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The Great Aussie Wine Mutiny: Margaret River 1


Tim Lovett, Winemaker at Leeuwin Estate, gives a briefing on Margaret River.

Margaret River, Australia. This is where The Great Aussie Wine Mutiny shall begin.

Nick Power of the Margaret River Wine Industry Association takes us to where the two oceans meet near Margaret River.

Australia Map

Located on the southwest corner of Australia, Margaret River is not an easy place to get to. One must fly into Perth and then drive for several hours south to get to the region, which has only been producing wine commercially since the late 1960s / early 1970s.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are the star grape varieties. The wines are stylistically cool-climate, which is a significant departure from the big and bombastic styles from other Aussie flagship wine regions such as Barossa Valley with it’s colossal shiraz wines.

To put it in perspective, Australian wine broker Langtons releases a classification of Australian wines every five years for its clients. There are four categories of classification, with Exceptional being the highest, and out of the 17 wines in the Exceptional category, three are from Margaret River: Cullen Wines, Leeuwin Estate and Moss Wood. Pierro, Cape Mentelle, Vasse Felix, Voyager Estate and Woodlands also appear in other categories in the classification.

Margaret, Australia Sunset

The beaches near Margaret River are world-renowned surfing destinations, combining with wine tourism to attract visitors from around the world. The sunsets aren’t bad either.

2 comments 09.21.2011 |

Event Recap: Rioja y Rivera


The Wines of Bodegas Riojanas

The waiters have just begun to serve the third course at John Sedlar’s restaurant, Rivera, in downtown Los Angeles. The plating is inspiring: Occupying the top third of the square white dish and painted in spices, is an image. Five different pictures in all, divided among the fifteen or so at the table. Mine is a word, something (meaning now forgotten) printed in delicate Arabic letters, tasting primarily of cumin and paprika. The person next to me has an image of a bull. Beside them is a plate painted with a pair of female eyes, gazing back beneath heavily lined lids. Each picture, the accompaniment to Sedlar’s grilled Snake River Farms chuleta de puerco (under the green of a pureed pippan sauce), is whimsical and strong and leads to an immediate surge in conversation.

But the well-presented pork chops aren’t the only reason the table is buzzing. Vinos Unico, a San Francisco-based wine importer specializing in Portuguese, Spanish and Argentinean wines, invited guests to this dinner to show off their new portfolio of Bodegas Riojanas wines. And they just poured a 1978 and a 1964, side-by-side.

The Wines of Bodegas Riojanas
The brands on display tonight, Viña Albina and Monte Real, both represent traditional Spanish Rioja – brambly, earthy, slightly untamed. The Viña Albina wines, in particular – from the 1978 Gran Reserva to the 2004 Reserva (paired with macerated salmon, white asparagus and nasturtium), are all masculine power – berries braced against tannin and spice, unfolding into cigar and barnyard and forest floor. These wines are smooth, but substantial. As they open, it’s impossible to predict the direction they’ll take. The ride is exciting.

The Monte Real Rioja, by contrast, are more restrained. These wines, while still possessing the earth and complexity of the Viña Albina, are more feminine; they’re big but pretty. The journey is less unpredictable; they’re gentle and soft on the finish. Even after ten, thirteen, forty-seven years of aging, these wines still show fruit. If everything aged so pretty, half the people in Beverly Hills would save a fortune on fillers and peels.

Rioja wine comes from La Rioja, an autonomous community and province in northern Spain. The region, itself, is divided into three separate areas: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Grapes (traditionally Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha for red; and Viura/Macabeo, Malvasia, and Garnacha Blanca for white) are grown in each of the sections – top, middle and lower. The most acclaimed wines come from Rioja Alta, whose higher elevation tends to produce the best combination of fruit/structure/acid/alcohol. By contrast, most of the grapes from Rioja Baja are used for blending.

Bodegas Riojanas is a Rioja Alta producer. Both lines feature a majority of Tempranillo, with Mazuelo and Graciano making up the remainder of the blends. True to tradition and D.O.C. regulation, the Reservas have been aged anywhere from 24 – 30 months in oak barrels and spend another year in bottle; the Gran Reservas spend 36 months aging in bottle after 24 – 30 months in oak.

The 2001 Viña Albina Dolce Reserva, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. This is a sweet white Rioja; the rich, viscous, honey-citrus blend made from Viura and Malvasia – and has just been paired with Sedlar’s honey ice cream, anise kumquat cookies and macerated blueberries. It is the perfect ending to a presentation of unforgettable food and wine; an evening that has proven to be an enlightening combination of old and new in Spanish wine and cuisine.

Detroit Uncorked 2011


Detroit Uncorked

The seventh annual Detroit Uncorked, presented by Ford Motor Company, in conjunction with Detroit Wine Organization, returns to the Ford Conference and Event Center September 30, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Since its inception, Detroit Uncorked has raised over $380,000 for The Children’s Center.

Detroit Uncorked is one of the region’s largest wine tasting events benefiting The Children’s Center and Detroit Wine Organization. This year’s event will feature hundreds of wines from around the world. Over 900 guests are expected to attend.

The General Admission ticket is $80, which includes light hors d’oeuvres, a tasting of over 300 wines, as well interactive Ford Motor Company vehicle displays with games and prizes, and a silent auction. A limited number of VIP Experience tickets are still available at $150 each, which includes all of the General Admission ticket perks plus a full strolling dinner, a rare and limited selections wine bar and live entertainment.

To purchase tickets, visit www.DetroitUncorked.com or call (313) 262-7123. Guests must be at least 21 years old to attend.

Comments Off on Detroit Uncorked 2011 09.14.2011 |

California Wine Month in Full Swing in Central Coast


California Wine Month
The San Luis Obispo County wine community, which boasts more than 250 wineries and 36,000 vineyard acres, will be taking full advantage of California Wine Month through a number of events and wine specials across the county. The most notable of them will be Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011, taking place September 29 through October 2 in the communities of San Luis Obispo County. Events will include seminars, wine maker dinners, tours, special tastings and more. Want more info? Click here.

For more information on what’s going on around the Central Coast this month, visit the San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau.

Comments Off on California Wine Month in Full Swing in Central Coast 09.08.2011 |

Feast on the Best of LA’s Food & Drink at THE TASTE


The Taste

Last year, the food infatuated of LA glittered and guzzled at the first-ever Food & Wine Presents: Taste of Beverly Hills,” a multi-day event, showcasing the town’s best restaurants and some of eating and drinking’s brightest stars. This year, the team behind that gala (Best Events) has joined with the producers of the “Los Angeles Times’ Celebration of Food & Wine” to throw an unparalleled, city-wide extravaganza of the edible, called simply, The Taste.

The event will take place for four days over Labor Day Weekend, September 2-5, 2011, at nine different locations – from Downtown to Hollywood. Over forty of the city’s top restaurants will be serving unlimited bites of their best dishes, and food celebs like Giada De Laurentiis, Ludo Lefebvre, Michael Voltaggio, Marcel Vigneron and Susan Feniger, and others, will preside over the various parties.

All that delicious food is only half the story, of course, and for those of us who are particularly partial to potables, The Taste promises an abundance of liquid pleasure, too, guided by LA legends of libation, like Julian Cox, Michael Shearin and The Beer Chicks.  Events such as “Paso Robles Pioneers,” “How to Taste Like a Master Sommelier,” “Taco Tequila Tryst,” “Art of Mixing,” and “Navigating a Wine List,” will offer glimpses into the world of professional drinking – and learning how to drink like a professional. Event sponsors include Anchor Distilling Co. and Peroni, Avion and 4 Copas Tequila, Caorunn Gin, Wild Turkey, Campo de Encanto Pisco, VeeV Acai Spirit, Aperol, Cyrus Noble Bourbon, Chopin and Voli Vodka and Don Q Rums. Wineries such as Flowers, Justin, Chalone, Charles Krug, Coppola, Row Eleven, Summerland Winery and Banfi will be pouring unlimited tastes throughout the weekend’s events.

Tickets are available for the entire weekend or by individual event.

Governor Jerry Brown Proclaims September 2011 California Wine Month


California Wine MonthGovernor Jerry Brown has proclaimed September 2011 as California Wine Month, the seventh consecutive year the state has recognized the contributions of the state’s growers and vintners by proclamation. To celebrate, many of the Golden State’s wineries, winegrape growers and regional associations are hosting special consumer wine events.

“As an industry, California wine brings innumerable benefits to the state. Our scenic and historic wine-growing regions, a renowned cuisine based on food and wine pairings, and the opportunity to taste and purchase our world-famous wines bring an estimated 20.7 million tourists to our state each year,” said Governor Brown in the proclamation. “Our state’s wineries create jobs for 330,000 Californians and revenue from retail sales of $18.4 billion, including $1.14 billion in exports sales to 122 countries.” To view the complete proclamation, go here.

In September, tastings, tours and special events will happen across California as Californians celebrate their expansive wine culture. Some of these events include Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, Livermore’s 30th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration, CRUSH: Temecula Valley 2nd Annual Wine & Culinary Showcase, Madera Vintners Association’s California Wine Month Reception & Wine Tasting and Pinotfest Monterey. Others include CALIFORNIA WINE RUSH and Savor the Central Coast 2011.

Be sure to raise a glass of California wine during the month of September for the great vintages of the past and for the many great vintages to come.

1 comment 08.25.2011 |

Gary Vaynerchuk Announces His Retirement From Regular Video Content

Beverage NewsWine

Gary Vaynchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk, as seen on the cover of Mutineer Magazine Issue #3 and in front of the camera on Wine Library TV and the Daily Grape, officially retired yesterday from regularly producing internet video content. The move comes after ending his five year stint with Wine Library TV, his daily internet webcast about wine, in favor of doing the Daily Grape, which was typically a shorter video and only included two wines. @garyvee says he isn’t leaving wine, but first and foremost he is an entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial itch he felt when he wanted to start filming Wine Library TV everyday is the same itch he’s feeling now and he’s gonna follow it.

Gary, we look forward to seeing what you have in store for us all.


To watch his final segment of the Daily Grape, click here.

To read our Mutineer Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk, click here.

Comments Off on Gary Vaynerchuk Announces His Retirement From Regular Video Content 08.24.2011 |

Mutineer Announces Sponsorship of NG: The Next Generation in Wine’s 2011 Harvest Party


NG: The Next Generation in Wine Harvest Party 2011

Mutineer Magazine is excited to announce our sponsorship of NG: The Next Generation in Wine’s 2011 Harvest Party. At the 2011 Harvest party, attendees will have the opportunity to meet the incredible individuals from some of Napa Valley’s premiere family-run wineries while tasting amazing wines with the “Next Generation.” Wine, food, music and new friends await you. 50% of the net proceeds will benefit the Young Survival Coalition, a non-profit organization oriented to support and educate about breast cancer in younger women.

Participating wineries include: Ahnfeldt Wines, Bonded Winery #9, Broman Cellars, Burgess Cellars, Ceja Vineyards, Frias Family Vineyards, Hill Family Estate, Judd’s Hill, Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Madonna Estate, Marston Family Vineyard, Pahlmeyer, Peju Province Winery, Signorello Estate, Spelletich Cellars, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Vineyard 7&8, Yates Family Vineyards and ZD Wines.

The event will be held at Peju Province Winery and will be outside, so please wear comfortable shoes.

Tickets are limited!
Presale price through August 18th (TOMORROW!) – $35.00
After August 18th – $40.00
$45.00 at the door, if available.

  • WHO: You!
  • WHAT: NG: The Next Generation in Wine’s 2011 Harvest Party
  • WHERE: Peju Province Winery
    8466 St. Helena Highway (Hwy 29)
    Rutherford, CA 94573
  • WHEN: Sunday, September 18th, from 2PM to 5PM
  • WHY: To celebrate harvest, to raise money for Young Survival Coalition and to mingle with the next generation of Napa Valley wineries.
  • COST: $40 advanced tickets online / $45 at the door, if available

Click here to purchase tickets.

About NG: The Next Generation in Wine

The concept of NG: The Next Generation in Wine began during a lunch between friends in 2006. The discussion at that lunch was about bringing together the “next generation” of Napa Valley’s family wineries and vineyards to socialize and have fun.

A great idea was taken to the next level through the brainstorming of the founders, Lisa Augustine, Holly Finkelstein, Chris Hall, Liz Marston and Kristen Spelletich. It was decided that this should be much more than a social organization, so plans were put in place for collaborative marketing and continuing education for members. A year later after much discussion and planning, NG: The Next Generation in Wine was launched with six members.

Today, NG: The Next Generation in Wine boasts about 20 members and is adding more all the time. The group is well known for its events including a trade event in February and consumer events throughout the year. Members are actively involved in many other trade, peer and charitable groups throughout the Napa Valley.

Comments Off on Mutineer Announces Sponsorship of NG: The Next Generation in Wine’s 2011 Harvest Party 08.17.2011 |

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