Silver Trident Winery: Wine Tasting at Home

Let me set the scene for you. White roses frame the Silver Trident Winery sign which hangs at the lattice-shaded entrance to the home. Your tasting experience begins with a warm welcome and a glass of chilled Silver Trident Apollo’s Folly Rosé of Pinot Noir as you are shown into the elegantly furnished living room. You sink into the Jamaica Salon Sofa and notice the Pall Mall Cocktail Table is set with three wine glasses.

As you contemplate the pleasing combination of delicate berry flavors, stony minerality and juicy finish of the Silver Trident Rosé, a plate of small bites is presented to you. Each of the four small bites has been created to pair with a specific Silver Trident wine which, over the next half-hour or so, will be poured for you.

If this doesn’t sound like your usual wine tasting experience, you are not alone. It was quite a unique experience for us as well. We were recently treated to a tasting of five Silver Trident wines along with four food pairings at the Silver Trident Tasting Home in Yountville. With Beth as our guide, we learned about the Silver Trident Winery and how the Tasting Home idea developed. She explained the details of each wine as she poured it and described the accompanying food pairing. All in the comfort of a living room setting.

The Idea

Bob Binder and Walter Jost are the founders of Silver Trident Winery in the Napa Valley. Together with winemaker Kari Auringer they produce small-lot wines sourced from Napa and Sonoma fruit in a style that is food friendly and capable of aging gracefully. The current 1800-case production is made at the Laird Custom Crush facility in Napa. 2009 was their first vintage.

The idea for the Silver Trident Winery Tasting Home came about as a result of Bob Binder’s business association with Ralph Lauren Home. Bob is also co-owner of Oceana Cruises. While working with Ralph Lauren Home on the redecoration of the staterooms aboard the cruise ships he learned Ralph Lauren Home was looking for an opportunity to open a northern California showroom. That got him to thinking about the possibility of offering wine tasting in a home setting.

Wine tasting in the town of Yountville is a unique experience because the Yountville Town Council requires wine tasting rooms in town to use at least 25% of their floor space for retail sales of items other than wine. You will find wine tasting rooms in town that also include wine accessories, artwork, antiques and even cookware.

Yountville seemed the perfect place to combine Bob and Walter’s Silver Trident wines with Ralph Lauren Home furnishings. You won’t find a wine bar in the Silver Trident Winery Tasting Home. All tasting areas are seated. There are three tasting areas in the downstairs portion of the home: a living room, dining room and library which can accommodate larger groups. Tasters are free to visit each room of the home, wine glass in hand, to taste and shop. Essentially everything in the fully furnished rooms may be purchased.

In a home setting wine is always enjoyed with food, so to complete the idea Silver Trident collaborated with chef Sarah Scott to create food pairings for each of their wines. Sarah has been cooking in the Napa Valley since the early 1980s and has developed a talent for food and wine pairings. She is the co-author of a cookbook with Connie Green titled The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food.

The Pairings

SilverTridentSauvBlanc2014 Symphony No. 9 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc paired with labdah. The Sauvignon Blanc tends toward mineral and tropical fruit flavors, with bright acidity and a nice weight in the mouth thanks to partial aging in French oak and time spent on the lees. 14.2% abv. $28.

The labdah, a blend of preserved lemon, chèvre, Greek yogurt, herbs, sea salt and black pepper, was a delightful pairing with the Sauvignon Blanc. The citrusy, creamy flavors of the labdah accentuated the tropical fruit and stony minerality of the Sauvignon Blanc.

SilverTridentPinotNoir2013 Benevolent Dictator Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir paired with cremini mushroom duxelle. The Pinot Noir has generous earthy, berry bramble and dark fruit aromas are followed by flavors of red berries, earth and a bit of spice. The tannins are smooth and the wine finishes with lively acidity. The aromas led me to expect a riper style of Pinot, but this was a lovely bright version of the variety. 14.1% abv. $55.

The duxelle, a combination of chopped cremini mushrooms sautéed with red wine braised onion, truffle salt, garlic, onion, olive oil and lemon juice, was rich and earthy. The flavors reflected the earthiness of the Pinot Noir and the nice acidity of the wine was a pleasing contrast to the richness of the duxelle.

SilverTridentRedBlend2012 Playing With Fire Napa Valley Red Blend paired with a cheese spread on crostini. The name for this wine comes from the non-traditional blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Malbec and 20% Syrah. The color is inky dark ruby-violet in the glass. Generous dark fruit and spice combine with herbal aromas and hints of asphalt. Flavors are extremely complex with lingering savory notes and significant tannins. The finish is quite long. 14.5% abv. $45.

The cheese spread is the chef’s version of that Southern invention, pimento cheese — only better. It is made with aged gouda, cream cheese,  piquillo peppers and (of course) mayo. The creamy flavors pair perfectly with the rich fruit flavors of the wine and soften the tannins in the wine. The piquillo pepper flavors echo the savory notes in the wine and pair nicely.

SilverTridentCabernet2012 Twenty Seven Fathoms Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a savory shortbread. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from the Beckstoffer Vineyard as well as from Bob and Walter’s own Cabernet vineyard in St. Helena. Medium to dark ruby in the glass with generous dark fruit, red fruit and earthy aromas. The flavors follow the aromas with the addition of spice, leather and herbal notes. The tannins are smooth and well-integrated with a long finish. Lovely, complex flavors without being too ripe. 14.1% abv. $85.

The aged gouda and thyme shortbread cookie is rich, buttery, a bit nutty, salty and delicately herbed. The richness of the cookie pairs beautifully with the rich flavors of the Cabernet and the clean acidity of the wine. I wanted to ask for a second cookie in the worst way.

I used to feel that tasting wine without food was the only way to gain a true understanding of a wine’s flavor and complexity. Recently, though, I have had several wine tasting experiences that included food and am having to rethink my point of view. This was one of those experiences. Savory food pairings with wine work very well for me as long as I taste the wine first, concentrating on those flavors before tasting the food and wine together. It is always good to keep an open mind.


The Silver Trident Winery team has succeeded in creating a relaxing, fun environment in which to taste their wines. As we tasted through the wine and food pairings, we heard laughter coming from the other tasting rooms. Occasionally another taster would stroll into the living room. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones enjoying our tasting experience. Retail therapy along with food and wine pairings appears to be a winning combination.

Thanks to the folks at Silver Trident Winery for the great wine tasting experience. You will find the necessary details to plan a visit on the Silver Trident Winery website.


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