I remember my first experience pairing food and wine together while on a tasting room tour of Wine Country. Before this, I had simply gone wine tasting with a few friends and stopped at a restaurant in between. We were total novices in our early 20’s.
I was in Napa for a high school friends 22nd birthday when we stopped at Domaine Chandon. We were served a flight of bubbly paired with a lovely cheese & charcuterie board to enjoy along with complimentary views of the rolling grape covered hills beyond. I was hooked.
Since that time, I have become quite the experienced food and wine taster, and quite the picky one, as some may tell you. One of my favorite places to bring friends or family when visiting to pair food, wine and terrific views is St Francis Winery in Kenwood, CA.
It also helps that it is only a stones throw from my home and the backdrop of the mountain vineyards is hard to beat.
I have tasted with the folks at St Francis Vineyards and Winery on several occasions and enjoyed each one tremendously. Apparently the people of America agree with little ole’ me. St Francis Food and Wine Pairings were voted ‘Best Restaurant in America’ by Open Table diners in 2013.
Having dined with them in San Francisco at the San Francisco Wine Center and also at the Kenwood Winery, I know that they can both plate a fierce meal.
With attention to detail and exquisite plating techniques, each course is presented well and with fine dining style flair. Read our article about a night of St Francis in The City Here.
My favorite courses of the current menu (which changes seasonally) have to be the Fava bean first course, not only for the freshness and the wonderful chardonnay that it is paired with but also for the lovely colors on display at the beginning of the meal. I also love the duck course for the smoky flavors of the duck really coming through when paired with the red wine. I am not normally much of a duck fan, prefer confit style only. But the way that Chef Bush has prepared the duck is spot on for the juice paired.
“More important than the food pairing is the person w/ whom you drink the wine”….and might I add, each time I had terrific company.
Dining in between Winemaker Katie Madigan and Marketing Guru Aura Bland for my first journey through food and wine with St Francis was phenomenal for the breadth of knowledge presented by these fantastic ladies. But I have to say, my latest trip to St Francis topped them all and as I mentioned before, the person with whom I drank the wine did make all the difference.
Sorry Aura and Katie, but dining in style at St Francis paired with a handsome, charming and attentive gentleman wins out in the end. It was nice to be invited to a food and wine pairing by a thoughtful friend and also very nice to get to know him better.
Wish I had done that sooner. I tend to have something to say, you may have noticed from this long winded article….hardy har har…. and finding a man who is willing to listen to my plethora of ideas presents its own challenge, not to mention finding a man that may even appreciate one or two of the aforementioned ideas.
Geert had noticed that I enjoyed St Francis through my social media pages and it is hard not to notice my appreciation for food as well. We had an instant connection. With that in mind, he had chosen St Francis to meet and of course little ole’ Amy had no idea that he planned the trip up to Sonoma just to say hello to me. Having traveled so far and visited Northern California for only 3 days, I had assumed that he just mentioned being at the winery for an event and thought I should come too.
Once I realized the amount of flattery he was throwing my way, it was time to sit up and pay attention. Perhaps I am not use to a man being so genuine and full of compliments, refreshing to say the least. Sometimes I can be a bit busy and unassuming. I wish I had scheduled more time to spend that weekend enjoying Wine Country with a friend.
In summary: St Francis Winery and Vineyards offers estate and small-production Artisan wines with the most breathtaking view in Sonoma Valley as well as food and wine pairings and events. Giving guests a real mix of activities to choose from.
Discover crafted wines from Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley estate vineyards as well as a variety of wines from other acclaimed Sonoma County appellations.
St Francis Winery & Vineyards – Website Here
100 Pythian Road at Hwy. 12
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Phone: (888) 675-WINE (9463)