Weekend Wine

August 18 is National Pinot Noir Day!

Whenever possible, I always like to bring a Texas winemaker to the fore, and even though he no longer lives in Texas, ex-Austinite Adam Lee certainly still qualifies as a hometown guy.

He was one of a trio of Austin dudes that fell under the spell of Pinot Noir, all of whom worked with a couple of wine shops in town and then decided they would head out west and see if they could find work in the wine business. Adam and his wife Dianna were the first to hit the big time with their own winery, called Siduri. If you are not already a fan of the Siduri wines, then you are in for a treat.

Adam Lee showing his love for 80's rock, and his Pinot Noir. (Photo Courtesy of the Winery)

The winery produces dozens of different Pinot Noirs, though they have a sideline in other wines as well. But anyone who loves the Pinot Noir grape knows three things. First, in a post-Sideways world (that’s a film for those of you not attuned to the arcane juxtaposition of wine and Hollywood), all Pinots have gotten expensive – sometimes, in the case of French versions, pushing the price of a nice used car. Second, as soon as you get your first taste of Pinot that connects with your soul, it’ll be as addictive as crack. Third, any wine that doesn’t live up to that seminal bottle will inevitably make you buy still another with the hopes that you’ll be able to recreate the first time.

That is why you should always look for a really good maker and doggedly stick with them. Adam makes wines that belong on that list. One of the best ways to discover the Siduri magic is to try their entry level wine the Russian River Pinot ($35). This is all the Pinot most people will ever need, amply proving the seductiveness of the grape with big red fruit and berry aromas and the kind of mouthfeel that matches so seamlessly with everything from Beef Bourguignon to broiled salmon. If the perfumed aromas grab you and you want to move up, try the Rosella’s Vineyard wine from the Santa Lucia Highlands ($55). If that sounds like a lot of cash, start saving your money. It’s cheaper than most addictive drugs, and certainly a lot more pleasurable.

photo Courtesy of the Winery
Photo Courtesy of the Winery

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