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Porthole Cruise Magazine - December 13, 2019

Grape Destinations: Seize the Wine!

There is a quaint wine bar and restaurant called Carpe Diem in downtown Napa Valley. It serves ostrich burgers and house made burrata that makes me salivate at the thought of it. My mother discovered this wine bar within its first year of business. I had recently turned twenty one when she first took me there. As a Napa native, I felt hasty to finally get a taste of the most desirable pleasure Napa Valley has to offer… I am talking about wine, of course!

Discover a Napa Valley Wine Bar

Carpe Diem has a hip atmosphere that always permeates truffle oil, and a welcoming staff who invites their guests to indulge in late-night “wine-wise” decisions. I asked the bartender what he recommended. He poured me a glass. Soon, my palate was overwhelmed with delicious flavors— it was love at first sip.

The wine that has forever stolen my heart is Buoncristiani O.P.C.  The Buocristiani Wines are solely family produced by the four Buoncristiani brothers. Old Pa’s Cuvee, or O.P.C., is in honor of the brothers’ father, and celebrates generations of Italian style wine making. It is a bold blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Merlot. Standing at 14-15% ABV, this wine not only tastes good, but makes drinkers feel good. It is big, seductive, and quite a secret to the rest of the United States.  I have tasted every vintage from 2007 to 2012. It is about time I join their wine club to accumulate their next released vintages!

RELATED: Grape Destinations: Scent, Memory and Great Wine

I drank more than a bottle’s worth that night at Carpe Diem, and realized I paid for it by the glass. It was such a rookie move, but I was purple lipped happy from all the flavors.  What I love about wine is that every bottle tells a story. My first time tasting the O.P.C., and the many nights at this Napa Valley Wine Bar, will forever remain as some of the happiest times of my early twenties. I am sharing this story to not pass up a visit to Carpe Diem or Buoncristiani Family winery for travelers heading to Napa Valley. As for me, a now Virginia local, reminisce on the good times with every sip of shipped Buoncristiani wine I keep in my cellar.

-Marti Cassinerio

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