Wine-friendly food, food-friendly wines at downtown Napa star.
Wine connoisseurs the world over have discovered Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant, and Merchant, a downtown Napa star since it opened in 2017. Matt Stamp (The French Laundry) and Ryan Stetins (the late Redd and Redd Wood in Yountville and Charlie Trotter restaurants in Chicago and Las Vegas) are behind this novel experiment: a combination wine shop, bar, restaurant, and educational space.
Apropos of wine education, Stamp, a master sommelier, often conducts the Compline World Tour, always on a Monday, which he describes as a 90-minute “deep-dive” into a particular subject or region. Past topics have included sherry, dry German whites, and the wines of Greece’s Santorini, with champagne revisited on several occasions. For these deep-dives, Stamp or a guest speaker gives a lecture followed by discussion, and along the way participants taste eight wines.
Update: Because of Covid-19, these sessions are being held online; participants able to pick up the eight 1.5-ounce vials at Compline on the day of the deep dive can reserve a slot and participate via Zoom.
The education continues in the restaurant, whose waiters are well versed in all things wine, including what to pair with your meal. Expect wine-friendly cuisine and food-friendly wines. Depending on your mood and the menu du jour, you can feast on items that might include rye cavatelli with duck confit and porcini or black cod with puy lentils. The burger (on a Model Bakery bun), a fried-chicken sandwich, and a vegetarian dish or two are usually on offer as well. If you get the burger, the duck-fat fries are a must.
This story first appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.