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I Found My Ah-Ha Wine — and It Tastes Like Life

I thought I had enjoyed good wine. And I HAD. I mean, this whole trip opened me up to a whole world of fabulous wine that I didn’t know existed and that I am now obsessed with. But you know how in the movie Sideways when Miles asks Maya what specific wine did it for her and made her really get into wine (Cheval Blanc, 1961, for the record)? Well, when I see that scene, I always ask myself: what has my aha bottle been?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m no wine master, and I don’t have a big wine budget. But I have had some pretty great wines. Wines that I got mad about and oohed and aahed over. But one that changed everything I knew about wine? One that gave me an almost close-to-God experience? One that touched my soul and made me stop back and say, “Well, now that is wine.”
That, I had not had.
Until I walked into Turley for a tasting a couple weeks ago.
Well, my second tasting actually. ‘Cause Ryan and I went back to Paso Robles, Calif., recently for a quick getaway — so this was the second time I tasted there. But it was kind of life-changing. I mean, the first time I went I had some damn good wine. But this time, there was one particular wine that, OMG.
The very last wine we tasted while there — from the reserve (SO worth the extra $5) — was the 2005 Hayne Vineyard Napa Valley Petite Syrah. And it was … heavenly. Like, when I took a sip, I felt wine angels hug me, bless me with deliciousness and bestow on me the power of wine.


I didn’t spill on my menu — that’s intentional by them, promise.

In those three tiny sips that I savored for my tasting, I got it. I really, really got everything that wine could be. Bold and full and rich and earthy, yes, but also — and this sounds kind of creepy, but I don’t know how else to put it — it tasted like life. It tasted like passion. An incredibly full life brimming with passion, and smoothness, and nature, and — again, LIFE. Like I said, I got it. (And when our tasting host said that it would only get better with time? Well, I almost cried.)


See?! Fun branding, huh?

Now, seeing that Ryan and I had already blown through our wine budget for the trip and that $86 is a lot for a bottle, we did not buy the bottle. BUT, dear 2005 Hayne Vineyard Napa Valley Petite Syrah: I have not forgotten nor will I ever forget you. You are burned into my tastebuds as THE WINE of my life. The first one that really, really made me get wine. And for that I am forever grateful. (And, ahem, as soon as I have something mammoth to celebrate or a sudden cash flow situation, I’m buying you. Maybe two of you — one to drink and one to let age.)
Have you found your aha wine yet? What was it?! And I can’t wait for my next one … (Who wants to go to France?!) —Jenn

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