Top Wine Stories of 2007

Wine Country Guide
Napa Valley Nightlife - Part I

by Courtney Cochran

At first blush, Napa Valley strikes as a destination with an almost exclusive emphasis on daytime activities, with after-dark draws a forgotten part of the action.

But on closer look, you'll find the valley offers plenty to experience after the sun goes down, from lively dining scenes to dive bars, tasting rooms and entertainment offerings from comedy acts to top-notch musical and theatrical performances.

Read on for tips on staying engaged after wine tasting in the city of Napa.

CITY OF NAPA

Located in the valley's southernmost reaches, the City of Napa boasts a population in excess of 130,000, making it by far the most populace of the valley's various enclaves. Accordingly, it offers the lion's share of evening attractions, boasting plenty to keep visitors diverted from cocktail hour through last call.

Chow

Bounty Hunter: A popular watering hole with locals and out-of-towners alike where owner Mike Pope offers an impressive international selection of beer and wine by the glass alongside home cooking-inspired savories like Beer Can Chicken. 975 First Street, Napa (707) 226-3976, www.bountyhunterwinebar.com

Oenotri: Casual-cool southern Italian restaurant lauded for its authentic cuisine and Neapolitan-style pizza. Friday and Saturday nights see late night dining from 10pm to midnight, with late night specials and a buzzing bar scene serving as backdrops. 1425 First Street, Napa (707) 252-1022

Morimoto: The much-anticipated Napa outpost of Iron Chef America star Masaharu Morimoto is the epicenter of the upscale dining scene in Napa. Lounge seating in the dining area draws stylish types who keep a lively scene sparked into the late hours. 610 Main Street, Napa (707) 252-1600

Taste

John Anthony Vineyard:Together with his wife Michele, second generation Napa vintner John Truchard hosts animated tastings at his sleek downtown tasting room. Walk-ins are welcome, though special, late night VIP tastings require an appointment. 1440 First Street, Napa (707) 265-7711

1313 Main: Boasting a contemporary design and pouring a rotating selection of more than 1,300 wines, Al Jabarin’s new 1313 Main is open until midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Hungry? Try the spot's artisanal small plates emphasizing local purveyors. 1313 Main Street, Napa (707) 258-1313 1313main.com

Carpe Diem: Open until 11pm Fridays and Saturdays, this wine bar from a trio of young entrepreneurs pairs hearty gourmet bites – think duck confit mac 'n chees - with a broad selection of beer and wine, including a reserve wine list highlighting mature pours. 1001 Second Street, Napa (707) 224-0800, See Review

Listen

SILO'S: Featuring a rotating selection of acts from local stars to international luminaries, this spacious music venue on Napa's revitalized waterfront matches up entertainment with wine and late-night bites (click here for Killer Bread Recipe). Look for shows most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 530 Main Street, Napa (707) 251-5833, www.silosnapa.com

Napa Valley Opera House: A landmark entertainment venue in downtown Napa, the Opera House draws an expertly curated selection of classical and contemporary musicians, theatrical groups and dancers to its stage year-round. 1030 Main Street, Napa (707) 226-7372, www.nvoh.org

Uptown Theatre: What do musicians Boz Scaggs, Chicago and Band of Horses have in common? They've all played the Uptown, downtown Napa's gem of a performing arts venue housed in a beautifully restored art deco building. 1350 Third Street, Napa (707) 259-0123, www.uptowntheatrenapa.com

Dance

Uva Trattoria: Locals' favorite Uva pairs up Italian comfort food with a warm atmosphere and engaging live music on busy nights, featuring genres from jazz and blues to rock, pop and funk. Grab a partner and twirl the night away on the lively dancefloor. 1040 Clinton Street, Napa (707) 255-6646

Bistro Sabor: A quick-service Latin American eatery from local vintner-cum-restaurateur Ariel Ceja, Bistro Sabor is home to weekly Saturday night dance parties featuring Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Bachata and Reggaeton hits until 1:30AM. Sí! 1126 First Street, Napa (707) 252-0555, See Review

Drink

Henry's Cocktail Lounge: If you're craving AC/DC on the jukebox as a contrast to your sophisticated daytime sipping, Henry's on Main Street is the dive-y drinks location you have in mind. Expect a younger, mostly-locals crowd and cash-only bar. 823 Main Street, Napa (707) 257-3008

STAY TUNED for Part II of Nighlife in Napa Valley!