The Gift of Love

Everyone has heard the saying, “Give the gift of Life”, referring to giving blood. And I encourage you to support your local blood bank by giving the “Gift of Life”. However, I’m not going to take up the subject in this article. Rather, I would like to discuss giving the “Gift of Love”.

The “Gift of Love” I’m referring to is giving a bottle of your favorite wine. I’ve discussed some of the aspects in previous articles and have held tastings based on the “Love” theme. I can not find another product where the producer puts as much love into growing and producing their product, as winemakers.

Winemakers are an exceptionally proud lot. They are quick to show off their product, as demonstrated by the many different wine contest. And they are quick to show off their wines’ awards from these contest. Like all artist, it means a great deal when you, the consumer, find a wine that you like and complement the winemaker on his or her creation. In today’s electronic age, it doesn’t take much of your time to send a simple email to let the winemaker know how much you enjoy their product. And it means a great deal more than you think.

I was speaking with my business manager the other day and reminding her that passion is what drives us to succeed in life. Passion, another word for love, is what drives us to give our best effort. It is evident when you consider those who excel, whether it be in work, a hobby, or marriage. Only when we loose our passion do we fail.

One of my passions, as many of you know, is wine. I can’t help but love the history of wine and appreciate all the love that goes into producing wine. Passion is what drives the viticulturist, the person that grows the grapes, to get up in the middle of the night to check on what effect the frost is having on the vineyard or to get up and start picking in the early morning before the grapes are heated by the sun. Passion is what drives the viniculturist, or person that uses the grapes to produce wine, also know as a winemaker, to work around the clock at harvest time to get the grapes in and start the fermentation process. I encourage you, if you haven’t done so, to visit a winery during harvest and witness the process for yourself. You will come away with a new appreciation for wine.

Passion is what also drives me to share my appreciation for wine with my friends. I love sitting down with a group of friends and sharing a bottle or bottles of wine and discussing the history behind the wine and the passion that went into producing it. If you haven’t been to one of my tastings, I invite you to send me an email, so I can add you to my notification list...

This month’s recommendation is an exuberant wine that epitomizes the passion of winemaking. Many of today’s California wineries were started by someone’s passion for a hobby. In the 1950’s, Dr. Donald Edmeades, a cardiologist from Pasadena, California, fell in love with the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County while vacationing there. He later purchased some land in Anderson Valley in 1963 and planted his first grapes. For a number of years, Edmeades supplied other wineries with grapes. In 1972, the Edmeades family began producing the Edmeades brand. The winery was sold in 1988 and Jess Jackson brought in Winemaker Van Williamson in 1994. Van Williamson is responsible for crafting Edmeades wines, which continue to receive awards from major wine competitions. The passion shows!

This month’s pick is the 2007 Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel. Winemaker Van Williamson has done it again with this wine. It is sure to win some Gold. Lay up a few bottles of this one and it is destined to develop into a complex and layered wine. The toast and spice from the oak aging before bottling should intensify with a few years of bottle aging. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

This is a very red Zinfandel with soft and supple tannins and the spiciness and smokiness common in great Zinfandels. The winemaker says that it is a little different from past vintages in that it leans more towards a mixed bowl of berries than the traditional cherry aromas, and I agree. And believe me, that’s not altogether a bad thing. However, I challenge you to compare the 2005 Edmeades Piffero Zinfandel, if you can find it. It is one of my favorite Zinfandels of all times.

And as I said earlier, if you find a wine you like, let the winemaker know. It is sure to kindle his or her passion for producing the best wines. And we all benefit when there is passion in the bottle and we share that passion with our friends.

Until next time, CHEERS!