I just saw the wonderful new Stephen Spielberg movie Lincoln. Daniel Day Lewis conveys Lincoln’s humanity, brilliance, and tenacity - among many other positive characteristics - which might explain why so many people are still fascinated by this great man. As I was watching, I could not help thinking what it would have been like to shake his hand, hear the Gettysburg Address, or even have a conversation with him.
I guess the same wishful thinking about traveling back in time holds true for many of us who have great people we admire. How amazing and even life changing it would have been to have heard the Sermon on the Mount, or hear Gandhi deliver his famous Kingsley Hall speech in London. You probably have your own personal favorites that you would have liked to have witnessed.
The primary reason we are still in awe of these amazing people is that they were brilliant visionaries with a humane mission founded on sincere beliefs. They changed the world through thoughtful yet powerful leadership and yet remained down to earth. In more modern terms - they were the real deal!
You wonder why I am writing about this and what it has to do with wine. Well, last year I had a similar experience that was one of those rare and influential moments that will always hold a top position in my life’s memories. However, it was not about a person; it happened when I tasted two wines: the 1945 and 1947 Chateaux Petrus. They were amazing. I was stunned, in awe, ecstatic, inspired … enlightened.
To taste a 67 and 65 year old wine (respectively) that still had such amazing aromas and a fantastic mouth-feel with a lush, rich finish was just awe inspiring. These wines are primarily merlot based, so who would argue that merlot doesn’t make one of the greatest red wines in the world?!
Apart from being a humbling experience, I was also energized and inspired to continue to work on this wonderful variety and make wines that can compete with the greatest in the world. Long Island is one of the best regions to make fantastic merlots. With hard work, skill, determination, and a little money, there are some great merlots being made right here on our home turf.
There is a wonderful organization called Long Island Merlot Alliance that makes a wine called Merliance. This is a special blend made from merlots from each participating member. Merlot is the most planted red variety on Long Island and almost all wineries make a merlot (or their red blends are mostly merlot based), and the prices range from $16 to $100. The Bedell merlot was even served at President Obama’s inauguration this year.
There are many different wines made in the world, but if you want the “real deal” come and taste our Long Island merlots. And experience first-hand how classic, special, and inspirational these wines can be. Or try the 1945 or 1947 Petrus.
How I got to taste these two wines is a story for another time …