A wine dinner in San Francisco? Yes please!
Lately I have been having a blast interacting with great people on Instagram. I adore photography and truly enjoy seeing what Instagrammers (photographers) are capturing. I had a wonderfully engaging conversation via Instagram with the Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco all about our spectacular trip to the Napa Valley and my great wine and winery photos.
My new friend on Instagram suggested that we come to a wine dinner at the hotel in the “Michelin Star” Campton Place Restaurant where Chef Srijith Gopinathan would prepare a feast that paired excellently with the wine. Prior to the dinner we would be treated to a wine lecture from Rob Davis, the winemaker of the Jordan Vineyard and Winery! Craig and I are always enthusiastic about wine, outstanding cuisine and we absolutely LOVE San Francisco, so this was a very easy decision. We confirmed our seats with Richard Dean:Master Sommelier, one of only 150 Master Sommeliers worldwide. With our reservation confirmed, we were all set.
As you may have heard from me before, chefs are like ROCK STARS to me. I am constantly in awe of how they utilize various combinations of flavors, textures of ingredients, as well as visually beautiful preparations! I love learning about different types of dishes, eating them, as well as experimenting in my own kitchen. I truly appreciate the vibrant colors and the marvelous artistic presentation of each dish. I was photographing my meals way before the trend of taking photos of your food had gone viral. Craig is so patient with me when we are out at a restaurant. He always asks “Are you taking a photo of this? Is the light good enough?” Actually, I have rules about taking photos of my food in a restaurant. I only use my iPhone, no large camera, absolutely no flash, that is such a rookie move. I try to be as discrete as possible and take them very quickly. Unfortunately, many restaurants keep the light low for ambiance, which makes for difficult picture taking! Oh well, I honestly don’t need a photo of everything I eat! Really, I don’t.
Campton Place is an elegant and beautiful boutique hotel, and so welcoming! Attending a wine dinner was another new and special adventure and we were thrilled to participate. The minute we strolled through the magnificent double doors, we were kindly greeted and sent on our way to the tasting room. We arrived promptly at 7:00pm and the party had already started! Note to self: Come early!
The guest of honor, winemaker Rob Davis of Jordan Vineyard and Winery, was already entertaining the room with his compelling stories and enthusiasm. At our beautifully presented table, we were each seated with five glasses, crackers and water to “cleanse the palate”.
Rob Davis began the evening by sharing his personal journey as a winemaker. He has been enjoying this lifestyle (it doesn’t feel like a job to him) and holds the rare distinction of serving as winemaker at a singular winery for more than 35 years. That is remarkable! He shared tales of being a young man traveling with André Tchelistcheff, who was considered America’s most influential post Prohibition winemaker. The two winemakers made many trips to France to visit caves, chateaux and domaines and that experience influenced all aspects of winemaking at Jordan.
We were captivated. He is a great storyteller.
Neither Craig nor I are wine experts in the slightest, however, we are most certainly enthusiastic participants and eager learners! We tasted the five different wines and listened and learned.
We were then escorted upstairs to the exquisite Campton Place Dining Room and as we were shown to our seats, were delightfully surprised to be seated with the winemaker himself! How fortuitous! We were also seated with a friendly group of diners and oenophiles, all with a variety of talents and intriguing personal stories. Meeting and talking with our engaging dining companions was a highlight for us.
Chef Srijith dazzled us with the most amazing meal and was more than accommodating by preparing a special dish for me in place of the Beef Tenderloin (I don’t eat beef). Chef Srijith grew up in Southern India where fragrant and exotic spices were commonly used by his family. This rich family history, along with his vast education and experience was evident in every delicious bite. The food was out of this world!
The dinner was superb and with each course a new wine was served. Evidently we were offered ultra special vintages and for that we were grateful! Of all of the incredible wines we were served, the 2009 Chardonnay Jordan Vineyard Russian River Valley was my favorite and Craig’s favorite was the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Jordan Vineyard Alexander Valley, en Magnum.
And we received gifts to take with us!
I am not a restaurant reviewer or a wine connoisseur, but I do appreciate delicious and exciting food and possess a small amount of wine knowledge just to be a bit dangerous. We were not paid to attend, we were just two curious empty nesters looking for their next delightful adventure…and we found it in the Campton Place Dining Room with a glass of Jordan Vineyard Cabernet.
If you like wine and food and want to learn more, I highly recommend attending a wine dinner and especially one at Campton Place if you are in San Francisco.
30 thoughts on “San Francisco: A wine dinner with Jordan Vineyard & Winery at Campton Place”
Sigh. Looks so great I can taste it! Awesome review Suzanne.
Thank you Kim! It was as good as it looked!
Love the tasting placemat with the little circles! So helpful for memory. Yes, I have been to wine tasting dinners, the most memorable of which have been in Minneapolis at Spill the Wine. This dinner looks fabulous with a real artisan flair. Fun!
Betsey: It so fun to hear about other wine dinners. Isn’t the tasting placement clever?
What a lovely evening this must have been! The gifts were frosting on the cake. Lots of high end restaurants in SF have been doing this.I’d be vegan if i didn’t love Beef Tenderloin so much….
Carol: The gifts were unexpected, but certainly appreciated! My husband loved the Beef Tenderloin.
I adore wine dinners with pairings. We belong to a club that brings in winemakers, usually from napa valley and we always try to go and purchase the wine we like 🙂
Oooh Vicki, I think your wine club sounds fabulous!
That looks like a fabulous evening of wine and food. It’s been a long time since I’ve attended anything like a wine dinner. You make me want to search one out again.
Donna, I bet there are dinners like this in your area. If you do decide to go to one, please write about it!
You had me at Jordan. The rest is all a bonus.
So true Elaine!
San Francisco is one of our favorite places to visit, especially since we have two grandsons and parents living nearby. I have made note of this restaurant as a must enjoy for our trip this fall thanks to your amazing review.
Thank you Neva! Since you have family in SF, do you have favorite spots you like to visit?
It sounds like you had a wonderful time! I am always impressed with food presentation — so creative!!
Yes Marilyn we did! In addition to the wine and delicious food, our dining companions were so interesting!
San Francisco is such a great city, made even better with great food and wine. And wow, what a beautiful sky in that first picture!
Thank you – Can’t take any credit for the sky – I just took the photo. Nature at its best! Thank you for reading and commenting!
You had me at ‘wine’! I shouldn’t have read this before dinner, because now whatever I prepare is going to look like beans and weiners by comparison!
Jane, you are so right! I don’t eat like this at home either!
I experienced a wine dinner in New Zealand and it was wonderful. I love your posts as you have many beautiful photos and seem to do things I like to do when I’m on vacation. Safe travels!
Michelle – I know we have a lot in common. New Zealand is on my list. We made it to Australia (also a great place for wine) but it is such a huge country there was no time for NZ. We must go back.
We often attend wine dinners to learn about wines and experience new pairings. Like you, we aren’t professionals but sure enjoy them!
We can all learn a little at a time about food and wine pairings. We are really learning quite a bit each time we visit a vineyard or an event.
Great review and wonderful photos. You made me so hungry!
Thanks Michelle! It was soooo delicious!
Wow, the tandoori shrimp looked amazing, and I loved the table setting. I think the way everything is presented is so important in the overall enjoyment of a meal out. For me it’s all about doing things that inspire me, intrigue me and perhaps what I wouldn’t have thought of doing (or be able to do) at home. (Nice to meet you, I found you at Boomer Travel Bloggers on Facebook where I sometimes link my other (Travel) blog ZigaZag on Mondays too.
HI Johanna! Thank you for your kind comments! I love the way food looks as well. I don’t have the training, but I do appreciate the end result! Thank you for visiting and I will come visit your website as well!
What a delicious feast and tasting — making for a very enjoyable blog post. I’ll have to get to Campton Place! Jordan wines are wonderful. We served Jordan Cabernet at our wedding reception (years ago) and everyone raved about it. The other wines were not nearly as popular, even though they were fine wines, too.
Thank you Cathy! That Jordan Cabernet is killer, isn’t it?