Now, on to the second day of wine tasting in Napa last weekend. In case you missed day one, you can find the post here! I planned to leave around noon so we only had time for one place that morning: B Cellars. That being said, brace yourself for a long, but mouthwatering post!
Dad raves about B Cellars and, finally, took my mom and me, along with the rest of the group. We were the first visitors there, which made for an extremely calm and pleasant morning.
The Hospitality House
Driving into the courtyard, we saw a beautiful, outdoor seating area and these lifelike, life-sized sculptures throughout the gardens. I loved the peace and quiet out there – it’s not on the St. Helena Highway so it doesn’t get as much of the traffic noise.
Our host greeted us with a refreshing glass of their white blend upon our arrival. The chef followed with an amuse-bouche: buttered, cast-iron shrimp topped with pear salsa. Definitely a great way to start the morning.
From there, we took our Blend 23 outside as we toured the property. They have a beautiful deck, which I know I’ll be back for when the weather warms up. My mom and I loved exploring their garden and watching their hens milling around a big coop. She dreams of having her own chickens some day, so I know she was taking notes (much to Dad’s dismay). Next, we toured their caves. These were much more modest and modern than Del Dotto’s.
Before we knew it, we headed back to the Hospitality House for the second part of our tasting.
This ended up being my favorite part!
Our host seated us in a back room for the culinary pairing. I completely support their philosophy – wine is meant to be enjoyed with food, why should tasting be any different?! Because this was such a unique experience, I will share a play-by-play. They served us the wines first so we could try them before and then, again, after the food. This way, we could see how the flavors interacted and affected each other.
First, the B Cellars Barrel Select Chardonnay paired with a winter flatbread, topped with smoke bacon and grilled apple. Needless to say, I’m going to try making that dish at home. Easy and delicious!
Then, the time came for the reds.
We started with their 2014 Blend 24. This was a red made from Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The chef served it with a Portabella slider with their in-house tomato jam on a brioche bun. I had never believed in vegetarian burgers until that day – if all Portabellas taste like that, count me in!
Following the red blend was a syrah, coupled with roasted pork shoulder and goat cheddar grits. Yes, goat cheddar grits. I love grits. We only eat them occasionally and only with shrimp, as that’s my grandmother’s recipe. But pork shoulder and grits are an oddly beautiful match.
The last red on the tasting menu was a Cabernet Sauvignon. The chef cooked a beef meatball to go with this one, topped with onion, garlic, and a crispy kale chip. This was my favorite duo of the morning! Essentially, this was a wine tasting and brunch combined.
And just when I thought it was over, Sean (finally remember his name as I reach the end of this long post) brought us out something exceptional. A 2011 Cabernet from their Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard – rich, sensational, with a dark plum color and notes of blackberry and dark chocolate. Evidently, we had a memorable experience. So memorable that we joined the wine club, so we look forward to coming back soon, and often! Kudos to B Cellars for offering such a unique tasting. I think we all agree that the rest of the wineries should be taking notes.