My Wine Epiphany

Williams Selyem Pinot Noir


1994 or 1995 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir, $75

Bittersweet: how do you define that – glass half-full or half-empty? I prefer glass half-full. My now ex-husband and I celebrated his birthday in the late-1990s to mid-2000s nearly every year in July at the incredible Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA. Amazing place – sitting on the deck quietly observing the Pacific Ocean, having dinner at Sierra Mar, breakfast there every morning, hiking in the state parks, walking the grounds, couples’ massages, and just plain doing nothing. In 1999, we ventured across the street to the Ventana Inn, another incredible place in Big Sur, for dinner at Cielo. We had both begun to appreciate good wine a few years before, and asked the waiter for a recommendation. He said try the Williams Selyem, which we vaguely knew about, and we said sure. We were astonished at how incredibly fruit-forward (a term I now know!) that wine was. We sat there by the open fireplace, eating a great meal, drinking an amazing wine, and contemplating what was to come next as we crossed the street back to our room… I am guessing it was a 1994 or 1995, but I am just not sure, and no idea of the vineyard. I’m sure we paid a pretty penny for it ($75 or so). Then the next morning, we went back to Cielo and bought the two bottles the bartender had left and took them home with us – we had our epiphany! From that time forward, we have been (separately, now) incredible fans of Williams Selyem Pinot, a great romantic wine!
Colleen Bentley lives in Long Beach, CA, and works for the California State University system. She loves to drink wine (red or white) as she pilots her Duffy electric boat through the canals of neighboring Naples Island. 

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  • Having spent some time in the dining room at Ventana myself, and been mesmerized by its views, I think any memories of that have to be glass half-full. (And the other half would be warming your belly and soul.)

    Sep 01, 2011 at 10:43 AM

  • I love this article. Your marriage sounded great and you both seemed very adventurous..Wonderful epiphany... Can a marriage survive on a good wine?

    Sep 02, 2011 at 6:06 PM

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