Breathing In My Ugly – Drinking Illumination Sauvignon Blanc

I”m told that you can find beauty in all things, that it is in the eye of the beholder, there is beauty in the ugly, that someone will see your beauty deep within you…is this all a crock of shit?

Sometimes, we gotta live in the ugly. In the REAL ugly – not the messed up mascara or pizza night sob fest. I’m talking raw, I’m not holding back, I may hyperventilate from crying, and I may say very very wrong things ugly moments. Does the decision to go there come from a sedimentary feeling of yourself – right at this very moment. In sales, we train ourselves to always be your super star. No matter what is going on personally in our lives, we are here to make you feel like you are on top of the world. Well, I gotta tell you – keeping up with the pretty is tough. Think about all the things stirring in you right now and then push them away, just to make a sensible sale – kind of crappy, right? This is where I am at now, and this is where I don’t see any getting out of right now. Is it ok to be banished to ugly land, or should I think about washing my hair?

In this immediate atmosphere I am creating, I thought it was funny that I opened a bottle of Illumination Sauvignon Blanc . In my mind, Illumination, and the Quintessa property this wine is being sourced from, is one of the most beautiful “Napa feelings” you can get. When I visited this winery, I was told I had to hike up a small hill prior to my tasting; ugly thoughts swimming in my head. What was revealed was a scenic view of the valley, more specifically the hills of Rutherford, with the Vaca Mountain range seen through the mist of a thick as hell fog. Things like this take your breathe away, remind you that you are human – an ant on this planet, and stamp an impression of what you believe true natural beauty to be. At the time, Illumination was not being made, and an overwhelming glass of red was put in my hand – sexy, voluminous, dense, rich, and full of brambly fruit (Quintessa). A small patch of land was pointed out, and I was told that was where they planted a little bit of sauvignon blanc – just for friends and family.  Lucky them.

Fast forward a few years later and you have this beauty of a wine. I remember the launch, rememberer selling this wine to a few restaurants, be needed a refresher:

  • Flavor profile: The fruit in this wine hits your nose before it hits your palate. I kind of love that moment – listening to the pour into the glass (listen next time – it totally seduces you), a bit of a swirl (really not needed with white, but it makes me look alluring), and a big ole’ sauvignon blanc facial is ready for you. This wine is like a bowl of citrus in your face – cooked lemon peels, navel oranges, ripe pineapple, limey rimmed sweetness on the end. I would have liked a bit more minerality that I seem to remember, but maybe that was just a dream. All in all, perfect with dinner, but probably not a “starter” wine – I usually like something a little crispier around the edges.
  • What we did with it: I had a dinner at Salute in Montclair – a great stand by BYOB with the crappiest parking ever. Suck it up and walk off your meal because it was worth it. Call us creatures of habit, but mussels were necessary and off the hook. At first I thought the meat and cheese plate would be way to much for this wine, but there is a heaviness in the body that is usually not there with this varietal. It can stand up to much more than you think it can. And listen, check out the label. If that doesn’t put you in some kind of mood, I don’t know what will.
  • What do you need in your purse: I found this wine on for around $30. It’s not really out there in the stores; more of a restaurant wine. Expect to pay more in the restaurant, and don’t be “that guy” and complain.  Fun fact; if you do not see something on the shelf, the retailer may be able to order it next day for you. All you need to do is ask!

I’m slapping on some red lipstick and pretending I’m pretty these days. I”m going to fake my pretty, and you will never know the difference. Whatever – it can be done. 

Drink This; But I Need To Sell It First

img_3080It seems to me that wine buyers always want the hard to find stuff, and want it at a good price.  I get it; you want to offer something special to your audience.  You, as the audience member, want to feel like you found the gem – maybe your “wine guy or gal” told you a little story about the vineyard, the winemaker, the history.  You get your nugget of knowledge, and you are running, with bottle at hand, to tell all the wine anecdotes around the dinner table.

How cute.

My problem is, when it is a hard to find item, there is not a lot made.  Hence, I can’t sell it everywhere, but I need to sell it.  On top of that, this stuff can be pricey.  Not always a problem; especially now with the holiday season upon us.  But what do you think moves in a wine shop?  Do you want to spend over $100 with your Friday night pizza?

I don’t blame you and your answer.  But then enters this gorgeous wine named Hewitt Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon…

Where are you from Mr. Beautiful Hewitt Cab – California, and more than that, an area called Rutherford; more specifically Rutherford Bench.  Bench land, in wine garb, is where the vines can be deeply rooted to the earth.  What does this mean to you?  Wines are deep deep black fruit flavors with a little earthy/spicy note at the end.  This area is also famous for the “Rutherford Dust”; the tannins in the wine will give you a almost dusty feeling at the back of your throat while adding to the structure.  This sounds nasty, but it is one of the most luxurious feelings ever.

This is a single vineyard wine – so all the grapes are designated to come from one place.  This means focus focus focus; some of the wines you are drinking now have grapes sourced from here or there.  No biggie because winemakers KNOW who to buy their stuff from.  But when you have a single vineyard wine, those grapes are being cared for and loved from one arena.

What should I have in my purse: About $100.  Sorry, this stuff is good.

Where can I buy it in NJ – Ok, keep your hats on – still working on that.  The only place, right now, that I would send you to, is Woodcliff Lake Wine and Spirits.  You can also buy ON LINE: check out my friends at Wine Chateau – love them.  But, did you know, if you do not see a wine in a shop you travel to, you can always ask them to order it…(hint hint)

What am I going to do with this expensive wine? This is your holiday wine.  Every time I show this at a tasting, everyone is impressed and go nuts over it.  There is power to this wine while still being approachable.  There are flavors of plum, dark chocolate, ripe ripe cherries with a plush and expressive finish.

Check out my friends at Wine Chateau – Wine

Can’t forget about Woodcliff Lake – Woodcliff Lake Wine and Spirits