The Very First ATP Wine I Ever Gave My Dad (Is Coming To First Friday!)

There are four people from whom I learned what it means to be a man in this world.

What it means to be a man, and how to be a man.

One of them is imaginary: Rick, from the movie Casablanca.


(Historical note: I got married in white coat and black bow tie!)

The second is my missus. Bless her her patience and her love.

The third was my Grandpa. A scholar, an author, a musician, and a sculptor (Kirk Douglas holds one of the largest private collections of my Grandpa’s work!). I learned so much from him. Perhaps most importantly, he taught me about Lightnin’ Hopkins.


And then there is my Dad.

The greatest, kindest, smartest man I’ve ever known. His love for my Mom and I taught me just about everything there is to know about being a husband and a father, and when I finally got old enough to be able to understand the books he wrote, he became my teacher for just about everything else I hadn’t already learned from him.


And, he is a lover of wine.


As a student, you want to impress your teacher. As a husband, you want to impress your spouse. As a son, you want to impress your father.

So when I began at Ridge, it was deeply symbolic for me to begin offering my Dad wine.

Which brings me to the subject of this story. The very first ATP wine I ever gave my Dad.

The 2004 Buchignani Ranch Zinfandel.



At face value, maybe an odd choice. It’s not one of our most famous wines. It’s not the Monte Bello.

But it’s a special wine. It’s a small-production, winery-only wine. And it’s an old-vine vineyard, family-owned and farmed. And its origins go back to Italy (my family and I lived in Italy for quite some time when I was young). And it’s funky. And my Dad likes funky.

So that’s the wine I gave him. And he loved it. And I was happy.

That was years ago. We’ve had many, many, many Ridge wines since then. We’ve had Monte Bellos from the years we lived in Italy, to the year his grand-daughter was born. We’ve had old zins and young zins, Rhones and Bordeauxs. My Dad has even conceded his affection for our Chardonnays, though he remains a red man at heart. And, he’s seen his pronounced disdain for the movie Sideways (after seeing the movie, he swore he’d never drink Pinot Noir again, and commenced buying Merlot by the barrel-ful instead) rewarded by Ridge’s return to Merlot.

But the 2004 Buchignani Ranch Zinfandel remains a special wine for us.

Which made it all the more special that we were able to enjoy another bottle of it this past Thanksgiving. You can read a summary of our reaction here, but suffice it to say it was truly wonderful. Delicious, even.

Which means I am ESPECIALLY excited for April First Friday, because we’re going to be sharing this very special wine with our guests.

I should confess though, that the experience is likely to be bittersweet for me. There is almost none of this wine left, and we are pulling the last 5 cases from Reserve just for this event.

Which means, if the wine shows anything like it did last Thanksgiving, there isn’t likely to be much left after Friday.

But I’ll always have the memories.

As will you, if you can join us.

You might even want to invite your Dad.


The occasion for selecting the 2004 Buchignani Ranch Zinfandel is in fact the release of another Buchignani Ranch offering, the new 2009 Buchignani Ranch Zinfandel. We will of course be showcasing this wine as well. And on top of that, we’ll also be pouring for our guests our newly-released trio of Estate wines: the 2011 Estate Chardonnay, the 2010 Estate Merlot, and the 2010 Estate Cabernet.

As my Grandpa used to say, not so very bad …


First Friday at Monte Bello
April 5th ~ 4-7pm

Please join us on the first Friday of each month for an evening affair of delicious wines and small bites. While this is a Member Event, we are more than happy to host guests of our members as well!

Members with shipments available for pick up at this event: ATP-Monthly
(be sure to note that you are picking up on your RSVP)

Eventbrite - First Friday at Monte Bello - April 2013

Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Chardonnay, Events, Food & Wine Pairing, Merlot, Monte Bello, Offerings, Rhone varietals, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Tasting Flights, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Wine & Food Pairing, Wine & Music, Wine Clubs, Wine Quotes, Wine Tales, Zinfandel

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