Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

William Seylem old typeface

There was so much that I didn’t want to like about Sonoma’s storied Williams Selyem.

  • The too-cool-for-school exclusivity of their mailing list.
  • The imposing fortress-like facade of their “barrel-evoking” tasting room and its “wall of bottles.”
  • The fact that they used terms like “barrel-evoking.”
  • That current owners John and Kathe Dyson were former mailing list members (how cute!).
  • That the label typeface they use was so old that it had to be recreated from scratch when their printing went digital.
  • The way that their wines get collectors all google-eyed, shooting prices up on the secondary market.
  • The friggin’ goats.

The problem with trying to be a Williams Selyem hater, though, is that when it comes to their affable, knowledgeable staff, and their consistently excellent wines, there’s just not enough bad there to hate…

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Vote Naked (Naked Wines Winemaker Fantasy Finalists 2016)

Vinted on June 28, 2016 binned in wine news
Naked Wines Winemaker Fantasy 2016


Pssst! Hey! Wanna vote Naked?

I was recently a judge for a contest that Naked Wines is running, in which winemakers made video pitches describing what fantasy/dream wine they would create if they had an extra $100Gs laying around (for more info. on what Naked Wines is all about, check out the interview we did with founder Rowan Gormley).

In this case, however, one of the winemaker finalists in the contest can actually win the $100Gs to go and make the wine.

I helped whittle down the numerous video entries in order to select the eight finalists. The judges also included Naked Wines Archangel Kent Reynolds, Naked Wines staffers Matt Parish (chief winemaker) and Anne Saunders (US managing director), as well as few notable friends of mine: Jeff Siegel (of WineCurmudgeon), Tom Wark of Fermentation, and #winelover founder and globetrotting-firend-to-just-about-everyone Luiz Alberto.

While some of the video entries certainly made excellent cases for why some people are better suited for making wine than for making videos, for the most part the pitches were excellent, the finalist group diverse and interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing which one of these wines makes it to the birthing stage.

You can go vote for your favorite online (so, theoretically, you could actually vote naked) until July 4th over at





Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For June 27, 2016

Vinted on June 27, 2016 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 13 Steven Kent Winery Lineage (Livermore Valley): It won't be cheap, but it'll likely be one of the finest reds LV has ever produced. $NA A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Dutton Goldfield Angel Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): On display – rose, cherry, spice, & an elegant side of Anderson $58 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Lieb Cellars Reserve Blanc de Blancs (North Fork of Long Island): Purity of pears, along with sincere purity of pleasure. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Joseph Drouhin Domaine des Hospices de Belleville Brouilly (Beaujolais): The red that you dream about when you eat gourmet pizza. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Ca'Berti Bechel Vino Bianco Frizzante (Italy): Sunny label, encasing a sunny, capable bubbly; just don't go expecting miracles. $13 B >>find this wine<<
  • NV Torresella Prosecco Extra Dry (Prosecco): Deliciousness as a virtue? Why not, when expressed this simply and refreshingly? $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Hickinbotham Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon (McLaren Vale): Rarely do the Aussies get so downright – and ingeniously – serious. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc (North Canterbury): Hot Summer day? Dare you to refuse a ripe, juicy cantaloupe that's *this* fresh $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Campo Viejo Gran Reserva Rioja (Rioja): Sweet oak cobwebs, brush them away & you'll find tobacco and leather stores to spare. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose Cava (Penedes): Well, that was a lovely little conversation; if only it hadn't been so darned short… $15 B >>find this wine<<



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