Jessup: the ballet of wines.

Walking through Yountville recently we stopped and visited Jessup Cellars, a wine tasting room.  We were already familiar with their wines, which we find to be elegant and smooth; what I call the “ballet of wines” (versus the “rock and roll” or the “jazz experience”).  We ran into Grant Long, Sr., who is their Retail Sales Manager.  He was kind enough to show us the new art gallery they are opening in the space next door which is a nice addition to the experience.  With a plate of cheese to tantalize your tongue as well as the wines you sip in your time there, it doesn’t take long to forget about all of your cares and worries and relax into the tranquil setting of their tasting room.  There are individual tables for you to sit at, the tasting room team is phenomenal, with lots of information at their fingertips to share with you, as well as a real interest in ensuring your enjoyment while drinking the wine.  I consider this a “not to be missed” tasting room in the Napa Valley.  Mark Jessup, the winemaker, was Mondavi’s winemaker for many years, and helped to develop Opus One.  For the past 10 years he has been making his own wine, and last year he put together his very first blend since Opus One, called “Table for Four”.  Now, that is a lovely wine!

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Angele: how to eat simply and elegantly.

I wasn’t all that hungry but we were treating ourselves out to dinner at Angele. On Sunday nights they have a seafood stew that they pair with Chardonnay and Jamie wanted to try it. He absolutely loved it, with mussels, clams, and scallops, it was a nice portion for a soup-stew following his green salad. I went with the beet salad with huckleberries, and I was wowed by the combination of the sweet huckleberries against the beets. My main course was three cheese with three small sides: apple slices, quince paste, and candied pecans. Yes, I went for dessert: the banana gratin. Still one of my favorites, with a whole banana in a warm custard with a crunch crumble topping. Even simple eating at Angele is elegant and I’m grateful to have them around to provide us with such great meals.