Thank you Dad, Immigrant wines, 4th of July songs, Coco y familia, and Other Notes on a Wine Card.

It’s become tradition for me to celebrate the 4th of July holiday by remembering my father and how much he loved this country.  He instilled in my siblings and me the belief that this was the greatest country in the world. He taught us to love our country, to respect the flag, and to always be thankful for the opportunity this country gave him.

Yet the most important belief he instilled in us was that we should treat all others with dignity and respect no matter their position in life, the color of their skin or from where they came.  My father was an immigrant. So was my mother’s mother. Both hard working human beings looking for a better life.  Salt of the earth. Their stories need to be heard.  They aren’t alone.

Countless others just like them came here to work hard and start a new life. Respectful people, filled with pride and dignity. Their hearts filled with concern for others.  Those are the ideals that my dad saw in this here land. Although he felt the sting of racism at times throughout his life, he never wavered in the belief that the overwhelming majority of people in this country were good, decent, and caring people. This is what I am passing onto my son. This is the greatest country in the world, filled with caring and loving people. For hundreds of years it has been that way and will continue to be no matter which way the fickle winds currently blow.

To celebrate this great country of ours and the way we welcome immigrants, I am pouring four wines that were made by immigrants or were made to honor immigrants.  Enjoy the wines and their stories.

Alma De Cattleya Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County 2017   $18.99 91 Points Jeb Dunnuck – Bibiana Gonzalez Rave Pisoni is an immigrant from Colombia and is one of the best winemakers around. Read her wonderful story at Brit + Co

Alma De Cattleya Pinot Noir, Sonoma County 2016   $24.99   90 Points Jeb Dunnuck – Cattleya Wines

Maldonado Farm Worker Red Blend, Napa Valley 2013   $19.99 – Lupe Maldonado immigrated to the United States in 1962 from Mexico.  Read about Lupe and his son Hugo at Maldonado Vineyards

Stolpman La Cuadrilla Red Wine, Ballard Canyon 2016   $24.99  92 Points Wine Advocate – The Stolpman family believes in taking care of their workers through sustainable employment.  The crew receives the profits from the sale of this wine.  To read more about this wonderful program and the La Cuadrilla Foundation go to La Cuadrilla

Stolpman Para Maria Red Wine, Santa Barbara County 2016   $23.99  Editors’ Choice Wine Enthusiast 93 Points – Ruben Solorzano is the vineyard manager at Stolpman and also is a partner in Coastal Vineyard Care Associates.  He’s known as the “Grape Whisperer.”  Stolpman partners with Ruben and his wife Maria to produce the Para Maria Red Wine.  Ruben and Maria immigrated from Mexico and worked hard to get where they are today.  Read about their wonderful story here at Ruben Solorzano

While celebrating the 4th of July, what songs do you like to listen to?  Here are some of the songs I will be listening to while I grill and bbq – all patriotic in their own way…

Los Lobos/Grateful Dead “This Land is Your Land”  – The alternative national anthem?

Bruce Springsteen – Chimes Of Freedom  –  Lyrics that are relevant now and for the ages.

Ray Charles – America The Beautiful – Who does this song any better? No one.

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come – Powerful lyrics, powerful singer.

Guy Clark – Immigrant Eyes –  From my favorite Texas songwriter/singer.  So personal yet universal.

Ken Burns Civil War – Ashokan Farewell –  A beautiful instrumental from the Ken Burns documentary.

Pearl Jam – I Am A Patriot – Such a moving song written by Steven Van Zandt

Marvin Gaye – National Anthem – No one but no one ever sang this song better.

Bruce Springsteen – 4th Of July Asbury Park (Sandy) – Gotta have Bruce on this list!

These are just some of the songs I’ll have on my playlist this 4th. What about you?

I just saw the movie “Coco” on Netflix last week.  Such a wonderful movie that evoked memories of my own family and how to honor and remember them after they have passed away.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!

Have a Happy 4th of July.  Celebrate this great country and all of the people that make it great including your own familia.



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