A hidden gem?
A winery is not the first place I would look to find a really nice lunch. A tasting with some nibbles is already great. Some wineries have restaurants (even quite famous ones). However, Most wineries I’ve visited in Napa Valley and Sonoma only have tasting rooms. Some serve small bites or pairings with their wines. However, I haven’t visited many wineries with a meal + pairing that’s as nice as the one I enjoyed at Robert Sinskey’s Winery restaurant.
First off, the space itself is gorgeous. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with high vaulted ceilings, large stone walls, and a gorgeous bar plus a few scattered high top tables. This must be where a lot of the smaller wine tastings can be done. Walk further in, and there’s a warm fireplace, which completes the cozy yet spacious feel of the tasting room.
But it’s the food that differentiates this place. Robert Sinskey’s wife Maria Sinskey is the culinary director at the winery. She’s set up a number of different culinary experiences that are paired with Robert Sinskey wines. These range from small bites and bento boxes to a full 5-course “Perfect Circle Chef’s Table” experience paired with RSV’’s finest wines and library vintages.
We did the Perfect Circle Chef’s tasting, which started with a tour of the winery where we learned all about the winery’s biodynamic / certified organic winemaking process. We learned about the founder, Robert Sinskey (current owner’s father, same name), who was a well known ophthalmologist and eye surgeon. There are eye-themed motifs throughout the winery.
After an educational tour, we sat down in the fireplace room to enjoy a lovely 5-course menu with 6 different special wines.
SLD Estate garden tomatoes, cucumbers, labne, and za'atar paired with Robert Sinskey Orgia, Los Carneros 2016.
Tarte Flambé topped with SLD Estate Tromboncino summer squash and preserved Meyer lemon, sweet red onion, crème fraîche, and garden herbs paired with Abraxas, Vin de Terroir, Scintilla Sonoma Vineyard, Los Carneros 2017.
Handmade ricotta gnocchi wood-fire oven roasted SLD Estate garden tomatoes, thyme, and Datterino Italian tomatoes paired with Pinot Noir, Four Vineyard, Los Carneros, Napa Valley 2016
Roasted Liberty Farm’s Sonoma duck, RSV orchard figs, garden beans， fig and mustard seed duck jus paired with Marcien, Proprietary Red, Los Carneros, Napa Valley 2012 and 2013 (one of each).
SLD Estate Vineyard caramelized heirloom pear and Frangipane tart salted brown sugar caramel ice cream paired with Pinot Gris Late, Los Carneros,, Napa Valley, 2018.
General Thoughts - Food and Wine Pairing at Robert Sinskey’s Perfect Circle Chef Table
What a unique and fun tasting! I really, really enjoyed this meal. In fact, it was up there in quality with many fine and well-known restaurants in the greater Napa Valley area. To me, since it’s inside a vineyard and doesn’t really have a separate restaurant name, it’s easy to miss. After all, this is not a restaurant. It’s a wine tasting paired with really, really good food. I like to think of it as a hidden find. The tour plus the wine tasting meal is a real treat, and would be a great way to celebrate a special occasion or hold an important business meal.
The Perfect Circle 5-Course (6 wine) Chef’s Tasting is $225pp. There are other priced options, such as the more casual 3-course (6 wine) Eat Drink Tasting ($125pp), Root to Table tasting with a Board of nibbles ($95pp), or the Flight of Five ($50).
All in all, I highly recommend coming here, and I would not hesitate to come back for another meal.