Having Some Wine in a Department Store

Ms. Yoga was in town for a few days and like a Swirling Dervish, all things came to a halt, so that we could have some fun and a change of pace.  There will be a few stories and of course, some wine.  One of the days, we were going to meet some others at a restaurant and it was going to be a dry dinner, and there are dinners like that.  The restaurant that we were all going to end up meeting at has a stellar reputation for good quality food, and they do have a bar, but in deference, we refrained that evening for the other couple. The restaurant is also famed for not taking reservations and of course, we still are experiencing limited seating unless, we were dining with the governor.  We had a two hour wait to get a table, and being at a major shopping mall, that could be dangerous, especially when Ms. Yoga and my Bride get together. 

Fear not, they both were on a shopping moratorium and we went to one of the anchor stores at the mall.  This anchor store was a real powerhouse, until the state attempted to kill retail, and it was rather sad to see how sparse the racks were, for such a large store.  I grew up in retail, I guess you can say, as I did it from high school, then retail paid for college (I had to pay the difference of what my scholastic scholarship didn’t cover; of course, back then, it was expected that if you went to college, you paid for your college.  When I got out of college, there was a huge economic plunge and I figured that I had a job, and a diploma would be useless collecting unemployment checks, and back then, unemployment was odious to the working middle class that I was brought up in. All of this is to say that when I was in retail, there was an old adage “that you can’t sell from an empty wagon.” Anyways, I remember the glory days when department stores were like J. L. Hudson’s and were grandiose, alas, this was not the way it is now.  I mention this, because we went and got a table at this department store in their restaurant, and we were going to kill some time until the restaurant called us for a table.

We decided that the three of us were going to share a bottle of wine, before we had dinner.  We ended up having a bottle of Simi Winery Sonoma County Chardonnay 2019. Simi Winery is located in Sonoma County and it is one of the longest continuously running wineries in California.  It was founded in 1876 by the brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi and they started off being known for their Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines.  With their long existence they had some influence about wine not only in Sonoma, but in California.  Isabelle Simi (Giuseppe’s daughter) took over the winery in 1904 and was able to keep the winery intact during the first of the Federal governments attempts to create a Nanny State, when they tried to ruin the country with the Volstead Act or usually referred to as Prohibition.  While she had to sell some of the property, she was able to keep roughly five-hundred-thousand cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel wines during Prohibition.  Simi Winery was also operational during all this time by producing wine for sacramental and “medicinal purposes,” and the Volstead Act all but ruined most of the wineries, breweries and distilleries in the country.  And by being allowed to maintain the wine in barrels, it gave Simi Winery a running start when smarter heads prevailed and decided that the government should not dictate social mores. In 1946, Isabelle founded the Sonoma Grape Growers Association, and she eventually sold Simi Winery in 1970, but continued an association with the new management. In 1981, Simi Winery was bought by Moet Hennessey and since then it is now owned by Constellation Brands.  The Simi Winery Sonoma County Chardonnay 2019 that we had was a blend of ninety-nine percent Chardonnay and one percent other.  I will venture to say that this wine was fermented in Stainless Steel for a short period of time.  The nose offered baked apples and some citrus, and on the palate, it was well balanced with a touch of tangerine and shortbread with a short finish.  It was an easy drinking wine for the three of us to enjoy, by itself while we had a lively conversation.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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