The Great Post-Baby Wine Debate

babywineIt has become an ongoing conversation in our home as Our Little Project is nearly done fermenting inside the womb and is set to arrive in just a few short weeks: What shall be the wine that Mother Kathy pops when, after 9 months of abstaining from the nectar, she finally returns the world of the swilling?

I’ve been lobbying for champagne, since I too will likely be joining the new mother in her celebration of her return to real living. It’s festive. We’ll have good reason to celebrate with Henry George in our lives. Plus, Champagne is a good way to ease back into a life of wine, given its relatively low alcohol.

Kathy, on the other hand, appears to miss her Pinot Noir. She’s surrounded by the stuff every day at Failla, and is forced to watch bottle after bottle opened by her colleagues. So, she’s lobbying for Pinot. Right now, she’s thinking one of Failla’s single vineyard Pinots from the Sonoma Coast or possibly a Hanzell from Sonoma Valley. There are other possibilities too.

I like Pinot as much as many of the next guy, while not as much as other guys. What’s not to like. The silky, earthy, tangy deliciousness of good Pinot Noir is hard to beat. But it almost seems the choice of Pinot over Champagne is a nod to dire need, rather than celebration.

And on this issue of celebration, one of the very important issues I’m currently researching is whether or not I will be allowed to bring a bottle of Champagne into the birthing room so that it can be popped once Henry George arrives. However, I did find an answer to my question, does one christen a newborn the same way one christens a newly launched ship? Apparently, according to my recent Newborn Child Care Classes, the answer is you should not. That’s good to know.

The other possibility for Kathy’s first wine-intake post-birth revolves around the issue of terroir. Henry George will come into the world in Napa Valley. Napa Valley is where his mother and father live. It is where Henry George will get his first glimpse of the world. There’s a very good argument to be made that Kathy’s first quaff in nine months really ought to be a product of the Napa terroir. If it were me and if I found the terroir argument convincing, there are a number of Napa Valley Sparkling wines that would do the trick.

In any case, despite the need to get a nursery set up, gather the various accoutrement of newborn care, baby-safe the home, figure out childcare, the pressing issue right now really is, what should Kathy drink first after her nine month hiatus from wine. That’s what’s really pressing.

Any suggestions are appreciated!


14 Responses

  1. Charlie Olken - April 17, 2014

    It’s so nice to read a blog that actually makes me smile with real joy. It’s not about the wine, of course, but about the unrestrained happiness that you and Kathy are sharing with us.

    And, the wine question, rather than about points or the wine’s reputation, is about what will make you happy.

    I guess, because we use bubbles for all celebrations here, I would share your enthusiasm for sparkling wine first. And given the Napa connection, I would offer the J. Schram Rose’ as the wine of choice and also the DVX Rose’ from Mumm. Both are simply brilliant wines.

    But, Tom, let me offer a reason why you and I are both wrong. In this situation, the Momma gets to make the call. This is a great moment for you, but, and please forgive me for telling you this, you ain’t doin’ nothin’ here. It is all Kathy and Henry George. And since you are not christening him, you will simply have to either convince her that there is no better celebration wine than a great bubbly or happy enjoy a great Pinot. Napa Valley Pinot is not exactly our best, but it may well be that the single best choice is from Failla.

    Whatever it is, please let us know so we can join you both from afar.


  2. Wendy - April 17, 2014

    She should drink whatever she wants! And whatever it is, buy a few so you can open them on family milestones.

    Congratulations you two!

  3. John Kelly - April 17, 2014

    When both of our kids were born at Sonoma Valley Hospital, I sent out to Della Santinas and brought in an entire meal, with a bunch of tulips and a bottle of bubbly. I didn’t ask anyone at the hospital first.

    Don’t over-think this. Get something cheap and wet, because you aren’t likely to remember what you drank. You are going to have a lot of other things on your mind.

    Another tip – under no circumstances should you ever leave the delivery/recovery room unless Kathy asks you to or gives you permission, or the doctors force you to. I guarantee that she will remember and resent such a transgression far longer than she will recall or care what you brought her to drink.

  4. Another Tom - April 17, 2014

    Here’s my advice as a recent father: Don’t open wine in the birthing room, unless that’s the room you’ll be staying in the entire time. Wait until your wife and baby are moved into a post-natal room and things have settled down. Don’t ask for permission from the hospital. Let you wife drink whatever she wants; you can break open the Champagne too. I’m sure you’ll have others with whom you can share the Champagne.

  5. John Cesano - April 17, 2014

    When my first and only was born at Memorial hospital in Santa Rosa, back in 1997, I remember new momma got a split of plonk from the hospital with her dinner.

    I wish we had thought to bring something better.

    Congratulations and best wishes to you, momma, and Henry George.

  6. Alison Crowe - April 17, 2014

    Having just had two boys in the last three years, I can report we had bubbles both times- my request. We didn’t go all terroir, but let a recent trip to France influence up- PJ for the first and honestly I don’t remember for the second! The comment about it being less about the wine and more about the experience is spot on.

    As far as if you can have it at the hospital, I wouldn’t know having had both of our boys at home (a great experience). However- I know that most wine country hospitals are pretty permissive- and definitely plan to pop it until you are both in “recovery” and can enjoy the moment. I remember having almonds, apple slices and a chilled glass of PJ as part of my post-birth snack when we all got cozy, swaddled and into bed. But really, it’s whenever (and whatever) Kathy wants!

  7. Michaela Rodeno - April 17, 2014

    You can both have it all – a 100% Pinot Noir Napa Valley sparkling wine, like Chandon Blanc de Noirs. We did (no one at the Queen of the Valley objected), and shared it with the doc who delivered our first.

  8. Stephen Hendricks - April 17, 2014

    Well I’m prejudiced, but If Kathy wants Pinot Noir, I’d be happy to ship her a bottle from here, ie Oregon. No better way to celebrate the arrival of the addition to the family.

  9. Gretchen - April 17, 2014

    I agree with whatever the idea of whatever Kathy wants. I wanted Champagne. Congrats to you both and sleep while you can!

  10. Flick - April 17, 2014

    Mom’s choice, without question. And, as her hormones will have a roller coaster ahead of them, best to appease her early and often. All I wanted was a particular roasted goat cheese platter from a favorite local spot and a Newcastle. While the beer was delivered (my sweet dad made sure of that since hubby thought it bad form), the cheese was forgotten for four months. Counseling ensued. Enjoy the ride, and your new little barrel of joy…

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