What We Drank For The Big B-Day

Shannon K.

My partner Shannon recently celebrated a milestone birthday [ editor’s note: Shannon is quite a bit younger than the Dude ], and so we deemed it necessary to both celebrate a bit early (due to her demanding work schedule, since she is a consummate and dedicated professional) and to dip into the wine sample pool for something appropriately special.

The sample pool, as it usually does, performed admirably. And so I’d thought I should share some thoughts on what we decided to imbibe to celebrate a lovely lady who very much deserves to be celebrated! Incidentally, she has no idea that I am writing and posting this, so I expect to earn serious loverboy points here…

IUS Naturae

crowd pleaser2021 Bortolomiol Ius Naturae Millesimato Brut, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, $23

Yeah, I decided to branch out from Champers for some reason, live with it. This 100% Organic Glera bubbly from Parco della Filandetta shows why Valdobbiadene Prosecco is totally killing it right now. I’m not saying it’s a mirror image of vintage Champagne—far from it. But that’s in part what makes it awesome in its own right: it’s still Prosecco’s super-friendly self, just more sophisticated. Vintage Valdobbiadene is now consistently hitting the quality of NV Champers for a bit less moolah (kind of like how Franciacorta is hot on Champagne’s heels in the $25-$30 range).

This one is a rambunctious, crowd-pleasing mix of blossom, red and green (and yellow) apples, and pear flavors, all floating on a slight creamy note and a fleshy texture. Great length for the money, too. Apparently, by their own admission, Bortolomiol decided to go Brut style on this to blatantly appeal to the international market. Mission accomplished, friends

Mira 2015 Cabernet

2015 Mira Winery Schweizer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, $233

Coming in at roughly ten times the price of the bubbly is this milestone 2015 vintage of one of Mira’s flagship reds (marking ten years since founders Gustavo Gonzalez of Mondavi fame and entrepreneur Jim Dyke, Jr. formed the idea for Mira after a chance meeting at a DC-area hotel bar). This Cab’s source, the Schweizer Vineyard, is bordering on legendary status, having been planted to grapes in what would become Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District for more than a century (and under the care of the Schweizer family since the 1950s). At just over 40 acres, it’s relatively small, and production of this vintage only hit 500 cases. 

2015 is known as a fruit-driven, high-quality, low-yield (read: power-packed) red vintage in Napa, and this Cab demonstrates all of that to an extreme beauty that’s almost too potent to fully experience. Almost. Everything is dialed up here to the point that it’s 15.5% abv feels impeccably, funambulist-ically balanced. You’ll sense graphite, warming oak spice, cranberry, ripe blackberry, dried sage, cinnamon, black raspberry… there’s just a metric sh*t-ton going on here. With the impressive concentration of the vintage, this one is still really fruity, and very structured despite its silky profile—it’s got time to go if you’re patient. An appropriately gorgeous, sexy wine (for celebrating an incomparably gorgeous, sexy lady).

Cheers (to Shannon)!

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