Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving And The Meaning Of Friendship

When I was a little girl, I had an Italian Mom who stayed at home everyday and took care of our family. One day, after we had made the move from Italy to Iowa, our mailman knocked on the door. In his hand was a letter from Italy. He usually didn't make it a point to interact with customers, however, being Italian himself, holding the letter had piqued his curiosity. That was 36 yrs ago...My Mom is no longer with us. (Some of you may have seen her on my Crushpad "Fusebox" label.) My Dad, sister and I celebrated our 36th Thanksgiving yesterday with that same mailman and his family. They have been our dear friends and have welcomed us like family each and every year.

Holidays are all about spending good times with family and friends. This year, I chose to bring the wines to the table. In doing so, I carefully picked two wines created by a new friend of mine, Eric Luse. I met Eric on the first day of the North American Wine Blogger's Conference in Santa Rosa last July. He happened to be the winemaker sitting at our table at the dinner. His winery is Eric Ross Winery, located in the Sonoma Valley town of Glen Ellen. He was kind enough to help me search for my camera when it accidentally got misplaced. And that would make sense because one of his great loves other than winemaking is photography. (I am a terrible photographer so I hope he forgives me for the photos!) He also has Iowa roots, something I'm finding a lot out in California. It's a small world and we've been friends ever since that day... When I expressed interest in discussing some of his wines, he was kind enough to send samples.

The white wine I chose to compliment our meal was the 2008 Marsanne Roussanne Saralee's Vineyard. It is a new release at the tasting room and online site. Though very young, it opened up beautifully as the meal progressed. Very elegant, stone fruit flavor with creamy undertones. It was a big hit as most at our table had never tried a Marsanne Roussanne before. This one would be equally good by itself as a nice warm weather sipper. It has a lot of finesse. $28.00

The red wine was perfect! I couldn't have done it better! The 2007 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Ivywood Vineyard. Wow! Light in color, light bodied, but with so much explosive cherry pomegranate flavor and a lot of spice. It paired perfectly with the turkey, prime rib, stuffing, peas and onions, green bean casserole and the risotto we had! (Thanks Mary--you are such a wonderful cook!) It disappeared quickly and someone asked if there was another bottle. I would buy this one over and over. It was grand. $40.00.

Eric Ross Wines are available online at They distribute throughout the United States so you may be able to find them locally in restaurants or wine shops in your area. If you're in Sonoma Valley, please stop by their tasting room at 14300 Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen. Now that the holiday is over, I've had the chance to reflect on yesterday. I am thankful for my family and all my friends, new and old. I am also thankful that I have finally found my true passion and that is my passion for wine and bringing stories like this one to the public. Thank you, Eric, for your friendship and for sharing your wines and being a part of our Thanksgiving! I will be bringing my friends over for a visit in the Spring!


  1. The wines sound excellent. Even better the story. There are still great people in the world. Are his wines sold in Iowa?

  2. A very nice story Grace - thanks for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. will have to check out Eric Ross. Thanks for posting. I always enjoy your blog! Happy Thanksgiving

    Josh @nectarwine (twitter)