“To build a fire,” Silverado Chardonnay

I remember in middle school reading the story of a rugged outdoorsman who succumbed to the cold — after killing his dog to try to warm his hands — in the Yukon or Denali or another one of those startlingly vast and thereby treacherous places. In light of this, I hesitate to complain much about my struggles lately, attempting to build fires from wet wood, the rains this late summer being both frequent and heavy. Last night, it required an entire university alumni magazine and all of my remaining lighter fluid, as well as some dry wooden stakes I stole from the garage, but at last I built a fire.

Paired with this moment at the end of a long week during which I’ve had no time for reflection amidst the melee of experience and obligation was a short moment of respite, my beautiful and ever supportive wife, a few great friends, and a bottle of wine.

I turn to Silverado wines often, and especially when I’m in need of a break. Instantly, they transport me to a place where relaxation was the only goal; the guest house at Silverado Vineyards offered Sonja and I beautiful vistas as well as the time to enjoy them, with excellent coffee or wine out on the patio depending on our mood. This Chardonnay, a testament to winemaker Jon Emmerich’s abilities, is reminiscent of Napa’s about face with this varietal, offering far greater nuance and more pronounced fruits in place of the blast of oak and butter we once expected from the region and varietal. Cooler climates in Silverado’s Carneros Vineyards give this wine punchier acidity, the end result tasting more like Chablis than it does the Napa Valley. Perhaps best of all, Silverado’s entire portfolio offers tremendous value.

Sitting by the fire with people I love, I finally began to unwind. It’s a big weekend, and next week is a big week, and that cycle will continue, but to find a moment — and to build a fire and pull a cork, is to regain the enthusiasm to continue ever onward. I hope you get your wet wood lit this weekend, and that you too can find time to pull a cork and put your feet up by the fire.

Cheers to relaxation, to fond memories, and to the weekend,

Mark

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