Lee Pai

Lee Pai

Lee Pai

Contributor

Based in New York, Lee has found a plausible excuse to justify his wine drinking habit through writing about wine. A hobby he fell into during the pandemic, wine quickly became his passion, and he now loves sharing his opinion to customers walking into Grape Collective. 

  1. The Most Important Thing… About Wine

    The Most Important Thing… About Wine

    For many, wine can be beautiful and pleasurable, mysterious and complicated. For others, it is downright intimidating at times. When I find myself roaming the aisles staring blankly at a wall of wine, the abundance of options results in an endless self-debate to reach a decision on which bottle of wine to select. Fortunately, with experience, this process for me has gradually been optimized to not require more than an hour of helpless pondering. I can only claim this achievement, however, due to the numerous times rehearsing different wine-selecting scenarios, both physically and mentally. Through this, I noticed there were rarely any consistent selection criteria, and despite the abundant information and resources available at attempting to demystify wine, I never could answer a simple question:

     

    What is the most important thing?

  2. Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Creating a New Family Legacy in Eastern Valpolicella

    Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Creating a New Family Legacy in Eastern Valpolicella

    In the wine world, there are a lot of producers that come from multiple generations of grape growing and winemaking. To them, wine isn’t just a way of life, it is THE way of life. For Armando Castagnedi, co-owner of Tenuta Sant’Antonio in Valpolicella, this belief is the driving force behind the establishment of their business.

    Armando and his three brothers grew up in a small village in the eastern part of Valpolicella, where their father Antonio was a grape grower for the local wine cooperative. The brothers worked with Antonio and as wine consultants for many years, but they also wanted to make their own wines and not just grow grapes. Their father never agreed. 

    So, naturally, the brothers purchased a plot of land on Monti Garbi in 1989, and started Tenuta Sant’Antonio; the first vintage was 1995. 

  3. Bodega Trivento and the Evolving Identity of Argentina’s Wine

    Bodega Trivento and the Evolving Identity of Argentina’s Wine

    In the business of wine, once a region establishes an identity, it can be hard for producers to venture past that boundary. But with Bodega Trivento (“Trivento”), one of Argentina’s most successful single varie...

  4. Samra Morris of Alma Rosa, and the Dream of Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara

    Samra Morris of Alma Rosa, and the Dream of Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara

    Grape Collective talks to Samra Morris about her path to wine and her winemaking philosophy.

  5. A Beginner’s Guide to Canada’s ‘Cool’ Wines: The Surprisingly Warm British Columbia

    A Beginner’s Guide to Canada’s ‘Cool’ Wines: The Surprisingly Warm British Columbia

    Last time when we wrote about wines from Canada, the diversity and quality of the cool climate wines from Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula came as a great revelation, as the winemakers there have been on a long and relentless path of expressing their unique identity. This time, we look to the West Coast around 2,000 miles away, where British Columbia quietly boasts some of the warmest (and dryest) growing conditions in Canada, with some parts getting more sunlight than Napa Valley at its peak!

  6. Because wine is, after all, my love language

    Because wine is, after all, my love language

    Dear love, I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me, and how there aren’t enough words to express this. But I am a flawed human. I may not always be on time with the flowers, helping out with the chores, keeping places tidy and neat, or quick to understand what you need most when you’re busy. 

     

    Despite all that, there is one thing I am good at: picking out the wine for our evening. 

    Because wine is, after all, my love language.

  7. Dry January is (finally) over, would you like a glass of non-alcoholic wine?

    Dry January is (finally) over, would you like a glass of non-alcoholic wine?

    Another year, and another month of Dry January in the books. For those that haven’t caught on yet, myself included, non-alcoholic wine has picked up a lot of attention and momentum during January. So naturally, we wanted to ask the question: what is a non-alcoholic wine? 

  8. A Beginner’s Guide to Canada's ‘Cool’ Wines: Navigating the Niagara Peninsula

    A Beginner’s Guide to Canada's ‘Cool’ Wines: Navigating the Niagara Peninsula

    If we play a game of word association, it’s very likely the word “Ice wine” leads us to think “Canada”, and for good reason. But the reality is that Canada’s wine industry goes all the way back to the 1800s, and it has been quietly evolving into a comprehensive high quality producer of wines of different styles. 

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