Drinking to raise money for a good cause; who could ever be opposed to that?
Drinking good wine for a cause is even better. Boulder Wine Merchant, owned by Brett Zimmerman, hosts free wine tastings every Wednesday from 5:30-7pm, making for a nice way to get out of the midweek slump. Lately, Wednesdays have been featuring themed tastings, and on October 15, 2014 the theme was Flood wines.
Together with biking buddies Craig Lewis and Matt Cain, Brett decided to start a wine brand during the Boulder flood last year. The grapes are sourced from Santa Barbara, where Brett and his friends get together to bike. The wine tasting was accompanied by a silent auction with donations from favorite local businesses, to raise funds for the Jamestown community, one of the hardest hit by last year’s floods.
The tasting signified the official launch of the Flood Wine Brand featuring three different wines from Santa Barbara County, favored for its cooler climates and less-sweet grapes. The wine tasting was busy as usual, but Audrey France, a Boulder Wine Merchant employee responsible for pouring the wines, was quick to offer a glass and give the background of the ongoing event. The Flood wines consist of:
- 2013 Flood Chenin Blanc ($18.99): The Chenin Blanc was fermented in stainless steel, so it was light in color and body, very refreshing, with a residual note of lemon on the back of the palette.
- 2013 Flood Chardonnay ($29.99): The Chardonnay was similar to the Chenin Blanc in its fresh taste, but had slightly more body and tannin due to being aged in oak for 8 months. It was not buttery or rich in texture as some Chardonnays are and seemed more suitable for a warm day.
- 2012 Flood Pinot Noir ($34.99): The Pinot Noir was a crowd favorite, with powerful notes of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry cider on the nose. It was well-balanced, without too much acidity or residual sugar, fruit forward in smell but not in taste. It came off as easy drinking and suitable for any weather and situation.
Overall, all three of the wines gave off the impression that they were made by someone who knows wine well.
The silent auction consisted of high-end bottles of wine, a wine tasting experience, gift baskets of beer and gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. The attendees of the tasting seemed enthusiastic in browsing the auction and generous in their donations. Speaking of generosity, Boulder Wine Merchant was donating $5 from each bottle sold of the Flood wines, rather than giving the 15% discount they usually offer the day of the tasting.
The Flood wines will continue to be available at Boulder Wine Merchant for the foreseeable future, since it is not clear when production will run out. When searching for a good wine, it may be hard to decide what to choose, but when the incentive is a donation to a good cause, it is reassuring to know that the wine is of quality and pleasurable to drink.