Love At First Taste
My first experience with Meiomi Pinot Noir came in a round about way. I was at a tasting for Caymus Cabernet and the Mer Soleil Chardonnay’s (the unoaked chardonnay called “Silver” and the oaked Chardonnay-Mer Soleil) and absolutely loved both of them. A few weeks later I had an opportunity to try a Pinot Noir from the same family called Belle Glos “Meiomi” and it is now one of my favorite Pinot’s!
I have to admit I came to enjoy Pee-no’s (as I call them) quite begrudgingly. Yes, I saw the movie Sideways – twice – even visited the Santa Barbara area looking for my own Pinot revelation….But it eluded me. I just didn’t understand what all of the hype was about. Pinot Noir the new Merlot? Was that like 50 being the new 40? I wasn’t convinced. Then I discovered that terroir and the ability to coax beauty out of a finicky grape can yield some pretty amazing juice in the glass.
A Bit Of History
Meiomi (pronounced May-OH-mee) means “coast” in the language of the native California Wappo and Yuki tribes. Grapes are sourced from Meiomi’s coastal vineyards in Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties. Young winemaker, Joseph Wagner, has learned his craft from some of the best. He is a fifth generation winemaker; his father being Chuck Wagner. Yes, Caymus, Chuck Wagner. So it stands to reason he knows a thing or two about crafting beautiful wine. And the fact that he has been working in the family business since age 16 gives him a leg up. His wine label, Belle Glos, is named after his Grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, who at 95 is still very much a part of Joe’s life.
I tend to like medium to heavy bodied Pinot’s with earth, spice and pronounced fruit that can stand up to food and still impart the nuances of the wine. Well, Meiomi delivers on all accounts! On the palette, I get dark cherry with some spice and a bit of earth, finishing with silky tannins. Food enhanced all of these flavors so I knew we had a good pick to go with Melissa’s Ono and Black Bean Salad. Ono is a mild white fish similar to Mahi Mahi and the Black Bean Salad was full of flavor with peppers, red onion and Italian parsley, so this wine was the perfect accompaniment. Interestingly enough, both Melissa and Charlie (the wine steward at my favorite Fry’s Signature store) recommended the Meiomi to pair with the meal.
We finished the evening with Ethel M Chocolates. The dark chocolate truffle and the milk chocolate caramel were given a resounding “Yes” from around the table for pairing with the wine. Another successful night of “Field Research” completed!
Meiomi is found at high-end grocery stores, big box wine stores and yes, even Costco! The price ranges from $18 to $25 a bottle, so while you’re at it buy 6 – you get a better discount!
I’d love to hear about your favorite wine experiences, so please share.
Until next time, Cheers to you!