“Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship” out on Oct. 6


Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship is a memoir that I will publish, with great fanfare and flourish, on October 6 at www.cathiebeck.com. Kirkus likes it (“a searing portrait”) and so does ForeWord Book Reviews (“… writing is breezy, polished and fun”).

But more important than all that is that Balistreri Vineyard is sponsoring Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship’s Official Launch by bottling “Signature Cheap Cabernet” – a Balistreri produced Cabernet Sauvignon. And they’re giving 50 bottles away free on October 6.

But that’s getting ahead of the story.

I don’t know how Julie Balistreri does it. She’s got four kids, a giant household full of family, employees, out-of-town guests, plus a list of household chores like the rest of us. But what she also has is a calendar that, literally, never shuts down. And she’s happy.

On the day I picked up the first cases of the “Signature Cheap Cabernet” vino (did I mention free wine at www.cathiebeck.com on October 6?), she had workers setting up a mega-tent for an event at the vineyard, and the phone rang twice – which she answered (no going to voice mail). She also found time to introduce me to visiting relatives (and to tell one of who-knows-how-many Balistreri family stories.)

Then we went to a part of the vineyard where bottles get labeled – the place where she produced the beautifully labeled and packaged “Signature Cheap Cabernet.” Throughout all of that action, she downloaded me about the upcoming Italian Festival she and her vineyard were helping sponsor.

Twenty-six hundred kids stomped grapes in honor of grape harvesting at the Festival – an event I attended and wherein I witnessed the presence of several large Balistreri trucks, a staff of dozens and an inspired Julie instructing a line more than a block long of children wanting to stomp grapes. Cheerfully, she explained to the throngs about how their “stomping effort” would all end up being Merlot before the year was out.

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Oh wait. She’d also just hosted thousands at her vineyard for KUVO Radio’s annual signature fund-raising event and, literally, as this column gets typed, Balistreri’s gearing up for its 7th Annual Balistreri Harvest Party at the vineyard. It’s a real party, with pig roasts, wood-fired pizzas, wine tastings, cheeses and kids’ grape stompings.

Yes. It takes a lot to write a good book and it takes even more to publish and market it (did I mention FREE wine on October 6 at www.cathiebeck.com?). It’s murder to get good book reviews and get a groundswell of support. Breaking Amazon.com’s Best Seller records and attracting the attention of agents and publishers – while meeting other family, life and career demands and remembering to stay healthy and exercise and floss daily – ain’t no walk in the park, either.

But all I need do is think of jolly Julie Balistreri. How 163 things on each day’s “to-do” list is typical and how, since everyone knows that at least 98 of those 163 will “go sideways”, one may as well decide to be cheerful and happy and eager to get to work.

Or better yet, drink some of her “Signature Cheap Cabernet” vino. It’s beautifully produced and luscious 2007 Balistreri Cabernet Sauvignon. Did I mention that we’re giving some away FREE on October 6 www.cathiebeck.com (plus dozens of other free gifts)?

I’m here to unapologetically testify to Balistreri Vineyard. It’s anything but cheap; it’s priceless.

In the largest sense of the word.

Word o’ the Week

Vigneto – Isn’t that fun word to say? Vigneto! Literally, “vigneto” translates to the English “vineyard.”

In Italy, Balistreri Vineyard would be called “Balistreri Vigneto” or “Vigneto Balistreri”.

One Winning Wine Tasting

The 7th Annual Balistreri Harvest Party takes place Sunday, October 4th, from noon to 6 p.m. at Balistreri Vineyards, 1946 E. 66th Street in Denver (about 10 minutes from downtown). The Harvest Party affords guests: a Commemorative Wine Glass, Wine Tasting Samples, Antipasti, Artisan Cheeses, Wood-Fired Pizzas, Pig Roasts, and Desserts.

Children 12 and under can enjoy the complimentary Children’s Grape Stomping at 2:00pm. In addition to the wine tastings, Balistreri will sell wine by the glass, bottle, and case.

For ticket information call: 303.287.5156 or visit www.balistrerivineyards.com.

Coming Oct. 16

Wine-Pairing Cheat Sheet

Ever wonder what wine you should really choose to go with those Fall and Winter soups? Is turkey more of a white wine food? Or does adding gravy to the menu turn it definitively into a red wine fare?

We’re doing a down-and-dirty wine-pairing cheat sheet on October 9, so you can finally stop sweating bullets when your brother-in-law makes his famous, heart-stopping (literally) chili – and your job’s to bring the wine to match it.

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