Miss A Columnist

As a 4-year Leukemia survivor, Stacey Mertes is heavily involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Diabetes Association. Her 7-year-old son, Logan, is a recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, but keeps Stacey on her toes with his own active fundraising endeavors such as the Columbia Tower climb (for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), WaMu stair climb (for Cystic Fibrosis), and several triathlons and other stair climbs around the city. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Stacey has lived in many of the local neighborhoods (including spending 11 years next to the Pike Place Market), since graduating from the University of Washington. She finally settled down in the most diverse zip code in the country, Columbia City, where she enjoys walks to the many restaurants, farmers market, and art events nearby. Her favorite hobby of late is finding the most fun “free” things to do around Seattle with her son. She loves movies, plays, visiting the Pacific Science Center and other museums, and finding those geocaching adventures.

Total Wine And More Releases New Ultra-Premium California Square Wine, Supports Local Communities, Museums

California Square Wines

California Square wines displayed in Total Wine & More (Photo Credit: Crowe Mead)

Sonoma’s Truett-Hurst Inc. has just partnered with Total Wine & More to release a new range of ultra-premium California wines, California Square, packaged in retro-style square bottles – inspired by classic spirits bottles, featuring embossing and vintage graphics. In fact, it is so premium-looking, yet at an affordable price point (each bottle is around $20.00), that it was served and gifted in swag bags at this year’s 65th annual Emmy awards for celebrities to discover and was a huge hit by celebrities such as Chris Noth of The Good Wife and Ed O’Neil from Modern Family.

California Square 2012 eco-friendly, vintage-styled wines, crafted by winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix, include a Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Paso Robles Cabernet, and Paso Robles Three Red Blend.  The square shape of the bottle means no outer box (and carbon footprint savings on shipping due to weight).  Bottle designer, Stranger & Stranger, says, “Square bottles take up less space but you never see them on the wine shelves. If the wine industry turned over to square instead of round bottles we’d save almost a million trees in outer cardboard boxes alone. Not to mention savings in shipping and storage.”

I was personally taken with the Russian River Valley Chardonay that was buttery (made with flavors of butterscotch, of course) and went down smoothly and effortlessly. The Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon was a fruit –forward crowd pleaser easily served with a holiday beef dinner. It has lots of cherry and plum notes and the finish goes on and on. The Paso Robles Three Red Blend, a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Merlot, was very smooth and boasts of flavors of ripe blueberries, vanilla oak, and blackberries. This wine would easily be served with a holiday turkey or ham. Katie McAdam, the wine supervisor at Total Wine & More in Bellevue, said that it “reminded her of a less expensive version of The Prisoner from Napa Valley.”

Katie McAdam pours the Paso Roble (Photo Credit: Crowe Mead)

Katie McAdam pours the Cabernet Sauvignon (Photo Credit: Crowe Mead)

California Square wines are now available from Total Wine & More both in stores or online.

California Square’s unique vintage look is great for repurposing. The empty bottles can be filled with olive oils or infused vinegars and can be used as flower vases or candleholders. Additional ideas for repurposing and a request for more ideas from consumers can be found on the California Square website.

Total Wine & More support their local communities by making in-kind donations to the organizations that the consumer supports. While they give back to a number of diverse charities and local non-profits, they focus their contributions on organizations that foster the humanities, health services, and education. In 2012, Total Wine & More donated over $1.5 million through in-kind and monetary contributions to local charities, which in turn helped them raise over $2.2 million to support their programs.

From September 30th to October 31st, Total Wine & More will be supporting seven art museums, including the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), that enrich our communities through their local art education programs and are an inspiration to our youth. Help support these organizations by purchasing River Road wines from September 30th through October 31th. Four dollars for every case sold will be donated to support the art education efforts of these organizations.

Total Wine & More
Seven locations in Washington, find one near you on their store locator page!

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