Cadet wine bar in Napa offers new musical spin on an old pour

Image Credit: John Storey

By Janny Hu

It's a simple mantra – scribbled above Cadet's vast collection of vinyl LPs – that explains why, one night, we were bopping to the Beach Boys, glasses of Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir inhand.

In a town with almost limitless drinking options, downtown Napa's newest wine bar is laying down its ownsoundtrack.

Cadet reflects the charm of its young owners: Colleen Fleming, whose family owns Kelly Fleming Wines, and Aubrey Bailey, a former sommelier at the French Laundry. Since Cadet opened over the July Fourth weekend, Fleming and Bailey have been chatting up customers, refilling water glasses and hand-cranking slices of prosciutto in their modern and modest space. Never far from the conversation:drinks.

Fleming and Bailey named their bar with purpose. A cadet is someone in training; Cadet aims to be a jumping off point for exploring a world of wine and beer that pays homage to Napa but also looks farbeyond.

The easiest entry into this sort of training is their list of wines by the glass ($8-$15), including four on tap. Standouts include Hobo Wine Company's Workbook White ($8) and Frog's Leap Young Vine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($12).

From there, the list grows more eclectic and looks beyond a Napa-centric mold; Frog's Leap is one of just two wines from the valley offered by the glass. So your next glass might be a red blend from Donkey & Goat, grown in El Dorado County, or an Olga Raffault Chinon from the Loire. And since winemakers are thirsty folk, the Monday industry nights bring pours from magnum bottles and large-formatbeers.

Beers lean toward small Bay Area breweries like Walnut Creek's CaliCraft and Alameda's FactionBrewing.

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