On PUNCH: My Feature On The Scarcity Of Wild Agave Mezcal

A taste of the rare agave Tepeztate, in San Balthazar, Oaxaca
A taste of the rare agave Tepeztate, in San Balthazar, Oaxaca

A month and a half ago, I traveled to Oaxaca with Mezcal El Silencio, and stayed to do some independent journalism. Following that trip, I delved into research on the subject of wild agave mezcal, and its endangerment–as well as the measures industry insiders are taking toward sustainability. Check out my feature on PUNCH here. (And that’s Don Goyo, mezcalero for El Jolgorio, holding a sample of the Tepeztate I describe in the story, pictured here, by the way.)

The Intrigue of Mezcal

El Silencio Palenque_RSignerA few weeks ago, I had the incredible experience of traveling to Oaxaca with El Silencio, one of the newer mezcal brands on the scene. We visited their palenque in San Baltazar, drank a lot of Espadín, and held a fairly raucous cocktail competition with bartenders from all over. Wine press trips, by the way, pale in comparison to spirits trips. Bartenders are ten times crazier.

Mezcal is a fascinating, beguiling spirit, which I’ve written about previously for Esquire and Food Republic. Following the trip with El Silencio, I stayed for a few days on my own, and met with other mezcal producers, and wrote a story for Food Republic about the spiritual, cultural aspects of mezcal. Read it here.

I have another feature on mezcal coming out in a few weeks. I also had a feature published this week on Brooklyn Magazine’s site, which lists some of the best wine + spirits shops in Brooklyn. I wrote it because people always ask me where to shop, so now I can just send them the link! Check it out here. At the moment, I’m in northern Portugal, learning about the wines of Vinho Verde, which I’ll write about for my Vine Pair column next week. For now, all I’ll say is that there is definitely more to Vinho Verde than spritzy, “cheap + cheerful” wine, but it’s one of those cases where the market provides a barrier to winemaking. To come!

 

Wine For Netflix, Mezcal, Breaking Wine “Rules”

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 3.57.09 PMIs anyone else tired of those sponsored Twitter ads, for the “Netflix of wine,” showing a woman nursing an oversized glass of red?

Well, ignore the “Netflix of wine,” because I think we need wine for Netflix. Yes, I know–like me, you’ve also begun binge-watching House of Cards Season 4! And possibly you also blazed through the first season of Love?

That’s why I wrote in my latest Vine Pair column about which wines go best with the current line-up of Netflix series. Read it here(My dream is that Chelsea Handler’s PR team will contact me to see if I want to do a story about what wines she loves, or something like that)

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This week, I also had new stories on Esquire.com, for which I enlisted one of Brooklyn’s most exciting bartenders, Ivy Mix, to help me select the most interesting bottles of mezcal out there, and on Vogue.com, where I worked with somms around the country to collect tips on breaking the so-called “rules” of wine. It’s important to demystify wine and shake off all the baggage surrounding it–and I even found out that one wine director in L.A. is using a bong to decant wines, in his restaurant!

Read the Vogue piece here, and the Esquire story on mezcal here.

Coming soon: my write-up of NYC’s first natural wine fair, The Big Glou! And if you missed it, I had an article last week on Tempranillo, for Eater, with some really interesting current news from Spain. Read it here.

Bon weekend!