The Wine Spectator’s BYO Magnum Party – Napa

Mia has been fortunate to be invited to The Wine Spectator’s “Bring Your Own Magnum Party” for a few years now.

I’ve been even more fortunate to be her guest invitee.

The first year I went it was like a celebrity scene for me. I was like a country girl on her first day in the big city, looking up at the tall buildings, with mouth agape.

Here I am with all these famous winery owners and famous winemakers, and we are just hanging out with them all enjoying great food and wine!

The “Bring your own Magnum Party” is a party put on by The Wine Spectator at Tra Vigne in St. Helena.

We had so much fun in the last few years, that we have been looking forward to this year’s party for weeks.

The Food. It’s over the top fantastic (hello it’s Tra Vigne), and there is always plenty to eat. The pasta station (ravioli, braised lamb pasta) and the wood fired pizza is always a favorite of ours. Mia liked the beef with creamy polenta and I loved the quail with baby pea salad. Not to mention the staff is spot on in all areas of service.

The Wine Spectator BYOM always has a live band too, so the music is great.

The Magnums. They are everywhere! I don’t even know how to begin describing the wine you see there. It’s not just any wine, these are wines I would never have the opportunity to try in my lifetime. There are older vintages (70’s, 80’s, 90’s) as well as just released wines that are really limited.

The People. Everyone is there! There is no other party like this anywhere. Period.

Why is this party so special?

Winemakers and winery owners have an inside joke with each other that the only time they get to see each other is (at a distributor tasting) out of town. These are friends who have known each other for decades. Yeah, some of them get together and keep in touch, but for the most part, everyone is busy, so they don’t get together as often as they’d like.

So, you meet while you are in some other state pouring your wine at your distributor’s trade tasting, during your 20 minute break (to woof down a deli sandwich and a water). Not much time but it’s great to get caught up, and visit with a few friends.

Other events are charity dinners, fundraisers, auctions… in which someone is always working (pouring wine or hosting).

I can’t think of any other party/event that allows winemakers, winery owners, and vineyard owners the chance to hang out all night with each other and get caught up with old friends, while being introduced to new friends.

No one is ‘working’. No one is pouring their wine. Everyone is hanging out, telling stories, laughing and having fun. It’s the most relaxed I’ve seen people in this business all year, Mia included.

Like I said, there is no other party like it. Nothing even comes close. It’s pretty cool that Wine Spectator does this every year. It’s something that all of us look forward to.

Mia and I weren’t the only people thanking everyone we saw from The Wine Spectator last night. More than once, someone would say, “Isn’t this awesome?”.

So thanks to everyone at The Wine Spectator! Especially this year, when we all really needed a night to hang out and laugh. – Skippy