Ridge Three Valleys and the Healing Properties of Quietly Chopping Vegetables

It was quiet in the house and for that I was grateful. It gave me space to contemplate all that had happened in the past week.

Our community buried two of its police officers, murdered while on duty. Our nation elected a completely unqualified vulgar man to the highest political office in the land. My disbelief and grief filled the quiet empty space. I needed a good dose of comfort.

Making a big pot of hearty soup seemed like a good idea.

Somehow, the solitary process of chopping vegetables, peeling away the bits of soil clinging to the carrots, inhaling the strong garlic aroma, marveling at the intensely bright color of the butternut squash, searching for stones in the lentils, began to soften my grief.


The chopping and slicing was finished and the crock pot began to simmer, filling the quiet house with the most wonderful aroma! Comforting, indeed!


My wine needed to be comforting as well, so I looked for a wine of complexity, depth and warmth. I poured the Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys.


Ridge Vineyards history began in 1885 with the establishment of vineyards at the top of the Monte Bello Ridge.  As time passed, more vineyards were established further down the ridge.  The first Zinfandel was made in 1964.  In 1976 Ridge came in fifth at the infamous Paris Tasting where both French and California wines competed.  In 2016 the Ridge East Bench was poured at the White House for the final State Dinner of the Obama Administration.

Ridge Vineyards maintains a philosophy of little intervention in their winemaking. The grapes for this wine, 65% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 14% Carignane, and 4% Grenache, are all hand harvested and fermented on their natural yeast.  The wine spends 15 months in American oak barrels, with a small percentage of new barrels and the remaining from one to six years old.


Complex aromas of chocolate, vanilla, and wild blackberries combine with oak, leather and clay.



The front palate is luxurious and holds black fruits along with leather and woodland notes. Tannins provide a good grip and the wine finishes with well-integrated cedar and spice along with black raspberry.

The rustic, vegetable-filled soup combined well with the earthy, woodsy elements of the wine. And the heartiness of the soup, with its big flavors, paired well with the complexity of the wine. I was wrapped in warmth and layers of flavor! My stomach and my soul were nourished!



As I sat in the quiet house, I felt the ironic connection of this comforting Ridge wine, to the Ridge wine at the White House served at that monumental final Obama Administration State Dinner. My grief was beginning to heal.


Soul nourishment!;

Pairing with a hearty soup;


A Zin drinker who wants a wine with nuance instead of jammy fruits.


About the author: winesnob50@yahoo.com

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