Our daughters were small children when John and I began to write Tastings, our wine column in The Wall Street Journal. Over the almost 12 years that we wrote it, many events from their lives crept into the column. It's still hard to believe that they’re now legally of age to drink wine.
We touched Champagne to their lips as they were born, according to what we’d heard was a French tradition. With Media, now 24, it was Salon le Mesnil, a gift from Chip Cassidy, a wine merchant in Miami who taught us so much. WithZoë, who is 16 months younger, it was Taittinger, our wedding Champagne, and it was from a split because John, this time, had to hide it from the hospital’s staff.
Years beyond their sippy-cup stage, they began noticing that John and I drank wine every night. They could recognize the scents of Muscats and Rieslings while still in elementary school and snickered when we said that Sauvignon Blanc can smell like cat’s pee. When we had Sauternes—we laid down Château d’Yquem from their birth years—they stuck their fingers in it. As we’d hoped, they grew up viewing wine as commonplace and also, sometimes, incredibly special. Open to everything, both prefer bone-dry reds. Now, they call from wine shops, seeking advice, and keep a few bottles in the apartment they share.
Still, we knew we’d crossed some sort of milestone a little while ago when we tasted a wine and agreed that we had to buy another bottle to introduce our girls to it. It was Anne Amie Vineyards 2011 Cuvée A Amrita, an unusual white blend of 10 grape types from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Viognier make up most of it, but the label didn’t list any grapes. It did say this: “The name Amrita comes from the Buddhist equivalent of ambrosia, or a wine of the gods. Our Amrita is a unique inspiration each harvest, crafted from different varieties to be an irresistible, lightly effervescent, fruit-forward wine.” With the first sniff, I was hooked. And then we tasted it. Oh my! It had hints of honeydew melon, white peaches, pears, lychees and green apples, all over a foundation of minerality. It also had a focused purity and a lush, long finish.
The sustainably farmed winery is named after the owner’s two daughters, Anne and Amy. We introduced it to ours a few weeks ago. They’re still talking about it.
Dorothy J. Gaiter conceived and wrote The Wall Street Journal's wine column, "Tastings," from 1998 to 2010 with her husband, John Brecher. She has been tasting and studying wine since 1973. She has had a distinguished career in journalism as a reporter, editor, columnist and editorial writer at The Miami Herald and The New York Times as well as at The Journal.
The below wine is the 2012 Anne Amie Amrita, not the 2011 as mentioned in the article.