ryan. Delivery offered within Napa city limits. Pick up is also an option. Park at Clay and Randolph Streets directly behind the restaurant/wine shop. Offering lunch, dinner and wine every day but Tuesday.
Two under $25 recommendations from Compline’s Matt Stamp, Master Somm:
Pax North Coast 2017 Syrah, $26. Matt: “Spicy and bright. This is Syrah made for those that love the New California natural juice.”
Domaine Pépiere Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine “Pepie” 2019, $19. I am so glad they have this wine. Its penetrating acidity and lemony oyster shell jolt is enough to brighten anyone’s day.
Gary’s Napa Valley
Gary’s opened up in late 2019 at the southern end of St Helena across from V Sattui Winery. The wine selection is a combination of Napa Valley luxury, value-driven artisan wines and everything in between. The half European/half domestic selection is testimony to the Gary Fisch and his team’s love for wine. Delivery ranges from St Helena to Napa, valley floor only. Gary’s is set up for local online ordering. Go to garysnapa.com and find the “Grab And Go Pick Up” link for the local online marketplace where you’ll find all sorts of wine, beer and spirits plus prepared and packaged foods. Delivery is an option at checkout. If you’re like me you’ll call Gary’s at 531-7660 and ask for recommendations based on preference and budget. Give them up to 24 hours to deliver.
Recommendations from Chris Poulos, Gary’s Beverage Manager:
Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc Napa Valley 2017, $23. “Broad, rich, blossomy and honeyed, this is a great departure from the usual weeknight Chardonnay.”
Fisch Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017, $24. “This is Gary’s own selection of Cabernet Sauvignon from sites on the valley floor. Blueberry and black cherry fruit dominate its inviting profile.”
La Massa Toscana Rosso IGP 2014, $23. Blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Tuscany. It has structure, richness and oomph, making it a good pick for Napa red wine fans.
V Wine Cellar
Yountville’s preeminent wine shop is here to serve locals with free delivery while we stay home and protect ourselves. I’m not certain but I suspect there’s a good chance owner Scott Lewis will be making deliveries. V Wine Cellar offers locals a 10% discount and 15% off on orders of 2 or more cases. You may order at vwinecellar.com but I suggest you call, 531.7053, to get your discount and talk wine. 6 bottle minimum order for delivery. Allow up to 24 hours for delivery. Window pick up also an option.
Recommendations from V Wine Cellars’ Scott Lewis:
2017 Wightman Chardonnay Napa Valley, $25. “This Chardonnay is from “Maldonado Vineyard” in Jameson Canyon. It’s hard to believe this is $25 retail, because it drinks like $50.”
Ramspeck Pinot Noir Napa Valley 2018, $22 and
Ramspeck Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018 $25.
“Ramspeck’s reds are made from prime Napa Valley vineyards with minimal intervention including 100% wild yeast fermentation, and aged in primarily second use oak barrels. The finished wines are classic examples of these wine styles, well balanced and easy to drink.”
Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Villages 2018, $25.
This is refined yet sneaky-strong and just plain tasty white Burgundy that welcomes all comers. Even those who’ve sworn off Chardonnay for eternity. Just don’t tell them it’s Chardonnay and they’ll never know.
Foodshed Pizza & Takeaway
Foodshed has been in the food and wine delivery for a while now. Pick up one of their distinctive chewy crust pizzas with your wine. The wine focus is on affordable ($30 and under), carefully selected, food friendly wines. Delivery is offered within a 5 mile radius of the restaurant on Old California Road, Napa. $30 minimum required for delivery. You can also pick up. Call Foodshed at 255-3340 to order. Before you do, read their menu online. Delivery can usually be made within an hour of ordering.
Recommendations from Giovanni Guerrera, Foodshed founder and head chef:
Tenuta Le Colone, Vermentino, Tuscany, Italy, $17. “Light and bright Vermentino, good acid that again goes well with our food especially our sesonal side salads.”
Onward, Rosé of Pinot Noir, $22. From Mendocino’s Redwood Valley “By one of my favorite local winemakers, Faith Armstrong, it shows restraint and elegance that a dry rosé should. Pairs with all our food.”
Masseria Li Veli, Susumaniello from Puglia, Italy, $21. “This is an ancient varietal indigenous to Puglia, specifically in the area where my parents are from so it has sentimental value as well as being medium bodied red, with some bright berry coming through.”
Located on Imola Avenue between Jefferson Street and Highway 29, Cellar Collections is offering curbside pick-up. I’m including “CC” on my list because owner Stephen Goldberg replied to my do-you-deliver email with his usual enthusiasm. Delivery just isn’t in the cards for them, but they’re eager to recommend to you very good, reasonably priced wines. Stephen is available Monday through Friday 10 to 5 for phone call orders at 251.9553 and curbside pick-up. Cellar Collections will pay the sales tax on your orders.
Recommendations from Stephen Goldberg of Cellar Collections:
Terrasse du Moulinas Rosé, Sud de France 2018 $18 for a Liter Bottle. Those orange-hued Southern French Rosés sure are the bees’ knees. This is made from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah: a common trio in the south of France. It’s a perky wine with tangy strawberry, tangerine, black pepper and watermelon Jolly Rancher flavors. The liter bottle, screw cap and festive label make it beg for a patio, an ice bucket and a bag of Doritos.
The Paring Red Blend 2015, $24 (normally $30). Cabernet Sauvignon-heavy Bordeaux-style red blend from Santa Barbara County. “Its deep, inky purple color is followed by a rich, powerful wine that’s loaded with notions of blackcurrants, unsmoked tobacco, graphite, and crushed rocks. Background oak, full body, ripe yet present tannins, and a great finish.” Jeb Dunnuck
I’m Dan Dawson, a Napa Valley wine writer, wine consumer advocate and former wine merchant and fancy-pants sommelier. Check out my reviews and wine tasting events at DawsonWineAdvisor.com. When you visit, please check out my membership program. Contact me through my website with questions and comments.