This summer I was driving from San Diego to Las Vegas, when after a two week stint in the capital of US wines I realized: I hadn’t gone to a single vineyard.
The realization hit me in San Lois Obispo County–it was hot and it was a desert. I thought, as I frantically looked up vineyard names I didn’t recognize, it might be okay this time to ‘not seize the day’ and pass on something you might not want to discover. The heat was cloying, and a coke sounded better in the arid air.
Fast forward to this week when the first snow in Minnesota hit, and a white blanket–and darkness from daylight savings time–dampened our spirits. In a word, this week was hard, and as I headed home to unwrap even more boxes from my endless move, I thought: I need wine.
The wine: Laetitia Estate Pinot Noir, Arroyo Grande Valley 2011 sung to me on the shelf of Whole Foods, North Loop, MSP. Simple packaging, a sales price and a description that said, “Coastal Terrace 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean” I started to rethink my image of “dry and brown” from this summer’s jaunt. That close to a coastal region, the cooling effects of the Pacific would have a cooling and softening effect. It did.
The wine couldn’t have been better for what I wanted: a sigh of relief in a bottle–that was on sale for $15.99 (Kinda like Calgon, take me away, circa 1982 prices for wine). The taste sung of deep red cherries, clove, light oak singed with smoke, slight pepper, and herbaceous, earthy undertones. It entices as you lift it up to your mouth to taste–great, leaning smells of fruit and libraries.
This was beautifully balanced, fruity, complex, delicate–and a blanket all in one. You know the day–every pore is screaming, “stop–I can’t take another moment of being wrung out.” This blanket is a nice blend of cashmere–it wafts softly around the stress, versus a Richard Simmons “let’s get moving!!” Cabernet Sauvignon from Cali.
This wine is worth it. Buy it for a friend, your next party, or a viewing of desert pictures online–it will be a good friend for the night, and after the day I’ve had, I might very well skip the workout in the morning. Ole, dude.