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: These sessions are on hiatus on-site because of the coronavirus pandemic. Starting May 4th, they’re being held online; participants able to pick up the eight 1.5-ounce vials at Compline can reserve a slot and participate via Zoom.
Go Light or Fill Up
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 food and food-friendly wines. Depending on your mood and executive chef Yancy Windsperger’s menu du jour, you can go light with items that might include pork belly with orange glaze or vegan crudités and hummus. The burger (on a Model Bakery bun), bavette steak salad, and a vegetarian lasagna ample enough for two to share are among the heartier fare. If you get the burger, the duck-fat fries are a must. Update: Until coronavirus restrictions are lifted the restaurant is offering a takeout menu only.
Giving Back to the Community
In response to the coronavirus, Compline has stepped up by supplying dozens of meals daily to hospital and other frontline workers helping the community weather the crisis. As of April 10th, Compline had delivered more than 3,000 meals. For $20, you can purchase a meal for health-care workers and first responders.
Saturday Supper Club
California’s shelter-in-place directive may have dimmed the social aspect of Compline’s operation, but not Windsperger’s creativity. Each week he fashions a two-course Saturday Supper Club for 2 meal that can be “finished on your stove—with minimal effort and zero skills required.” The inaugural entrée was cioppino (seafood stew), paired with a rosé from Scribe Winery and accompanied by a cheeseboard. For locals who can access the restaurant, it’s a good deal.
This story first appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.