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What's your wine story?

Updated: May 27, 2020

I’m always interested in learning how wine initially enters one’s consciousness - how passion for fermented grape juice blossoms and emotional connections to it occur; how for some, wine is simply a beverage to enjoy with dinner while for others it might become an all-consuming obsession (raises hand). Whenever I’m speaking at a wine event, teaching a class or serving guests, I make a point of asking participants how their interest in wine came about. Did a special bottle pique the initial interest? Was there a friend or family member, restaurant experience, travel excursion or sommelier that proved inspirational? To me, the answers are invariably fascinating. So, since this is my first entry on the Vine Society blog, I thought I’d introduce myself by describing how my “wine story” started, and how my understanding of it has changed over time.

For me, no single bottle of wine resulted in any sort of spiritual epiphany, but I do remember a specific time and place in which wine impacted me in a profound way, one that likely sparked an interest that eventually changed the course of my life. I was an 18-year-old exchange student assigned to live with a large family in a tiny village in the Lot River region of southwest France. Upon my arrival, the family welcomed me with a festive, celebratory dinner at the village’s only restaurant where we toasted each other with a delicious red wine. Now, wine certainly did not figure in my Ozark Mountain upbringing, so this was a new and fascinating experience. To this day, I’m not really certain what wine was served, though I seem to remember a Bordeaux bottle shape and the words St. Émilion on the label. It somehow seems appropriate and kind of poetic that the identity of my “A-Ha Moment” wine is shrouded in mystery. I reflect on that night often and now realize that the experience was less about the wine itself but mostly about the role it played in inaugurating a lifelong friendship.

What is your wine story? Write a new chapter with the 2016 vintage from any of these excellent St. Émilion châteaux:

Château Corbin, St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2016

  • Superb quality at a modest price is rare in this region, but Annabelle Cruse Bardinet consistently produces polished and supple wines that are drinkable now.

Château Barde-Haut St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2016

  • Plummy Merlot with an herbal undertone courtesy of Cabernet Franc. Energetic with an interesting tension between fruitiness and structure. Drink it now with a robust meal or put it away for couple of years.

Château Canon St. Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2016

  • Elegant, a little flashy - and delicious. Historically, a property that produced wines of uneven quality, Canon's profile has risen quite a bit since it was acquired by luxury fashion brand Chanel.

Château Troplong-Mondot St. Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B 2016

  • A balance of power and refinement - a perfect example of modern Right Bank winemaking. Bordeaux lovers will find this exhilarating. Lay it down for a few years.

Interested in any of the above wines? Please contact Mariano at and we will source them for you.

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3 commentaires

My wine story started with my brother Mark, a graduate of CIA in Hyde Park, NY. He introduced us to many different varietals and regions during his time as the head of wine at Windows To The World in NYC. This sparked our interest in learning and tasting more.We have been to many areas in California as well as Italy and Spain. I would say the wines of California are still our favorites but we enjoy many of the Italian and Spanish wines as well. We enjoy tasting new varietals from new regions such as those in southeastern Italy (Puglia), during a biking trip there last year, Primitivo and Aglianico. Looking forward to sharing wines and stories with fellow Vine…


Karen Viscito
Karen Viscito
22 juin 2020

Phil and I have taken many vacations that are wine-focused. We always have enjoyed learning from other people we meet along the way, whether they are fellow travelers, or even the Chateau's Countess! We have made many life-long friends during these trips. I think our "turning point" was when I started designing wine cellars for clients. These clients usually become friends of ours. We love enjoying new wines with friends and meeting the winemakers they know. We have found the love of wine to be a common thread that helps build friendships.

Looking forward to July 10th!


Mariano J Doble
Mariano J Doble
26 mai 2020

Welcome Scott!We are thrilled to have you as Vine Society’s Blog Editor. My wine bug was sparked by one of my best friends’ Dad acquisition of what he considered a “sought after” Brunello Di Montalcino. I too, can’t remember the label. What I do know is that it was love at first taste!

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