Thursday, October 8, 2009

Interview with a Wine Expert

Today I was lucky enough to have a phone interview with Dr. Jay Miller, of the Wine Advocate. The Wine Advocate is one of the best sources for information and articles on the best wines around the world, and Dr. Miller is the reviewer for South American wines. So basically, he is the man to ask about wine, especially Argentinian wine.

I got in touch with Dr. Miller when I was still updating information on Wine Country to see if I could get a quote about his favorite Argentinian wine and his recommendations. We scheduled a time and today I called him in Baltimore. These are some of the things that I heard.

Dr. Miller's Top 3 Argentinian wines (keep in mind, he is the source for this stuff) are
I was actually fortunate enough to have gone for a tour and tasting at the Catena Zapata winery when I toured Wine Country last month. Even with my limited knowledge of wine, I would agree that it was very good. I haven't tried the other two, though I have read about them in my work. Viña Cobos is actually co-owned by Paul Hobbes, an American winemaker.

Dr. Miller also told me that Patagonia has yet to be seen as a great wine making region, though it is up and coming. Right now those wineries are mostly focusing on Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. Meanwhile in Salta, another wine region of Argentina, there are historic vines from the first settlers that produce interesting results.

In all of this, Dr. Miller did say that Chilean wine is making a run for it and challenging Argentinian brands, but it's always difficult to pinpoint one wine that is the best out of an entire continent. However, Catena Zapata was mentioned again as "a benchmark that other wines are compared to."

So there you have it. A little inside scoop from one of the most trusted voices on wine, sharing a few kind words with yours truly. The next time you're looking for a bottle of wine, try looking for these brands and thank Dr. Miller.

Above: The Catena Zapata winery

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