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Favorite Things
December 1st, 2014
Peggy Fiandaca

Oprah gained a huge following for many things including her annual “Favorite Things” list she announced every holiday season. I don’t presume to have the same market impact that she does but my wine lovers list might provide you with some ideas.

Lawrence Dunham Vineyards

Estate Wines – There are now over 100 winery licenses in Arizona and a handful of wineries producing 100% estate wines like Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. Though only a winery in a federally-designated American Viticulture Area (AVA) can use the term “Estate” on the front label, only the wines made from the grapes grown from the property are called estate. As wine collectors, there is something truly special when a wine is a reflection of the place where it is grown. Wines produced from Mount Veeder in Napa Valley or the Burgundy region of France produce wines with distinctive characteristics no matter the winemaker. Finding that area and recognizing that sense of place in a wine is one of my favorite things. Crack open a bottle of our 2011 The Signature Petite Sirah and you will taste the rich volcanic soils and minerals of the Chiricahua Mountain foothills.

Crystal Decanter – Trust me it makes a difference. To me, enjoying wine requires me to slow down in order to savor the nuances and enjoy the layers of flavors in each wine.

I love big, bold red wines like our 2012 Syrah.
   Lawrence Dunham Vineyards

So an hour before serving, I pour the bottle into a nice glass decanter and let the flavors emerge. The decanter does not have to be expensive but it needs to be able to let the wine breath.

Wine Clubs – Though we now have our own winery, we still belong to several wine clubs. We have been wine club members for over 20 years of one of our favorite wineries that also served as our business role model. The great thing about belonging to a wine club is that you can get to know the personality of the wines and winemaker over time. Many clubs like ours let its members get a behind the scenes look at winemaking and viticulture without making a major real estate investment. I have also enjoyed receiving a wine club membership or a wine gift certificate from a friend’s favorite winery. An application to join the Lawrence Dunham Vineyards Sky Islander Wine Club is available at this link. General information is on the LDV website at this link.

Wine Glasses – The glass plays a very important role in the enjoyment of wine. You need a good balloon glass to be able to swirl the wine without it splashing out in order to enjoy the wine’s aromas. If you only want to purchase one type of wine glass that is versatile to enjoy all types of wine, choose a Bordeaux glass. This glass has a broad bowl that narrows at the lip to direct wine to the mouth. It is perfect for enjoying red wines. Another good versatile choice is a Burgundy glass. It is a bit broader than the Bordeaux with a bigger bowl that accumulates aromas of finer wines like a Pinot Noir and Grenache.

So for the wine enthusiast on your list, pick up a great estate wine, purchase a set of Bordeaux glasses, and tuck a gift certificate to an Arizona wine club into a crystal decanter so they can enjoy great wine year round.