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French Toast

Fabulous wines pair with Michelin bites at St. Helena’s Posh new tasting room.



Courtesy of VGS Chateau Potelle

When it comes to wine-tasting rooms, the experience often feels about as exciting as shampoo instructions: wash, rinse, repeat. Or: enter room, stand at bar, sip wine. VGS Chateau Potelle’s new Tasting House and Garden in St. Helena is a welcomed breath of fresh, inspired air, with wines accompanied by bespoke bites from La Toque restaurant.  

Formerly on Mount Veeder, the tasting room’s new address just off highway 29 beckons with its charming white cottage building and pastel yellow door punctuated by French and American flags. Says proprietor Jean-Noel Fourmeaux du Sartel, “Our visitors are accustomed to enjoying wine in their home or in a restaurant, so our tasting house and garden was designed to create that sophisticated and gracious environment.”

While the outdoor garden tent is reserved for club members, visitors can sit in petite banquettes, or stand at the communal table for a refined yet informal setting. The cheerful interior decor complements the exquisite wines, each paired in a four-bite flight prepared by chef Ken Frank’s team at the Michelin-starred eatery. “Ken thinks about wine with every dish he creates,” says Fourmeaux du Sartel. “He has the best pairing program in Napa Valley, and we are thrilled to be working with him.”
 


 

One pairing included a Moroccan morsel of lamb with the VGS 2009 Syrah, as well as buckwheat soba noodles and the Inevitable 2011 white blend. Don’t forget to inquire about the double entendre behind the VGS acronym. (We won’t spoil the secret.)

While the nibbles will help make this the toque of the town, it is that je ne sais quoi of the wines that makes us eager to return.

1200 Dowdell Ln., St. Helena, (707) 255-9440, vgschateaupotelle.com.

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