Decided to have a bit of fun today, and when one wants fun, what better way than with a quick round of Word Association!
Our victims today are the bright, brilliant, congenial, and above all patient Monte Bello Tasting Room Staff. Sure is ducky to work on a Post-Passport Sunday!
Anyhow, let the games begin!
I’m going with an alphabetic architecture today; the following 26 words will comprise our game’s lexicon (all of which are in some way or another, directly or obscurely, relate to Ridge Vineyards) …
Fermentation, Natural Yeast
Ranch, Mazzoni Home
Here is how it goes; each staffer is invited into my office. I rattle off each of the above 26 words, and record each of their (hopefully spontaneous!) responses. I have one of the staffers do me, so I’m one of the respondents as well.
Ok, we’re done. I won’t bore you with every single association, but I will give you a summary of the responses to each term. Quite interesting, some of this. A lil’ session on the couch with the Ridge staff! And I should note, by the way, that 6 staffers played along …
Alicante Bouschet – not alot of unity in the responses to this one, though 2 said “red.” Sammy Hager will be happy.
Buchignani Ranch – 6 totally different responses, though 4 could together make a decent tasting note: “dusty, old vine, Sonoma, carignane.”
Cabernet Franc – No unity here either, but another interesting tasting note, if you put 3 responses together: “big, floral, watermelon.” Hmmm …
Dusi Ranch – Everyone definitely came together here; 4 “sweets,” a “residual sugar,” and “juicy.”
East Bench – Bit odd, this one. 1 said “big,” and 1 said “light.” Maybe that’s “light” in the spiritual sense?
Fermentation, Natural Yeast – My two favorite responses? “Yummy” and “dough.”
Geyserville – Weirdest response? “Seeds.”
Home Ranch – Weird again here, running the gamut from “my favorite” to “security.”
Independence School – Definitely got unity again here, with 3 “old schools”. Plus, one rather unimaginative “independence.”
Jimsomare – No unity at all, but definitely 2 favorites: “1300” (which I presume to be a reference to altitude) and “funky.” Which was my word.
Klein – Got good unity here; pretty much everyone referenced the historic Klein Vineyards on Monte Bello, though each did so with a different term.
Lytton Springs – Interesting. Got both “pretty” and “masculine.” Nice to see our gender stereotypes expanding!
Monte Bello – 5 references, in one form or another, to our flagship wine (including the word “flagship”) and 1 “Italy.” Hmmm …
Nervo – “Earthy,” “tobacco,” and “zin.” Yup, that’s about it!
Oltranti – Compliments to the staffer who said “Mazzoni!” Do you know how that connects?
Ponzo – Great tasting note aggregate here: “Spicy, pepper, acid, Russian River, Zinfandel.”
Quince – 3 very different responses here: “Am I invited?” “Best fruit ever” and “Daniel.” Plus, three rather less imaginative responses: “Fruit,” “fruit,” and “Quince.”
Ranch, Mazzoni Home – My favorite response? “Fennel!”
Syrah – If I had to pick a favorite here, I’d go with “black.” But again, no unity; 6 totally disparate answers.
Trentadue – Definitely points for the most obscure response; “Heart’s Desire.” Anyone out there catch this one?
Ullage – Definitely need to do some re-training! 4 of 6 gave some version of “I have no idea what that is” …
Viognier – Unity! It’s about time! 3 for “floral” …
Whitten Ranch – Unity again; 3 for “Geyserville,” plus 1 “Sonoma.”
XLE – Nice! 5 of 6 immediately recognized this as the bottle code for the Syrah/Grenache blend from our Lytton Estate and responded accordingly. And 1 staffer said “Beautiful.” Which is of course the correct answer!
York Creek – Good tasting note potential here too: “Big, Ageable, Awesome.” Plus, a second “Big.”
Zinfandel – I’ll pick “primitivo” as my favorite response here, though interestingly enough, 6 totally different answers!
And THAT … is Ridge Vineyards Word Association. Brought to you by the letters R & V.
On a whim, I just went online looking for a word association generator, and shortly therafter discovered the world of WordStorm. Here is what you get when you enter wine:
Suddenly I’m very hungry for olives.
Yeah, that’s the stuff …