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Jun 14, 2013 07:20 AM

Lunch spots with good wine lists in Napa or Sonoma?

My husband and I are heading out to Napa and Sonoma in July for the first time and I am looking for some good lunch suggestions. We have dinner reservations at Redd's and Ad Hoc. And we are visiting a couple of wineries of which we are members. A friend suggested though that the better day time "tasting" experience is often to go to a good lunch and just drink off the local wine lists. So I am interested in some suggestions for places that could be good for lunch with good wine lists, especially wines by the glass (it is lunch time after all.) Since we are staying in Yountville and having dinner in Yountville, I'd love thoughts on places outside of that town so we can get out and see some other areas. Happy to drive to Sonoma as well.

I have looked at the threads I saw here recently and seen great recommendations for food (you guys gave me Redd's! But also looking at Goose and Gander, Farmhouse, Backyard, Cafe Lucia) but haven't seen too much on the wine lists specifically. Or maybe this is a dumb question bc it's Napa/Sonoma and all the wine lists are excellent. (If that's the answer, break it to me gently.) Thanks for the suggestions!

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  1. Lunch at Farmhouse would be a great suggestion and - yes - most every restaurant showcases local wine although I'm not sure that is the best atmosphere to do a "tasting."

    I would suggest hitting up Vintner's Collective in downtown Napa where you can taste through a variety of local producers that are too small to warrant their own tasting rooms. Sonoma Square has a similar tasting room, but I can't remember who is being poured there.

    In both cases, you could wander the respective downtowns and have lunch there. For Napa, lunch at Bistro Sabor or Bounty Hunter and for Sonoma, lunch at La Salette or Girl & The Fig.

    5 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      We recently visited Napa and went to Bounty Hunter. They offer a number of options for smaller pours of wines by the glass which might give the OP a tasting room experience.

      1. re: KatoK

        Good point - Bounty Hunter used to only provide beer in small pours and I had forgotten they expanded it to the local wines.

        It is okay bar food (pulled pork sandwiches, burgers), but better than most and especially better than next door's Downtown Joe's which should be avoided at all costs.

        1. re: CarrieWas218

          This is perfect - Thank you! This sounds like exactly what I was looking for. And glad to hear more endorsements for Farmhouse.

          And I should clarify what I mean by "tasting" probably. I'm not a particularly technical wine enthusiast, so the formal tastings aren't necessarily required for me (though my husband loves them.) So I really mean, literally, just where could I get some smaller pours of a couple of different wines.

          The Downtown Joe's warning is also much appreciated!

      2. re: CarrieWas218

        If you mean the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County), it's not open for lunch.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Thank you Melanie! That is sad for my lunch, but very helpful!

      3. Willi's Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. They have a spinoff in Healdsburg as well.