Some friends from San Francisco came to Napa recently to introduce us to Silo’s, a wine-music club here in the city of Napa. We had heard about the club but had yet to get there. We decided to eat at Angele as the club is in the same location, and then walked down the sidewalk at 8 p.m. for the show. It is a small space, and probably holds no more than 50 people. Dark velvet curtains behind the stage, a piano, some microphones, small cafe tables with tea lamps, and a nice wine and beer bar. We had been told that Michael and Wesla, the evening entertainers and owners, were to perform that night and that they were both seasoned musicians. As the lights died down and the server brought us a luscious Elyse Zinfandel to drink, Michael began to play on the piano and Wesla began to sing. About five minutes into the show I was sure I wasn’t in Napa anymore. I felt as though I was in New York, in a small jazz club, and the music was carrying me away. All that was missing was the smoke drifting across the room ( I suppose they could manufacture it! :-)….) Her voice was incredible, and his playing was timely and fun. As Jamie stated afterward: “I would have sworn he was playing with three hands,” as his manipulation of the keys in the songs was playful and engaging and challenging. The songs were all romantic, standards from across the decades, and soon we were all holding hands with our loved ones and were caught up on a romantic ride through the evening. They made you laugh, sigh, and remember how much fun it is to be in love with each other through the gift of music. Only later we found out that she has sang at Carnegie Hall and is well known in the music industry. She is an acclaimed Cabaret/Jazz vocalist (Wesla Whitfield) and he is a well-known jazz pianist (Mike Greensill) who can be heard every Saturday on West Coast Live, a radio program out of San Francisco. For anyone looking for romantic entertainment for the evening, this is it! Don’t miss it. They have a $20 cover charge and their wine list is good and not over-priced as at other wine bars. They do have a few items for gnoshing (cheese and fruit, small pizza, dessert), but we didn’t enjoy any of that as Angele completely filled us up (another blog, another time!). My suggestion to anyone wanting to have a great romantic evening: dinner on Main Street in Napa, a show at Silo’s at the Napa Mill, and then a stroll or ride back to the inn for a jacuzzi tub. Folks, it doesn’t get much better than that.
We recently visited Summers Vineyards up in Calistoga and met with Ignacio Blancas, the winemaker and vineyard manager. He was gracious in offering us numerous barrel tastings so that we could compare what is in the barrel with what had already been bottled and was waiting in the tasting room for us later in the tour. When you enter the tasting room there is a large window that overlooks a panoramic vista of Calistoga hillsides and vineyards, with the geyser showing its head every 20 minutes or so in the distance. Of all the wines we tried the Charbono was my favorite. They are one of very few wineries that offer Charbono and it tasted like a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah. Bob and Karen Smith were our hosts that day and provided a lot of entertainment and information for us about the winery. With only 80 acres of Charbono left in the world, we are fortunate to have it here in the Napa Valley. This is well worth the drive to Calistoga. They also have a picnic area for you to enjoy your lunch and, if you are feeling up to it after a few glasses of wine, a round of bocci ball is available for you to try.