Kari Auringer, winemaker at Silver Trident Winery, reminded us why we loooooooove recording our shows in-person. It was just so much fun to visit with Kari at the Silver Trident Tasting Home in Yountville, California. It would not have been the same recorded long-distance. Getting to see reactions to the wine, share ideas, and kibbitz in the same room made all the difference!
Not only is the home decorated beautifully by Trevor R. Howells, exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home décor, but you can buy all the goods in the home as well, from the drapes on the windows to the plush, leather seats you sink into while enjoying the wine.
The atmosphere made it so enjoyable to relax and talk with Kari about her journey into a career in wine. A Madison, Wisconsin, native, Kari never anticipated a career in wine. She was going to be an artist! (And she did follow that career path for a while.) But then came wine…
The wine bug bit during one very memorable wine and food pairing experience and Kari was hooked. (And we are the luckier for it, as her wines at Silver Trident are special.) We began by tasting her 2018 Silver Trident Apollo’s Folly, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast. Fruit-forward but light as can be, the rosé reflected a beautiful pink salmon color and floral aromas on the nose. Refreshing and crisp, the hosts were immediately enamored as Kari walked us through the accompanying Perfect Pairing and (wait for it…) Potato Chip Extravaganza!
That’s right: This was our first ever wine and potato chip pairing experience. In fact, we don’t know of another winery offering this type of pairing (although many are familiar with pairing potato chips with all manner of sparkling wines). And these aren’t just any grocery store chips! These are curated, artisanal potato chips. Try it!
Silver Trident’s name is a tribute to the owners’ long-standing affiliation with cruise ships. Bob Binder is the founder of Silver Trident Winery and the co-founder of Oceania Cruises, a luxury cruise line which has partnered on projects with the Wine Spectator, Lalique and Bon Appetit Magazine. The winery’s co-founder is Swiss-born Walter Jost, an accomplished advertising and media executive.
The afternoon wore on with much laughter, story telling, and (of course) several more Silver Trident wines tasted. The 2018 Symphony No. 9, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, was lovely with aromas of pineapple and tropical fruit. It had an interesting, lovely mix of crisp acidity integrated with a certain creamy roundness. This paired beautifully with the Labneh Goat Cheese with Preserved Lemon and Herbnc canape.
Then we moved into the reds: All were delicious, well-balanced, and had finishes that drifted on and on. These included the Benevolent Dictator Pinot Noir from the Russian River appellation (one of Kari’s favorite projects to work on); Playing with Fire, Napa Valley Red Blend (which appeared destined to go with a huge variety of foods), a refreshing blend of Malbec and Cabs (Sauvignon and Franc); and the Twenty-Seven Fathoms, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll have to tune in to hear the story behind the “Twenty-Seven Fathoms” naming of this rich Cabernet…
When asked about what she sees as the biggest challenges going forward, Kari’s immediate response was “climate.” She isn’t the first winemaker to identify the quickly evolving climate patterns as a significant factor in the inevitable changes coming to Napa Valley and beyond. We touched on this point more than once as Kari emphasized her careful review of source vineyards throughout the state before choosing specific ones for the fruit profiles she was seeking out for different wines in the Silver Trident portfolio.
Silver Trident has a vibrant wine club (The Flagship Club), which Kari told us holds THE BEST events throughout the year. And if the heavy traffic visiting the Tasting Home while we were there is any indicator, she wasn’t fibbing! (Members even get discounts on the Ralph Lauren Home décor!
The wines! The décor! The potato chips! All made for a “perfect pairing”–but it was the company we kept, getting to meet Kari in person, and see the hosts in person, that made this show particularly memorable.
Learn more at: https://www.silvertridentwinery.com/