Believe it or not, there are days when being in the wine industry can be down right depressing. But, today wasn't one of them. Today was one of those special days when food, wine, and conviviality all came together in the name of good fun and good friends. No hidden sales agendas. No selling your soul to a standoffish wine buyer. No glad-handing to get the wine by the glass pour at some glitzy restaurant.
No, today was a day of pure and simple schmoozing
and schmoozing in a good way, with genuinely nice people, all connected by wine. The Captain and his wife, Audrey Bowers, own Captain's Tavern one of Miami's landmark seafood restaurants. Each year they make an annual pilgrimage to Sonoma County to share boatloads of fresh stone crab with their winemaker friends. It's their way of saying thanks to all of us for making the great wines that they sell at their restaurant in Florida. (How's that for a change?!)
It started years ago at the Canyon Road Winery and is held now at the bucolic McMurray Ranch (Gallo owned) in the Russian River Valley. Our dear friend Chip Cassidy from Crown Wine and Spirits in Florida connected us with The Captain years ago and ever since, we've been very grateful to be among the handful of invitees to this incredible afternoon of eating crab and sipping our friend's latest vintages. There's something very special about tasting the latest Chardonnay from Chateau Montelana with Heidi and Bo Barrett. Or, tasting a new Pinot Noir from William Selyem and realizing that they're still rock stars with this varietal. Of course, eating unlimited amounts of stone crab didn't hurt either! And, not one person mentioned the economy, the election, or Wall Street, which frankly was rather refreshing.Yes, today was a great reminder of the blessing of being in this industry. For just a few hours, we all forgot the challenges of our times to enjoy why we do what we do.