Deciding where to taste wine in Yountville can be VERY overwhelming. But don’t worry, we are here to help! Yountville has 17 individual tasting rooms with unique personalities, tasting experiences and retail. The first Tasting Room in Yountville and the perfect place for novice wine drinkers and experts is Jessup Cellars. On a charming wine country spring day, two of my friends and I headed to Jessup Cellars to try their new food and wine pairing.
Jessup Cellars embodies the Yountville wine experience; educational and welcoming. Dedicated to producing high-quality but approachable wines, Jessup is always a stop on my list when someone new is in town because the atmosphere is so fun! The three of us were greeted by friendly staff and inside of the tasting gallery. One of my favorite things about Jessup is that it is also an art gallery. The gallery is curated by curator and resident artist Cynthia Carey. Carey works to honor and support her artists in developing their artistic vision and creative processes. The gallery in Jessup showcases a variety of established local and regional artists.
The new Wine Pairing Tasting Plate is a fun twist on the traditional wine and food pairing. Nothing is directly paired with one wine, and you are invited (and encouraged) to create your own combinations. The plate comes with two kinds of cheese, Comte and 18 Month Aged Beemster Gouda, Gin & Juice Salame, dried zante currants, and roasted & salted pistachios. Chef MikeC curated the pairing plate to educate guests on how flavors pair together.
The first wine we tried was the 2020 Los Carneros Chardonnay. Made in the typical Napa Valley style, this is a chardonnay that you can drink with or without food. It was buttery and smooth and paired so well with the currents. The currents added just a touch of sweetness that mellowed out the chardonnay.
Our next wine was the 2018 Rougette. The Rougette is a fun blend of co-fermented Grenache and Carignan. Something very different for Napa Valley! Red plum and nutmeg greet you on the nose, and the palate is dry with lovely acidity and rich tannins. Rougette is extremely food-friendly, which made our pairing plate a lot of fun. I personally enjoyed it most with a hunk of the Beemester. At the same time, my friend finished almost all her pistachios while enjoying it.
The other fan-favorite wine of the afternoon was the 2019 Zinfandel from Alexander Valley. I am a big Zin fan, and this did not disappoint. This wine was juicy with a touch of black pepper and notes of blackberry and fig. The perfect Zin. The zesty currants paired well, but the Zin really made me want a big plate of spicy Chinese food!
Our last wine of the afternoon was the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose on the Cabernet Sauvignon was bursting with dark cherry and the unique Napa eucalyptus smell. This Cab is very drinkable now, and you can tell it will only get better with age. Both the cheeses paired exceptionally well with the Cab, and so did the Salame. In the end, we tried putting everything together for one last bite and sip, and it worked wonderfully!
If you are looking for an introduction to wine and food pairings, look no further than Jessup Cellars. It is the perfect place to grab a friend and test out what you love about food and wine!
6740 Washington Street, Yountville CA