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.

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About James Melendez

II love wine and business. I am obsessed with the subject, the art, the history, the sciences, organization management, and making things less complex I have been a former national wine marketing manager for a large off-premise food and wine retailer (280+ retail locations in 30 US States); the love for wine taught me the good practice of using the best methodologies to right side a business which unto itself is complex. Further complexity is wine. Wine simple to enjoy and yet profoundly complex because of many factors: Many grape varieties States of wine: sparkling, still and fortified wines Vintage Blends Regions/AVAs/DOCs etc. Many producer styles Many producers Limited supply Limited and often restricted distribution My experience is still a lot of intimidation with respect to wine. Wine means many things to many people; status, fear, success, ‘you’ve arrived’, enjoyment, good times, tradition and even ceremony. I have consulted with wine producers and association. I have spoken on Wine and Social Media, Wine and Video and The Business of Wine in conferences in the United States and Europe. Beer and spirits do have the same dynamics–there are many producers but compared to wine there is no other consumer product like it. I have been writing about since November 2006 on my site and I have over 2,890 wine videos on my YouTube channel talking about general wine subject matter as well as specific educational topics on wine and reviews. I have been a wine judge and have traveled to many wine countries in the new and old world. Wine has taken me to great places. Life is tough for most of us and it is nice to celebrate life with those near and even far. What wine is really about is sitting around a table with family and friends raising your wine glass and saying—to life! I love to write about travel, food, technology and business–please subscribe! Salute, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine © 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
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