Sonja and I got married only four years ago, both of us then in our early thirties. Perhaps one of the most difficult things, in retrospect, was taking the lives of two adults, the habits and traditions and expectations each of us had, and trying to create some sort of synthesis. Christmas, in particular, is difficult: whose family do you spend the morning with? When do you open gifts? Who makes breakfast? When will we see the other family? And so on and so forth. In four years of marriage, now on Christmas number five together, we’ve made substantial progress. Prior in the week, we saw Sonja’s father and brother and their families. Tomorrow we leave for my hometown, where we will spend time with my family. And today was spent with Sonja’s mother and her husband, and our son Titus, of course. We opened gifts this morning (I received a beautiful watch) and then packed up and went to Sonja’s mother’s for Christmas dinner. I texted Sonja’s mother, Susan, and asked what we could bring. She suggested wine that would go with prime rib. My mouth immediately began to water, and I went down to the cellar to retrieve this bottle.
The Sciandri Family makes incredible wine. I was first introduced to them at a tasting here in Omaha, and have been a fan ever since. Next month, they’re literally the first stop on Sonja and my last visit to Napa prior to the arrival of la nina numero dos (lo siento; mi Espanol es muy mal). The 2013 Coombville Cuvee was my pick at the annual spring show at the Omaha Wine Company, where each year I allow myself a single bottle of wine to take home. 65% Cab Sauv, 35% Syrah, it’s incredibly well balanced, with huge beautiful dark fruits that open up into leather, subtle tobacco, and cocoa over time. Aged 18 months in French oak and limited to ten barrels, I’m shocked at how well priced this wine is, coming in under $40 USD. An excellent QPR, it was my choice today, and paired brilliantly with prime rib, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a whole smorgasbord of amazing foods. I ate until I could eat no more (and then I poured a second glass). I highly recommend this wine.
Christmas is a special time of year, we all know that. Religious or otherwise, there’s an increased emphasis on the value of family that, frankly, should be in place year round, yet seems to surface mostly around this time. One of my resolutions for the new year is to devote more time to family, and to make it a year-round thing. Merry Christmas 2016, my friends, and here’s to you and your families!