Here is our first post about the Covid-19 virus that has us all isolated at our homes. We hope everyone is safe and sound. Chris and Christy are well and enjoying time at home with the cats, who now want to get fed every two hours!! And digging deep into our personal wine collection. We have ordered some wines online to bulk up and not possibly run too far down!
This is our first email blast since this all began, and we are available for any and all questions about food and wine! Chris has been posting food recipes on our Instagram account the past few weeks, so hopefully you all follow us there and have trying all the recipes! Follow us HERE
We plan on trying to put out a win newsletter at least weekly to you all so you have some possibly new wines to check out and order to your door safe and sound while maintaining any stay at home orders. I plan to make the next letter a little more generic with some listings from a wine store here in CA that ships nationwide. Or you can look the wines up and see if you can find them locally. Next I will feature wines from France/Spain/Italy. All value priced wines that pack a great wallop of flavor!
We are focused on six small family wineries here in CA that are now able to ship nationwide direct to your home, with changing wine laws nationally. Just make sure they can ship to your address before you place any order. As you know, small businesses are the life blood of this country, as Home Somm is. While we cannot offer any of our in person services, we are here via the internet and phone. So let us know if there is anything we can assist you with! All these wines feature similar grapes, so if you want to set up a REALLY FUN time order from a few different wineries the same grape and see how each part of CA featured offers a slightly different take on say, Pinot. As Pinot was the first grape and wine I really started getting into years and years ago, it seemed appropriate to start with that being one of the major focuses of this newsletter. There is also a bunch of Chardonnay, and I know that can be a bad word for some wine drinkers, but all these winemakers make absolutely versions of Chardonnay. But you can not go wrong with anything ordered here!
Our six wineries of this newsletter are:
We first met winemaker Kent Humphreys years and years ago at Silverlake wine. We immediately fell in love with his small production site specific wines from individual vineyards across CA. Besides the lovely wine in the bottle, the bottle itself is a work of art, as his wife finds artists to decorate their bottles with their original artwork. It is a family operation and we love everything they produce. Kent makes Pinot, Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache, Rosé, and Sauvignon Blanc. All of these wines are ready to drink now, but will age for years and years. We love the Sauvignon Blanc and the Syrah. It’s fun to go onto their website where you can see all the vineyards he gets the fruit from all over Sonoma with an old winemaking standard “great wine is grown in the vineyard. To make it you must start with outstanding fruit.” And when you order some, tell them Chris Lucchese from Home Somm sent you!! Cheers
A true family run affair in Los Olivos, Ca located in lovely Santa Barbara County. If you’ve driven through the Santa Ynez valley you’ve probably been right by one of their family vineyards. We met Keith many, many years ago also at Silverlake Wine. Keith is a man who walks the walk and talks the talk. And makes outstanding wines. Some personal favorites of ours are the Syrah, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. He also makes an outstanding GSM blend that has visions of Southern France, but with a CA twist. And for those of you that don’t know, that means its a traditional S. Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Basically deliciousness in a bottle. Another winemaker who’s bottles are works of art and feature stories about his family, with many family members memorialized on labels. And if you’re looking for something truly one of a kind, they make a Port style dessert wine that is off the hook, and one of Christy’s favorite dessert wines shes ever had!
Byron Kent Brown has been a fixture in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County from nearly the beginning of wine growing there in the 1970s. Ken founded Zaca Mesa winery as well as Byron winery before venturing out to start his namesake winery and use his many years of experience and connections to make some of the greatest single vineyard site specific Pinots in all of CA. Ken and his wife Deborah produce only about 2,000-3,000 bottles annually. But the wines they create are like lightning in a bottle. We recently opened a 2005 Pinot from the famous Clos Pepe vineyard this past year and it was outstanding!!!! If you’ve never had aged CA Pinot I recommend you buy some of Ken’s and lay a few down to age. He also makes some Syrah and Chardonnay that we also love great. His Syrah is a silent killer for such a famous Pinot maker!! Order some and see for yourself.
Two crazy guys from Atlanta that love cooking in cast iron almost as much as Chris does but do make more fried chicken then him, move to CA and start making wine from tiny little vineyards that are growing “unpopular” grapes. And the rest is history. Hardy and Matt say they make simple wines, which tends to sound uninspiring, but it’s truthful. They don’t manipulate or add or change anything that the grapes do naturally. Some of the most truthful wines I’ve ever had. Their Mourvedre is absolutely outstanding. And from tiny little vineyards all over the state. During one harvest I think Hardy said he drove nearly 2000 miles in his car all over the state to visit all the farms they used for their grapes. They also make a crazy good Semillion. That is one of our favorite white wines in the entire world. Their bottlings change every year with whatever they are able to acquire, which adds to the excitement when I get their release email. Check them out and see what kind of crazy stuff they are up to this Spring!!
Yet ANOTHER wine Chris and Christy found at one of the famous Silverlake Wines Sunday tastings many moons ago. The man behind the mask is Ehren Jordan, a native of Pittsburgh, PA who found himself visiting Napa valley from being a ski bum in Aspen and now makes another of our favorite wines. He also focuses on very site specific wines, mainly cooler climates, like in the Old World, and creates deliciously quaffable Pinots and Chardonnays. Some of his cooler climate Pinots from the Sonoma Coast and Fort Ross are absolutely one of a kind wines. He also has taken some things he learned from working in Cornas, France to also make tremendous Syrah. He has also recently expanded his operations into Oregon to make even more lovely Pinots, and the addition of a Gamey and Gruner there.
I literally cannot remember who told us about this winery, but on one of first group trips to Sonoma many, many years back we came here to taste. And always have it on our list whenever we are up there. From the first moment we pulled up the small driveway between the rows of vines to the small “rustic” tasting room and seeing the winemaker Alex on a tractor driving up to the tasting room from the fields. The wines did not disappoint, and only now did I realize we don’t have any left in our cellar. It’s another small production where it’s all hands on deck from bottling to pouring wines at the tasting room. They are located right in the heart of the Russian River AVA and Alex studied for years in both Burgundy and the Rhone in France, and his wines show it! They taste like you could you be in France. They are totally elegant and made with a lot of care. For a small little winery, they pack a big punch when it comes to what they put in each bottle.
Well that is that. We hope you can help some of these lovely people out and order some fun wines. These are all wines you can find in our home all the time, and are our daily drinkers. Let us know what you order, and what you think! Until our next letter stay safe and six feet apart!!
Chris and Christy