We are living in such a politically divisive world that, at times, it seems that there is no one issue that Republicans and Democrats can agree upon, and furthermore, the parties themselves are so fractured that there are many mini-parties within the main ones. But again, as I always like to say, we just need to open up some bottles of wine to help people have some adult conversations with each other. And lo and behold, wine has become a topic that has seen cooperation from both parties.
A bipartisan congressional resolution, H. Res. 766, was introduced to recognize the uniqueness of American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) such as Napa Valley, Willamette Valley in Oregon and Long Island in New York, and as a declaration that it is important to protect those names from potential fraud. Also, it is a resolution co-sponsored by Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) and Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1), that declared the great contributions that American wine regions provide to the US and global economy.
Wine Origins Alliance
Wine Origins Alliance is the group that can be credited for lobbying for such a resolution that could help to ensure future legislation that will protect misleading wine labels that damage quality American wine regions, as well as respect for other well-known wine growing areas, such as Bordeaux and Chianti Classico, around the world. Since 2005, the Wine Origins Alliance has been working diligently to raise awareness of the importance of the sense of place in regards to winemaking and the integrity of those names connected to established wine locations. Currently, its members include 23 wineries and grape-growing organizations in 9 different countries that span North America, Europe and Australia.
In the beginning of March, the Wine Origins Alliance led a press conference at the Vinexpo New York, bringing attention to an online poll they conducted with GBA Strategies, that was explained by GBA Strategies’ Senior Adviser Mark Feierstein. The results of this poll pointed to the importance of not misleading consumers when it comes to wine labels. This survey took place during the second week of February of this year and included 800 US consumers who said that they had each bought at least two bottles of wine a month, making them “occasional” or “regular” wine drinkers. Almost 95% of the wine consumers on this survey said they would support laws that would ensure the protection of the names of wine regions. Also, other key findings from this poll included the idea that consumers do notice the region on wine labels, and that they reject the notion that geographic origin names are generic and don’t need protection.
The constant fights that are tearing this world apart mainly center around the vehement demand for respect and understanding from those in different circumstances or areas of the world. But how can anyone expect respect for their situation when they are, in the same breath, making sweeping generalizations about others? Leave it to wine producers to know that the answer is to get as many representatives from around the world on board so they can promote the idea that the only way to thrive in this world is through mutual respect. And that is the one common denominator in every great glass of wine that I drink: respect.
These are a few favorite wines that I have tasted in the past year that are part of the regional organizations that make up the Wine Origins Alliance.
Everyday Drinking Wine (less than $15)
2015 Cecchi, Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy ($14.99): Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico is one of the groups associated with the Wine Origins Alliance and so I wanted to share one of my everyday, go-to red wines, Cecchi Chianti. The majority of this wine is Sangiovese, with a pretty nose of flowers and fresh red cherry fruit that had a touch of dusty earth; such a nice touch of complexity at such a value price. Round body and refreshing acidity make this wine go down easy.
Special Occasion Wine (from $15 to $50)
2015 Channing Daughters, Lagrein ‘Home Farm Vineyard’, The Hamptons AVA, Long Island Wine, New York ($35): Long Island Wine Country is another group that is involved with Wine Origins Alliance and Channing Daughters is one of the most innovative wineries out there. Lagrein is a lesser-known black grape variety that comes from the Northeastern part of Italy, Alto Adige, and now one can find it in the Northeastern part of the US at Channing Daughters. This wine has lush flavors of blue and black fruit with an intoxicating perfume of wild flowers, stony minerality and black pepper notes, with plenty of flesh on the palate balanced by bright acidity.
Fantasy Wine (over $50)
2002 Bruno Paillard, N.P.U. ‘Nec Plus Ultra’, Champagne AOC, France ($180): The CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne) is unsurprisingly part of the Wine Origins Alliance as they have always been leaders in protecting their name as a wine region. This 2002 NPU is from Champagne Grand Cru communes: Oger, Chouilly, Verzenay and Mailly. 13 years on the lees with 3 years of rest after disgorgement. Silky, fine texture with apple tart and roasted almonds with a fully flavored, multi-complex finish that seemed to never stop. Wow Wee Ah Wow, Wow… yes, that is a technical term.