Why Should I Join a Local Wine Club?

So here is the thing guys. I am a small business owner, and wine lover. But I am also a working mom of three. When I had my last baby, someone suggested that I try Shipt (the online grocery delivery service tied to Meijer and Target). I felt ridiculous utilizing a service like this; I mean surely I was still capable of going to the grocery store myself, right? However they offered a deal to try it and I took the bait, and let me tell ya. Having food and diapers delivered to my door was nothing short of a God send.

Well I have had friends home with kiddos and my first thought was, what would be the thing they would love the most ending up on their doorstep? Pretty sure the answer is always WINE!

Enter, Meza Wine Club!

There are so many benefits to joining Meza’s Monthly Wine Club (and if you don’t live in the greater Columbus area, I highly encourage you to reach out to a locally owned wine shop in your area to inquire about their wine club offerings. Here is why:

  • Choosing to join a wine club that is run by a local wine shop means you will be drinking quality fruit. Wine buyers and small business owners are passionate about what is poured into your glass! I am the wine buyer and my focus is always on finding our wine club members interesting and exciting new selections.

  • Meza Wine Club offers delivery as an option! Lots of our customers enjoy picking up their monthly wine club packs so they can use that opportunity to come in and shop or drink some wine. However, the delivery option Meza offers is great for those who are busy and won’t make it in. Literally, wine appears on your door step each month!

  • We offer tons of great perks for wine club members in house! Everything from not paying a corking fee on bottles to discounts on food. Thursdays are member nights, where all members can come by and enjoy $5 glasses of wine and half off their food tab!

There are so many great wines to try and the variety is endless! Meza delivers free of charge in Westerville, and for a small monthly fee in the Greater Columbus area. If you don’t live in the area, I highly recommend that you find a local wine shop and inquire about a wine club membership. You won’t be sorry when you are drinking amazing wine and having it expertly selected for you.

Are you sitting there thinking “Why haven’t I joined Meza wine club yet?” Check out the link below and get started today!

https://www.mezawineshop.com/wine-club-enroll

Cheers!

How to Avoid a Complicated Relationship Between You and Wine This Valentine's Day

Whether you are single, in a relationship, married, or marked as “it’s complicated” on Facebook, you definitely do not want to miss out on any of the wines Meza is offering this Valentine’s Day season.  Ranging from pink bubbles, dark and luscious reds, white wines from exotic countries, and high-end champagnes, Meza has all of your wine needs when it comes to your Valentine’s/Galentine's Day festivities.

Here are my favorite wine picks for this Valentine’s Day season …

Desiderio Jeio Rose – $13.99

It does not get any more Valentine’s Day-ie than a bubbly rose. This rose has nice, soft fruits with a smooth finish. This is the perfect wine to share or drink by yourself with some salty popcorn while curling up and watching a movie.

Baby Blue – $29.99

Having a romantic night in and looking for dark, gorgeous wine? Look no further; the Baby Blue red blend will be the perfect wine for you and your date. This wine has aromas of vanilla, with tasting notes of dark fruits and milk chocolate.

Bedrock Evangelho – $44.99

With bright flavors of coffee and light fruits, such as raspberry, and a creamy finish this wine will go perfectly with a light pasta meal. Stock up on this wine before it’s gone and you’re left wine-less with a whiney date ruining your Valentine’s Day plans.

Tora Bay Sauvignon Blanc – $13.99

If you are looking for wine that is on the lighter side and in a unique region… look no further. This Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand, has amazing aromatics with a nice balance of acidity. Try pairing this wine some nice melted Brie and crackers.

Pierre Peters Champagne – $64.99

In the words of Bruce Benedict this Champagne is “like biting into the best piece of French Bread you could imagine”. This Champagne consists of Chardonnay grapes, making the wine crisp, elegant, and the perfect way to begin your celebrations.

If you cannot seem to decide on one of my wine picks, I would highly suggest coming into Meza this Friday (February 10) for our Valentine’s Day tasting. This wine tasting will feature chocolate pairing with various reds, whites, and delicious bubbles. You definitely do not want to miss out on this amazing Meza opportunity.

See you this Friday my fellow wino’s!

Cheers!

Hannah Clark

Decoding A Wine Label

 

With language barriers, hundreds of wine varietals, and various vineyards within a wine region, reading a wine label can be difficult. Typically, a wine bottle will have one specific focal point that tells you a little bit about what you are going to drink. To make things simpler, let’s break down the three basic categories on how to understand and skim a wine label so that you are more prepared for your next wine-shopping spree. A wine bottle will usually have one of the three following aspects on the label…

(1)  Wine type or varietal

(2)  Region

(3)  Wine name

Currently, Meza has some amazing wines on our glass pour list that can help you with wine label presentation. I have included the pictures of the wines and their tasting notes so that the next time you stop into Meza you are more than prepared to have a glass.

(1)  Allamand Malbec

 

As you can see by the label, this wine specifies that it is a Malbec, which falls under category one.

What makes this wine so amazing are the notes of plum and blackberry and hints of smoke. This wine has little to no tannins but has an intriguing finish that will make you wishing you had more.  

(2)  Roux Pere & Fils (Chardonnay)

 

This wine label falls under category two, meaning that the wine label specifies what region it originated. Macon-Villages is an appellation from southern Burgundy (France).

Currently, this wine is one of my favorite whites that we have at the shop. Although you would not know this from looking at the label, the grape is Chardonnay. This Chardonnay has notes of lemon zest with a smooth, fuller finish. Since this Chardonnay is from France, the wine is not oaky but has a slight buttery finish.

(3)  Baci Dolci

 

Baci Dolci, which means Sweet Kiss, is the name of the wine (category three).

If you like sweet, refreshing red wines, this will be the perfect wine for you. This wine has a bit of effervescence, which makes it light and enjoyable. The wine has hints of raspberry and lighter red fruits, with a nose of rose pedals. If you are looking for something different and on the lighter side, I would definitely suggest trying this sweet red.

                        Cheers!!

                        Hannah Clark

Wine Inspired Bridal Showers Make Throwing A Shower Stress Free

Bridal showers can be super intimidating when you are the one in charge of making it a memorable and fun occasion for everyone attending. We happen to be pretty well versed in entertaining groups of soon to be new family members and friends and making the occasion fun and easy. Our motto is that if there is wine involved, its sure to be a good time!

Meza is great as a mingling space, which is exactly what you want guests at a shower to do as they are getting to know each other. We offer private wine tastings as an option for a shower activity, or we can assist you in chosing wines to serve by the bottle to guests. You can leave the wine up to us - we pull together crowd pleasing wine offerings, everything from reds and whites to bubbles and even a mimosa bar!

Decorations may be brought in but we think simple is best- a few simple centerpieces or a pretty banner may do the trick.  The two larger tables may be used for seating but we have also had guests utilize those for gifts or for group crafts (we also host baby showers and onesie decorating is a great way to get people engaged with out having to do a traditional baby shower game).

When it comes to gifts, lots of people feel like gift giving straight from the registry is easy and the way to ensure your bride is getting everything she was hoping for. However some of us like to add a personal touch. For the couple that loves wine, adding bottles to a "wine registry" for guests to chose from is  a great way to get them started with a nice wine collection. Or we can help you chose a special bottle that would be perfect to open on an anniversary. 

With spring on the horizon, there are lots of weddings popping up on the calendar! Make the shower portion of the festivities as low stress as possible and give Meza a call. Leave the planning (and the wine) to us!  When there is good wine and everyone is at ease, your guests are sure to have a good time!

 

Wine Products Every Wine Lover Should Own

I will admit it, I am a huge wine-o and there are just some wine products that I just could not go without. Once you try these products, you will know why...

Wine stain remover

I cannot express this enough, wine stain remover will save you from being yelled at by your mom because you just spilled red wine on her carpet. I have spilled wine on myself, on the comforter of my bed, on my friends white jeans, and multiple carpets and somehow wine stain remover has gotten out the toughest of stains. I carry a wine stain remover pen wherever I go and I make sure to keep a spray bottle of remover in my house at all times. Most removers are not expensive and come in handy when you least expect a spill. 

Two-staged wine opener

I feel like this goes without saying, but as a general announcement, everyone who drinks wine or has a friend who enjoys the occasional glass should have a two-staged corkscrew somewhere in their household. I say two-staged because it is much easier to open a bottle than with a single stage opener.  Have you ever cracked a cork? Say goodbye to the cracked cork problem and get a two stage opener. These wine openers are also very easy to throw into your purse or back pocket. Now, you will never be caught in the unfortunate situation where you have no way of opening your wine. There is nothing worse than having a bottle of wine and no wine opener (#firstworldproblems).

Please, everyone, get a two-staged wine opener.

 

Red and white wine glass

As a brief overview, for those who may not know, red wine glasses have a larger bowl than white wine glasses. The larger glass allows for the red wine to properly breathe and create stronger aromas. On the contrary, a white wine does not need to breathe as much and is not as poignant, which is why a smaller, slightly skinnier glass is suitable. Clearly, both of these glasses are a necessity when it comes to the art of wine drinking so be sure to drink up in the proper wine glasses. The experience will be that much better!

 

- A wine preserver (or as I call them "wine saviors") 

 Before I get into why this is a necessity, there are two main types of wine preservers:

1.       A vacuum pump with a stopper

2.       Argon gas (which is what Meza uses)

I have used both and have found both to be just as effective. 

Now I can typically finish a bottle the night that I open it (you know, with "help"), but on some (rare) occasions I have opened a bottle and do not feel the need for more than one glass. In this situation it really helps to have a wine preserver. The preserver helps keep the wine flavorful for longer so that I do not have to waste any wine (which is highly frowned upon). 

As a general note, red and full-bodied white wine can only stay good for the next 3-5 days while corked. Eventually, these wines will become oxidized and the flavor of the wine will begin to diminish. If you don't want to be sad and left with only oxidized wine I suggest you take my advice, you will not regret it. 

 -A Wine Rack

If you do not have a wine rack, then I am just not quite sure where you are storing your wine. Yes, you could just store your wine on any counter, but if you are anything like me, a counter is fair game for things being knocked over and spilled because you are as clumsy as can be. Storing your wine horizontally also has its benefits for the cork. While storing your wine, it is best to keep the cork a little wet so that drying does not become a problem. A dried cork can pose problems for the taste and longevity of the wine. If you have no idea as where to place your wine rack, I would suggest in a dark cool spot, such as your basement. This ensures that the wine will last longer, because there is no chance of UV or heat damage and your red wines will be at the perfect temperature. Overall, a wine rack ensures that your wine is stored safely and properly, while making it a classy addition to your home.

Wine charms
For all the germaphobes out there, here is your chance to make sure that you never drink out of someone else’s wine glass again! Honestly, I think wine charms are just something fun that can give your wine glass some zest but they do help you keep track of which is glass is your glass. This comes in handy when you do not know which wine glass is yours and your sister, who is battling a cold of some kind but insists she is not contagious (although, she probably is). So cheers to you healthy people! Bottoms up.  

 

Cheers!

 Hannah Clark

Vanguard Wines Mini Portfolio Show - Wine Club Member Featured Event

We had a great weekend at the shop, largely in part to our wine club special event on Saturday! For those that are regulars, you know we typically do tastings on Friday nights, but we wanted to offer something special with a focus on our wine club members. It was such a fun time and the line up was amazing, so it is absolutely something we will repeat!

As wine professionals we get invited to trade shows put on by our various distributors to taste the wines in their portfolios. This is a big part of how we decide what we sell at the shop!

We wanted to bring a similar experience to our customers by letting you try a bigger selection of wines in various styles and price points, from all over the world, so we brought in Matt Conner from Vanguard Distribution to pour and educate! He featured 15 wines ranging from bubbles to Barbaresco to Brown Zin! We opened this event to the public ($25/person) but were able to offer a special price to our wine club members of $15/person. They got to taste some amazing, small production, truly special wines for $1 per pour. 

It was a great time and we can't wait to host another special Saturday event again in the near future! Follow us on FB and IG to get updates on our upcoming events! Interested in joining us and starting your own wine club adventure? Call us today to sign up and get started!

Cheers!

Tatjana

The Job of a Wine Buyer - Value Showdown

As a small business, one of the perks of my job is that I don't have the big "corporate hand" guiding my decisions, in particular when it comes to what we carry on our shelves. We can do whatever fits our brand and makes the most sense for our shop and our customers. 

We pride ourselves on carrying wine that isn't uber mass marketed ( you can find a lot of the wines we carry at other stores near us but you probably won't see giant displays and iron ponies and other crazy fanfare around them). It's our job to take the wines that don't have a huge marketing budget behind them, taste, find the best wine for the money, and tell their "story" to you. It's our job to be their billboard or fancy display. 

In an effort to shake things up a bit and really take a stand for value, we have decided on a new value challenge! Over the next two weeks I am going to be tasting (i know, i know....its a tough job but someone has to do it), many wines in the $7 - $14 range. We will be stripping our value racks clean and launching a whole new program of value wines that fit the bill. 

Criteria will be wines that deliver flavor, are varietally correct (meaning they taste like what they are suppose to taste like), and hold up after they are opened. Wines that WOW! Because we could all use a few extra dollars in our pockets and we all want to drink wine - am I right?? We will make our selections and our entire staff will taste and become familiarized with these wines to better serve you. You won'f find that to be the case in any big box stores I can assure you. 

We will unveil our new line up of value wines Oct 1! Stay tuned! In the mean time.... I need to get to tasting. 

Cheers!

Tatjana

Those Are Some Good Legs! ( a blog with some thoughts for those who conisder themselves not very knowledgable about wine)

One of the best things about working in a specialty wine shop is helping customers find the perfect wine. One of the benefits of Meza Wine Shop is that we always have at least 20 different wines by the glass and they change every few weeks. Our staff is knowledgeable in each wine and has different tasting notes, aromatic descriptions and preferences for our menu. One of the sayings we hear the most from customers is: “I know nothing about wine!!”

My response is always: FALSE! There is a TON we can learn about wine on first glance, first sniff, and first sip. After all, that’s how we all at Meza have learned: practice, practice, practice! (And by practice I mean drink a lot of wine). We all had to start at the beginning. So, if you find yourself a little lost sitting next to your friends at the bar who use words like “aromatic,” “balanced,” and “malolactic fermentation,” here are some tips to expand the way you experience wine:

1.       Check out how the wine looks. Hold up a piece of white paper behind it to notice if it’s a lemon yellow or a straw yellow, or maybe a deep purple as opposed to a rusty red. Have you ever heard anyone talk about how wine has good legs? It’s a real thing. Legs refer to the trails of wine that trickle down the side of a glass when you swirl it. If it has strong, long legs (which we all love, am I right?) it could signify a better quality wine, or, it could mean that there are some tensions happening between the water and alcohol in the wine. Ethanol is involved and there’s even some fancy science words to go with it, but if you notice legs, mention ‘em. Whatever you see happening in your glass, make note of it.

2.       What does the wine smell like? Most people start to struggle here. I often hear people say, “It smells like grapes.” Or, “I smell wine.” They get discouraged because they think they can’t go any further, when I want to say, “HEY! You can smell that it’s wine! BRAVO!” For real. That’s something. Don’t get down on yourself. Start somewhere! Does the aroma remind you of a color? A season? A place? A food? With each smell, take yourself one step further. If it reminds you of a food, which one? A grape? What kind, green, purple? Push yourself to think just one step further.

3.       What does the wine taste like? Hint: whatever you smell and taste… you’re not wrong. A wine expert at a tasting once said to me, “Canned green peas. That’s all I’m getting from this glass.” I laughed, took a sip and thought, “Huh. You’re right. Canned peas.” Sometimes we hear the weirdest descriptions, but usually, whatever someone smells/tastes is genuinely what they smell and taste. Don’t feel overwhelmed; if you can think of only one palatable description, that’s okay! It’s one more than most wine sippers.

4. Lastly, I’m going to give you a little secret of mine. When I’m tasting wine, I imagine myself walking through the produce section of a grocery store. Do I taste: grape, cherry, strawberry, peach, apricot, green pepper? I picture myself outside. Do I taste: fresh cut grass, barn yard, straw, mineral, rock, salt? I have to envision myself being somewhere where these things are out in the open. As soon as I transport my imagination outside of the bar, I can come up with tastes almost instantly. 

We all have to start at the beginning… and becoming an expert at wine tasting is WAY more fun to practice than practicing for a marathon run or something (no offense, runners). The only way to become an expert is to practice, be open to learning and have fun with it. So crack open a new bottle, start taking some notes and enjoy the experience. Cheers!

Back to School Seasonal Wine Selections

I just took my daughter to school for her first day. It doesn't feel like summer is over but its certainly heading that way. We do have to get back to some structure and routine, but I am not ready to let go of summer just yet, which means I plan to grill out and enjoy nights around the fire pit and eating dinner on the deck as much as I can.

My wine drinking is as seasonal as my wardrobe. When its warm I crave crisp, bright whites. But after drinking white and rose all summer, I start wanting wines with a bit more weight to them. Bigger, richer whites and soft, easy to drink reds. I know tons of people that drink red wine all year round, and good for them - "you do you"as they say...but the thought of a big heavy glass of Cab in August is just not my jam. Right now I am craving the soft, juicy reds with lighter tannins and soft hints of spice, or creamy Chards and the round fruit of a Viognier. 

So for those that like to drink with the seasons along with me, here are a few of my end of summer, transitional wines that are striking a cord with me. 

H & M Hofer Zweigelt $18

I love this wine! Comes in the same pop top - 1 liter bottle as our favorite Gruner and it is the perfect transition wine for end of summer. Great with grilled foods or bbq sauce - its juicy and plush with some savory notes. 

Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir $13

I am kind of wowed by this great value Pinot from France! It is just the right balance of fruity and earthy and just a killer everyday value!!

Talley Chardonnay $25

Pretty much my favorite Chardonnay in house. I love this balanced style and while it is not big and oaky it has the weight and richness that I love along with good acid.

Batasiolo Gavi $16

Italian white wines are my love language. This Gavi is so pretty - fruit forward with hints of citrus and stone fruit and almond. 

Next time you start getting sad about the ending of another summer season, snag a bottle of one of these delicious wines and fire up the grill for dinner. Kick back and relax - kids are finally back in school!

Cheers! Tatjana

Want more ideas on what to drink? Follow mezawineshop on IG for posts on whats new on the shelves and what our staff is drinking!

So Many Wines.....How Do We Chose?

Customers are always amazed when I tell them that all of the wines on the shelves at Meza are hand-picked by shop owner/wine buyer, Tatjana Brown.  How is she able to do that?? Sounds like a fun but daunting task.  One way she is able to do it is by attending portfolio shows put on by our distributors and that is just what she did today. (Staff members are pretty lucky because we get to go along and taste and learn as well!)

Most of the Meza family attended the Vanguard Wines 2016 Annual Portfolio Tasting where there were 82 tables of wines to taste.  Most tables had a minimum of 2-3 wines and some had as many as 10 wines.  Yep, that is a lot of wine! So how do we choose wines that we want to bring in and share with our customers?

Upon arrival we get a book with all of the wines listed by table.  There is a description of the winery and all of the wines listed including prices.  We typically try to taste new wines, ones that we don’t currently have on the shelf.  If there are employees attending who haven’t tasted a certain wine that we do carry and then Tatjana encourages us to taste those wines so we are better able to describe and recommend them to you!  We all take notes and compare them after the show with the wines that rise to the top making it onto the shelves.  It is a great way to also find special wines for wine club, holiday tastings and other special occasions.

We tasted wines from all over the world including Spain, France, Italy, Argentina, California and Oregon.  Do you want to do your own version of a portfolio tasting?  Join one of Meza's four monthly wine club tiers. 

Cheers! Yvonne

 

 

We’re (not) screwed

Just the other day I had a customer come up to me and request a bottle of wine that had light tannins and flavors of red fruit. As I gave her my best suggestion, which was a bottle of Lola Pinot Noir, she seemed to be a bit uneasy. She was somewhat taken by surprise at the fact that the bottle I suggested was a screw top, instead of the classic cork. In this day and age where there is so much technology behind the winemaking process, I was shocked that this was still an ongoing debate.

As I proceeded to tell her that a bottle having a screw top or cork does not matter anymore, she shook her head in disbelief and went on to find another bottle with her specifications. Since this incident, I have obligated myself to spread the word about corks versus screw tops … and the fact is, it does not matter!

Now, answer this honestly, how often do you take wine home for long-term aging? Well if you do this at all, I applaud you for your self-restraint, but most of us take the bottle home to drink within the week or so. Because we open the bottle, almost immediately, the concern of screw top versus cork should not be an issue.

You may be asking ‘Hannah, how can you be so certain?’, well other than the fact that my parents and coworkers have taught me a majority of what I know about wine, I have done my research. So lets think about the pros and cons of screw tops and corks …

 

Screw tops:

Pros

            Easier and more affordable to make

            Has a tight seal, which inhibits the ability of oxidation

            Easier to open

No danger of cork taint

Cons

            Has not been efficiently tested for long-term aged wines

            Less traditional

Corks:

Pros

            Proven to be better for aged wines

            Allows the wine to breathe because of the small pores

            Widely and historically more popular

Cons

            Expensive

            Bad for the environment

Has the chance of forming TCA (trichloroanisole) … the “musty” flavor and smell that taints the bottle

Allows for the wine to breath, which may increase the chance of cork taint

 

If you find yourself in the position where you are wondering if you should you opt for the cork versus the screw top wine bottle, stop yourself and instead consider flavors, regions, and aromas. To those who still are not sold on screw tops, you are missing out on some fabulous wine!

Cheers! 

Hannah

Meza Gives Back: Pelotonia 2016, Wine + Fundraising

As business owners, a lot of what we do stems from passion.  We are super passionate about wine and retail - but our passion has really come to extend to community and how we can help people by using Meza as a platform. 

In recent years, we have become committed to fight the battle against cancer. We have seen countless  members of our community and our circle of family and friends affected by this horrific disease and we want it to stop! One way that Jason and I work towards this goal is by riding in Pelotonia. This is a seriously awesome, grass roots bike ride that happens in Columbus in August, and all of the money raised from this ride goes directly to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

We are lucky through Jason's employer to have our funds matched and love being part of this experience. Last year was my first year riding and I cannot say enough about how moving and powerful it was to see so many people fighting to reach one goal: END CANCER. The ride boasts over 7,000 riders, not to mention countless people who are there to assist, to provide food and first aid and support. 

There is always more we can do. Each year we host a fundraiser to support our friends the Rizek family to raise money for Pelotonia - and 100% of the proceeds from this tasting event goes directly to the cause! Its always been a great success and the support goes beyond the tasting - many of you have donated amazing prizes such as gift cards, massages, yoga classes, gift baskets and more for additional fundraising through raffle and silent auction. The donation may seem small, but the impact is big. Our event this year is on July 9th at 4pm and is open to the public! $25 dollars gets you a tasting of 5 wines or 2 full glasses of wine.

In 2015, Meza was able to donate $6,000 to cancer research. This is where our passion lies. 

What cause are you passionate about? We offer the opportunity for any organization to host a fundraiser wine tasting at the shop. If you have interest about learning more on how you can help your favorite organization and raise money in a fun and easy way, give us a call or e mail us at vinomeza@gmail.com. Interested in learning more about Pelotonia and how you can become involved? Check out the link below. 

http://pelotonia.org/

We hope to see you at the shop July 9 or at the finish line in August! Cheers! - Tatjana

 

 

Meza Travels: Willamette Valley - Highlight on Chehalem Winery

For those of you who have been following along on Instagram, Jason and I had the opportunity for a short but much needed getaway to Oregon Wine Country! It has been on our list for a while and we finally decided to make it happen. We have been to Napa/Sonoma before and we just love Sonoma, but Oregon  has earned a special place in our hearts! Such nice and friendly people and a very laid back, non pretentious approach to wine. In fact I can't think of one stop we made where we felt any sort of pretense ( which can happen in the wine world). 

We were able to stay at the lovely guest house at Chehalem ( a comfy and breezy craftsman style house where vineyard interns stay during harvest), and had an awesome experience with their wines. We met with Jon Foster, from the Chehalem team, for a tasting and tour of the winery, and got to walk through and explore the vineyard ourselves. We briefly got to meet owner Harry Peterson -Nedry and his daughter Wynn Peterson - Nedry  who is now the wine maker - both nothing but friendly and gracious. 

First and foremost, one of the most impressive things about the winery was its commitment to sustainability. Chehalem is LIVE Certified ( Low Imput Viticulture and Eonology) and a participant in Carbon Neutral Challenge. You will find solar panels in the vineyard that provides some degree of their power. All weed control is done by hand - no chemicals. You can tell from looking at the site that the vines are growing in a very healthy, thriving environment. I think you cannot help but feel good about what you are consuming when it's made in this manner. I am always a little perplexed when people spend so much time thinking about eating fresh, organic food but don't think of the wine they consume in the same manner. 

On to the wines themselves! We have for quite some time stocked the Chehalem Three Vineyard Pinot Noir - their largest distributed Pinot. We were able to taste some of their gorgeous white wines as well, from their Coral Creek Vineyard Riesling that was juicy and crisp and mineral driven to their Ridgecrest Vineyard Gruner Veltliner that had a freshness and brightness to it but was also a slightly more complex, richer style than some Gruners.  The Pinot Gris also stood out due to its richer, Alsatian style.

Fruit is sourced from three vineyard sites - Coral Creek vineyard which surrounds the winery (what is pictured here).  Stoller Vineyard featured Jory Soil ( a term we heard often in this area), a red volcanic soil that lends itself to Pinot Noir that has both a balance of fruit and earthiness. Finally Ridgecrest Vineyard, known for producing richer, briary style of Pinot Noir  due to its silt and sandstone soils is the last of the three vineyards utilized. 

We loved our experience and the wines of Chehalem, and loved the laid back, friendly, and inviting nature of the people we met. Always makes me feel like I am at home or at Meza when I talk to people from a winery and they really have a team and family focus and mentality. 

Look for more offerings from Chehalem to be hitting the shelves at Meza soon! Stay tuned for our recap of other wineries we visited and our tips on exploring the Willamette Valley!

Cheers!

Tatjana

On Southern Italian Wine and Breaking Out of our Comfort Zone

I just gave our team a little homework this week, and if you know me, the homework for the shop is always enjoyable. After all, it involves drinking wine!

I was putting together our wine club packs for this month which feature wines from Southern Italy, mainly Campania and Puglia. We have so many red lovers on our team and I thought, this is a great option for them to learn a little more about this region and to enjoy wines that fit their palate. We all get stuck in a comfort zone with lots of things in life....the food we eat, with our workouts, with our personal style. Same goes with wine. Its so easy to grab a bottle of Cabernet because we know what it is and we see it everywhere. We may gravitate towards a Zinfandel - now knowing how similar (and related) a Primitivo is. Its my job to get people drinking outside of the box and learning about wine and thats totally what we are doing this week!

Next time you head into the wine shop or to your local wine retailer, ask a couple questions and have the staff find you something new. Its fun and interesting and there is something so cool about tasting a wine from half way across the world and learning about it that makes you feel like maybe you would want to go there someday.  If you don't have time for all that jazz and you live locally, then hit us up about wine club and get the adventure chosen for you each month. Trust us, you will be pleasantly surprised at how your palate and your list of favorite wines grows.

Cheers!

Tatjana

Seven Years Later.....What I Have Learned About Owning a Small Business

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is Meza's 7th anniversary since we opened the doors! In some ways it has flown by and in other ways it's hard to remember what it was like prior to Meza being open, seems like it has been around forever. Being a small business owner has been one of the most challenging, rewarding, tumultuous, un nerving, and exciting things I have ever done. I feel like we are constantly learning something new everyday, and gaining more and more footing with each passing year. We don't know exactly what the future holds for us and we hope that Meza will continue to evolve and grow. Just a few thoughts on what I feel like we have learned with this experience. 

1. Passion and stubborn pride helps get you past the difficult times.

There have been so many times that things have been hard during the last seven years. In particular, early on when we first were getting things up and running and were uncertain of our exact direction. I have to say what I truly believe keeps us at it during those times has been sheer determination due to our stubborn pride. Not wanting to give up because we made this decision and we were going to see it through no matter what. No one wants to fall on their face, right? However, our passion for wine, for small business, for the community and for our family has also been continued fuel. It is what makes the hard stuff seem so worth while.

2. You cannot be everything to everybody.

This is coming from a not very thick skinned person who has had to learn this over and over again. With starting a business, you are in a sense putting yourself out there. Your ideas, your passions, and your "trials and errors" out there for everyone to see but also for customers to "experience".  There will be suggestions and conversation around which direction you should take your business. I think it is vital to any business to adapt and change as the world around them changes, and to listen to what customers are telling you. But you cannot be everything to everybody. You cannot be a destination for everyone. While it is good to embrace change and adapt, its also SO very important to stay true to your passions. You may end up with a slightly smaller customer base but what you are able to offer those customers will be that much greater.

3. Surround Yourself with Passionate People Who Truly Care About Your Business

One of the hardest things I have experienced with running Meza was learning how to work by myself. No boss to give you guidance. No co workers to pat your back and tell you it was a job well done. It really becomes about believing in yourself, having conviction in your decisions and knowing that if something doesn't work out, you try different avenues until you see results. Well, that is a lot of damn work! However, no one can do it all themselves. It literally takes a village. We have had to lean on so many friends, babysitters and family members for support.  I have been so lucky to have found people to team up with that are truly as passionate about Meza as we are. Leaning on them for their areas of expertise and knowledge has been key. Knowing when to let go has been important. Finding just anyone to fill a gap is not going to work. It is so personal. Finding people that are just that perfect fit is what makes a business like ours run and what keeps us afloat.

4. How do you measure success? Its all about tradeoffs

Success is a hard thing to measure. Maybe its how much money you make. Or what title you carry at your job. Maybe its the benefits you receive from your particular employer. Maybe its time and flexibility with your family and your schedule. 

My friend and I always have this conversation. There are tradeoffs in life. It is easy to be envious of someone elses paycheck or status. Or to wish you could strike off on your own. There have been days where I have played the "what if" game, thinking where I would be now in my career had I chosen a different path. How much money would I be making now? Those are the days I have to take a minute to really look at what Meza means to our family. I see all the amazing people I have met through this experience, people that have become like family to us,  and to look at the flexibility it has allowed me with my kids to know that success has many different forms and life is all about tradeoffs. 

So there it is. The little bit that seems to resonate with me on a day to day basis. Jason and I are so grateful for the last seven years and we look forward to continuing to grow Meza and to continue to develop it as a unique wine destination. Thanks to all those who have been a part of the journey!

Cheers!

Tatjana