L’Apéro les Trois

    L’Apéro les Trois

    A delightful new tasting room bubbling with the conviviality of a French bistro opened recently in downtown Winters. L’Apéro les Trois, which specializes in wine-based aperitifs, is a collaboration by three of Yolo County’s most notable doyennes of food and wine: cookbook author Georgeanne Brennan, winery entrepreneur Corinne Martinez and winemaker Nicole Salengo.

    An aperitif, for the uninitiated, “is intended to be a beverage before a meal that opens up the palate,” explains Martinez. “But we believe it’s also about a moment in time; it’s when we pause. We’re setting aside whatever we were busy doing and we’re pausing to spend time with family and friends.”

    L’Apéro’s charming patio and lounge are ideal for savoring such moments. In the French tradition, pairs of street-facing bistro chairs are positioned for taking in the town’s Main Street activity. Inside, a mural of a pastoral scene (installed for a prior tenant) “celebrates Winters and farm country and family,” says Martinez. “I knew the mural had to stay because it fi t so well with the farmhouse style of the aperitifs.” A baby grand player piano in the corner strikes just the right notes for transporting you to a place far more relaxing than wherever you came from.

    Georgeanne Brennan, Corinne Martinez and Nicole Salengo
    Georgeanne Brennan, Corinne Martinez and Nicole Salengo.

    But the winning ambience is only half the story. L’Apéro makes some terrific-tasting aperitifs, all of which get their unique character from locally grown ingredients: quince, orange, apricot, green walnut, Mission fig, Meyer lemon. Sample a flight or two with a companion to find your favorite. When you do, your waiter will prepare an additional glass for you served neat or as a spritzer.

    L’Apéro les Trois may be new on the scene, but in a sense its origins date back to 1970s France, where Brennan was first exposed to making and enjoying seasonal aperitifs. In the 1990s, she wrote an aperitif-themed cookbook celebrating these fortified wines and the snacks that are often enjoyed with them. The three partners seized on the resurgent popularity of aperitifs with this new venture.

    Brennan developed the lounge’s appetizer menu, which includes a small selection of thoughtfully conceived bar bites meant for sharing. Not to miss are the gougères, diminutive choux-based cheese puffs served warm from the oven. If Paris or Provence aren’t on your itinerary in the near future, this pleasant tasting room ought to be.

    L’Apéro les Trois

    22 Main St., Winters;
    (530) 402-1172;