“A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it.” – John Le Carre
When you here someone say I work for the CIA or that they have been there, many things can come to mind; like espionage, intrigue, spy-games or danger. But what usually does not immediately spring to my mind is private label wine, found among chef inspired dishes. Unless of course we are not talking about the trench-coated spies of the CIA, which many folks will either loathe or love, dependant on your political perspective.
No we are talking about none the other than what has now become the very famous CIA headquarters in St. Helena, California. The Greystone Campus, which has a Hogwarts look and feel about it, is known to most foodies and wandering-winos as the Culinary Institute of America. A great place to visit the next time you find yourself in heart of Napa wine country. A wonderful respite from the hurried pace of the Napa tasting room scene to grab a bite of lunch before heading back out to the next winery tasting room on your list. Reservatons recommended.
The Culinary Institute of America has developed a private-label wine program. From that program has come one of the better values in California Chardonnay in quite a long time. The current vintage, Greystone Cellars Chardonnay 2010, is chock full predominantly Santa Barbara County fruit. This private label wine made for the CIA Greystone Campus has crafted a really well made Chardonnay, which has something to offer every palate. It’s also a food pairing champion, the perfect pairing is Seared Scallops with Peach Beurre Blanc & Herbed Spinach Linguini. This wine is best served cool and is immediately approachable, tropical notes play nicely with small bites of apple, laid over a silky body, finishing with toffee and spice. The music match is “Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon from the soundtrack The Spy Who Loved Me. You might pay more, but you won’t drink better.
This wine is currently selling in the $9-11 USD range; I found you can pick this wine up for the lower end of the range at your local San Diego Costco warehouse. Greystone is distributed by Terlato Wines International. The wine is featured on the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant wine list, selling for $30, a healthy mark-up. I scored this wine a crisp 87 points and give it a hearty buy recommendation. Sip long and prosper. Cheers!
This was a “boys on the side” guest post by the inimitable Bill Eyer of Cuvee Corner. Bill has been diving head-first into the wine vat for the better part of a decade and loves to educate people on wine almost as much as he loves drinking it (and that says a lot, my friend). Peddling wine is Bill’s day gig, it’s a tough job, but someone has to drink it. If you like Bill’s style, you can find his work on the new media site, Cuvee Corner. When he’s not globe-trotting, drinking vino or writing about wine, you can find Bill basking his carcass in sunny San Diego.
photo credit: Bill Eyer ©2011