A quality wine is a wonderful thing. However, what often separates a great wine from a merely good one is the shared experience that goes along with it.
Name: Caravina Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa Valley, CA
Consumed: April 19, 2017
Location: Mustards Grill, Yountville, Napa Valley, CA
Name: Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Consumed: April 14, 2017
Location: Prado Restaurant, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
Producer: Yellow Tail
Name: Sweet Red Roo
Consumed: June 09, 2013
Location: Shiva and Pushpa's House
Shivaram Siddappa and Pushpa Shivaram invited Michelle, Alexa, and I over for dinner at their home residence. The menu included tandoori chicken, biryani rice, curry, naan, and seasoned shrimp. Alexa was keen to hear about India -- and in particular -- Pushpa's training to become a pediatrician. Shiva and Pushpa explained aspects of Indian life; including the Hindu religion, city and rural life, television, corruption in government, education, gender inequality, and the numerous spices used in Indian cooking. Pushpa demonstrated how to wrap and wear a sari, and exhibited some lavish 22 karat gold jewelry she had recently acquired while in India. Then Pushpa "painted" on Michelle's hand using henna, a form of temporary Indian "tattooing". According to Indian lore, the darker the henna turns, the more the wearer loves her husband. Bu the following day, the henna lines on Michelle's hand had turned a deep, dark shade. Was it a reflection of her love? I certainly hope so.
Producer: Columbia Crest
Name: Two Vines Shiraz
Region: Washington State
Consumed: June 08, 2013
Location: Amber Grill, Stevens Point, WI
Michelle and I enjoyed this wine while sitting on the outdoor patio, next to the fireplace, at Amber Grill in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. There was a musician named Scott Kirby who played acoustic guitar and sang. He told a deeply affecting story about a high school friend who had passed away, and then played a song dedicated to her entitled "L.A.M.b." (which is an acronym for "Lindsay Ann McKenzie, beloved").
Why do you cry and look so forlorn?
For I have been healed; my soul released
From a beautiful body whose function has ceased.
My power is not limited by human form
And I will continue the purpose for which I was born.
My life was but an introduction of what I will bring
As I continue to inspire all of you to sing.
Producer: Orin Swift
Name: The Prisoner
Region: Napa Valley, CA
Consumed: May 29, 2013
Location: Leilani's, Maui, HI
On the last night of our honeymoon in Maui, Hawaii, Michelle and I ate at Leilani's in the fine dining area upstairs. We chose this bottle of blended red because the label was a small work of art, reminiscent of the pieces we saw in the galleries on Front Street. There were many exquisite sculptures, but my favorite piece was an acrylic painting by Fabian Perez called, "Untitled II". It shows an old man with his hands folded on the counter, a glass of red wine protruding from between his arms. Behind him, there is a large crowd of young men. Everyone is wearing an identical hat, with the exception of the old man. There is an optical illusion: if you view the painting from the left, it appears as though the crowd is looking to the right; but if you move to the right side, the crowd then looks to the left. It was a contemplative piece that conjured many questions. Why was the old man in this crowded space, if he wanted to be alone? Did the old man turn his back on them (i.e., society, youth, mob mentality), or did they turn their back on him? Does the crowd, all turned in the same direction with identical hats, represent the collective; while the old man, without hat and facing opposite, represent individuality? What is the old man thinking about? Or is he just savoring that last drink of wine?
Producer: Silver Oak
Name: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Alexander Valley, CA
Consumed: May 28, 2013
Location: Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, HI
Prior to departing for Maui, Michelle and I received a card from her dad's side of the family, wishing us happiness on our honeymoon. They had enclosed a cash gift, along with a note that said to enjoy a bottle of wine on them. While eating at a restaurant in Lahaina, the waitress informed us that she and her husband occasionally purchase a bottle of wine and then drink it on the beach just off Front Street; where you can watch the Lele Luau for free. Tickets for the Lele Luau at the 505 normally retail for $115 each, but locals know that you can view the performance from the public beach, which gives you front-row access to the show for nothing. We purchased a bottle of wine at the grocery store, and then enjoyed the performance. The show climaxed with multiple fire-dancers tossing flaming batons back and forth through the air, in an amazing display of skill that literally set the night on fire.