You might remember that a few posts ago I shared how much I enjoyed what I like to call "Pizza and Pinot" night. Well, shortly after posting that, I was fortunate enough to get to spend another such evening. It must have been the lingering karma from the post, but the pizza was the best ever (recipe available on request) and the Pinot was unbelievably tasty. But as I said in that post, those evenings are really all about conversation and time. And it is something that came up in the conversation that evening that inspired this post.
My friend and I were sipping the wine and marveling at how delicious and easy to drink it was. Now she is by no means what some people would call a wine connoisseur, but she is the kind of wine drinker I appreciate. Someone who knows what they like and owns it. And isn't much of the joy in learning and discovering new and surprising wines together? As time went on, the conversation wound its way to a wine's real value. I got to thinking, once again, about at what point is a wine too valuable to drink.
Now I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to taste or drink many rare, old and very expensive bottles of wine over the years. Most of them tasted really good. It is one of the many perks of being a winery owner and getting to associate with a pretty diverse group of industry folk around the world. Trust me, I know I've been spoiled. My friend whom I was clinking glasses with over pizza? Not as spoiled. It was at about that moment when I suggested that one day in the future, for a special occasion, we could snag one of those rare bottles from the cellar and enjoy it together. (Mama didn't raise no fool!).
Now I'm going to guess that most folk would jump at the chance to share a bottle of Romani Conti and discuss its joys, but not her. She was quick to say no. And before I could voice my surprise she said something that was, in an instant, the reminder of what makes some people so special. She suggested that we donate the value of the wine to a cause where it would serve a greater good. Yep, there it was. Greatness. And the inspiration for this post... The challenge.
I committed to accepting that suggestion and I would like to invite all of you who read this to do the same. I challenge you to select the most valuable bottle of wine you have laying around and give it or its value, in time or money, to any charity of your choosing. For some of you this might be a $20 bottle. For others, it might be $200. And I know a couple regular readers have some bottles worth ten times that. It's entirely up to you.
I get regular requests from non profits seeking wine for auctions and other fundraisers, so I know they would be delighted with any donation. We all know someone, maybe even ourselves, who have benefited from the great work of such organizations. Many of you volunteer and give already. Thank You! I just wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to share this idea. And it would make me feel real good to know that something as simple as time and conversation over pizza and Pinot might grow into helping those who are underserved in our communities. Join me. Besides, giving just feels so darned good. In the words of the great Pooh... " Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
And now a tasting note: Ready for this? I recommend a wine from Chile... MAYU Pedro Ximenez. What? To be clear, MAYU is the producer and Pedro Ximenez is the GRAPE.
This varietal is used a lot in Chile and Peru for the production of Pisco (brandy) and in Spain for sherry. However, it also makes one of the most delicious white wines you have never had. And it goes without saying that it's really "value" priced. This is a very aromatic wine with wonderful mouthfuls of lemon and lime. Crisp, acidic, mineral notes fill the glass. I was recently reintroduced to this wine at my new favorite neighborhood wine shop, Bo's Wine Depot, where they are practically giving it away. Yep, it's a great value and very tasty. Get some!