Jeff’s Corner 6-18-21


The story I wrote for today featured our exciting new 2020 GCV Cuvée Blanc, but I got a little ahead of myself and it won’t be released for a week or two. Instead, I hope you enjoy one of my all-time favorites from August, 2019:

Hola and Hello

I’ve wanted to write this story for some time now, but somehow it always seemed to get pushed aside. Finally, here it is.

A while ago, I was doing a wine tasting for a young man and my passion was taking over and he asked me “Exactly what is it that you like about wine so much?”. Well, I have to admit, I was taken aback and stumbled through a pretty sloppy answer. All I knew was that I have had a life-long love affair with wine.

Last night, I jotted down a few thoughts, and here they are in no particular order except for this, which is an obvious #1. Forty years ago, Kathy and I fell in love over a bottle of Mouton Cadet, an inexpensive Bordeaux that we still enjoy occasionally. For four decades, sharing wine has brought us untold amounts of pleasure, and we haven’t missed too many nights.

Wine can be enjoyed on whatever level we desire. Folks are often intimidated when they come to my bar and the first thing they say is “I know nothing about wine”. My answer is always “If you like wine, you know everything you need to know, we all get to decide how much icing we want on our cake”.

Wine is a “living” thing, it evolves in the bottle and in the glass. Like a book, every bottle is an adventure and a mystery waiting to be explored, and each of us perceives that adventure differently with common motifs.

Wine has a magical way of bringing people together; it is a universal bond between many different beliefs, ethnicities, and cultures. I’ve been fortunate to share wine with people from all over the world, and it’s always an enriching experience.

Wine plays to all our senses. Sight, smell, taste, and texture are all part of the sensory experience, and the sound of it being poured into our glass begs anticipation. There is also a delightful interplay between objective and subjective evaluation that opens the door for endless discussion.

We all know what a wonderful accompaniment wine and food are to one another. From appetizer to entree to dessert, they enhance our everyday dining experience, and transcend special meals to a celestial level.

Wine is as varied as humanity; there are hundreds and hundreds of grape varietals that can be produced in a myriad of different styles, and when we blend different varietals into the same wine the options are as limitless as the stars.

These days, there are good wines available at every price point; it is no longer a beverage of cheap drunkenness or affluence. Quality wine can be enjoyed by almost everyone on a daily basis, and for special occasions great wines are available at every budget friendly price as well.

Finally, on a personal note, my career has afforded Kathy and me many great wine adventures, including judging the San Antonio Express-News/KLRN Wine Competition for 12 years, and speaking at the New Braunfels Wein & Saengerfest for 3 years. For the past 4 years, I’ve had the honor of judging the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, perhaps the most prestigious event in the country.

Anyway, this is enough of my thoughts. If you’re reading this, it means you too are in love with wine. So, please drop a comment and share your passion regarding this wonderful beverage.

I can’t wait to hear from you…