Ask the Pros: 2017 Balkan Vintage Report

What a rollecoaster of weather conditions 2017 has been. From spring frost to extreme temperatures to heavy rain, this was truly the survival of the fittest. Only the most competent viticulturists got their grapes out of this alive and well and have passed the torch to their winemakers. Talking to some of the most skillful people in the Balkan region, I can conclude that the 2017 vintage will bring bottled magic to our tables. We just have to WAIT. Will it be worth it? Read on and find out. Continue reading “Ask the Pros: 2017 Balkan Vintage Report”

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Filling in the Blancs: Aleksandar Duković

In the new Filling in the Blancs I’ve interviewed one out of my 10 life mentors. People always laugh at this, but I kid you not, I have a list stashed in my notebook of the ten people that influenced my perspectives on existence & business and shaped me to be the man I am today. I was introduced to some very early (hi, dad), while others arrived through different networking events and situations. Aleksandar Duković has always fascinated me and is simply one of those people that you just listen to and think “damn, this guy has HUSTLED”. Continue reading “Filling in the Blancs: Aleksandar Duković”

Why the Hell Did the French Start Listing Grape Varieties on Labels?

Appellation d’origine contrôlée…ah, the hate-love relationship we all have with this beautiful, yet aggravating appellation system. The French always used long-ass terms to describe where their wine came from and what it was, still telling you nothing until you actually try it and do your research. And on top of all this, guess what they love to say to this? Well, only a true expert can feel the wine before opening it, that’s where the real magic lies. WHAT? You’re telling me that every single person out there that just wants to buy a nice bottle of Bordeaux (blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc btw) and drown his everyday sorrows in alcohol needs to FIND THE MAGIC? That’s like telling a homeless person that his first million is just around the corner, but he just has to figure out how to stop drinking from AIDS-infected milk cartons, get out of the dumpster and start a cooking show. Continue reading “Why the Hell Did the French Start Listing Grape Varieties on Labels?”

Filling in the Blancs: Gregor Kren

Dear readers, let me introduce you to a man that pushed the level of studying at the Austrian Wine Academy to another level, a level many have never even come close to. Gregor Kren, a sommelier at Oštarija (Novo Mesto) and creator of Slovenia’s hip Pop Up Wine Festival, is the leader that every squad strives towards having. He organized some of the best wine tastings I have ever attended in a place that I would have never seen myself in a hundred years – Rust, Austria. There, while studying the WSET Diploma, we opened Champagne with sabers, studied the shit out of those huge books and laughed our asses off with some of the biggest names in the business. I’ll take this opportunity to thank him for all the awesomeness and legendary friendship we formed. Now, enjoy! Continue reading “Filling in the Blancs: Gregor Kren”