OkieWineGirl

A Wine Drinker Rambling about Wine

Month: April 2017

Oklahoma Skies #3 – Sunset

There are approximately a thousand pictures on my iPhone of the Oklahoma skies. Apparently, I’m infatuated with them. Some days, they can be fairly spectacular. We might not have much here in tornado alley, but more often than not the skies are saturated in a range of glorious colors. 

 

Taken on the eve of the season opener at our new high school stadium. A promising beginning . . . 

August 23, 2016

Artfully Crafted Inside and Out: Meeker Vineyard Winemaker’s Handprint Merlot

“There’s nothing too serious except the wine itself.”

~ Molly Meeker, Owner, Meeker Vineyard Sonoma County

Where do I start?

After participating in a speedy hour of #Winestudio chat covering various aspects of Meeker Vineyard wines, I feel like Dorothy gazing out the window as the tornado spins objects around her. Spring time in Oklahoma and my mind goes automatically to twisters! However, instead of a Spinster flying by on a bicycle, it’s a 2nd generation dynamic wine duo and their deliciously full-bodied Merlot. Their impressive social media and wine acumen has me thinking of those purple clad super twins from the ’80s which is fitting since it was their Merlot we were chatting about! For those who grew up in the early 80s, you’ll know them. Yup, the Wonder Twins. Except, these Wonder twins activated their superpowers in  form of Merlot crafting winemaker, shape of wine savvy social media maven and are working to preserve a strong family tradition while progressing toward the future. Who are these Wonder Twins wielding their wine power in Sonoma, you ask? Brother and sister team, Lucas and Kelly Meeker, of Meeker Vineyard in Sonoma County, California.

This sibling duo are 2nd generation heirs wanting to preserve their parents legacy while crafting a progressive vision for the future of Meeker Vineyards. Definitely, No Woolworth heiresses here. Their parents, Charlie and Molly Meeker, who purchased the first vineyard in 1977, are still very much involved as President, CEO and chief bottle-washers. However, Lucas is now head winemaker and bottle decorator while sister, Kelly, manages the winery’s social media, website and marketing.

Confession:

I was only going to ‘check-in’ on the March #winestudio chats but the second week’s wine, Meeker Vineyard 2013 Winemaker’s Handprint Merlot Sonoma County, (14.4%, $43 SRP), immediately had me contacting my trusty wine shop guru about the bottle. I love artful approaches and wanted to see it in person. The winemaker’s actual hand print adorns every bottle. All 2000 to be exact. I wasn’t able to buy the 2013 that #winestudio was tasting with the discussion but the 2012 Merlot was just as marvelous.

Upon opening, we quickly discovered an artfully crafted Merlot on the inside as a heady aroma of berries, cherries and spices filled the air. My husband and wine partner remarked of it’s strong resemblance in color and aroma to a Cabernet Sauvingon. However, the body was a touch lighter with complex layers of luscious cherries, strawberry, rhubarb, spices, vanilla and oak notes and long-lasting tannin.

The Meeker Winemaker’s Handprint Merlot is their flagship wine and a Bordeaux varietal. The Handprint is almost always a blend of two core Merlot vineyards, one in Dry Creek and one in Alexander Valley with around 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Syrah blended in to achieve a more layered flavor profile. The core wine making focal points are centered on acid and tannin structure building. According to Lucas, “A lower pH and increased tannin (grape tannin more than oak!) build integrated, seamless structures with elegance because Meeker wines are made to age. It’s a core part of how we view our identity and style goals: we’re part of a tradition we value.” 

After ‘tweeting’ with the Meeker Wonder Twins and experiencing a little of the superpowers they’re using to preserve and broaden the family wine tradition, I think Meeker Vineyards might age quite nicely. If you get a chance to visit, the Meeker Vineyard tasting room is located in the 113 year-old Geyserville bank building in Geyserville, CA. The original tasting room, interestingly enough to this Okie, was a Sioux Tipi. For more info. about Meeker Vineyard click here.

If you happen try this artfully bottled Merlot, I’d love to know your thoughts on it. My empty Handprint bottle is now displayed in our kitchen. Heck, maybe I’ll make a lamp out of it! In the meantime, I’m activating my own superpowers in the form of WineDrinker and shape of patio for pairing! 

Cheers friends,

Allison

Off the Vineyard Trail #5: The First Anniversary of a Life Well-Lived

An entire year has gone by since my mom passed away or as I try to remind myself ‘moved to heaven’.  We have a reassurance in Christ of seeing her again, but as life has gone on, filled with milestones, I’ve struggled with the fact my mom has missed every single one. Two Graduations. Spring concerts. Wedding. Milestone Birthdays. First grandchild to college. Trips. Reunions.

I keep wondering how one deals with this type of anniversary? It’s not really something to celebrate. I want to be sensitive to my family, but, honestly, sitting and staring out a window is the most appealing; which for some reason, immediately makes me think of my mother rolling her eyes and saying ‘oh brother!’. And that makes me laugh. You have to have known my mother to understand. Sweet, kind, compassionate, and bossy and no nonsense. She was a doer. DAV volunteer, Veterans Advocate, Fundraiser, Church Food Pantry, Reading Specialist. She adored young people and Veterans.

Looking back, the events of That Week are a blur of pain lined with a dawning realization there was a lot more to my mom than the person I thought I knew. One thing became crystal clear; my mom’s life had a greater impact than I ever suspected. Her life was indeed ‘a life well-lived’.

Friends, neighbors and family crowded my mom’s memorial service and funeral. As they sought to speak words of comfort, each conversation began to take on a similar tone, “When I was. . . in school, put my mom in a care unit, moved to a new city, lost my job, struggled with depression, lost my spouse, was in cancer treatment . . . your mom sent me a card every week, every birthday, holiday. Your mom is why. . . . I graduated, kept going, am here today. Your mom told me I mattered. She prayed with me. She said I’d succeed when everyone around me said I’d fail. She told me mistakes don’t define you and I was loved no matter past choices. Your mom sent a gift card . . . for diapers, groceries, date night, the electric bill. By the end of the week, I had lost count of how many had shared what my mom had meant in their life. One thing was obvious; she had spent her time investing in the most valuable commodity – people.

One of the sweetest moments for me occurred during her visitation service. In the middle of greeting others, my brothers and I noticed two young women whom we didn’t know, slip quietly in to pay their respects. It was later that evening, after reading the guestbook, we realized they worked at the Sonic near my parents’ house.

Now, if you ever had the privilege of meeting my mom, you’d quickly discover her ‘addiction’ to Sonic ice tea. We loved to tease her mercilessly about her favorite accessory; a Route 44 Sonic cup. Mom went to Sonic so often, she knew the workers by name and their life stories. They would save free drink coupons for her and even take a tea out to the car before she finished parking. Mom fretted over their life situations and constantly tipped far beyond the cost of the tea. I only discovered this after she sharply reprimanded me the one time I forgot the tip! The day before mom’s service, my dad stopped by Sonic to tell them what had happened.  As they stood at the drive thru window, the crew tearfully shared how mom had encouraged and blessed their lives.

Today, when I drive by a Sonic, those two young women come instantly to mind and the impact my mom’s life had on them. I find it comforting in the midst of missing her. I’m not exactly sure how the actual day will play out but I do know, instead of dwelling on the life we now live without her, I want to choose to be thankful to God for her example and make this the first anniversary of a life very well-lived.

Love you mom.

“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:3-4

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