What Happens After Friendsgiving? Life Moving Forward With Wines From Chile

The day came – my favorite day of the year – FRIENDSGIVING. I plan for this holiday (is it really a holiday?) all year; I create Pinterest boards, pick up odds and ends as I go, stock pile recipes – you can judge, but it brings me ultimate joy to create a moment in time for the chosen friend family I love. Towards the end of my flurry of party planning, I realized something that paralyzed me; I have to make a toast. For years I have left the responsibility of conveying my thoughts to a Friendsgiving OG guest – he was powerful, he demanded attention, and of course, he KNEW how to read my mind and express the love I have for everyone around the table. One big problem though; he wasn’t coming.

There are so so many salad spinner issues about this situation. First of all, how to deal with the new and different Friendsgiving POD of 2021. There have been some major friend drop offs this year, drop offs being a very casual way of putting it. Inevitable, life altering, pressure lifting, heart breaking – who is really to say. Within this moment however, clarity appeared. I needed to express my OWN thoughts – verbal, out loud instead of in my head, shaking, most likely tearing up (ok, sobbing – but you knew that already), and scared – I had to stand alone to do it. I’m sure you may think this is an easy thing for ME to do – you couldn’t be more off the mark. I gain strength from the ones I choose to be on my “team” – in or out of work – and I relied on each one of their personality traits to make me stronger. Smart, a bit selfish, and organized, I always put this in my “plan to be better” and used it to my advantage. What I forgot about was how they complimented my already driving tendency. I chose them because I saw a part of me in them as well as a part of me I wanted so badly to come out. Now it’s time to give back to that energy and stand with abandon – but grab the people in the NOW to do it with.

Look at these smiling faces of people that STILL show up and believe in me; believe I have something to say to them that matters, believe that time can melt into a magical well to dip in and out of when WE want our toes wet, and to believe that the world is not here to ruin me. This brings me to my thoughts on selling wines from Chile – great segue huh – and something I need your help with. I’m TIRED of telling people how great these wines are. WHY is this so hard? Lies; I know why. Mostly because it’s not trendy for you to drink wines from Chile; you are looking for a big CAB that answers your prayers, you want to be fulfilled by your glass of Pinot Grigio that marks you as a person that really doesn’t care what they are drinking (no poop against PG – there are some stunners out there), but mostly – you wish for a sensory delight in spending way to much money on a wine a critic told you you should enjoy. I applaud your efforts.

That sounded awful, and if you have stopped reading – well, I can’t blame you. But if you are still here, I am putting you on the Friendsgiving guest list for 2022 and circling you in for guidance. You are now part of this tangled unit I have started to form; virtually, physically, emotionally. I’ll take what I can get if it is authentic and valid. This wine area is called “The Bordeaux of South America” for a reason. Throw away your image of bulk and airplane wine – we are on a French influenced stream of thought. Can we find ourselves captured and enveloped by its Carmenere stories and velvety Cabernet Sauvignon stand outs? Let’s discuss two grapes and what to expect:

Carmenere: Chile’s signature red grape varietal. Oh its spicy; harvesty and rich, digging deep into your red berry illusions, often marked by it’s green peppercorn notes, often ending with dark chocolate flavors and supple tannins. Descendant of the Cabernet Franc grape, mistaken for the Merlot grape for years – you can see how an audience just doesn’t get the punch line. This is an every day wine at it’s finest; there is a higher acidity that grabs on to all feasting ideas. I’ve been bringing this wine to all my holiday get togethers, Sunday meals, pizza nights, or “let’s have one more bottle” situations. Recent rock the house pairing was my kale, butternut squash, and meatloaf salad.

Cabernet Sauvignon; Are you breathing a sense of relief that you can have your Cab Sav now? (do you know how much I hate the “Cab Sav” thing?) This entire blog you wanted a Bordeaux-styled wine, and now you have it. Within this warm, Mediterranean climate, you will find these bolder style wines – and just relish in that for a minute. What pulls me into this grape from Chile are the layers that evolve while drinking it; blackberry, toasty vanilla, black cherry jam – oh, and the fig! I always love the fig undertones that disclose themselves like the secrets in a journal. There is complexity in this wine, but not so much that I am confused. The directness brings me to pair this with mushroom sauces, a pretty prime rib, sloppy pulled pork sandwitches, and BBQ.

What Winery to choose; I mean, this is obnoxious, but you gotta go with Lapostolle. I sell it, hence the obnoxious comment. But I’ve been drinking this winery for years. This was the Sauvignon Blanc my ex husband served me on our first date, a staple that is still in the fridge to this day, and a lovely opener to the rest of their line up. Owned by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and husband Cyril de Bournet, this winery channels generations of French winemaking tradition to the rugged landscape of the Colchagua Valley. Lush meets abrasive, good meets evil, evening gowns meet denim – we can’t deny our desire to learn more. Start with the Grand Selection range; an every day dive into the vineyards. Great on the wallet, great on the Tuesday night dinner table. Pair up to the Cuvee Alexandre range – more emphasis around the magnificent Apalta mountain range and all it’s goodness. Pair this with REALLY good cheese, truffles, lamb chops, short ribs. Wait for the Clos Apalta 2018 that is due to arrive in January. Well worth the wait, and an impressive glass to fight over.

Consider this your “Chilean Opener” – I’m just getting started. Are you ready for me to speak my mind without surrender (cue amazing lyrics by Bruce), standing with my shoulders back a bit more, flushed cheeks, and alone. Really alone. Alone doesn’t have to be “bad” – it is almost a courageous leap of faith. I’m not forgetting, just moving. I’m also holding on to the hands of the people in the now, and relying on them to guide me a bit further. Just like Chile, I need some reassurance from all of you that we can do this. And just like Chile, I am a force.

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