Last Friday night, Sally and I enjoyed a bottle of 2006 Benzinger Stone Farm Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon while dining at our favorite local restaurant, Terra American Bistro. The wine and the meal were both fantastic, but the experience also reminded us how sharing wine creates so many fun and interesting connections. We did the calculations and realized that the Benzinger we were enjoying that night could be traced back to our love of wine in just six degrees of separation.
And no, Kevin Bacon is not involved.
Benziger is a certified organic winery in the Sonoma wine region. They make a lot of fantastic wine, including the Cabernet Sauvignon we had at Terra. The 2006 Stone Farm Vineyards version had dark cherry and blackberry flavors with incredible tannins that started with the first taste and lasted all the way down. It was a wonderful match with Sally's bistro burger and my chipotle skirt steak. The only problem is we had purchased only one bottle, so this was a one and done experience. Boo.
My friend Lenore had recommended we try Benzinger when we were planning one of our wine adventures a few years ago. Friends are always a great source of ideas for trying new wines, and Lenore's suggestion didn't disappoint. Over the years, we've discovered many terrific new wines this way.
#3: Matanzas Creek Winery
Sally and I recently enjoyed a bottle of 2006 Matanzas Creek Merlot. How did we discover this wine? Lenore shared a bottle with me. Proving that shared bottles are the best bottles, this one was tremendous. We normally try to pair nice wine with a nicer meal, but this time we were in the mood for comfort food and opened it up with plain ol' spaghetti. The Merlot made the spaghetti seem gourmet and we continued to savor the wine long after the meal was finished. It had brighter fruit flavors than a typical Merlot, but was soft and delicate with wonderful tannins on the finish.
#4 Mazzocco Winery
Why did Lenore give us a bottle of wine from Matanzas Creek Winery? Besides being a very nice person, she remembered us talking about a winery I liked in Sonoma. Mazzocco and Mantanzas sound a lot a like, so it was a happy accident that Sally and I discovered a new winery in the process. We had visited Mazzocco in 2007 with our friend Heather and had a great time. Side note - we discovered Mazzocco thanks to our real estate agent, Pat Donovon, who gave us a bottle as a housewarming gift.
#5 Artezin Wines
While tasting wine at Mazzocco, we met Jane Messick, who sells grapes used to make Artezin Zinfandel. We love Artezin!
#6 The Hess Collection
Artezin is made by Hess, one of our favorite wineries. Hess is the first wine that we both remember getting us excited about wine. And, it's probably our most shared.