November is a month that goes by quickly—for me, at least. Arriving on the heels of an action-packed Halloween followed by the official end of daylight savings time, days become shorter and the nights grow colder—all as the ‘daily grind’ continues to consume the precious hours, minutes and seconds from our lives. And so often we focus all our energy on Thanksgiving, making it easy to let the first half of November pass us by.
So it was a bit of a boost that some of our family members came to see us this week. After making the long drive south on Florida’s Turnpike, my in-laws arrived Thursday night ready to eat, drink and relax with the grandchildren. Dinner was a large pot of vegetarian chili with sweet corn bread; and the wine was a 2009 Syrah from Bien Nacido Vineyard– the first vineyard in California to grow cool climate Syrah.
Located in the Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido (Translation: “Well Born”) is not your average California vineyard. Owned and operated by the Millers, a fifth generation California farming family, the iconic vineyard grows sustainably farmed world class cool climate winegrapes including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Syrah. And not only does Bien Nacido make its own award-winning wines, but it provides these truly superior winegrapes for some of America’s quality focused wineries. It’s just one of the ways the Millers promote and serve the local and general wine industry.
Later that evening, as our family gathered round the dinner table, wineglasses raised in celebration and spoons clinked the inside of our chili bowls as we ate. The full-bodied Syrah, meanwhile, offered hints of pepper, blackberry and herbs and it paired perfectly with the hearty vegetarian chili. Towards the end of dinner, I looked around the table and lauded my good fortune: here I have a wonderful family, good food and great wine… it doesn’t get any better than this.
Note: Article submitted by Block122-commissioned author “Lara.” Full name omitted at author’s request.