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September 20, 2011

étoile Restaurant, the Michelin-starred restaurant at Domaine Chandon Napa Valley

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étoile, the Michelin-starred restaurant at Domaine Chandon, is one of Napa Valley’s most celebrated destinations and the only fine dining restaurant in Napa Valley located in a winery. An extraordinary setting, innovative regional California cuisine with a French influence, and seamless service combine to create the ultimate food and wine experience. At étoile, Chef Perry Hoffman marries classic, French-influenced technique with contemporary culinary innovation and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Hoffman works closely with Chandon winemakers to explore the interplay between wine and food, enhancing the experience of both. Guests may dine a la carte, or explore the ultimate food and wine pairing experience through Chef Hoffman's tasting menus at lunch and dinner. The restaurant features a Wine Spectator "Best of" Award Wine list and received a Michelin star in the 2010 and 2011 Michelin Guide after being recommended in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
... adapted from OpenTable



That was a beautiful day. After waving goodbye to the Golden Gate Bridge and driving through a couple of long winding roads, we're finally there at Napa Valley!!

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You know what... for 20+ years in my life, this was the first time that I witnessed the countryside scenery in Anne of Green Gables or Little house on the Prairie... I was totally astonished...

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Our first winery stop in Napa Valley was Domaine Chandon. Due to the very limited time we had, I could only shortlist maximum 3 wineries to visit. Serge suggested that I should grab my lunch at étoile inside Domaine Chandon, and do some tasting of sparkling wines (they have more than just the classics) before we go for the more traditional type of winery tours.

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Happily prepared to be drunk tipsy~
Nah! Not so easy after consuming cheese and some fat from the brunch.

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The sensory garden of Domaine Chandon.
This sensory garden is one of the many tools we use to explain wine and food pairing and the important roles of flavor and aroma. These boxes contain plants that represent the flavors and aromas found in Chandon wines. We invite you to discover the ultimate sensory experience in our étoile Restaurant  where we draw from extensive gardens on our 300 acre Yountville property to develop wine inspired culinary creations that not only pair well with our wines, but take the epicurean experience to the next level. We also explore this topic throughout our tour and during our intimate Portfolio Tasting immediately following.

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étoile means stars in French.

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The outdoor dining area. Lucky day in a winery, with sunshine without drizzles in Spring!!

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I equally love the indoor seating as well. Here I could enjoy listening to Jazz and Blues.

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The tasting bar.

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Chandon~ Chandon~ Chandon!
Don't keep me waiting~~

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Reserved for Club Chandon Prestige Members only. (><)

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Take a peep on the menu. Full menu view here.
Bright Eyed & Bubby Menu (Daily 10am - 1pm)
Tasting Lounge Menu (Daily 10am - 5pm)

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And then.... I got my bubbles! Brut Classic for myself and Reserve Pinot Noir Brut (if I did not remember wrongly) for Serge.

Brut Classic, 90 Points Wine Enthusiast, December 2009
"A nice, everyday bubbly that offers elegance at an affordable price. Chardonnay contributes crisp flavors of limes, wile Pinot Noir brings deeper flavors of cherries. A lovely wine that grows in the glass."

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I actually had a hard time choosing from the long wine tasting menu~

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Sparkling juice NO NO~
These are real sparkling wines!

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After a few sips before the alcohol hit my brain, I must consciously stop drinking but continue eating.
Tips to avoid getting drunk too easily due to overwhelmed wine tasting -- cHeeSe and fAtss.
Lucky to have chosen this Michelin-starred restaurant for our brunch. The sensory experience, they called. Pairing food and wines to pamper your taste buds to the max.
It was also my first time to have such worthwhile culinary experience far away from home...

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Cambozola and Smoked Mushroom Panini ($12)
caramelized red onions · arugula
Paired best with Carneros Pinot Meunier

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Carneros Pinot Meunier
Tasting Notes: Bright fruits greet the nose with fresh plum, raspberry, boysenberry and strawberry jam. Deliciously fresh and juicy flavors of cranberry and pomegranate are balanced by roasted aromas of cola nut and hints of bay laurel. Pinot Meunier as a varietal offers earthiness to sparkling wines and that character is revealed in the still wine as notes of soubois. The 2009 vintage is distinguished by superb aromas and lively, vibrant palate.
Food and Wine Pairing: This medium-bodied and flavorful wine is a perennial great match for grilled meats. It can push the limits of pairing, from grilled salmon to the mild spices of Indian food or try it with Middle Eastern food like falafel.


Artisan Cheese Board ($16)
sliced baguette · marmalade
Paired best with Brut Classic or étoile Rosé

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Brut Classic
Tasting Notes: Classic balance typifies this refreshingly soft, yet dry wine. The wine delivers complex apple and pear characteristics accented by citrus spice over notes of almond and caramel in the bouquet. When you taste Brut Classic, look for nutty flavors with hints of brioche that build to a refreshingly dry finish.
Food and Wine Pairing: Winemaker Tom Tiburzi recommends serving Chandon Brut Classic to refresh the palate when eating salty, creamy, or nutty foods such as Caesar salad, fried calamari, oysters, or fresh sashimi and sushi.


étoile Rosé
Tasting Notes: In keeping with the traditional rosé winemaking method, we add a small amount of red wine (Pinot Noir) prior to tirage to create the distinctive salmon color with copper hues. The wine is elegant and restrained with fresh aromas of plum, raspberry and nutmeg. These aromas follow through on the palate and are layered with subtle and delicate flavors of cocoa powder. The wine finishes with excellent length and richness that will stand up to a variety of foods.
Food and Wine Pairing: The understated power of this wine with its bold but elegant character is an excellent match with the richness found in foie gras. It would be a natural accompaniment to salmon or trout dishes or for the adventurous chef – duck confit with plum salad. For even more fun, try this elegant wine on a romantic picnic.



Scottish Salmon ($15)
smoked and rillette · caper-shallot tapenade · fennel "slaw" · chive crème fraîche
Paired best with Reserve Chardonnay Brut

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Reserve Chardonnay Brut
Tasting Notes: Chandon Reserve Chardonnay Brut offers a combination of intriguing aromas; honey, fuji apple, poached pear, malt, toasted hazelnuts and dried flowers. Similar flavors of honey, pear, custard and lemon tart persist over the creamy, rich palate.
Food and Wine Pairing: This wine's subtle and creamy qualities make it an excellent food wine, particularly well suited for seafood dishes like lobster or a decadent cheese plate. The crisp acidity provides a satisfying contrast to tempura and fried calamari.


Another thing that makes Domaine Chandon such an engaging experience is their winery art. It integrates the superb work of local talents with the beauty of their winery and natural setting. As you stroll along the place, you'll encounter vivacious watercolors, oils, photography, and sculpture.

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The grapes were grown in three of California’s finest appellations: Yountville, Carneros and Mount Veeder.
Yountville has a slightly warmer climate produces riper Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit, which contributes to the richer more robust style of their reserve wines. While Carneros is Napa's cool and breezy district, one of California's finest areas for growing Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are integral to sparkling wine. And last but not least, the steep well-drained slopes of this portion of the Mayacamas Range of Mount Veeder produce small, intensely flavored Chardonnay grapes, which are also essential for making bubbly.

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If I wouldn't need to consider about the excess baggage cost, I will buy a carton.
It's still too cheap for a bottle if you compare to those cheap wines available in Malaysia!

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So... do you think I would leave without a bottle? =P

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Information adapted from Chandon.com


Address:
1 California Drive
Yountville, CA 94599

Tel: 1+ 888 242 6366 Opt. 2

étoile Restaurant Business Hours:
Lunch: 11:30am-2:30pm Thurs-Mon
Dinner: 6pm-9pm Thurs-Mon
Closed: January, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Visitor Center Hours:
Open Daily: 10am - 6pm
Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day

Website:
http://www.chandon.com/etoile-restaurant.html

3 comments:

Thank you for visiting the winery, we're happy to hear you enjoyed your visit. Cheers!

What a surprise to be 'visited' by Domaine Chandon! =)
Definitely looking forward to go back again~ I have yet to taste enough!

Nice! I only recently found your blog, but have enjoyed the post and will be back to read again soon.

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