Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Taste of Napa: Wine-Infused Coffee at Molinari Caffe - Napa, CA

Molinari Caffe - Napa, CA | Taste As You Go
Molinari Caffe - Napa, CA

This is the eighth post in my Taste of Napa series.

After kicking off our final morning in Napa with a tour of the shops and restaurants of Napa's Riverfront, we found ourselves making an unscheduled stop at Molinari Caffe for some coffee. For some wine-infused coffee. We had been hearing so much about this marvel of coffee world that we insisted on popping in to try it.

Molinari Private Reserve Coffee | Taste As You Go
Molinari Private Reserve Coffee

Owner Rick Molinari sources the cafe's coffee and tea directly from John Weaver, one of the most accomplished coffee roasters and tasting experts in the world. With Weaver's help, Molinari refined the process of infusing coffee with wine, thereby combining his two favorite beverages into one.

Molinari Private Reserve Coffee | Taste As You Go
Molinari Private Reserve Coffee

The highest quality 100% Arabica coffee beans grown in the South American Central Highlands between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea are dried and then re-hydrated in wine. Then the beans are dried for a second time before being roasted and packed to maintain optimal freshness and flavor.

Molinari Private Reserve Coffee | Taste As You Go
Molinari Private Reserve Coffee

Molinari Private Reserve Coffee | Taste As You Go
Molinari Private Reserve Coffee

For our impromptu tasting, we learned more about the infusing process while watching as the coffee beans were ground and brewed in a French press.

Sipping Wine-Infused Coffee at Molinari Caffe - Napa, CA | Taste As You Go
Wine-Infused Coffee at Molinari Caffe - Napa, CA

The result was unlike anything I had ever tasted before in my life! (Well, obviously. This was the first time I ever had wine-infused coffee.)

To understand the complexities of the coffee, our first sip was of black coffee. It first smelled and tasted like blueberries, with the flavor of the wine coming out at the end.

Then we added a little milk to the cup and sipped again. Amazingly, the milk caused a reversal in the presentation of flavors, with the flavor of the wine much more pronounced at the beginning. I was so impressed by the flavor of the coffee that I purchased a bag of beans to bring back to Pennsylvania with me so I could brew them at home for Stephen.

If you'd like to try Molinari's Private Reserve Coffee but can't make it out to Napa, then fear not, my friends. You can order the beans online from their website!

And, with the holidays coming up, I think a bag of wine-infused coffee beans would make an incredible gift for the coffee-and-wine-lover in your life. Just a suggestion. ;-)

Molinari Caffe
815 Main Street
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 927-3623 | Map

For more of my Taste of Napa series, see:

Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I was provided with the opportunity to travel to Napa on this press trip at no cost to me. I did not accept monetary compensation for writing about the trip or about my experiences while in Napa. All opinions expressed are my own.

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