A luxury tour of Wine Country might not be at the top of yours or anyone’s mind right now, but Napa Valley is missing its steady stream of tourism. The region’s tasting rooms, like basically any other public place in which people eat and drink things, have closed. To connect with those whose shelter-in-place booze supply might be rapidly dwindling, Napa Valley Vintners, a California trade association, has launched Open The Cellar, a two-day online sale (ending today!) featuring 250 the region’s exclusive, rare, and hard-to-find bottles.
According to Robb Report, this is the second time NVV has introduced such a sale since social distancing measures began and personal travel was brought virtually to a halt. The wines for sale via Open The Cellar are “normally available only at the wineries, often just to mailing lists and many from rare library vintages.” Bottles range in price from $25 to over $600, depending on how fancy or discerning you feel from your couch-and-TV-appointed home tasting room.
While I briefly mulled the idea of picking up a $25 bottle as a treat—surely some upcoming special occasions on the calendar will require an at-home celebration?—I found that the ordering page allows you to filter the available wines by winery name, varietal, and vintage...but not price. Classic Napa! I filtered by vintage and selected “non-vintage,” which I understand to mean “blends.” In the much smaller pool of non-vintage results, I saw a wine literally called Cellar Scraps—bingo. With a name like that, it’s gotta be cheap, right? Hmm, well, actually, it costs $75.00. Let’s try again. I clicked on a brut rosé, because whenever I’m at a restaurant, the sparkling wines tend to be cheaper by the glass. Only $44! I’m getting warmer. It’s actually a pretty fun guessing game to try to track down the elusive $25 unicorn in the list, and puts your wine knowledge (in my case, a limited collection of half-remembered factoids from various tastings and conversations with my aunts) to the test. Anyway, if you’d like to see the very best wines that are typically unavailable to the average Joe online consumer, head to Napa Valley Vintners’ website and take advantage of their sale by the end of the day.