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Attend a Napa Valley wine dinner this Friday without leaving your house

Whatever you thought you were doing for dinner Friday night has been cancelled. You’re now going to a wine dinner. In your home. With a big-deal Napa winery owner. And you don’t even have to put on pants.

That’s because the wine dinner will take place Friday, May 1 at 7:30 pm on Zoom, the videoconferencing platform that everyone is using these days for everything from work meetings to virtual happy hours.

The good folks at Haywire in Plano and The Ranch at Las Colinas will be doing all the cooking for you and supplying the wines. Jean-Charles Boisset, the co-owner of Napa wineries such as DeLoach, Buena Vista and Raymond (and Oakville Grocery), will be your host.

Jean-Charles isn’t leaving Napa and you don’t have to get dressed up. All you have to do is drop by Haywire or the Ranch to pick up dinner and the wines Friday afternoon, set your dinner table (or backyard it) then fire up Zoom on your laptop or phone. Yes! It’s a virtual wine tasting- and Jean Charles will be the emcee.

“If you’ve never met him, this guy knows how to work a room. He’s fun and outgoing and loves to talk about wines,” says Judd Fruia, the restaurants’ director of operations. “He’s been a good friend to our restaurant and we love him, so we decided to host a virtual wine dinner with his wines and our cooking.”

It’s the good stuff, too: A Bar N Ranch super-prime wagyu beef tenderloin, Gulf shrimp, chocolate cake. And three solid wines, including a full-size bottle of Boisset’s Buena Vista Napa cabernet.

Sounds expensive and super fancy, right? Except it’s not. The entire dinner – all the wines and food – is just $100.

The zoom software makes it really easy. The virtual room can host hundreds of people at one time, but Fruia says he’s limiting participation to just a couple of hundred people. You can choose to be on webcam or just go audio-only; it’s up to you. Jean-Charles will be on camera the whole time, hosting the dinner and interacting just like IRL. The Ranch GM Christine Agee and Haywire GM John Richardson will keep the flow light and breezy.

At $50 a head, there’s no way the restaurants or the winery are out for profit on this one. Fruia says it’s just a way to keep his staff employed and do something fun that no one else in town is doing.

And everyone who has always wanted to go have dinner with a Napa Valley winery owner will be wondering what the hell took so long.

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