There are certain anchor points that exist in every culture and time period. And few of them steeped in more richness and history than wine.
The roots of wine can be traced back to foundational historical documents, from the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs to the almost laughable Bible story of Noah who — after surviving an apocalyptic flood that destroyed nearly all life on earth — found land, planted grapes, made wine, and got shit-faced (what a way to celebrate surviving global genocide!).
Wine has implanted itself palpably throughout the history of mankind. It was the blood of the Christ at the center of the last supper. It was a prescription for warriors under the rule of Caesar in order to become stronger in battle. It was in both the pillaging and celebration of WWII (few bottles still exist from this time period, due to the bombing and hostile takeover of famed wine making cities during and after the battles). It’s central in the lives of families that have been making wine for centuries with pride, tradition, learning, and industrial fervor.
Because of this, there is a certain mystery this grape juice holds. It represents so much to so many. It captures memories, and it bottles the heaviness of a long day. And wine exudes beauty. As Galileo so profoundly put it, “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”
Where there is food, there is (and arguably should be) a wine to pair it with. This most sacred of liquids is an illuminator to the palate, the food, and the senses. If you are observant, its nuance will emerge, marking the place and time and people that are sharing it.
Wine is also big business, most recently seen in the numerous Hong Kong auctions, in which collector’s gems frequently sell in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For some geographies, it is the central industry. And an industry that is inclusive of farming, barrel-making, chemical analysis, and tourism (because really, name a place that grows wine, guaranteed that it’s probably beautiful). And it is an industry catering to customers in every tax bracket, making consumables for both red solo cups and fine crystal.
At Classfare, we’ve consumed our fair share of wine. We agree with Thomas Jefferson when he said, “Wine, for me, is a necessity of life.” And through connection, saving our pennies, or receiving an amazing gift, we’ve tasted some fine wines.
In Oregon, there is a beautiful geographic area called the Willamette Valley. This place is home to a world-class wine region. Some call it “little Burgundy”, due to their similarities in climate and weather patterns. Combined with the vision of notable winemakers, this climate has produced many wonderful wines of distinction.
Many have planted vines in the Willamette Valley, but only a handful make something special, or worth the money. Mohammed (Mo) Ayoub who started his winery in the early 2000s, is one of them. He found a piece of property in the Dundee Hills with south facing slopes and Jory soil. He had a vision for the vineyard. He got educated on wine making. He is one of the few who fell so in love with wine that he took on the task of making his own, turning wine into his vocation, his calling, and his life.
“Mo” makes wonderfully elegant wines. Not overdone. They display the climate, the aesthetic of Oregon wine and its dirt. Or as the wine world calls it, ‘terrior’. They show patience and reservation. They age wonderfully. They are rich but are not heavy. They are illuminating and full of character. They are feminine and balanced and are made just the way pinot noir should be made. As such, Ayoub has garnered much critical acclaim. These wines are worth tasting, so order a bottle (or three), make a meal (preferably with pork), and share it with some friends.
In so many ways, wine awakens the soul. So be openhanded about cracking a bottle with friends or strangers or colleagues. Because wine deserves a place in our histories and minds and bodies. For it is full of time, and wonder. And also alcohol.
Ayoub Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Winemakers notes: Perfumy and seductive nose with dried rose petals, wild strawberry, red cherry compote, candied orange peel and nutmeg. Satiny and complex on the palate, with generous bright red cherry, pomegranate, savory notes and lots of tension. The layered finish evolves endlessly on the palate. This is a beautiful wine, another great expression of the Estate vineyard. It needs time to reveal its full beauty; best from 2018 to 2028.