There’s something magical in a rainy day and night. It’s even more magical when it’s been several months since the last really good downpour. Tuesday and Wednesday were rainy days in our part of the world and it’s one of those things that changes people’s demeanor. No. . .not for the worse–for the BETTER. You talk with people at the post office or a restaurant or a grocery store and they’re talking about the rain–with smiles on their faces. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. Typically, cloudy-gray days bring about depression and sadness. In parts of the country where winter has set in; cloudy days are a part of the season. Lousy weather is the norm and sunny days are longed for in a BIG way. In our part of the world, rainy days are as good or better than sunny days. You see, rain is a precious commodity, and those of us who live anywhere west of I-35 in Texas understand that rain equals good and too much sun equals drought. For the better part of the last five plus years, our part of the state has been living through drought conditions that have existed only once in the past 55-60 years. A growing population has put further stress on a water system that struggles to maintain–let alone grow.
We have learned to appreciate heavy rains, light rains, downpours and drizzle as gifts from above. Watching the water flow out of the headwaters of the San Marcos River is a daily reminder of the constant need for water. Watching lake levels drop even during slow times of the year is a constant reminder of how precious the commodity of water really is, and there is nothing–and we mean nothing, more frustrating than seeing water sprayed on a lawn and watching it run off–down the gutter in complete waste. Please understand–there was a time in our lives that a beautiful green carpet of grass was a source of pride and the envy of the neighborhood. However, after living in parts of the state where rainfall is a gift and lawns are expendable, we’ve learned to appreciate a low-maintenance or no-maintenance yard. The days of watering your lawn for hours on end are rapidly coming to an end.
Sure, if you live in parts of the country that routinely get their average annual rainfall or more, it’s still easy to turn on that sprinkler and let it run till it runs; but, in our world, that water is WAY too precious to waste on grass when it can go into a thermos for drinking or a pot for cooking. Maybe it’s because we’ve gotten a little older and a little wiser, but the thought of using perfectly good water on a yard is quickly going the way of the cassette tape or the VHS video tape.
Tonight we revisited our friends at Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles, California and tasted their 2011 Savior Zinfandel. Now, we’ve had this laying down for almost four months and knowing it’s still a young wine, we decided that tonight would be a really good night to taste this wine. It’s a pretty wine. . .lighter in color and texture than many Zins we’ve tried but the nose is special. . .it’s fresh, crisp and just a touch of smokiness to go with a vanilla scent. There’s a lot of fruit on the tasting with blueberries at the top of the chart followed closely by cranberries and raspberries. . .subtle but definitely pronounced. The finish is smooth, silky and flavorful; however, our feeling is because of its’ young age, the finish is shorter than we’d normally expect from a wine like this. Peachy Canyon rarely–if ever–disappoints with their Zinfandels. Some of our favorites have come from these folks including Especial, Westside, Vortex and one of our all-time favorites, Snow. While not in our normal price range, if you can get this wine for under $30–buy it, lay it down and make a note to yourself to open in 2015–it’s going to get even better as time goes by.
And, a lot like when it rains, things start to get better here too. . .from greened up roadways and planter beds to reservoirs with plenty of water for livestock, the impact of rainfall makes almost everything better. Can too much of a good thing be bad? You bet–too much rainfall has the opposite effect and flooding can create its’ own set of issues, but for our purposes–tonight, we’re thankful to have the skies open up and the rain coming down.
We hope that when you sit down to enjoy your favorite wine–maybe out on the porch while it’s raining–that you’ll enjoy it responsibly and you’ll remember to recycle whenever possible.