Sometimes after all that Napa Cabernet, you crave refreshment. And not just beer. Enter the 2012 Grassi Ribolla Gialla. To call this Italian white wine grape obscure (and especially in Napa) would be an understatement. But a few producers are waving the flag for RG either in blends or all on its own.
The Grassi was a lovely wine, served (too) frosty cold so we didn’t need an ice bucket. As this wine warmed up to cooler (not cold) temperatures it really started strutting its stuff. Pure pleasure! A combination of refreshment and surprising texture.
I enjoyed this wine at St. Helena’s Cook, a great, tiny place with a bar and a smattering of tables, with Kyle Schlachter of Colorado Wine Press. He was in town for the extravaganza that is Napa Valley Premier. I always knew when I connected with Kyle on Twitter that one day we’d drink a bottle of Napa Valley Ribolla Gialla in St. Helena. Uh, what? This is one of the cool things about social media and blogging.
Both dishes I had at Cook were very good with this white wine: a chopped salad with pancetta, pecorino, ceci beans, calabrian chilies, and a Meyer lemon herb vinaigrette. That was followed by seared Idaho trout with cannellini beans, pancetta, and cavolo nero. (They like their pancetta and beans here.)
Also a shout-out to the El Bonita Motel in St. Helena. Not only does it have this fantastic neon sign, but it’s also pretty damn cheap for St. Helena. The best part is that it’s within walking distance of all bars and restaurants. So go grab a beer at Ana’s Cantina and then head over to Cook.
And if you’re curious about Ribolla Gialla in California, check out the 8 (!) part series from Elaine at Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews. (Links to parts 1-7 at the bottom of linked post.)