Dearest Martha -
We hauled in our biggest catch yet today. As the cod flopped around on deck in their hordes, one stared up at me with baleful silver eyes, struggling for breath yet somehow at peace. I even detected a flash of sardonic wit somewhere behind its mask of fishy complacency. It reminded me of you.
But then lately, everything reminds me of something back home in Napa. Remember those bottles of C&T Cellars wine I brought along, to pass the long lonely hours trawling the rugged Alaska seacoast? Oh, wait, that’s right: I took them without telling you. Sorry. Consider it payback for that time you ate my last Toaster Streudel. Anyway, each bottle has been a treasured companion as I seek my fortune at sea. With each sip, I could practically see young Trent Moffett pounding out the vintage, just like his folks taught him at Livingston Moffett. Good lad, that one. He’s got a good woman in Colleen, too. They’ll go far.
I popped open the first bottle of C&T Cellars 2005 Rooftop Red Cabernet Sauvignon at sunrise, before a hard day’s fish. (You’ll recall that the ability to drink wine while working was the main reason I took this fishing job.) Its deep, dark fruit and spice aromas danced with the last evanescent ghosts of the vanishing night, while the big, juicy mouth of ripe blackberries and black cherries harmonized perfectly with the flinty Northern dawn. Didn’t do much for my chronic seasickness, though. I suppose we none of us ever really own the things we consume – we just rent them.
The other bottle of Rooftop Red was the subject of heated contention one late night below decks. The salty old seahands and I were gathered around the barrel for the nightly game of Slapjack. Cappy, short of funds, threw one of his prized bronze water-wings into the pot. Well, Chappy (different guy) had also opened his pay envelope to the good-time girls of Juneau, and was similarly skint of liquid funds. So he anted up a 1974 Topps Tom Hilgendorf in NM condition. All I had close to hand was that second bottle of Rooftop Red, with its well-balanced fruit and long finish. Slow to slap, I lost the hand, and the bottle. But fortune smiled the next day when both Chappy and Cappy were lost overboard in the face of a savage nor’easter. Yes, I reclaimed my Rooftop Red. Dead men drink no wine. But I tipped a little out for them.
An altogether different mood surrounded my first bottle of C&T Cellars 2006 Skinny Dip Sauvignon Blanc. Bounding along the frothy main, the catch plentiful, the sun grinning stonedly down upon us, we passed around the bottle like the buccaneers’ grog of yore. Bright and acidic without burning a hole in your gut, its well-structured, citrusy palate was sunshine in a bottle. We sang like the Village People, in lusty praise of this divine nectar. Then Clappy (different guy again) took inspiration from both its name and its mood-altering powers, and stripped down to the skin for a mid-day swim! Caught in the merriment of the mood, we all freed ourselves from the bonds of our clothing and jumped in. In retrospect, it was actually pretty gross, all those nude fishermen splashing around. But what did we care on that glorious afternoon?
I don’t remember much about the other bottle of Skinny Dip. I downed the whole thing in two or three swigs after a fishhook lodged itself in my eye. It’s a good thing I was born with two.
Aye, it’s a rough life out here among the whitecaps, and the battle with Demon Cod never ceases. But those four bottles of C&T Cellars wine tethered my heart and my tongue to sweet home Napa. To be sure, I ache with longing for you; but even more so for more C&T Cellars. Don’t take it personally, my darling. If you’d ever had to make do with Alaskan wine, you’d understand.
- Harvest Date: October 4th – 19th
- Blend: 75 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc
- Production: 289 cases
C&T Cellars 2006 Skinny Dip Sauvignon Blanc
- Harvest Date: September 2nd, 10th and 16th
- Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 100% Napa Valley
- Production: 525 cases
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- Wine sold by winery (or a retailer in your state where necessary)
- You must be 21 or older to order
- Whoever receives the package must be 21 or older
- If you're drunk when the package shows up, you will not be allowed to receive it
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