Wine Country Personality: Wine for the Holidays with Kasha Buckley

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kashaBuckleyPic1.jpgby Staff Member Kasha Buckley

For me, Christmas always brings to mind thoughts of laughter, beautiful lights, decorations, holiday treats, anticipation of presents. Of course, it is also during this holiday season that we spend the most time with special friends and endearing family members while enjoying our favorite bottle of wine.

One of my earliest Christmas memories goes back to the early 80s watching my family share in the festivities with wine glass in hand.  At the time, I was far too young to partake, but it made me joyful all the same for the simple fact that it was oh so fun refilling my mother's and grandparent's wine glasses. It meant playing with the spigot because yes, ladies and gentlemen, our wine came in a box.

I have not personally tasted wine from the box, so cannot in good conscience vouch one way or the other for the quality of that wine. However, whenever I've mentioned this beloved family tradition, folks tend to break out with a few snorts and snickers.  And if you seem to think that boxed wine is a wine faux pas, let me tell you about a few of mine. Does anyone remember wine coolers in the two liter bottle? I do, and my excuse - I was young.  Gradually I did move on to Bartles & James in the actual glass bottles and even dabbled with the peach flavored "wines" which were at least in real wine bottles.

It wasn't until moving to Washington State that I really started to explore and enjoy what is truly worth calling wine. Interestingly enough, Washington is also where my "boxed wine" grandfather lived and together we enjoyed the different varieties of white wine throughout the many family holidays and special events.  First, we began with the whites - White Zin, Gwertzerminer, and Chardonnay. I found I preferred the Chardonnay and he preferred the Gwertzerminer . Occasionally we tried a red, but it wasn't until moving to Oregon that my adventure with red truly began.

The red adventure was shared with some of our dearest friends, Hannah and Tyler. We usually started with Merlot, but would occasionally try a Cabernet Sauvignon, or my favorite, Pinot Noir. Together we would spend the evening laughing and talking while sipping our wine of choice.  As I look back, our fondest memories and the most time spent with each other was during the holiday season.  More laughter, beautiful lights, decorations, holiday treats (usually brought to us by Hannah), and some of the best friends we could ever have. And no spigot.

kashaBuckleyPic2.jpgThis holiday season I expect will be a little different.  We have again moved and are in California.  I work, believe it or not, at  I am, therefore, surrounded by wine enthusiasts who continually and wholeheartedly share their favorite wines and/or wine country places with me.  I am the best place possible to continue on with this wine journey and although you might say I still have a long ways to go, I say, "I have come a long way"!
Happy holidays!  Make this a season of making your own heartwarming memories and don't forget the wine-but leave the box behind!

Warm Regards,

Kasha Buckley
Customer Service

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The first wine moment that I can remember as a child actually didn't involve any least not fermented! Let me explain.

My brother and I were having glasses of grape juice. In a moment of genius, we decided to have the grape juice out of these miniature wine glasses my parents kept in a separate cabinet. It's not clear now what we were thinking. In any event, we started taking "shots" of the grape juice - which ended up being a ton since the glasses we were using only contained so much room for actual juice. Tired of this new found game, we abandoned the empty glasses to the countertop.

Later that evening, our parents called a emergency family meeting where my brother and I were interrogated about the glasses. Something along the lines of "What were you doing with these? You guys have been drinking wine? What have we taught you about drinking alcohol?"

My brother and I looked at each other quizzically as the rant continued and finally when there was a second of silence available to speak, replied "We were drinking grape juice out of them."

At first, they didn't believe us. They could obviously see the red stain in the glasses. It must have been wine because why on earth would our children choose these glasses to drink grape juice from out of all the options that existed in the cabinet. And although we could not quite explain our reasoning, after some more questioning it was determined that we were telling the truth. With a lecture on drinking and a scolding to never use these glasses again nor any other drinking utensil normally used for wine or alcohol, we were excused.

Whew! Later I found out these glasses are used for dessert wine!

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