Wine, Wind Surf a Good Pairing

We were just stopping at the wine store, for a bottle to take to our son’s for dinner, and then it happened. Honest. We saw there was a tasting in the back of the store. Does a bee love honey? What happens to a mouse faced with cheese?

The wines were $90 and up. These are beyond special-occasion wines in our world. The tasting was free. How could we say no…even though nobody asked the question?

These were wines from Washington state, under a brand that’s called Long Shadows, and if you’re wondering by now why this is part of a blog about cruising, we hasten to add that next summer these wines will be casting long shadows on the Wind Surf, one of the three “yachts” that sail (and they do sail) under the Windstar banner.

More about that shortly…after a little wine sampling.

Wines by Long Shadows are crafted by famous — or at least worldly — winemakers. You may have heard of Michel Rolland, the master of the blend. Or the Folonaris of Tuscany, perhaps? How about Randy Dunn (left), who makes the best cabernet sauvignon in Napa and who — alas — is no relation…and that review is based on taste, not genetic fantasy.

There are nine winemakers who pour their considerable talent, not to mention their hearts and souls, into wine bottles after using only Washington state grapes. This was the mandate from Alan Shoup, who ran a string of wineries for two decades before recruiting nine gifted winemakers from Australia, Germany, Italy, France, California and South America.

All of them are committed to being on the Wind Surf next June, from Venice to Athens. They’ll be talking and pouring wine for up to 312 guests, for seven days. Exclusive cruise line, exclusive group, exclusive wine. Does that make it worth $3,400?

While we contemplated the venture, Gilles Nicault (right) talked and poured ninety-dollar wines for us. Originally from Avignon, France, he’s engaging and entertaining. He’s also one of the winemakers and he was kind enough to invite us to call him the next time we’re in Walla Walla, home of Long Shadows.

“We’ll drink some wine,” he promised.

In Walla Walla…or on the Wind Surf?

Carnival Splendor
7 nights
February 12, 2012
Long Beach (return): Mexican Riviera
Inside $419

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

  • Categories

  • Archives