Through the course of a calendar year, every day is special, and once a year my Bride has her day. Of course, she is so special to so many people that she has multiple celebrations with family gatherings, her cousin’s gatherings, her co-workers and people from her church (and I am sure that I still missed some). Her celebrations go for as many days as are required to get everyone accommodated. As I say, she is a very popular and well-liked young lady, though I am sure that there are some that question her sanity being with me, but that is another article that might entail a tome of research and writing. One of her friends has already added to her new culinary collection of Mackenzie-Childs. She also received a couple of bottles of wine. Most people, I guess are intimidated with the thought of buying wine for me, but not for my Bride, as she is always known to enjoy a glass or two at get-togethers.
The first bottle of wine that she received is Gnarly Head 1924 Double Black Red Wine Blend 2017 from Lodi, California. Gnarly Head is a brand from the Delicato Family Vineyards who own the Clay Station Vineyard and also contract from assorted growers from the Kramer Vineyard. The Gnarly Head produces a couple of different “Red Wine Blend” offerings. I realized that the Red Wine Blend is a proprietary blend, but they are very secretive. The fruit is harvested at night to maintain the acidity and aged for a couple of months in a mix of French and American Oak. While they give a few glimpses into production, there is no indication of any grapes used in this blend, but I will go out on a limb and deduce that Zinfandel has to be a key player, with the gnarly vines from old plantings that can be still found in Lodi. The rest is up for discussion, especially when we open up the bottle.
The other bottle of wine that I will mention is Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Blue Label Merlot 2016 from the Francis Ford Coppola Winery of Sonoma, California. While the winery is located in Sonoma, this wine has a California designation. If you think that Francis Ford Coppola has had a terrific career in films, he has also had a brilliant career as a winemaker. In 1975, he had the good fortune to reunite and purchase the entire Inglenook Estate, and years later we had a wonderful tour of the grounds, the facility, his film museum and a private tasting in one of the old Inglenook cellars, which was renamed Neibaum-Coppola. The flagship of the winery then and today was Rubicon, which I could not wait to try when we were there. In the 1990’s he created Francis Coppola Wines and a few more labels with the intent of having some good dependable every-day wines under the price of twenty dollars. He was so successful with this endeavor that he bought a new winery in Sonoma for all of his wine collections and he also moved his film museum there, and left the old Inglenook Estate in Rutherford to be hallowed and revered, as it should be. While the wine that my Bride received is affordable it still has craftsmen behind it. The wine is seventy-eight percent Merlot and the balance is Petite Sirah, and the wine was aged for twelve months in French Oak. I have always been partial to Merlot, so I shall look forward to trying this wine, of course with my Bride.