Young Guns (Interviewing Envolve’s Bachelor For

Vinted on April 4, 2012 binned in interviews, on the road, Wined Down (

Ok, so, let’s get one thing out of the way right now: NO we did NOT talk about that Courtney chick, okay?

During my recent jaunt to Napa Land, I stopped at the (gorgeous) Puma Springs vineyard for a quick lunch-and-tasting interview with two of the young gun winemakers behind the Envolve wine, the most famous of which is Ben Flajnik, who everyone and their sister now knows was the star of the most recent run of ABC’s The Bachelor.

Which everyone calls “ABC’s The Bachelor” as if it competes with another The Bachelor reality somewhere. Which I think is totally odd. But not as odd for me – or, more accurately, not as surreal for me! – as Playboy Playmates telling me over social media that they loved my wine article (and yet, it happened).  Anyway

What’s gotten lost in all of the Bachelor-mania (which is a lot like Beatle-mania only over just one guy) is that Ben and his partners (Danny Fay and Mike Benziger, the latter of whom has some serious CA wine street cred running through his family tree) are making some seriously good wines, which I learned when interviewing them for the new column on (the title of which is “Wined Down,” in case you were playing along on the title suggestions thrown in by readers)…

Ben and Mike (Danny was battling a bought of food poisoning so couldn’t make our meet-up – but from what the other guys told me, this applies just as well to him) might be typical twenty-something guys when it comes to partying, and, well, just about everything else, but the cats get herded in a hurry – with focus and intent, I might add – when the topic turns from drinking to winemaking.

The result is that, generally speaking, the vinous lineup of both Envolve and their new project, a negociant style brand called Epilogue, offer serious value for money.

That’s a lot of seriousness for a trio of not-so-serious California guys.

As for Ben, for those of you (probably most of you) who are wondering: he’s a normal guy, and definitely a very normal guy for having been the focus of a couple of major reality TV shows. Ben actually reminded me of guys I’ve been in bands with, and partied with, and drank, and generally just hung out with over the years – but who still had their sh*t together when it comes to the serious stuff in life. But then, I’ve been in bands with guys who dated Philadephia Eagles cheerleaders, so maybe my view of normal is a little skewed…

You can get the full scoop on my Bachelor/Envolve interview posted last week over at the recently-relaunched (and while you’re there, you should also buy eighty-seven subscriptions to the magazine and the paid version of their website, so you can see the Playmates who were telling me they liked my work… my written work, I mean… just sayin’…).






  • Joel Ohmart

    Very good article on! Short, intelligent without seeming stuffy and to the point, ironically enough just how I like my women! Your a perfect fit for that style of writing Joe, hope you do well there, and the eyeballs your soaking into does not hurt your "going pro" adventure either! I still don't know how I am going to explain the entry on the office computers search history, I may need a job sometime soon; need an intern??

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Joel! I DO need an intern, but the position is unpaid! :)

  • Richard Auffrey

    There is something wrong here. In a post on Playboy, you only post pictures of men? Come on, do you really think we come here to read? No, we were hoping for some sexy photos. :)

    • 1WineDude

      Richard… ah, but you **might** find a *few* sexy photos around that article on the PB site… just sayin’… :)

  • Sonoma Girl

    Wow, I know these guys and they are douchbags! They don't even make their own wine, it is made by the winemaker at Benziger.

    Joe, you however rock it and are the real deal!

    • 1WineDude

      Sonoma Girl – thanks for the kind words about 1WD. Regarding the Envolve guys, I definitely did NOT get the douchebag vibe from them. Most importantly, though, if you are going to make claims about whether or not they’re being truthful regarding their winemaking, then you need to back those up with facts or retract your comment; without evidence I will consider that a personal attack which is a no-no when it comes to the comments policy here.

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