Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wine and Song with Sinatra

Like a fastball to a pitcher, there are vocal qualities, which can be guided, but rely on God-given attributes for success. When such talent arrives, you see smiles everywhere. Such as beamed at the pre-release tasting of the new Sinatra Family Estate wines at NapaStyle in Costa Mesa.

God blessed Frank Sinatra with a signature voice that inimitably conveyed the emotions of time and place. As a child, h was called by his Italian nickname, “La Voce.” Translated into the tongue of his family’s adopted United States, “The voice”.The one instantly recognized for how it tenderly caresses every note with tender affection. To us, Frank Sinatra was an icon. A persona born to produce enduring quality.

(l-r)  Amanda and Lydia
To Amanda Sinatra Erlinger, he was grandpa. Now a Laguna painter known for large scale abstract ocean/ landscapes, Nancy's daughter didn't hesitate at the question about a favorite memory. It was when he was, “Teaching me to paint on an easel when I was 7 or 8.”  

 Amanda's duties now include introducing the world to the newest Sinatra legacy. World class red wines.

Wearing a fedora  such as her grandfather made popular, Amanda shared stories of a loving family where food and wine shared a central role with ever-present music playing in the background. 

The family long yearned to make a professional stretch over to beloved wine. But first they had to find people to partner with who embody the same enthusiastic, "Love of food and family. (People who will) put heart into everything. " People like John Schwartz and Danielle Price

Ashlee Hallengren, Sales and Marketing with the Sinatra Family Winery is justifiably proud of the wines. 
The first wine she served was inaugural  the “La Voce” Super Tuscan 2008.

The winery website hints at how something so simple as 92%Sangiovese blends with  and 8% Colorino grapes,  conjures magic from a vineyard located in the hills of Fiesole, Italy to earn the lable La Voce.  The Super-Tuscan style "wine is handcrafted using old world methods, including alcohol fermentation in open top oak barrels for 3-weeks with manual punch downs every four hours. The wine rests in new French Allier barriques for another 18 months to add roundness and complexity."

If you understand the term country formal in interior decorating, you understand the nature of "La Voce". Despite being a very fine wine, it is approachable and unpretentious.  This is a celebrate-your- Italian-roots kind of wine- even if the only Italian thing about you is an appreciation for the culture's melodic entertainment style.

Store manager James Franklin suggested a perfect meal with this wine might start with a tempting assortment of  anti-pasta tray laden with  sopressa  and cheeses.

Amanda suggested a memorable main course a grandfather would have liked with this wine would have been a simple simple pasta, "Perhaps a rigatoni. Perhaps with sausages and meatballs"  in a  tomato basil sauce.

The satisfaction of this wine might only have been matched with its Calistoga, California Cabernet cousin, 2008 “Nothing But the Best”. A  superlative estate grown blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Fran.

With the first sip, my mind focused in like a lens turned to macro. In that moment I tasted the answer to the question-  Does it matter where oak comes from in fermenting wine? The brilliant collaborators aged the vintage for, "22 months in a combination of 75% new French oak (Taransaud, Saury and Seguin Moreau) and 25% neutral French barrels."

Pure and straightforward sophistication. Back in Diamond Bar, outside in my garden my roses sizzled in the blistering 110.8 °F. Yet, a few miles down the freeway,served by people devoted to true hospitality, I may as well have been sitting under a shaded European Veranda.

When I began documenting this memory of the day, the air conditioning was struggling to keep up with the record breaking 115.8°F. Yet thoughts of this wine transport my imagination to some future cool evening where I would want to light the fireplace. Sinatra's music smooth the ambiance. I see roses overflowing a crystal vase on the dining table.  Dinner will match the wine's fine masculinity with the kind of dinner gals of my vintage would serve a Tom Selleck-type for dinner. Prime Rib, baked potato and salad. In this fantasy the firelight will stir some romantic inclinations.

Of course, this wine is good enough to make a memory all on its own. A classic tome- perhaps a Michener or a Follet will be pulled down from the shelf. With such a wine, life is simply divine.

The published release date for this wine is November 1st. However,  James has some available  in Corona del Mar. As these releases are very limited, I suggest opening the wallet wide as soon as possible. Don't let this opportunity slip by like a star-crossed summer romance. Those are easier to come by and will cost over the $95 per bottle price these loves will.

NapaStyle Costa Mesa  is in South Coast Plaza
3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa, CA
(714) 825-0445

"Memories" time capsule found down the freeway at Roger's Gardens 


Oregon Sue said...

Oh L, the wine sounds devine! (Devine wine from da vine. OH Gawd! I'm goofy!) Your descriptions as always, are wonderful. As for Mr. Sinatra, I would put on my headphones listening to him singing and I swear it was like he was laying in bed next to me! ZOWIE! LOVED that man. xo

Lydia said...

Oregon Sue- I think I GREAT idea for a holiday time reunion among girlfreinds might be for everyone to go in on a bottle and get a Frank Sinatra theme going.

Anonymous said...


I have cob webs in my head this morning after a long tiring day yesterday. When I first looked at that pic of you with that gal my first thought was "Wow! That girl looks like Nancy Sinatra". Is she Nancy's daughter?

The wine does sound devine but as much as I love wine I am not a lover of spending mega bucks on a bottle. I enjoy all priced wines so I had rather have more than one expensive. lol

Sounds like you had a great time. Loved reading about it.

Hugs, XO Trisha

Lydia said...

Dear Trisha- You are a jewel among women.

You are right. Price is not a reliable indicator of wine quality. It all depends what you have to give up to determine value.

These Sinatra Family Estate wines are the vinoculture equivalent of premium seating at a live performance of- say- Michael Buble'. Most wines are CD's.

It is blessed to be able to enjoy both.