Dear Readers and devoted friends of Bacchus, please forgive my absence. My last entry recounted the bottling of my first wines and the thrill of my hard won accomplishment. The following months have been a whirlwind involving single-minded efforts to get my wine into stores, restaurants and ultimately into the wine glasses of wine lovers here, there and everywhere!
On a personal level it has been frightening as well as validating. Just like the opening night and run of a theatrical production where one hopes the house will fill and the show will be well-received, introducing my new wine to the public has been nerve-wracking. What if no one likes it? What if I flop? And like a poem or any work of art, it is what it is and must speak for itself. The author and the painter have to release their expectations at a certain point and allow others to come to their own conclusions. Likewise every bottle can’t be followed to its destination with me in tow explaining that it’s my first wine and what my intentions were and what to expect and how to drink it, and, and, and …
It’s also fascinating to review where I started with the wine and where I’ve ended up with it. What an evolution! Hand-crafting a wine and making the blend represents a winemaker’s personal aesthetic and this was perhaps the highlight of winemaking for me.
Though I do admire and desire big, heavy, oaky, aged wines from time-to-time, they’re not for my every day palate. I knew I wanted to create soft, young, fruity wines that are easy drinking, approachable and fun. Wines that don’t necessarily need to be paired with strong food in order to be appreciated. There’s quite a lot of awe and grave veneration when it comes to wine culture, a lot of competition for recognition and prizes. I wanted to step away from all that and create wines that celebrate sexy irreverence and are simply fun to drink.
For “Lady in Red” I had a formula that I wanted to play around with and I knew from frequently tasting the wine in the barrel what I would get and how to create the balance and the results I was looking for. My second wine, “50 Shades of Red” was a completely different story. I woke up in the middle of the night with the name in my head and when it came time to blend I had no particular recipe in mind, I started with a base and added a little of this and a pinch of that like a mad chef inventing a new dish in the kitchen until I encountered that which I didn’t know I was even looking for. Voila! Wine as revelation. Wine as a mirror where I see my giggling, happy reflection winking back at me. Wine that makes you want to get up and shake your booty! You know what I’m talking about, Ladies. One thing that has been fascinating and gratifying to observe is that neither wine is consistently favored over the other. Some people gravitate towards “50 Shades of Red” for its lovely aromas and refreshing brightness on the palate and others choose “Lady in Red” for the velvety mouth-feel and more complex fruit.
After all the teeth gnashing and hand-wringing I’m happy to report that the wine is selling well and it looks as though I may actually have a future in this business! Meanwhile I’m continuing to explore the wine valley and experience the phenomenal wines produced here. I am continuously learning, adore having my palate challenged and I love supporting the generous and passionate community of winemakers who I am privileged to count as my friends. I have a strong, savvy, hard-working and talented team coming together and the future of Valley Girl Baja Wine is exciting. New releases are just around the corner and IN WINE WE LUST merchandise will be available soon.
Summer heat has arrived and Guadalupe Valley vineyards are lush with young fruit and leafy vines. Suddenly harvest doesn’t seem that far away. Vendimia (festivals and parties held at local wineries celebrating the upcoming harvest) is right around the corner. I’m getting my ducks in a row. This year I plan to expand my product line and double production. It’s going to be a wild ride. Wooo hooooo!!!!!