Featured User: Alicia Cypress

Alicia is a journalist with more than 20 years of newsroom experience at NPR and The Washington Post, but ever since discovering the wine world, that's the only place she wants to be. She's currently transitioning her career away from hard news to focus on content strategy and consumer news, while maintaining a burgeoning side hustle as a wine writer (she writes her own blog at itswinebyme.com and has written about wine for NPR, SevenFifty Daily, WineAccess and the Napa Valley Wine Academy). After living in the Washington, D.C. area for 25 years, she's moving to Boston in the coming weeks, where she hopes the wine community will be as accepting and wonderful as the one she discovered in D.C. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Alicia: It was very gradual. It first started by realizing that I love the intimacy you get among a group of people when sharing a bottle of wine. And then during a day trip to Napa Valley while visiting friends in California, I discovered the difference between good wine and something you just grab at the grocery store. When I got back home, I began seeking out local wine bars and taking classes they offered so I could learn enough to know what to order at a restaurant. The more I read, the more I wanted to learn. That eventually led to taking WSET classes (I passed WSET-2 with distinction), which officially took me further down the rabbit role. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? A: Do I have to pick just one? Northern Rhone probably tops the list at the moment, but wait a month or two and that answer may change. I've recently been curious about reds from Mosel and Austria, and I'll always have a place in my heart for terroir-driven California wines. More than exploring specific regions, I like finding winemakers who may be working outside what's traditional or popular in their particular region, or perhaps are finding diamond in the rough kind of vineyards. Usually that means I'm seeking out natural winemakers or smaller producers. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? A: Hmm. That's a good question. I've probably tried something odder, but what immediately comes to mind is the Bichi Pet Mex I tried in November at the Raw Wine Festival in New York City. Bichi is a label of natural wines from Tecate (Baja California), Mexico. The "Pet Mex," as the name suggests, is a pet-nat made of mystery indigenous grapes from 69-year-old vines. The wine goes beyond quintessential Glou Glou. It was like drinking effervescent funky bubble gum hopped up with steroids made of fruits and herbs. A lot of fun, despite throwing your palate for a dizzying loop. D: What are some tips for aspiring connoisseurs? A: Keep tasting, keep reading, keep asking questions. Don't be afraid to talk to somms at your favorite restaurants. Go visit local wineries or plan vacations to wine destinations where you can go meet the winemakers and walk in the vineyards. Find friends who like different kinds of wines so you can challenge each other’s palates. Take advantage of social media (Delectable and Instagram are my go-to’s) and follow anyone and everyone you're curious about. Once you find people who have similar tastes as yours, use their feeds for inspiration for what to try next. D: What is your golden rule for wine? A: Very simple: Drink what makes you happy. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? A: Gamay. While a lot of people know it for its jovial exuberance during Beaujolais Nouveau, when grown in one of the Beaujolais crus (or elsewhere in France or around the world), it becomes a beautiful complex wine that’s still light but has bright fruit mixed into significant depth that’s well-grounded by its terroir.

Dunn Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1993

Compared to the ‘94, this was much lighter with tons of acid. The two were the WOTNs, but 93 edged it out. Again no obnoxious green notes, just a lively wine who despite its age, is nowhere near its quarter-life crisis. — 5 months ago

Berg Andrew Sioson
with Berg and Andrew
Neal, Max and 32 others liked this
Phil A

Phil A Premium Badge

@Alicia Cypress Alicia wonderful article and interview with you on Delectable Congratulations and Cheers from the north 🍷🇨🇦
Alicia Cypress

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@Phil A thank you very much! 🥂
Ealine

Ealine

Could you please help me learn about it?Thank you

DSG (David Sampedro Gil)

Phincalali Rioja Tempranillo 2011

Holy moly! This is Heitz Martha's Vineyard on steroids (as @Bobby Gilbane correctly called). I'm in pure heaven. Nose of Andes mints. Dirty finish of joy. I'm in love. — a year ago

Bobby GilbaneArt KuoJoe Tucker
with Bobby, Art and 3 others
David, Shay and 13 others liked this

Jean Foillard

Morgon Gamay 2014

Not overly complicated. Just beautiful fruit and earth co-mingled. By the end of the dinner, the glass was singing, so if you have time to decant, do so. But this was a great accompaniment to our meal. From beginning to end. — a year ago

David, Anthony and 12 others liked this

Eduardo Torres Acosta

Versante Nord Terre Siciliane Nerello Mascalese 2015

Brightness peeks through the minerality and moodiness. Turns out the wine is made by Arianna Occhipinti’s boyfriend and at her same facility. Needs some air to show off all its feathers, but it’s lighter body keeps it from being too dark. — 7 months ago

Max, David and 11 others liked this

Red Car

Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016

Have always loved this rosé. Super crisp and bright. Sometimes this wine can get a little tart but not this bottle. Slight hint of something sweet is balanced well from its acidity. Strawberries, lime and some apples. — 5 months ago

Berg
with Berg
Max, Shay and 21 others liked this

Domaine du Fresche - Alain Bore

Anjou Gamay 2016

Super juicy bright wine with an herbal nose that strengthens with air. Extremely chuggable, but trying not to so I can see how this develops. Slight spice on the finish is also exposing itself with air, which is good because right now the excitement with this wine is all up front. — 6 months ago

Daniel P., David and 8 others liked this

Cade

Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasted at Hearts Delight press lunch. (Not my pic, I forgot to take one). I went into this thinking it would be big Napa Cab and wouldn't suit my palate. Then I tasted it and wow! Nothing green on this. Nice chalky minerality. I was excited to see this was from Howell Mountain as it then made sense to me why I was enjoying this more than expected. — a year ago

James and Jeff liked this