MacNeil’s Wine Bible is the best-selling wine book in the U.S., with almost a million copies sold, and since its first edition, we have recommended it as a great gift for the wine lover in your life, and we do so again.
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Joško Gravner is a leading/innovative/influential winemaker in the Collio hills of the Friuli region of northeastern Italy, on the border of Slovenia. Considered a pioneer of the modern-day orange wine movement, he follows an ancient, low-intervention style of winemaking, producing uniquely characterful wine.
Sometimes – rarely, but sometimes – we taste a wine so exciting that it takes us on a journey. That just happened. It was from Murrieta’s Well in the Livermore Valley and it was sharply focused, with dark berries, variety-tagged green bell pepper, persistent acidity, herbs and vibrating energy.
It was Cabernet Franc, from the 2019 vintage. That’s not a total surprise. If you’ve been wondering about the red wave that pundits keep talking about, it’s Cabernet Franc.
Stu Devine is the proprietor of Devine Wine, a New Zealand marketing company. With a surname that means "of the vine" it's fitting that his specialty is in the wine sector, working in collaboration with two highly regarded New Zealand wineries. Devine’s career began in a vegetable and fruit nursery, tending to plants and eventually selling horticultural products.
“I really enjoyed the grape growers I worked with when I sold products for grapevines,” says Devine. “They were the salt of the earth and some of the most decent, easy-going people I had ever met, so I decided to follow in their footsteps and bought a vineyard of my own in Hawkes Bay.”
His experience as a grape grower then led to a job in viticulture at a large winery. But, as much as Devine loved tending the vines, his outgoing personality and, as he puts it, “big mouth” took him in another direction, namely wine sales. In 2006, Devine formed his company, a partnership with Rod McDonald of Te Awanga Estate in Hawke’s Bay and Paddy Borthwick of Borthwick Vineyard in Wairarapa where Devine oversees all U.S. sales activity.
“I just tasted their wine,” says Devine when asked his reason for choosing to work with McDonald and Borthwick, “and that’s how simple it really was. The wine showed their honesty, their good looks, and their charm. Just one glass and you will understand why I was captivated. I have created a company where I represent the wine that I have an absolute passion for.”
Devine stopped by Grape Collective to chat about what's happening in New Zealand's wine world today.
Lisa Denning: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into wine?
Stu Devine: My background goes quite a ways back. I've always been into horticulture. I was a nurseryman, I grew plants and then got a job selling products to apple growers and vineyards. I come from a small region in New Zealand called Hawke's Bay, and I bought a vineyard in '93 with both...
We recently visited South Africa for the first time for 10 days on a trip sponsored by Wines of South Africa. We visited dozens of wineries and attended all three days of CapeWine, a trade show featuring about 400 wineries and, we’d guess, more than 2,000 wines. Here’s a list of 16 South African wines that are available, at least a bit, in the U.S. They are in alphabetical order.
We sample many wines for this column. We prefer to try them first before dinner, discuss them and then retaste with food to see how they change. We might have whites or reds, and sometimes we have both.
In 2016 Guisi Murabito founded Walking Eolie & Sicily, which enables people from around the world to experience the culture of the region through guided walking tours focusing on food and wine. It is in this way she is able to share with others the "peaceful environment, divine light, immense soul, [and] authentic smells and tastes" she so loves about her homeland.
Chris Gaither, 38, is only the fourth Black person in the world to earn the Master Sommelier diploma and his wife of seven years, Rebecca Fineman, 43, in 2017 became the 25th woman to attain the title of Master Sommelier in the Americas chapter. The couple, who have two young daughters, say they are the only married Master Sommeliers in the world to own a restaurant, Ungrafted, which they opened in San Francisco in 2018.