What do Ralph Lauren, potato chips and a scale model of an Oceana cruise liner have in common? They are three of the ingredients that make Silver Trident Winery in Napa’s Yountville region pure magic. Allow us to explain.
Bob Binder and Walter Jost began making wine in 2009. Binder happens to be the co-founder, president and CEO of Oceania Cruises as well as vice chairman of Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. As you may have guessed, Binder’s time in the cruise industry inspired the Silver Trident name. An ultra-small production to start, the winery’s focus is single varietal cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc as well as a proprietary Napa Valley Red Blend.
By 2015, the couple was ready to expand a bit, and did so in only a way someone with decades of experience in the hospitality industry could: by opening a residential-style tasting home in 2015 along the main drag in Yountville – walking distance from The French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro to give an idea of what lies along this “drag” – partnering with Ralph Lauren to outfit the space. And we don’t mean a designer went to Macy’s and bought out the Ralph Lauren décor. Every inch of the space is a showcase of Ralph Lauren Home’s best and brightest designs, including wallpaper.
If unfamiliar with the partnership, or Binder’s connection to Oceana, walking into Silver Trident for the first time is jarring. But in a good way. The best way. There is floor-to-ceiling Ralph Lauren as far as the eye can see but also a massive replica of an Oceania cruise ship front and center in the home. Together, it is all quite a spectacle.
Once you catch your breath (having the welcome splash of rosè that is offered to all guests helps, by the way), it is time to sample the wines. Our favorite way? The Potato Chip Extravaganza (yes, that is the real name).
During this extravaganza, five of the winery’s best offerings are paired with five types of potato chips, each from a small production company like them. Somehow, when the salt (and chocolate, in some potato chip cases) and wine combine, both flavors come together in a harmonious science experiment in your mouth. The wine amplifies the flavor of its paired chip, and vice versa. And it all happens while a truly animated and hilarious wine expert guides you along the way with as many laughs as facts about what you are actually drinking. It is anything but stuffy, to say the least.
For those who are unable to visit in person, Silver Trident even offers a potato chip pairing experience with a full package of tasting supplies and video that anyone can enjoy at home.
And then, of course, there are the actual wines. We are partial to the 2019 Playing With Fire Proprietary Red Blend for its notes of blackberry and boysenberry; the 2017 Benevolent Dictator Russian River Pinot Noir because it is a cherry jubilee; and the 2016 Twenty Seven Fathoms Cabernet Sauvignon for its cinnamon, spice and very nice notes of vanilla bean and cocoa. However, there isn’t a bad bottle in the lineup.
The only thing bad about any experience with Silver Trident, in fact, is that it ever has to end.
To learn more about Silver Trident, visit www.silvertridentwinery.com.