Several years ago Dave and I daydreamed of releasing our own wines “some day.” On August 11, 2015—coincidentally, the same peak night as the spectacular, annual Perseid Meteor shower—our seemingly unattainable dream actually came true.
Our journey into wine started in 2001, when we visited Italy with both families. Dave and I were never much for drinking, but the family all enjoyed wine with dinner there, and so—when in Rome—we figured we’d give it a go. WOW! The wines in Italy were amazing! No wonder we’d never liked wine—apparently, we’d been trying crap wine all those years!
After discovering Italian wine in Italy, we grew interested in exploring wines at home. It took plenty of trial and error (there’s still a lot of crap wine out there). As many people do, we started with the sweet stuff, but it didn’t take long before our palates outgrew those and shifted to dry wines. And then we started to become particular. No, I didn’t say wine snob . . . well, at least not out loud. 🙂
Along our path, Dave and I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering wines and learning about the art and science (yeah, we’re geeks) that go into a bottle of this living, breathing elixir. We’re fascinated with the vineyards and the planting and growing techniques, and the growers, the “terroir,” the harvest, the crush, the barrels used to age the wine and the coopers who make them, the winemakers’ mastery of creating balance with the right barrels and the right toast, the corks (or not), the bottling and the proper storage of wine—that and more, right down to the people who pour the tastes and share their enthusiasm for wine as they continue to educate us.
Early on in our wine exploration, the first time Dave and I visited Montalcino, Italy and splurged on a bottle of Brunello with dinner, the restaurant owner popped the cork and decanted the wine (which was a thing of beauty); he urged us to let it “breathe”—we were stunned. Of course, impatient wine rookies that we were, we had to test it straight away. It tasted great to us, but we took the owner’s advice and let it breathe for a while (while his mamma cooked us dinner); and, wow, were we surprised at the difference. That Brunello di Montalcino was our first experience with decanting (and our first expensive wine).
Nowadays one of our favorite pastimes is trying different grape varietals around the globe. There are so many regional varietals that we’d never heard of here in the States and have only experienced in specific areas of the world. Whether discovering Pugnitello in a musty wine cellar on Italy’s Lake Como, or taking a welcome respite from hiking the Cinque Terre to taste the regional dry white blend that’s harvested from the terraced vineyards above us with the blue Mediterranean sea below, or sipping a refreshing wine slushy (who knew?) on a blazing hot day at Alte Wache in Freiburg, Germany, or sampling Saumur-Champigny among the stunning chateaux in France’s Loire Valley—we find it all amazing to experience and to talk with the people in each of these places who share our love of wine.
So many wonderful people the world over have shared their knowledge of wines with us. But at home, Testarossa Winery has been instrumental in much of our wine education, as well as in helping to make our Meniketti Wines a reality.
Dave and I truly live in a great place, as California has some fantastic wine regions. Some of the most fun we’ve had in the past decade has been wine tasting weekends and day trips with our friends who also love wine, finding new wines to enjoy, and new (to us), fun wineries to visit throughout California. Good wine is best shared, and we relish the camaraderie of a nice bottle with our friends.
We’ve become selective along our wine journey, and when we finally reached the realization that we could release our own wine, we didn’t want to just slap our name onto any old bottle of juice. Rather than releasing a mass-produced, cheap-and-easy product, Dave was adamant about sharing with fans and friends the very wines that we love. Everyone tasting Meniketti Wines can raise a glass and know that they’re drinking the same wine that Dave and I actually drink at home. Cheers!
Alte Wache, Brunello di Montalcino, Dave Meniketti, Meniketti Wines, Perseid Meteor shower, Pugnitello, Saumur-Champigny, Testarossa Winery, wine geeks
From this fan and fellow wino…all the best to you both! We are surely blessed to live here in California. Claudine’s family is from France…but I think we have them beat.
Thanks, Dave. We enjoy French wine, as well (tough to turn down a good Bordeaux), but I certainly can’t argue with you there. 😉 We always look forward to coming home to our favorite California wines after every tour. Thanks for stopping by to read!
Not only have I been a huge Y&T fan since at least ’82, my wife and I LOVE Testarossa! It’s a must-stop whenever we’re in the area.
Can’t wait to try these. Are they available in the Testarossa tasting room as well, or strictly online?
BTW, I’m a documentary backer, as well. Can’t wait to get my copy when it’s finally released!
Like minds. 😉
Meniketti wines are currently only available online via the Y&T webstore, but you might try asking the next time you’re at Testarossa.
Thank you for your support, Dean! I’m also looking forward to the finished documentary next year.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Love the story about the Brunello in Italy. It can be such a difference when you wait. Cheers!
Your husband graciously shared his Pinot Noir with me after Saturday night’s show at the Mystic. I’m not a red wine drinker, but that wine made me a convert!
It was smooth and not too dry. The hints of each fruit only served to make it better than any red wine I’ve ever had before.
I’ll be ordering a bottle (or two) from the website.
You two have many talents, and winemaking is one more to add to the list!
Thanks again. See you next year!
You’re very welcome, Wendy. You were in the right place at the right time!:)
I have been trying to purchase Menketti wine but can not seem to find it. Can you tell me when it will be available? I heard its excellent.
Thanks for asking, Lisa. Our inaugural 2013 vintage released last year and is sold out. However, we have a new vintage (2014) of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir releasing this summer. If you sign up for the Y&T newsletter you’ll receive updates that include information on the wine and the release event. Or you can just check the Y&T web store later this summer. We’re only a few months away from our next release. 🙂
Ok thanks! cant wait
I’m a long-time music lover and a fairly short-time wine lover! Although I confess I never knew much about Y & T and their music, I have literally in the last week submerged myself into their recordings and videos, and I love it !! All credit is due to my wonderful Step-Mom Judi Stubbs, whom recently met you and Dave on her annual vacation to Italy. I very much look forward to tasting your wines some day !! All the best!!
Well, how cool is that? Thanks for seeking me out, Dave. It was wonderful to meet Judi & Bill and hang out with them for several days on beautiful Lake Como. We truly enjoyed our time together. I’m glad you’ve discovered some new music…that’s always fun! Come on up to the Meniketti Wine release party this summer for our next vintage; we’ll announce the date online in the coming weeks.