Wine Situation Final Five (Now With Drunk Dialing!)

The Wine Situation hosts everyone from winemakers to writers to find out what a person’s situation is…with wine. It’s the solo season with host Ellen Clifford, but listen in with a glass, and nobody is drinking alone! In lieu of guests, at the end of every action packed episode Ellen is phoning a friend with her Final Five questions. This week Ellen talks to Armenian wine ambassador Anush O’Connor!! Check out the full episode here THE FINAL FIVE (Ever so slightly edited for length!): QUESTION ONE Ellen: What are you drinking lately? Anush: I have been drinking lots of Armenian wine. I just got two orange wines from Armenia, and this is something new they have been doing. I have not opened them yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Question number two, what is either the most interesting, or favorite, pairing, of yours? Anush: One of the most memorable pairings for me…when I was just starting doing podcasting we had a segment called Wine is Food and a friend of mine—she’s an amazing cook—she made paella, and we paired it with Armenian rosé made of the Areni varietal, and it was fantastic. It was something that matched so well. Armenian food isn’t known for its seafood because we are pretty much landlocked, but it was delicious…the saffron rice, I’m salivating just thinking about it. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Next question is, what sort of beverage that’s not wine do you like? Anush: I like to start my day with water, but sometimes I do juices, like celery juice—I really love celery juice—and then coffee. And then wine. I really enjoy the salinity of celery juice, so I was doing it religiously, but now on and off. I don’t drink soda, so it’s just water, coffee wine, and sometimes juice. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Question number four is, if you were to make a wine, what would you make and what would you call it? Anush: Well, in fact, I do make wine. My undergraduate degree is in winemaking. I worked in Napa, but when I moved to LA, my friend and I planted a vineyard in Tustin, Santa Ana, and we have about eighty vines of Cabernet and twenty vines of Merlot . And we had a huge adventure with these wines and making wine. The first year we were ready to harvest after four years of waiting; just before they were ready to be harvested the birds got to them first. So, we just made like four bottles. Then we got Pierce’s disease. This year when we went for the harvest in August, we had more Merlot, and I made a blend that is 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s in my backyard in a glass carboy. We call it Cuvée de Tustin. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: Question number five is just what’s bringing you joy these days? Anush: There’s three things that my concentration all the time is on. First is my family. Second is wine. Third is Armenia. They’re interrelated. When I hear good news coming from Armenia, especially good news about wine, it makes me happy. When I see articles talking about Armenia as a food and wine destination, it makes me so happy because the country is so small, and the winemaking is fairly new, even though we have 6,000 years of history, but the modern winemaking developed in the last 15 years. And of course, when my kids do well in sports and they are excited especially after pandemic because they were home so long, now they are doing things, running, jumping that makes me happy too. Lots of things make me happy. *** Follow Anush @anushik_armeniangirlsomm or just search for Anush O’Connor! Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with John Michael Morcilio here .

Myriad Cellars

Round Pond Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Ron R

Really holding up well on day 2. Beautiful weight and focus on the mid-palate. Sweet black cherries with medium tannins and delicate acidity complete a strong example. — 2 years ago

Shay, Randall and 51 others liked this

ArmAs Estate

Dry White Blend 2018

Phenomenal QPR. Really interesting wine. Great acidity. I liked it. They apparently make some higher end bottling, I’d love to try them. — 3 years ago

Rob liked this

ArmAs Estate

Uru Uu Estate Bottled Karmrahyut Dry Red 2013

The ‘13 and ‘14 are available now and are completely geeky! The hybrid grape Kamrahyut is more than 90% of the blend. The aromatics are fascinating with rich plum, apricot, rose, and sweet herbs for the nose. The wine has medium-plus acidity and a solid tannic backbone. Dark and savory fruits on the palate. Enjoyable. — 4 years ago

Severn, Bob and 26 others liked this

Château La Fleur de Boüard

Le Plus Lalande de Pomerol Merlot 2015

John W

Deep red ruby coloration. On the nose, strong dark cherry, florals, toasted oak, earth and leather. On the palate, cherry, minerals, florals, vanilla, toasted oak and long finish of ripe dark fruit, florals and vanilla. Rich and full bodied wine. So rich and decadent. Ready to drink now. $80 at B-21 — 2 years ago

Douglas, Thijs and 3 others liked this


Voskehat 2019

Ancient Armenian white varietal which translates to “ golden berry.” Aromas and flavors of lemon, peaches and white flowers. An herbal and mineral note on the nice long finish. Pale gold color. Medium body. Quite refreshing! — 3 years ago

Bob, Mike and 1 other liked this


Aghavnadzor Dry White Wine 2017

Complex, layered and deep - this is a fabulous white blend. Reminded me of a mix of white Burgundy and Sancerre — 4 years ago

Josh and Rob liked this


Reserve Areni Saperavi

Tasty, juicy, soft but deep enough. — 3 years ago

Rob liked this

Armavir Vineyards

Karas White Blend 2018

50% Kangun (native Armenian varietal), 40% Chardonnay and 10% Viognier. Dark gold color with some green hints. Aromas and flavors of citrus, pears, peaches and pineapple. Hint of white flowers on the spicy finish. Medium to full bodied white reminiscent of a Rhône White Blend. (Due to the Viognier?). Interesting. — 3 years ago

Bob, Mike and 1 other liked this


Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs 2013

Wow.. This Armenian gem was a hit!Dry and clean with notes of stone fruits and a delicious aroma! I paired it with everything but the kitchen sink and it stood on its own! — 3 years ago

Mike, Serge and 3 others liked this