Not too long ago I was helping a friend, and a man came in, and I asked if I could help him. He had what I perceived to be a small problem, and I went and had the problem corrected as quickly as possible. While the problem was being dealt with, I started to chat with him as is my nature, and most people can attest to that. One thing led to another and I found out the gentleman was a wine representative for the Don Sebestiani & Sons. When his problem had been corrected, I was happy to have him go on his way, and I had told my friend that I was not going to charge him and perhaps he would come back again as a customer. My friend agreed, so all was good.
A few hours later, the young man returned with a rolling piece of luggage and it held eight bottles of wine, some samples of what he sold. We had an impromptu wine tasting and there were other customers as well. It was a grand old time. I will mention four of the wines, and then follow up with the other four in the next article.
The first two wines were a set of wines from Clarksburg, California called “The Crusher” and there is a strong affinity between the Sebastiani family and the Wilson Vineyard in Clarksburg. Since the Sebastiani family has been in business for four generations, I am sure that they have strong old strong ties with certain growers over the years. We tried The Crusher Chardonnay Wilson Vineyard 2011 and The Crusher Petite Sirah 2011. I enjoyed the Chardonnay better, as I found that the Petite Sirah was very fruit forward, which is not my favorite in wines, but it may be better if it has some time to mellow out.
The third wine was Don & Sons Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2011. The Sonoma Coast is an area that I have just recently started to notice and try some wines of this designation. I enjoy the Pinot Noir varietal, and I thought that this wine was a little light, but then since I had only tasted it without the pleasure of food to pair it with I will have to have another attempt with it, and to let the wine open up properly.
The fourth wine I will mention today is Project Paso Lonely Oak Red 2011 from Paso Robles, California. This was also a new wine for me, but I have been to Paso Robles during trips when we stayed in Carmel and I have an affinity for this designation as I have not had a bad wine from there yet. This particular proprietary red wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Malbec and Tempranillo and I really enjoyed this wine, and I am not a big fan of Zinfandel, but tempered as it was with the other wines it was a most pleasant drink. I could see it pairing with pizza, steaks and other red meats in a simple preparation.
It was a wonderful way to end the day, and it was all because I did someone a favor. The young man, who is very passionate about the wines he was offering, has become a customer of my friend and I hope that they have a long history between the two of them. It is great how in a simple conversation, you can find out about how wine can be a great catalyst and moment in serendipity.