Friday, September 4, 2009

California Wine Month Guest Blog by Sam Malhotra

Today's guest blogger is Sam Malhotra, propertior of Lakeside Beverage. If you haven't been to Lakeside, I would suggest stopping by on a Friday or Saturday night when he hosts an informal wine tasting. I should also disclose that Sam owns the vineyard that produces the wine he is featuring - however, I made a trip up to Lakeside (for quality control purposes of course!), and I can assure you that the wine matches his story.

A Memorable Wine and Memorable Moment

I have a soft spot for WORK VINEYARD 2003 NAPA CABERNET SAUVIGNON. A true Bordeaux Blend - 90% Cabernet, 5% Merlot, 3% Syrah and 2% Malbec. Only 170 cases were made. The wine is exceptional with a complex character. This deep, dark and profoundly concentrated wine boasts a dense ruby/purple-tinged color as well as a gorgeous nose similar to that of a French Bordeaux that is intermixed with notions of crushed blueberries and violets. Full bodied and unctuously-textured wine with flavors of dust, leather and chocolate, it is a terrific, full throttle, palate staining, impeccably well balanced wine that can be drunk for the next 10-15 years. But the reason I love this wine has a little to do with its full bodied taste and more to do with my family. Here is our story...

One evening, Lamya (my wife), Zina (our daughter) and myself were dining at the Calistoga Inn in downtown Calistoga. Our son, John and his girlfriend Jackie arrived and started screaming "Dad I did it".....Mom I did it." When we asked what, he replied that he proposed to Jackie! It was "yes" and he had given her a beautiful 3.5 karat diamond ring.

During the happy news, Lamya stood up from our table and addressed all the people in the restaurant by knocking on the rim of the glass and saying "Hello everybody. My name is Lamya and I have happy news to celebrate with you! Our son John proposed to his girlfriend Jackie and they are going to marry next year and I want all of you to know that the wine is on the house.”

Meanwhile, I am kicking Lamya's foot trying to tell her that we only had one bottle of wine on our table and how are we going to serve 60 plus people? All of a sudden I saw the restaurant manager approaching us and asking what kind of wine we were going to serve and I replied 2003 Work Vineyard Reserve Cabernet which we produce at our Vineyard. I sent our son to the vineyard, which was next door to the restaurant, to bring a case of wine to share with our fellow diners. John was there and back in the 15 minutes and brought a whole case of wine which we shared with everyone! Everybody enjoyed the wine and we encouraged them to visit our Vineyard and family the next day. The restaurant was filled with hugs and blessing to John and Jackie. It was a simple dinner that turned into a big celebration...and a wine to remember.

Editors note: Work Vineyard Reserve Cabernet is exclusively available at Lakeside Beverages, and is priced at a very reasonable $44.95 per bottle.

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