My Wine Review Wish List 2019 – James Melende

Each year, I start out with nearly a blank slate but I do have some wines left over on my tasting table from the previous year.  But I do attempt EVERY single year to taste wines from all wine regions large, small and the lesser known.

This year I have had a head start in wines from France – Vive la France!

In 2018, I was much more forward in asking importers, distributors, producers, regional wine organizations for samples.  I know I am not in the easy seat of Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast and I know I have to marketed myself as much as possible for wine reviews.  Each year there is a region or regions that I am always lacking from getting wines from last year and all previous were no exception.

I know that getting wines say from Colorado, New York, Texas, Virginia and other wine US states will be a Herculean effort.  North American wines in general are harder to get than wines from very far flung regions around the planet.  Canada–BC in particular is one where I had just visited a few years ago and even in the same time zone but have no prospects of tasting.  So close and yet another world away–it is disappointing but it shows the US and Canada need to be much more open with trading wine with each other.  Wine is hardly a top export for either country and hence should allow wine to pass even for reviewers.  Canada is much second largest audience on my wine channel on YouTube

My wine ‘racetrack” motto is to taste wines from all regions and varieties (except Petite Sirah) each year.

Here is my list:


  • Willamette Valley – All sub-AVAs of course
  • Rogue Valley
  • Columbia Valley
  • Umpqua
  • Applegate Valley


  • Puget Sound
  • Columbia Gorge
  • Columbia Valley
  • Horse Heaven Hills
  • Lake Chelan
  • Red Mountain
  • Snipes Mountain
  • Red Mountain
  • Walhluke Slope
  • Walla Walla Valley
  • Yakima Valley


  • Snake River AVA – i


  • Grand Valley – I have tried getting samples and I am not optimistic to taste this year


  • Sonoita AVA – producers are much more active in getting their wines out in wider distribution.  A great template for Colorado and New Mexico to follow.


  • Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Mendocino
  • Napa Valley
  • Sonoma 
  • Paso Robles
  • Santa Barbara
  • Ramona Valley –
  • Sierra Foothills – All AVAs
  • Central Coast – All AVAs
  • Malibu Coast
  • Marin County
  • Livermore Valley
  • Lake County


  • All wine AVAs –

North Carolina

  • I have tasted a Cabernet From NC from Biltmore;  I hope to taste at least a Petit Manseng this year from NC; last year was the first time I had ever tasted two wines from the state


  • All AVAs

New York

  • All AVAs

New Jersey

  • All AVAs


  • All AVAs

Maryland and New Jersey

I have tasted wines from Maryland; never tasted any wines from New Jersey


  • Wine Country Ontario:
  • Quebec and the Maritime
  • British Columbia – Okanagan Valley –
  • Vancouver IslandSimilkameen, and Fraser Valley


  • Guadalupe Valley – so difficult to find in California

South America

  • Bolivia
  • Uruguay
  • Brazil
  • Peru

Not a specific call out is Argentina and Chile–I usually get an over assortment yearly and I’ll get plenty to taste this year over year.


  • South Africa – each year is a hit or miss year; I want to taste consistently from South Africa
  • Morocco


  • China – have never tasted any wine from China
  • India – I have tasted but only two producers ever

Middle East

  • Lebanon
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Cyprus


I want to taste from all European wine nation states.  I am very interested in tasting wines from places I have not tasted from before like Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra, The Netherlands, and all very northerly countries producing wine.

I, of course, always want to be tasting wines from (and all appellations):

  • France – so far off to a good start; still many regions to taste from yearly
  • Italy – All wine regions are always welcome
  • Spain – While a big producer; very few samples to taste especially last year
  • Portugal
  • UK – Rarely ever get to taste English sparkling wine; in fact only once
  • Switzerland – tasted only one time in my life; even on restaurant wine lists in Switzerland they are not terribly common
  • Austria
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Czech
  • Germany
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Greece
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro
  • Georgia
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Slovakia
  • Macedonia
  • Armenia
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg


  • All appellations – every year such a laggard; I taste so few wines from Australia–it seems Australian producers are not terribly interested in the US

New Zealand

  • All appellations

Now boarding – if you are producer or importer please contact me –



James the Wine Guy

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

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, 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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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / 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. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
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