This isn’t at all the post I was going to write for Wine Blogging Wednesday this month. When I learned that this month’s tasting was all about getting back to your wine roots, I approached it academically. I was going to tell you about the Bordeaux that first illuminated me on the concept of terroir. We even drank our second bottle of it for this event (1998 Chateâu Lafon-Rochet).
I was lying in bed thinking about another post I wanted to write, this one about Tobin James and his Cincinnati connections, and it hit me. Who cares when I learned about terroir? Getting back to my roots should be an emotional connection, not academic. And I knew exactly what to write about.
When Kevin & I first met, back in 2000, we both enjoyed wine but we didn’t know much about it. We certainly weren’t the hobbyists and collectors we are today. Our first date was at a restaurant in O’Bryonville called Chateau Pomije. For our first Valentine’s day, in 2001, we braved a snow storm to trek out to the Chateau Pomije winery in Indiana. The owner, a rather fun and knowledgeable older gentlemen, would hold court in the outer lobby and gift shop, sharing tastes of his wines before everyone entered the restaurant proper. (The restaurant, by the way, had excellent barbecue.)
At the time, I didn’t live overly far from the O’Bryonville restaurant. We often grabbed friends and visited for wine tastings. I joined their wine club – my first ever – which introduced me to wines outside of my previous purview of Columbia Crest and Dynamite Vineyards. Kevin and I continued to head out to Indiana, buying a lot of the Chateau Pomije wines and enjoying the restaurant, with its views out into the vineyard. As our own relationship changed, Chateau Pomije changed right along with us. The O’Bryonville location dropped the restaurant and became a fantastic wine bar and wine shop. The vineyard itself was sold to an out-of-country group. It’s not the same anymore.
But before the vineyard was sold, Kevin and I were married. It was probably right around 5 years ago that we showed up at their door on a Monday evening, not knowing they were closed. That older gentlemen let us in anyway and we purchased a lot of wine. In fact, Chateau Pomije Winery was the first place I ever purchased a case of wine. On that particular trip, we stocked up for the wedding. We purchased a bottle of amazing (to my memory) late harvest Riesling for each member of our wedding party. We also bought a half-case of sparkling wine, each bottle specially engraved, for us and for each set of our parents.
There are so many connections now to Chateau Pomije. I only recently realized that the young guy who helped me in the old wine shop/restaurant – and signed me up for the wine club – was probably Liquor Direct’s Kevin Keith, now a good friend. Chateau Pomije was there for my first date with my husband and it was there for my wedding. We took a bottle of their sparkling to the Dominican Republic with us for the ceremony, and shared the other bottles at our reception back home. Since then, I’ve talked with Tim Shumrick a little. Tim runs the O’Bryonville wine shop. It was his dad who sold us our wedding wines. His brother is Toby James, of Tobin James Winery in California. Wine runs in their family.
Chateau Pomije is many wines to me. But it was the first winery that ever meant something to me. I’ve always associated music with particular events in my life. Chateau Pomije taught me that wine can bring on that same wonderful nostalgia. It’s not always the wine that matters, but the memories that come with it.
Thanks Lenn, for hosting a great Wine Blogging Wednesday, and cheers to another four years!
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