The wine world recently lost an icon.
Dennis Zablosky, the long-time tasting room manager at Frank Family Vineyards, in Calistoga, California, passed away on Dec. 9, 2016.
Dennis was one of Napa Valley’s treasures and famously came to be known by his first name.
Proprietor Rich Frank, former president Disney Studios, hired Dennis at the vineyard more than 23 years ago. And Dennis, with his gregarious personality, soon became one of the most notable people in the Napa wine scene. And boy, could he sell wine.
I first met Dennis at the Frank Family tasting room in 2010 and fell in love with him.
Tasting wine with Dennis meant you sat in his office, around his desk and drank up his love of life and the wines he poured. Frank Family wines are award-winning, but Dennis made them even better.
And while it’s not the biggest or most elaborate tasting room in Napa, it is hands-down my favorite stop when I get out there. Whenever people asks me where to go when they visit Napa, my response is the same, “You have to go see Dennis.”
But even when I’m not in Napa, Dennis is with me. Every time I pour these amazing wines, I am reminded of something funny (or off–color) that he had said to me.
So this time of year especially, please remember that the beauty of wine is the memories we make when we drink it. The people we share a glass with are way more important than any rating or review.
Take time this season, to appreciate the experience. Raise you glass to the people you love. Thank them for being in your life. Take pictures. Tell stories. Really enjoy the moments.
Because someday they will be gone.
Dennis loved life. He loved the wines he poured. He loved being a part of the Frank Family. We should all strive to live our lives like he did. "He was one of a kind, a larger than life personality with a giant heart. We are all going to miss him terribly," said proprietor Leslie Frank.
I will miss him too. But in honor of Dennis, I will take more time to appreciate the people around me.
I hope you do too.
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.