There’s a lot to be said for garages.
I mean, we all know what they’re meant to do. But who really uses them for what they’re intended? Why park your car in there when you could build on your gains, play dungeons and dragons or even make wine?
We all know the classic story of Dave Grohl and Nirvana. Created in Grohl’s friend’s garage, it quickly became one of the most iconic bands of the 90’s. Starting something iconic in a garage is something people these days strive for, not run away from.
Now, I’m not even going to pretend to try and pinpoint the exact year that Nirvana began their angry garage rage. However, I am going call on a year from the 90’s. And that year is 1995 – the year that Craig Colagrossi decided it would be a good idea to make the wine that he loved out of his garage.
If you’re an Italian, you know an Italian, or you’ve been to Italy, there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with their love of wine. Craig is annexed somewhere beautifully in the middle, right between Italy and California. His Italian heritage has made it so that he just can’t ignore what Italians love to do best – drink wine.
How much do you think a garage, or a person in a garage, knows about wine? Not a whole lot. These early experimental years were full of trial and error for Craig – much like they were for Nirvana.
As romantic as this image is, we’ve got to make some progress. Thankfully, Craig did this. Slip into the 2000’s, get all the way to 2009 and you’ve got yourself a bonafide commercially producing winemaker.
Now, anyone who’s ever been to California knows that you can expect the run of the mill stuff. This doesn’t mean that your Merlot’s and Pinot Noirs are bad – they’re just not unique.
Craig’s mix-breed of Italian and Californian is, though. It’s the mongrel in him that’s pushed him to branch out into more unique vintages, including Barbera and Sangiovese.
However, let’s not stop at Craig’s Italian ancestry to get the whole story. In fact, he was told once as a fairly new up and comer to be true to his personal tastes instead of focusing on chasing the customer – and that’s precisely what he’s done.
Now, when you meet someone like Craig, there are a couple of things you’ll notice immediately. These are that he’s informal and friendly. He’s not here to upstage you with wine verbiage. He’s here to show you a good time, make you feel at home and share his most-loved wines with like-minded wine lovers.
When wine tasting at Colagrossi Wines, this is exactly what you get. A place where you get to be yourself, liberation to guzzle it if you like it, and an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know about Italian wine.
2014 Vino Rosso: there’s no beating around the bush here – Craig wants you to know what you’re tasting, and then you’ll taste it. This 2014 wine is a blend of three different vintages. We won’t bore you with the specifics, but just know there’s a bit of cab sav, some merlot and a dash of cab franc.
This easy drinking wine – his words, not ours – tastes of red and black berries. Enough said.
2016 Sangiovese: where do we even begin to describe – and celebrate – such a complex tasting wine? You’ve got a bit of dark cherry and bright acid, but you’ve also got some subtle tannins, along with a long finish.
Craig recommends that you drink this one while eating pizza.
One thing’s for sure – there’s a good reason why something as iconic as Nirvana came out of a garage. Perhaps Colagrossi Wines is the Nirvana of winemaking. Craig threw caution to the wind, put his head down and didn’t bring it back up again until he had some damn good wine.
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July 19 • Coffee somm
The rise of the Coffee and Tea Sommeliers
Just like wine Sommeliers, there are true connoisseurs—coffee and tea sommeliers—who go beyond the milk, syrup and cream and can tell just by tasting, observing the residue and smelling a coffee or tea where the bean or leaf that made it came from, what type it is and even recommend the best pairing to enjoy it with.
May 31 • Civil rights
Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 2)
It’s safe to say we would all agree Hennessy and Hip-Hop are associated with each other in a special way. We would even go as far to say, Hennessy has reached global iconic status thanks to that fact.
May 04 • Vinely Live Events
Vinely Live: Michael Jordan & Fred Scherrer
Sommtable Live - this Thursday May 14th, is proud to have to Michael Jordan (Master Sommelier) and Fred Scherrer (Winemaker Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast) - the dynamic duo in both the world of wine and music. In the realm of viticulture, they’re perfect complements.
April 19 • Cognac
Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 1)
It’s safe to say we would all agree Hennessy and Hip-Hop are associated with each other in a special way. We would even go as far to say, Hennessy has reached global iconic status thanks to that fact. That being said, while the cognac of hip-hop was catapulted to its iconic...
April 16 • Music
PEOPLE ARE STRANGE: Jim Morrison
Jim was quoted in his poetic nature: “Being drunk is a good disguise.” He said. “It means I can talk to assholes.”
July 15 • shots
The First Shot Ever Served: A Tale of the West
It’s always a race against the heat in the West. Hell, there’s a score of difference races around here. There’s a race to the riches and a race to the hills where the riches lay. There’s a race to food and shelter and the means in which a man might make to get them.
August 13 • Armagnac
CASTEL MIMI WINERY; Exploring the World of Moldovan Wine
While France, Italy and Spain may hold the lion’s share of an industry which is over 35 billion bottles strong, there are many other players in the game. The world of Moldovan wine may be lesser known than other European countries...