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Celebrate Thanksgiving in Edinburgh with some delightful Napa Valley wines

An Edinburgh wine guru has picked his top ten wines from Napa Valley – with your chance to try them in person.

Published: November 16, 2016
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After a busy day there’s nothing quite like a nice glass of wine to help you kick back, relax and recharge the batteries.

And when dining out a carefully chosen bottle of wine to complement your meal can really add that extra ingredient to an enjoyable evening.


As a nation we are consuming more wine than ever before and the range of produce on offer from vineyards all over the world is vast.

When we think of wine producing countries France, Italy and Spain immediately spring to mind, but on the other side of the Atlantic, California is fast becoming one of the world’s leading producers of quality wines for all occasions and imports into the UK are rocketing and Napa Valley is the premium area.

Wine expert Gordon Minnis owns Edinburgh’s award-winning Calistoga Restaurant on Rose St, Lane North. The popular restaurant specialises in Californian-style dining and stocks an envious range of wines from the Golden State.

Here are Gordon’s top ten Californian wines from the Napa Valley region:

1. Sauvignon Blanc (2015, Duckhorn Vineyards)

This elegant wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon harvested from their estates and other select premium Napa Valley vineyards.

2. Sauvignon Blanc  (2015, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery)

The final blend captures the lovely fresh qualities and intense character of a rich Sauvignon Blanc.

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3. Chardonnay (2010. Staglin Winery)

A straw-coloured Chardonnay that demonstrates admirable restraint and beautiful finesse.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon (2010, Robert Sinskey Winery)

Deep, dark, and brooding, this wine needs some air to show its full potential.

5. Pinot Noir (2012, Black Stallion Estate winery)

The ideal harvest conditions meant they could harvest each vineyard block at its peak, delivering some of the most impressive wine in recent memory.

6. Merlot (2012, Rutherford Hill Winery)

Aromas of fresh raspberry jam spread on warm toast. There is a lot happening in this bottle.

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7. Zinfandel (2013, Ca’ Momi Winery)

A juicy tangle of wild berry bushes meets bay leaf, juniper, and summer savoury. This is new Napa Zin in all its sun-soaked glory.

8. Syrah (2013, Truchard Vineyards)

This northern Rhone-style Syrah is smokey and gamey - California Cote Rotie, smokey with a little funk.

9. Cabernet Sauvignon (2010, Long Meadow Ranch Winery)

Patience and confidence were rewarded by fruit that was ripe, yielding a classically structured Cabernet.

10. Merlot (2010, Rutherford Ranch Winery)

Spicy oak and plum aromas give way to smooth dark berries and vanilla on the palate.

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Gordon said: “Californian wines are very popular and are currently the second most imported wines to the UK. All our wines come from California. We offer a Californian –style menu in the restaurant and our wine list reflects that.

“Our aim is to offer quality wines at an affordable price and to make wines fun and interesting.”

Sample all of the above wines at Calistoga's 9th annual wine fair

Popular at the Calistoga Restaurant are the regular private, tutored wine tasting sessions and coming up on November 24 they will be hosting a Thanksgiving wine tasting fair, buffet and dinner.

Gordon said: “This will be our 9th annual wine fair on Thanksgiving evening. It runs from 5.30pm until 8pm. The tasting and buffet will be across the lane in a room hired for the evening and dinner will be served in the restaurant. Over 60 wines will be available to taste, with great offers on the evening.”

Before that, on Saturday, November 19, the restaurant, with the support of Napa Valley Vintners, is taking part in the Wine Gang’s wine tasting extravaganza in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms. The Wine Gang online publication is one of the UK’s leading authorities on wine. There will be around 300 wines on offer to sample and some of the industry’s leading wine experts at the event.

• You’ll find Edinburgh’s Calistoga Restaurant at 70 Rose Street, Lane North. For more about Calistoga Restaurant, its popular wine tasting events or to make a reservation call 0131 225 1233 or visit

• Promoted by Calistoga Restaurant

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