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 Cara Patricia, advanced sommelier and co-owner of DECANTsf, a fantastic wine shop in San Francisco. Check out the full episode here QUESTION ONE Ellen: Whatcha drinking? Cara: I honestly drink Chardonnay more than anything, mostly Chablis . I try to find really good producers in Burgundy , like their Bourgogne Blanc or declassified stuff, and then honestly, California Chardonnay has gotten so much more delicious every year. Producers, if they were using ridiculous amounts of new oak or bâtonnage before, producers have been shying away from that and making wines that really show the terroir. Sandar & Hem is one of my favorite Chardonnay producers. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Do you have a favorite pairing? Cara: My favorite non-wine pairing is a ritual I have when I go to the movie theatre. It’s a small popcorn and a box of peanut M&M’s, and you put the M&M’s in the popcorn and mix it up, and it’s the best thing in the world. But one of my absolute favorite pairings is vintage Champagne with dim sum. I love to take my best Champagnes, especially that have a little bit more of an oxidative quality, or long aging that have a lees-y quality, and just go to town on a wide array of dim sum. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Question number three is, if not wine, what is your beverage of choice? Alcoholic or not. Cara: Tequila is my favorite. I use a lot of tequila at home the same way I would use gin…actually coffee. Coffee is the most important thing in my life. I’m a real coffee snob. I bring my own coffee to hotels. I could live without tequila. I could never live without coffee. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Question number four is, were you to make wine yourself, what would you make and what would you call it? Cara: I always say I’m not a creator, I’m a curator. I think I’d want to make a Champagne method wine. And it would be called…I don’t know, A Hope and a Prayer? QUESTION FIVE Ellen: The last question is just what is bringing you joy these days? Cara: Reading has been bringing me joy. I’ve been rediscovering the work of Octavia Butler, and science fiction in general, and I have read eight of her books in the past, I think, three months. Getting back into science fiction has been making me really happy. I really like that there is somebody looking at a problem we are having and extrapolating it into worst-case scenarios or utopian ideals, and then breaking down the pros and cons of it within a larger story. *** You can visit DECANTsf in San Francisco, or visit , and follow Cara @carapatriciasf or @decantsanfrancisco on Instagram Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Agnes Hewitt here .

Sandar & Hem

Bruzzone Vineyard Chardonnay 2018

Ready now - — a year ago

Shawn, Aravind and 17 others liked this


Estate Grown Lodi Chardonnay 2020

It’s a Cali Chard but casually enjoyably so. I’d drink it again — 2 years ago

"Odedi", Daniel P. and 9 others liked this

Pierre Paillard

Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Champagne Blend 2013

Oh my. Maybe 2013 was overlooked but this excels. — 3 years ago

Serge, Ira and 23 others liked this
Jay Kline

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Killer producers with great vineyards rarely make poor wine 😊
Ellen Clifford

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@Jay Kline true that! 🥂

Rombauer Vineyards

Carneros Chardonnay 2021

On the nose I was worried about the oak. But honestly? This s*#t’s delicious. I don’t have much Rombauer experience aside from hearing wine hipsters disparage it. Maybe it’s changing stylistically because this had a really cool mellow feel to it. Very silky, very stone fruit, and a graceful Werther’s without the sweetness finish. Honestly I think I just drank it too young. Like in a few years the oak is gonna meld in nicely. I recommend this with anything involving cheese. Any cheese. Cheap cheese, fancy cheese. Any cheese. I can’t stop saying cheese. Cheese. And wine. Happy Friday everyone. — a year ago

Trixie, Daniel P. and 9 others liked this
Neal Ferry

Neal Ferry

It never stops from year to year… consistently the same and consistently a bit different…. We did a 5 year comparison last month here and we all bowed to the Rombauers
Neal Ferry

Neal Ferry

Oh ya we had it with CHEESE and lots of CHEESE
Ellen Clifford

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@Neal Ferry you must have the CHEESE!

Azienda Agricola Ricchi

Meridiano Garda Chardonnay 2015

Caramel corn. Sun drenched salted and mineral. One of my top wines from my Garda trip. — 2 years ago

Paul, Eric and 11 others liked this

J. Dumangin Fils

Ratafia de Champagne

Oh those delightful little vin de liqueurs aka mistelles. This is a treat. Smells like grape jam and come to think of it there is a nuttiness that calls to mind a nut butter but more like a pistachio I think. A swirl of raspberry jam comes into play on the palate, weaving its way through bits and bobs of honeycomb. It’s not cloying though. Keeps you coming back for me. Keeps you young and honest. You like sweets, just admit it. Be the kid in the candy store. — 3 years ago

Jason, Bob and 15 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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Love me some Ratafia...You have to look under a lot of stones to find this in the US. We actually brought a bottle back with us from our visit to Champagne in 2018.
Ellen Clifford

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@Severn Goodwin heh, yeah I look under a lot of Googles to find some!