Tercero Wines — this is a new one on me. And no wonder since Larry Schaffer, owner and winemaker of Tercero has only been working under his own label since 2006 and “really did not put 100%” into the brand until 2012. But Larry is no stranger to the winemaking business. Though originally in the educational and trade publishing industry, he made the courageous career leap to enology and is the former Enologist for Fess Parker Winery where he was once dubbed “Winemaker to Watch” by my very own SF Chronicle. But Larry’s real dream was to make his own name in wine with his own label. Again, Larry made a bold decision — he left the big-name brand and started Tercero.
I saved this wine. Saved and saved and saved until I was so antsy to try it, I basically threw a party for it. Ok, not really. But it was two good friends’ birthday and I wanted to pour a wine that a) represents a specific piece of California wine country and a piece of California history and b) showcases all that I’ve learned and come to appreciate during my latest wine studies. Who better than Grgich? What better than a Napa Cab? Flatout — no one and nothing.
It’s amazing to me that my website is now 8 months old. It’s still quite young — I’m still developing how best to present my posts — but at the same time I can see how far I’ve come in my wine and food knowledge. Just by the very nature of writing things down, having to look things up, explain things in my own words, I’ve learned so much. And since starting this website I’ve had some very special opportunities to engage with wine industry professionals — whether online, at events, or one-on-one in-person interviews. I’ve been able to go behind the scenes of big-name wine brands and boutique wineries alike, and I am grateful for every wine moment this past year has brought me.
So to celebrate my joy in becoming a part of the cool kids club (aka the wine industry) I want to count down a few of the reviews that have truly impacted my perspective on wine and winemaking. These are not listed in any order (so number 10 is just as important as number 1), and just because a wine or product isn’t listed doesn’t mean that it hasn’t impacted me in a positive way. These are simply the 10 that, over the course of the last 8 months, have truly left a mark on my wine life. Cheers and enjoy!
I picked up this Kunde Cab around the same time I picked up their 2014 Chardonnay. Initially intrigued by a well-known Sonoma family name, I soon realized they have a good rep for a reason. So with such a good experience with their white wine, I was eager to bust open a bottle of red. I’ll tell you right now that the level of complexity in this wine is astronomical. But don’t be to eager to bust as I did. When it comes to Kunde Cab, patience is a virtue.
I am a Fire Sign. Born in the heat of the summer, I am an August Leo — my planet is the Sun, my element, Fixed Fire. There is not one aspect of my personality that strays from a textbook description of my astrological birthplace. I am a culmination of those bright-light qualities as Zenaida Cellars Fire Sign is the accumulation of warm-weather grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel. The difference is while Leo’s can have a tendency towards the lavish, the dramatic, the extreme, this Fire Sign is full of grace, delicacy, and refinement.