They Know Pinot!
Looking for the heartland of American wine? Thinking Napa Valley? Maybe, but try a little further to the northwest: Sonoma County. That’s where you find the dark Pinot. You can read about it at Forbes (which, incidentally, has a good Wine & Spirits feature on the web, including The Booze Blog). About Sonoma County growing: “Promising, maybe; nerve-racking, definitely. Here’s your business plan: ‘Three years out of ten you’ll get the best wines you’ll ever make, three years will be a total crop failure, and the other four will totally depend on your familiarity with the vineyard site and your willingness to adapt.’ This from Bob Cabral, winemaker at Williams Selyem in Healdsburg, who makes Pinot Noirs from several iconic Sonoma Coast vineyards, including Pre-cious Mountain, an off-thegrid family-farming operation at 1,400 feet. The wines so smote the affections of one Williams Selyem partner that he suggested buying up any land for sale nearby. ‘Fine,’ answered Cabral. ‘But one year we might get 15 barrels of wine from there, the next year 5 barrels. You ready to live with that?'”
From The Booze Blog:
“This will fix your stomach better than anything,” he said. “It’s just a lot of bitters and seltzer, stirred together.” For a visual, think carbonated Pepto Bismol or a cheesy sci-fi movie prop. “Drink it quickly,” he said. “Don’t shoot it, but get it all in your stomach right away.”
“Does this work?” I asked.
“We’ll know one way another in 15 minutes, won’t we?” he said with a smile. “I’m timing you.”
I forced the drink down over about two minutes. The waiter came back to make sure the cup was empty, then returned with seven minutes remaining and again with four minutes to go. When the time was up I didn’t feel like I could run a marathon or fight Mike Tyson, but the room was no longer spinning, my stomach was no longer twisting and my head no longer hurt.
“Told you,” the waiter said proudly.
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