Photo courtesy:

Photo courtesy:

It was a quiet Monday evening. We had glasses of red poured and I had just pulled a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free pizza from the oven. Joel was preparing to slice it with our farmhouse rocking blade—it’s a terrifying piece of cutlery. The doorbell rang. As we seldom have unscheduled visitors (who does these days?), we expected it was a solicitor. We’d had a slew of local high school athletes peddling fast food coupon books recently. I jokingly told Joel to take the blade with him to the door. He didn’t. He approached the door, looked through the peephole and with urgency opened it to…our good friends.

Our good and early friends. 

Early by a week.

Laughter ensued over the most fortunate mix up. Then we sliced the pizza and opened the bottle of La Crema 2011 Pinot Noir they brought along. This had nostalgic significance for me, as La Crema pinot noir was the first pinot I ever tried when I first began exploring grown up red wines.

La Crema as a producer is all about cool climate, and this pinot noir is from the very cool Sonoma Coast. Anytime I think of Sonoma I imagine wafts of fog drifting over gentle hills in the cool calm of the barely lit morning. This is the life of a Sonoma Coast vine and it shines through in the elegant complexities of the wines from the appellation—namely chardonnay and pinot noir.

This particular pinot noir is layered with flavor—I’ll spare you my subjective tasting notes per this agreement. Suffice it to say, it’s juicy and medium-bodied with fruit and vanilla up front, and a bit of spice at the end. It’s also about $13.

La Crema, in my opinion, can be counted on for consistency and quality across the board. I’m glad its pinot noir is where I started so many years ago and now I have an even fonder memory of this wine—as the centerpiece of a spontaneous evening of conversation and community with dear friends.