The Perfect Pair

Add elegance to your Valentine’s Day celebration with a pair of Meiomi wines from the California coast.

Meiomi produces only two wines: a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay. The two, cultivated in cool-climate appellations along California’s coastline, are a blend of fruit from Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties — for layered, well-balanced and expressive wines.

Pinot Noir is Meiomi’s signature wine, a sophisticated deep garnet red that entices with the aroma of sweet cherries and a hint of cocoa. Bing cherry and ripe plum dominate the flavor, brightened by undercurrents of raspberry and boysenberry. A touch of oak spice balances out the acidity on the finish. This silky smooth wine has mild tannins — just enough to give it structure without any harsh astringency. It complements a variety of cuisines and is especially good with tomato-based pasta dishes, pizza, beef entrées, grilled lamb and turkey.

The 2013 maiden vintage of Meiomi Chardonnay makes a grand entrance into the Meiomi cellar. This not-too-dry white wine has an enticing aroma of peaches, apricots and tangy citrus. Layered flavors of apple, pineapple, pear and apricot follow, with underlying citrus notes. Balanced acidity provides a freshness throughout; oak spice adds opulence to the finish. This Chardonnay pairs well with rich seafood — grilled salmon or shrimp and grits — or creamy chicken entrées, pork chops and smoky cheeses.

Meiomi has been making high-style Pinot Noir since 2002, branching out into Chardonnay for the first time this year with the release of its 2013 vintage. Fruit is sourced solely from three maritime regions of the Golden State — fog-shrouded Sonoma County, sun-splashed Monterey County and the warm valleys of Santa Barbara County — blended for depth and a distinctive flavor profile. The winery won the 2014 Market Watch Wine Leaders Choice Award for “Wine Brand of the Year.”

Meiomi wines are available through many outlets in Columbia. Check with your favorite local wine merchant.

Language Arts

“Meiomi” means “coast” in the language of the coastal-dwelling Wappo and Yuki Indians of California. Owner and winemaker Joseph Wagner pays tribute to these early native inhabitants with his winery name.

The Wappo tribe ranged throughout what is now California’s premier wine country — from Napa Valley to the west, down the redwood coast. The Yuki tribe’s traditional territory was around Mendocino and Lake counties and as far south as Sonoma County. Language was the link between the Wappo and the Yuki. California can thank the Wappos for naming Napa Valley — “napa” means “land of plenty” in their language.