Posts Filed Under wine publications

How I Almost Didn’t Write a Book

Vinted on June 18, 2020 binned in wine books, wine publications

While I’ve much still left to report on from the last Portugal jaunt, as well as the result of a flurry of remote tasting events in the wake of Covid-19 SIP sipping, I did promise to get some thoughts onto virtual paper regarding the upcoming book(s), and so… well… here they are.

First, we can completely shatter the misconception that writing a book is a lonely, solitary endeavor. I have lost count of the number of editing phases and talented people involved in the creation of the pair of books I’ve got coming to market next month. While any mistakes in te manuscript are almost certainly my fault, I feel good that said errors would have had to get by several pairs of eyes from dedicated folks in specialized editing roles at Callisto Media en route to publication. For the most part, those people all made the process go more smoothly and efficiently than I ever imagined, and allowed me to focus the vast majority of my efforts where they could actually result in something productive – writing the content. I had input but thankfully very little responsibility when it comes to the structural and visual aspects of the books (which, unless you want to see Iron Maiden graphics or something, is a really good thing).

Probably the most interesting thing that I can tell you about writing the books, however, is that I came incredibly close to just not writing them at all…

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#StayAtHome and Learn Something (Talking Wine History for FFWS)

Vinted on March 25, 2020 binned in learning wine, wine publications
FFWS 10 Seminal Moments in Wine

image: FFWS

Now that we’re all comfortably sitting at home, doing our best to save the world by watching movies and trying not to drink all of the booze too soon, you might be looking for a few more things to consume for your mental benefit, as well.

To that end, I’m contributing to the Magazine section of the Foley Food & Wine Society website, with my first piece now available, part of their #StayAtHome content initiative (you are staying home, right? RIGHT?!??).

My contribution is titled 10 Seminal Moments in Wine and highlights some of the most impactful events throughout wine’s history. I’m sure that many of you fine, opinionated folk will have lots to dis/agree with in said article, so head on over there for a gander and come back and heckle me!





“Good Evening, Clarice” (Facing Off with Clarice Wine Company Pinot Noir and Adam Lee)

Vinted on March 12, 2020 binned in elegant wines, wine publications, wine review
Adam Lee Gary's

Adam Lee at Gary’s Vineyard (image: Adam Lee)

Recently, I caught up with iconoclastic winemaker Adam Lee, to see what he’s been up to since transitioning his well-regarded Siduri brand to Jackson Family Wines, for an interview published on the Napa Valley Wine Academy website.

Adam is a great sport and an equally great interviewee, as you’ll no doubt be able to quickly discern when reading the interview. What we didn’t get into in the NVWA piece are the gritty details on one of his new projects, Clarice Wine Company, a brand he named after his grandmother, Clarice H. Phears. Interestingly, Lee’s Clarice project is a wine club of sorts for the brand’s wines, but also an online community capped off at 625 members.

After Adam and I reconnected for the interview, he sent along samples of the Clarice offerings, and I’m now able to tell you that he’s created something L-E-G-I-T

elegantClarice Wine Co. Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands, $90)

Clarice Wine Co Gary's Vienyard 2018Lee has been sourcing from Gary’s Vineyard (located just about smack-dab in the middle of the Santa Lucia Highlands) since its inception in the late 1990s. This is a vineyard source that has no shortage of accolades already, but might just be hitting its adulthood stride in full force only now, based on this beauty.

There is sooooooooooooooooooo much going on here. Dark fruit, red berries, bramble, tea leaf, truffle, cedar, and various baking spices to start the nose, with incredibly deep, dark, plummy fruitiness and black raspberry freshness all over the palate. The acidity and tannin are really neck-and-neck here, balancing one another out just as one seems to be slightly overtaking the other at any given moment. Somehow, there’s a harmonious interplay of bramble (and, I mean, a metric ton of different wild herbs) and elegance throughout. It’s a red that has more personality than the entire cast of most TV sitcoms. Yeah, it’s expensive. But it’s worth it. Every. F*cking. Penny.





Straight Up (Interviewing Stu Smith for NVWA)

Vinted on March 4, 2020 binned in wine publications
Stu Smith NVWA

image: Napa Valley Wine Academy

My latest piece for the Napa Valley Wine Academy is now live, part of their round of winemaker features. I went big for my first interview in the series, too – I called up Stu Smith, one of the brothers behind Napa’s Smith-Madrone and someone to whom speaking one’s mind comes quickly, intelligently, and naturally.

Saying that Smith has strong opinions on the world of wine is kind of like calling a plague of locusts a minor inconvenience. Long-time 1WD readers will no doubt recall our podcast (nearly ten years ago!), in which Smith verbally eviscerated several aspects of Biodynamics with stiletto-like turns of phrase.

In the NVWA interview, we revisit Biodynamics, and get Stu talking abuot what he thinks are the CA wine biz’s greatest challenges and opportunities these days. For a dose of straight-talking, no-nonsense winemaking knowledge, click on over to NVWA and check it out yourself.






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