Importance of Wine

The Importance of Wine

-Wino, Andy Peay

I have struggled to find something profound, novel, or reassuring to share with you about the state of the world we are living in today. I want to point out a silver lining that will calm the anxiety that is the constant backdrop to many of our lives. But, you don’t need one more person adding to the barrage of COVID information and opinion that has crowded out almost all other sources of mental input.  I, too, am deeply worried that our ways of living have changed forever for the worse due to this virus but I am hopeful that our lives have also changed forever for the better due to the awakening of the majority of Americans to the plight of many of their fellow citizens. Time will tell on both accounts.

What I would like to talk about with you is the importance of wine. How can I talk about wine when Rome is burning, you may ask? Times like these are when simple, primal experiences are what we should focus on especially ones so interconnected to what it means to be a human. Every moment we are locking in mental aromas associated with every day occurrences that can be reignited by a glass of wine. A glass of wine can resurface conversations, friendships, meals, late evenings, vacations, dancing, people, emotions. Moments when we are feeding our mind, body, and soul. These times create depth and texture to what it means to be alive, using our senses, being a social and sensual animal. Wine is a beverage, yes. It also has alcohol which is a lubricant relaxing the mind and the spirit to roam and explore (and, admittedly, can unleash a beast, if left unmoored) expanding barriers and emotional boundaries. And it is, above all, food. It has been part of rituals around consumption for millennia and integral to the human experience. This was made evident to me while hosting Friday Zoom tastings around the dinner hours over the past 4 months. I have become a guest at many tables. A “virtual” tasting staring at a screen was rendered intimate by the real wine in our glasses and the sharing of stories and impressions. I watched people eating, talking to one another, sharing their thoughts. We became a community and as I left the tastings at the end of an hour, I definitely felt my soul had been fed.

At times, especially when I was in my twenties, I felt a twinge of shame that I was using all the opportunity I had been given in my life to pursue a dream of creating a vineyard and winery. How selfish, especially in light of all the suffering and the very real need surrounding me. The longer I have been involved in wine, however, the more I realize that perhaps creating a product that enhances people’s lives and provides a catalyst for these essential memories also has merit. I am not a hero like many people who are taking risks for their fellow man. But I hope I am, in a small way, improving the lives of those who drink my wine. Perhaps I’m helping connect people to an essence of their human experience and that is not such a bad pursuit, after all.

With that, I would like to crow a little about the fall release of the 2018 wines. If you opened up any of your spring allocation, you know the 2018 wines are good. Very good! They capture the Peay style and due to a excellent (read: moderately cool) growing season—and our 20 year old vines’ seasoned age— these wines have an extra gear with a little more depth and complexity.  I have been surprised by how much I like them right on release—which is not always the case—and wholeheartedly feel they will continue to bring more pleasure with time in the bottle. All the notes on the next page were written in the last few weeks and I encourage you to drink a bottle or two on release and perhaps store the rest to periodically revisit as the months and years slip by. 

Lastly, thank you for your support of Peay Vineyards, particularly in what is a tricky time for many people.  As a winery that has relied on the finest restaurants in the country for 40% of our sales, we are having to find a new way to operate. Obviously, our direct business—selling our wines to you – is the only way we can survive. We appreciate your interest and hope the wines bring you all the pleasure you desire.     

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