Bounty Hunter began as a wine shop and added their “smokin BBQ” to draw in new customers.
Downtown Napa’s Bounty Hunter Wine Bar began in 1994 as a wine shop offering over 400 wines, with even more available in their catalog. Then in 2004, they decided to add in some “smokin BBQ” to draw in even more guests with the irresistible smell from their meat smokers. We would say this strategy has worked well for Napa’s Bounty Hunter as the restaurant has quickly taken on a life of its’ own. By 11am guests were already lining up to enjoy some of their famous BBQ. By 11:30am there wasn’t a table available.
They specialize in highly allocated and rare wines forging relationships with local producers.
First, before diving into their amazing BBQ, we had to start with some wine tasting. The wines at Downtown Napa’s Bounty Hunter Wine Bar are not typical of what you would find in traditional wine shops. The manager, Marc Gigantelli, likes to refer to some of the selections as more “geeky wines” from small local wine producers. They also specialize in highly allocated and rare wines forging relationships local producers and international distributors.
My favorite was their Frontier Justice which retails at a steal for $175 per bottle.
For our wine flight, we got the Killer Reds. These wines are exclusive to the Bounty Hunter wine club and for good reason. The 3 Napa Cabernets included Frontier Justice, Waypoint, and Pursuit which were all 2014 Vintage. My favorite was their Frontier Justice which makes complete sense since we found it retails for $175 per bottle. This price tag is actually a steal for Andy Beckstoffers vines which are grown at the To-Kalin Vineyards in Oakville. These are the same rare vines used to source grapes from well-known wineries such as Opus One and Robert Mondavi.
Time to dig into their famous Beer Can Rotisserie Chicken!
After our wine flight, it was time to dig into their famous Beer Can Rotisserie Chicken. This Cajun spiced, free ranged, and air chilled whole bird comes to the table perched on a Tecate beer can ready to carve. It is quite the presentation! Chef Brandon Watts explained to us that the majority of chickens are chilled in ice baths, however, air-chilling chickens do not add any water weight. This produces an incredibly juicy and flavorful bird. Additionally, the Tecate beer adds an amazing flavor by evaporating into the chicken as it cooks.
We paired our chicken with mac & cheese, coleslaw, cornbread, and baked beans.
Finally, for sides, we paired our enormous Beer Can Chicken with some baked beans, coleslaw, cornbread, and mac and cheese. Our server from our 3-D dining experience at the CIA actually told me not to leave without getting the cornbread. She was right! It was delicious along with everything else. It’s no surprise locals love Downtown Napa’s Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin BBQ. If you follow our Instagram you can see how awesome and juicy this chicken is. I even got compliments on my carving skills!
Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ
975 First Street,
Napa, CA 94559