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Month December 2016

Top 100 Wines for 2016 – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy


As in my top 100 yearly wines it is never easy–always a hard thing to do but also a highlight of stunningly gorgeous wines.  I complete a yearly top 100 because I taste several thousands per year and not all of them are the same of course.  I was privileged to have traveled as much as I did this year.  I looked at past 100s over time and I do say they vary in terms of where the wines are coming from.  This year I have had the best year of tasting French and Italian wines.

I stepped foot on ground in the following countries this year: Italy, Vatican City, The Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, and the UK.  I was able to taste for the first time wines from Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland.   The wine scene, of course, is alive and lively in all of Europe.  I knew when I was in Puglia for example that I would be tasting a lot of wines that unfortunately will never hit US shores.  I was delighted to taste sparkling wines and rosé wines from Puglia.  I did get considerable experience tasting Champagne.  A delight to taste so many wines–and with ease to find Brut Nature or Extra Brut unlike in my home base of San Francisco.  I found so many grower Champagnes and I was able to taste Drappier Quattor IV – which is a rarity unto itself–incorporating the four official white wine grapes of Chardonnay, Vrai Blanc (Pinot Blanc), Petit Meslier, and Arbanne.  The wine is memorable and I listed on my top 100 for 2016.  I loved that I was actually able to taste Petit Meslier and Arbanne from the vine and that Michel Drappier is committed to growing these wine grapes.  I also very much liked walking his vineyards and having him give the tour.

I never list number one has the highest ranking wine of the year–so please read this as a set of wines. Some publications have that hierarchy but I don’t believe in doing that.  You might just look at point scores as a guide as to what is “number 1” but I caution against that as so many wines/varieties and regions cannot be compared to other wines/varieties and regions. It makes no sense to do so–it is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.  This list is in Alphabetical order.

I hope you get to taste some of these wines!

Wishing you a great 2017!

  1. A Vita Cirò 2013 – 93 Points
  2. Acquiesce Lodi Belle Blanc 2015 – 92 Points

3. Almaviva Puente Alto Red Wine 2013 95 Points

4. André Clouet Brut Nature NV 93 Points

5. Balleto Sexton Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012 92 Points

6. Benati Nerello Mascalese 2012 93 Points

7. Benoit Lahaye Champagne Blanc de Noirs NV 93 Points

8. Biondelli Franciacrota Brut NV 92 Points

9. Bonny Doon Le Cigar Volant Central Coast Red Wine 2012 93 Points

10. CARO Mendoza Red Wine 2013 94 Points

11. Casa Caterina Cremont Blanc de Blanc 2007 Brut 93 Points

12. Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV 94 Points

13. Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru NV 94 Points

14. Champagne Bruno Paillard NPU 2003 95 Points

15. Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Les Couarres Extra Brut NV 94 Points

16. Champagne Drappier Grande Sendrée Cuvée 2008 94 Points

17. Champagne Drappier Quattuor Blanc de Quatre Blancs Brut NV 94 Points

18. Champagne Dumagin La Cuvée 17 93 Points

19. Champagne Etienne Calsac L’Echappée Belle Extra Brut NV 94 points

20. Champagne Gaillimard Pere et Fils Cuvée de Reserve 94 Points

21. Champagne Gaillimard Pere et Fils Cuvée Prestige Millesime 2011 95 Points

22.Champagne Gaillimard Pere et Fils Cuvée Quintessence – 94 Points

23. Champagne Gaillmard Pere et Fils Cuvée Grande Reserve Chardonnay Brut NV 94 Points

24. Champagne J. de Telmont OR 1735 94 Points

25. Champagne J. de Telmont Sans Soufre NV 93 Points

26. Champagne Jean Vesselle Demi-Sec Rosé Cuvée Friandise 93 Points

27. Champagne José Michel & Fils Brut Pinot Meunier 93 Points

28. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Longitude Premier Cru Extra-Brut – 94 Points

29. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Rosé de Saignée Premier Cru Extra-Brut 94 Points

30. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Terre de Vertus Premier Cru Non-Dosé 95 Points

31. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Vieille Vigne du Levant Grand Cru Extra-Brut 2007 94 Points

32. Champagne Lepreux-Penet Bulles Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs NV 93 Points

33. Champagne Maillet Exception Blanche Millésimé Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV 93 Points

34. Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Millésimé 2008 94 Points

35. Champagne Mailly L’intemporelle Grand Cru Cuvée Millésimé 2009 – 94 Points

36. Champagne Mailly Les Enchansons Grand Cru Cuvée Millésimé 2000 – 95 Points

37. Champagne Marc Hebrart Premier Cru Brut Rosé – 94 Points

38. Champagne Pascal Doquet Diapassion Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV 93 Points

39. Champagne Philippe Gonet Extra Brut 3210 Blanc de Blancs NV 94 Points

40. Champagne Tarlant Zero Brut Nature NV 94 Points

41. Champagne Vilmart & Co. Premier Cru Grand Cellier d’Or 2010 93 Points

42. Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf de Pape 2012- 94 Points

43. Chenowith Green Valley of RRV Pinot Noir 2012 93 Points

44. Concha y Toro Don Melchor Puente Alto Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 94 Points

45. Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut Rosé NV 92 Points

46. Coolshangh Vineyard Okanagan Valley Chardonnay 93 Points

47. COS Pithos Bianco Siliica 2013 92 Points

48. Daniel Dampt et fils Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons 2015 93 Points

49. Domaine Carneros La Terre Promise Carneros Estate Pinot Noir- 2013  93 Points

50. Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2014 93 Points

51. Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru “Valmur” 2014 95 Points

52. Domaine William Fèvre Premier Cru Fourchaume Chablis 2014 – 94 Points

53. Emeritus Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2013 94 Points

54. Emile Beranger Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 94 Points

55. Franciscan Estate Cuvée Sauvage Carneros Chardonnay 2013 – 93 Points

56. Fumanelli Valpoliclla Classico Superiore 2013 – 93 Points

57. Galafarm Moravia Svatovavřinecké 2012 93 Points

58. Garfano Simpotica Rosso Salento IGP – 2013 93 Points

59. Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 94 Points

60. Gotsa Babaneuri Valley Mtsvane ’13 94 Points

61. H&H Malvasia Madeira 20 YO – 94 Points

62. Vaglio Massa I Fratelli Negroamaro IGP Salento 2014 94 Points

63. Jean Claude Bessie Chablis Grand Cru 2014 94 Points

64. William Fevre Chablis Premier Cru Fouchaume 2014 94 Points

65. Vinařství Krásná Hora Pinot Noir, Moravia 2014 93 Points

66. Kindzmarauli Kakhetian Royal 2013 93 Points

67. La Chablisienne Les Preseuses Chablis Grand Cru 2010 94 Points

68. Louis Roederer Brut Millésimé 1980 95 Points

69. Louis Roederer Brut Nature – 2009 9.5 Points

70. Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 96 Points

71. Marchesi Fumanelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2013 93 Points

72. Marchesi Fumanelli Terso Veneto White Wine – 2014 92 Points

73. Maruli Tenuta Pardiga Rosato Copertino DOP – 2015 93 Points

74. Mattina Fiore Edna Valley Albarino 2015 92 Points

75. McCay Lodi Abba Yyd Grenache 2012 94 Points

76.Michael Shaps Monticello Honah Lee Vineyard Petit Manseng 2014 – 93 Points

77. Mila Vuolo Colli di Salerno Aglianico 2007 93 Points

78, Muhr-van der Niepoort Samt & Seide 2012 – 94 Points

79. Negroamaro Bianco Puglia IGT “Rocci” 2014 93 Points

80. Nottingham Cellars Livermore Valley Casa de Vinas Micro-Lot Reserve Cabernet Franc ’13 93 Points

81. Patricia Green Freedom Hill Vineyard – 2014 93 Points

82. Piero Mancini Vermentino di Gallura 2015 92 Points

83. Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV 93 Points

84. Plenus Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT 2014 93 Points

85. Rare Wine Co.Historic Wine Series Baltimore Rainwater Medium Dry 93 Points

86. Samuel Tinon Birtok Dry Tokay Furmint 2014 94 Points

87. Samuel Tinon Szent Tamás Dry Tokaj Furmit 2015  93 Points

88. Sea Smoke Sea Spray SRH LD Blanc de Noirs 2012 92 Points

89. Bojt Egri Csillag 2015 93 Points

90. Shumi Tsinandali Georgia Dry White Wine 2014 – 94 points

91. Terre del Principe Pallagrello Nero Casavecchia Terre del Volturno ’12 93 Points

92. Tommasi della Valpolicella Amarone Classico – 2001 – 94 Points

93. Tre Tomoli Rosa Susmaniello IGT 2015 93 Points

94. Troon Applegate Valley Black Label Vermentino 2014 93 Points

95. Valenta Nitrianska Slovakia Rizling Vlasšky 2015 92 Points

96. Vasco Urbano Livermore Valley The Sherif GSM 2013 93 Points

97. Vega-Sicilia Unico Ribera del Duero 2008 – 95 Points

98. Vega-Sicilia Valbuena 2011 Ribera del Duero 2011 94 Points

99.. Vine Cliff Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 92 points

100. Waits-Mast Pinot Noir Blanc 2014 94 Points



James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2016 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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More Written Reviews; Reducing Videos Reviews – James Melendez

I am going to start writing more wine reviews than video wine reviews.  I am going to do so as I have given a lot of my time for my YouTube wine channel I don’t get a lot of credit or support.  I was looking for a recipe and accidentally clicked upon a guy doing a mediocre production with 50k hits on a pot roast.  A pot roast video at 50l hits?!?!  I do have one tech video over 40k clicks which feels great and oh by the way–it was accidental–I though it was a sleeper video-as it turns out people need a solution for a tech problem they were having.

Wine on YouTube is a sleeper and has always been so–never mind that beer and spirits do quite well–depends on video producer but in general there is much more interest.

I think my head on the nail is that smaller production wines are going to get fewer clicks… also, there are so many more wines produced on a yearly based as compared with beer or spirits.  There is a wine video consumer–they just don’t know where to look with this monolith of a subject matter.  When they know of a producer and they don’t find a video–guess what happens—they stop looking. They stop being curious on line because their searched have yielded nothing they are seeking.  I get it why consumers give up on wine videos.

I am NOT giving up on wine videos.  I am going to be more strategic.  I think anytime someone sends me a sample the expectation is not just a review but a video review.  Well a video review takes much more time to do than a written review.  My fellow reviewers spend much less time per wine than I do and they are expected to do anything else.

I don’t get paid to do a wine video and the time expended has been great.  While I have never promised a review of every wine I get I certainly have not promised I’ll make a wine video.  I am having to be more strategic with increasingly less time that I have and especially a full table of wine all the time.  I am both back logged in terms of what I have on my tasting table as well as what videos I have already filmed.  At this rate I cannot never catch up or even have time to producer general or education subject matter videos on wine.

I do think my written wine review counter parts get much more equity than I get.  I will expect producers to do their part when I do a video and after all it is with respect to the time I give for free.  I expect producers to do what they should be doing in their own interest–promote the videos they do receive–via a like, a retweet, share the posting after all it is in their sole economic benefit not mine.  I have notice some producers don’t even follow me on Twitter or other social media.

Just like a wine producer, PR or marketing group,  I just need to be more strategic and I have started to communicate to PR, marketing groups or wine producers themselves when I see both an opportunity to not just promote but also to support me trying to promote their product.

I have always been responsive to producers, PR and marketing agencies.  When I have been asked if I have reviewed their wines more often than night I send them the link.  I have given value to producers and will continue to do so.

I remember I was on a conference call and one person I meet said hew as putting enormous hours into one wine video.  I gave some experience points and stayed away from being preachy but there can be a rude awakening to the world of wine video content and expectation for clicks.

I love wine videos and videos in general and perhaps some day I can make a living at it.  I just need to click on any food, beer or spirits producer to continually inform and be inspired. And someday and it is not a new years resolution I will bring content back into check.



James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2016 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

Photo is courtesy of Tina Caputo

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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The Art of Wine and The Art of Fragrance – James Melendez

img_8862 img_8863 Sometime loving the finest things in life are in conflict or at least in perception but not in reality.  I am a huge lover of fragrance and wine.  I have never worn fragrance at a technical tasting or a consumer or trade/media tasting.  I want to make sure I am not the cause of someone not perceiving the wine they are tasting fully.  But when I am not at a tasting I love fragrance and love to wear it.

Here is a relationship that has been bound to me in terms of looking and observing the world through the senses experience of smell.  Smell or scent can be a fully loaded word.  The word “smell” denotes a negative image immediately in some people.  

The relationship is that with wine the perception and enjoyment is through scent.  The physiology of perceiving wine is delivered via the sense of smell hence the overload with wearing a fragrance at a technical tasting can affect some people.

The gift of loving scent is a good and a challenging thing.  Scent is an imprint on many people’s perception of things past but also evocation of the future and of emotion.  It is a simple pleasure and it is a complex one.  Based on smell and even texture issues I am not an egg eater.  The smell of a frying egg turns my stomach–I cannot get past the smell let alone eat one.  I know few people who don’t eat eggs–when I say that I don’t like eggs… I get the quizzical “really!?!”  Yes, really I have not changed that in the decades of my life.  I don’t feel like I have missed anything except sharing in the morning ritual of many breakfasts.  In childhood, there were things I couldn’t or didn’t want to eat but I grew to love them–seafood being one of them.  Only the past few years I have started to enjoy some cheeses not all.  Being a wine writer it is assumed that I have always loved cheese… I still cannot eat the very pungent kind.  

Dental work has been a challenge for me and that is because of the smell… of that periodic experience of the drill…. whenever that happens I plead with my dentists to evacuate often.  The smell of decayed organic matter is something I cannot tolerate.  It also reminds me when I was young and when I had dental work–I remember that smell then and of course remember now.   Luckily my dentists have been amazing at avoiding that smell which has made me no longer dreading a visit.  I can handle the inorganic smells at the dental chair–they are momentary and truly do not bother me in the least–I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either.

My love for things wine and those things that are fragrances stem from goodness.  I know that sounds too idealistic but it stems from my boyhood imagination.  One of my aunts has a plum orchard on her property.  One autumn I was in the orchard (I was 8 years old) helping pick plums and there was a smell of already fallen plums that have rejoined the earth and created a simple and haunting scent.  The Scent I can still smell today …. I wish I could create this in a fragrance… it is rustic tones of moist earth, fallen leaves, stone fruit drying, leather, suede, cardamom, and mild hint of cinnamon…. And all of this is just a shorthand for a compound that is probably vastly more complex and yet beautiful. I told my aunt of this gift of her orchard and how meaningful it is to me today.  I think many of us fall back to something memorable or evocative to think of a past experience or something with a positive attribute.

A positive scent for me brings confidence or longing.  It reminds me of lovely people and gestures, amazing journeys and good times.  And good things in the past and goodness to come.  Think of the Three Kings in the Gospel of Matthew–they bring three objects to the baby Jesus–gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  There is scholarly debate on what the three gifts mean–and yet it is something most people can recite.  Two of three gifts were of a scent nature.   Positive scent have had both a kingly attribute as well as a medicinal one–one of healing and one of assurance in love.

I think of Dior’s Diorissimo that my mother loves and I hold dear.  I remember when it was difficult to find in the US I found some in Germany and brought back this back for my mother.  Because she is fond of it I am too.  I remember working in a department store in college and I placed of the fragrances at that time on to my cognitive map.  There were fragrances that I detested – Magi Noire to me has left an imprint of and the only word I can think of is as an oppressive smell–yes, I know it is a dramatic word.  It was a long and annoying fragrance that had not top, heart or base notes–it was loud, sweaty-powdery and utterly unpleasant and annoyingly lingering.  YSL’s Paris–smelled rich–over the top red rose petal characteristics.  

I have been fortunate to get as gift some amazing fragrances.  A bottle of Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet is something I treasure today and it gives me a specific of all things English–it is after all made in England and is a Royal Warrant fragrance.  It smells gorgeously of citrus tones, gin and tonic, and subtle spice notation.  Their warm note fragrance Endymion is an evocation of wood, oud, cedar, cardamom, sandalwood and leather tones.  One of my all time favourites–beyond memorable–it is exhilarating.

I love the notes that I speak of in my favourable wine reviews – here are some words I use in fragrance and wine notations.  This is just a small portion of what I utilize in my descriptors.

  • Oud
  • Cardamom
  • Clove
  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon
  • Stone fruit ochard
  • Plum orchard during autumn
  • Underbrush
  • Bay leafs
  • Dark red rose petal
  • Leather
  • Suede
  • Moss
  • Oak
  • Toast
  • Anise
  • Beeswax
  • Saffron
  • Sandelwood
  • Myer Lemon
  • Limes
  • Quince
  • Buddhahand
  • Blood orange
  • Clementine
  • Dried fruit
  • Passion fruit
  • Pear
  • Green apple
  • Blackberry
  • Tayberry
  • Pomegranate
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Mineral
  • Stone
  • Seashell
  • Flint
  • Vetiver
  • Rain

It is absolute fun to look at the many descriptors that I love and more importantly are accurate in my opinion to getting to what the accuracy of smell and taste as it relates to wine.    I attribute freshly opened tennis ball can to Ian Cauble as he talks about Germany Riesling.  Boot polish as a reference to Shiraz by James Halliday.  My view of wine, beer, spirits and coffee is richer because of my love of positive scents and fragrances.   I feel I have been better in honing on characterization of wine, beer, spirits and coffee.  I love the allure and all at once simplicity and complexity of fragrance and wine..  


In my neighbourhood, I just recently discovered Tigerlilly Perfumery–It is so close I do not know how I have never stopped in or noticed?!?  I blame it on being in my gilded cage–I love my house but I am always working.  I was running a quick errand and I saw some fragrances… and I stopped and saw a great ensemble of independent fragrance producers.  I started talking with the shops professionals and met Antonia–the stores owner and she is a master of fragrances.  I loved talking with her about her experience and her love of fragrance.  I was guided from one amazing fragrance to another.  I was so glad this thoughtful shop exists.  My current obsession is saffron– to trying a whole host of independent fragrance artists and trying a dizzyingly large number and thought I knew what was out there in the independent scent artists world–it turns out I feel woefully not aware of many of these artists.  

Today’s scent trends are headed to unisex fragrances–okayness for men to wear softer, sweeter fragrances.   And I am dazzled by the beauty of what is being created today.  I love the simple and complex world of creative forces.  I wonder and I do look forward to meeting these artists–what propels them –why do they make what they make?

This subject matter of fragrance gets very little coverage and yet I felt I should talk about because I love the fine art of fragrance and evocative scents.

I’d like to know your thoughts on fragrance—your fragrances, your thoughts in general and your thoughts on wine and scent.





James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2016 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

Photo is courtesy of Tina Caputo

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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James the Wine Guy Interview Series: Tina Caputo

I had the privilege of being on a press trip with some very fine and insightful wine writers.  I was so glad to have been on the same trip with Tina for the Champagne Harvest tour this past September (2016).  I knew we would be friends when we both appreciate the love of a fine wine like Champagne and the irresistible power of potato chips in the same sitting.

Tina is a superbly friendly person and is a very talented wine, food and lifestyle writer and a great depth and breadth of experience in this wonderful world of wine, food and lifestyle.

Here are the questions I asked in a recently interview with this Northern Californian now based in Washington, D.C.

I enjoy this series because I too learn more about the people I am interviewing.  I hope you enjoy this interview as much I do.

Q. How did you choose your subject matter (lifestyle, food and wine writer)?

A. I grew up in an Italian family (my dad came to the U.S. from Calabria in the 1950s), so good food and wine have always been a big part of my life. To my dad, wine was like water—something you drink every day—and we kids were welcome to taste it if we wanted to. I didn’t start really enjoying it until I was in college, though, when I worked in restaurants. That’s when I began learning about wine.

Q. On your move from West Coast to East Coast—what is the difference in wine culture?

A. The move has been really interesting. With easier access to Europe from the East Coast, there are a lot more imported wines in D.C. than on the West Coast. Living in Sonoma and the Bay Area, I was surrounded by North Coast wines. They’re less common out here. That’s fun for me, because I’m getting to know new wines from other parts of the world. It’s also fun to taste the wines from Virginia—some of them are really good, especially the Viognier and Cab Franc.

Q. Do you find a greater assortment of import wines versus domestic wines in your home base of DC?

A. Yes! There’s a wine shop called Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits that has an incredible selection of wines from all over the world—including places like Brazil, Bulgaria and even lesser-known U.S. regions like Arizona and Michigan. There’s a lot to explore.

Q. DC is proximate to Virginia wine country and there is quite a number there—will there be more Virginia wines that are sent beyond VA, MD and DC?

A. I hope so. There are some very good producers in Virginia (Linden, RdV, Boxwood and Barboursville, to name a few), and they deserve a wider audience. Unfortunately, I think people outside the region (and even within the region) still need convincing that wines from Virginia can be just as good as wines from California, and other major U.S. regions.
Q. What was your first bottle of life changing wine?

A. My first wine industry job was at Wine Institute in San Francisco, in the early `90s. At Christmas time, all the employees received an assortment of wines left over from events held during the year, and in my stash one year was a bottle of Chateau Woltner (now Ladera) Chardonnay. It was so different from the fat, buttery Chards I was used to, it really opened my eyes to what great Chardonnay could be.

Q. What is your favourite restaurant town in the world?

A. There are so many, it’s hard to choose! Some of my favorites are Barcelona, Lisbon and Rome. Anywhere I can have fresh-from-the-sea fish and shellfish with great wine is my happy place.

Q. What do you miss about the West Coast?

A. Two things: I miss the easy access to great wineries and producers, and the local grocery stores. In D.C., I have yet to find a great independent grocery store that sells the kind of fresh produce, seafood and local meats that, say, Oliver’s or Petaluma Market have. I’m sorry to say I took them for granted!

Q. What is your favourite destination for food and wine? I can’t list just one, so I’ll give you two: Sonoma County and Spain.

A. What wine region is the most under realized? I recently visited the Snake River area of Idaho and was really impressed with the wines—especially Syrah and Tempranillo. This is a region to watch.

Q. What is the most under appreciated wine variety?

A. It’s not exactly under the radar, but I’d like to see Sauvignon Blanc get more love. It’s such a beautiful variety and has so many different expressions, depending on the region, it’s a shame that it sometimes gets overshadowed by Chardonnay.

Q. How has wine writing changed especially during the digital age?

A. There are so many more voices in wine writing today than when I started out—and that’s a good thing. Before widespread Internet access, you were limited to handful of publications if you wanted to learn about wine. If you couldn’t relate to their writers’ tastes, or found the publications to be stuffy… well, too bad! Today there are so many alternatives to the traditional media outlets, people can have a bit more fun with the topic and cover it from all sorts of angles and perspectives. A lot of very good writers, who are both passionate and knowledgeable about wine, now have a platform. The downside is that it’s harder to get paid. (:

Q. What is one wine region that you have not visited but it is top on your list?

A. I’d love to visit New Zealand. Two of my favorite wine varieties are Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, and the scenery looks absolutely gorgeous.

Tina Caputo Biography:

Tina is a Washington, D.C.-based wine, food and lifestyle writer, and the producer and host of the podcast “Winemakers Drinking Beer.” Most recently, she was editor-in-chief of Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, and was previously the managing editor of Wines & Vines magazine. Her articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including Sonoma magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Zester Daily, Wine Review Online and many others. Websites: and




James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2016 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

Photo is courtesy of Tina Caputo

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse: