Napa for a day...huge foodie who doesn't know much about wine
Hi there. We're spending Saturday in Napa and need help. We love to eat and are huge foodies, but we don't know much about wine and are a bit intimidated by the whole Napa Valley tasting thing. We're looking for places to visit that will welcome us regardless of our intensity/knowledge level. If anybody knows of a nice plan for the day (driving in one direction and stopping along the way would be ideal), that would be great!
As for food, we're planning on eating at Ad Hoc for dinner and Bouchon for brunch the next day. If that's a bad idea, please tell me!
You would be better served posting this on the SF Bay Area board.
As for wine, most of the bigger wineries are very friendly with regards to tasting and educating those new to wine. Mondavi, Beaulieu Vineyard, Beringer would all be good choices. The Beringer tour used to be free, not sure if that is still the case.
Sterling has a tram ($) and self guided tour. The views are nice.
Another good tour is Schramsberg, if you want to try sparkling wine.
As for Bouchon, the recent reviews have not been kind beyond eating at the raw bar.
Definitely do not miss Redd for dinner. I'd venture to guess that nearly all of the wineries that are open to the public are well-versed in dealing with people of all experience levels with wine, so do not be scared.
There's another topic right here about Napa recommendations that should help too. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/643916
Especially at this time of year you will find people of all levels of wine experience at most Napa wineries that are open for regular tasting. As you move on to those by reservation only, you'll find more experienced tasters for the most part. I still find that Mondavi has one of the best basic educational experiences there.
Just along Highway 29, from Yountville North through St. Helena, there are enough good wineries to keep you busy for a week.