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, as host Ellen Clifford is in quarantine, 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 Julia Coney, wine journalist and founder of the Black Wine Professionals organization. Check here for the full episode. THE FINAL FIVE (Ever so slightly edited for length!): QUESTION ONE Ellen: Whatcha drinking these days? Or you can tell me what’s in your glass right now! Julia: I’m always into bubbles. I love bubbly. I am a believer that bubbles bring the party. So I am currently drinking a wine producer called Corollary out of the Willamette Valley and this is the 2017 Momtazi Vineyard Sparkling Brut Rosé. One of the things I love about this is they have a URL on the back of the label, so you can find out all about the wine. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Question number two is what is the best or most interesting pairing you’ve had? Julia: Oh you’re going to love this. So this pairing happened over the past couple of weeks. I work in wine retail, and one of the things we do is support community and we have something called One Wine One Dish, and I love it because it forces me to cook things I wouldn’t normally cook, and I had dry rosé from Early Mountain Mountain in Virginia paired with a grilled cheese sandwich with apples, cheddar, and apple butter. Ellen: Omigod that sounds so good. Julia: It’s so delicious. Like if you don’t want to do bread I’d just tell you to slice a beautiful apple and sharp cheddar cheese, or one of the things I do with mine is—Trader Joe’s makes this smoked cheddar. I slice it with a vegetable peeler to make it really thin and then I slice the apple thin and I just grill cheesed it and it was divine with this rosé. It felt like it was decadent, but I wasn’t really cooking. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Well I’m always here for bread. Question three is when you’re not drinking wine—and this can be alcoholic or not—what do you like to drink? Julia: Topo Chico . I am originally from the south, we love our Topo Chico. Ellen: It’s like a Texas thing, right? Julia: It’s a Texas thing, yes. And I like Topo Chico only in glass bottles. Not the plastic bottles because I think the carbonation is very different. The thing about the Topo Chico is you can leave the glass out on your desk on the counter overnight and the concentration of the bubbles stays til the next day. No refrigeration needed, cause I drink it room temperature anyway. Plus, it’s mineral water and so it actually helps your skin, your nails, your hair. But I’m in DC and it’s an exorbitant amount of money compared to Texas. I still buy it by the case when I can find it on sale so if I get down to one case of twelve I’m like, this is a little low. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Okay, well you were talking about it being good for the skin and stuff, so this segues well into my next question, which is kind of in homage to your beauty blogging that you’ve done. So, for instance, I know that when I drink Tavel —maybe it’s the color, maybe it’s the taste—I don’t know what it is about that type of wine, but it makes me feel beautiful, so, what wine makes you feel beautiful? Sorry if that’s an esoteric question. Julia: I would say red wine. I like a lot of different styles of red wine so it’s almost a mood thing. There are some times I want a Pinot Noir , sometimes I want a Cabernet from California, sometimes I want a Merlot . I look at wine as fragrance so for me it’s kind of the same when—you know when you are a wine professional you don’t wear fragrance—but my background is beauty and the concentration of my beauty background is fragrance, so for me I look at what wine I want to have that day and look at it like fragrance—like who do I want to be that day. I want to know who do I want to be through the glass. Where do I want to travel with my nose? If I want to feel zesty and vibrant and fun I’m going to like Willamette Valley and I’m drinking a Pinot Noir. If I want to feel bold and like I own the world, I’m drinking a Napa Valley Cabernet . QUESTION FIVE Ellen: That is so cool, I love that answer. Question number five is the classic we’ve been asking since the dawn of the show and that is what’s bringing you joy these days? Julia: What is bringing me joy is the breadth of people in the wine industry who are coming together to affect change right now. We’re in a global pandemic, we’re in a racial pandemic, it’s a time of civil unrest, it’s a time of civil understanding, it is conversations that are difficult to have and how they are willing to have them. The ones that are willing to have conversations—I think it’s beautiful. I think what groups are forming, what foundations are forming—people are really uniting to change what we know needs to change, but they are actually doing the work to make these changes, not just saying, “oh yeah I know we need to change”. That, to me is beautiful. Check out and follow Julia on the interwebs @juliaconey. Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Kara Newman here .

Ken Wright Cellars

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017

A superb Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley. Dark ruby colour with a nose of forest floor and a hint of smoke, the palate is vibrant and lively with distinct notes of cherry, blackberry, cedar and leather ending in a generous finish. — 3 years ago

Vanessa, Ira and 11 others liked this


Like the look of this one. Super description and notes. Happy Sunday!🍷


Red Mountain Merlot 2016

This is a perfect representation of Red Mountain fruit. This is one luscious Merlot. Approachable without food but good with it. Wish I had more. — 3 years ago

Paul, Laura and 1 other liked this


Trento DOC Brut Rosé Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Should quarantine force me to eat pizza parlor offerings nightly? Maybe not but I’ve tasted Rotari before and was excited for a reason to get into another bottle which, spoiler, does well with well Parmesan/garlic infused quick pizza parlor orders. I mean it would be great in many places methinks but right now we are all either ordering in or cooking so...really thought this went well with some seasoned bread stuff. Wet stones, and cherry and peach yogurt and some lemon curd on the nose. Ripping acid. Abv were I to guess is...13 and it is, lemme see...12.5. They say lolz. I should make this review more amusing maybe? Or is this the time we all just need to exchange virtual hugs and carry on. I miss hugs. — 3 years ago

Ron, Severn and 17 others liked this

Dalla Valle Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1995

When it comes to Napa Cabernet, there are few and very far between that evoke a visceral emotional response. Dalla Valle is consistently one of those styles. At age 25, this wine was exceptional in its elegance and depth. Excellent balance with fresh dark cherry, tobacco, menthol and some barnyard character. — 3 years ago

Kim AlexanderEric
with Kim and Eric
Eric, Josh and 30 others liked this
David L

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Love the wine

Early Mountain

Malbec Merlot Rosé 2019

That first sip is like walking up to a juice shack and gulping down an orange sherbet on the beach in the full height of summer heat. It’s refreshing and just right. It’ll be gone too quick and you’ll crave another. Very light, even delicate, dry with touches of peach, apricot and cantaloupe melon. There’s an ever so soft touch of effervescence that gives it a lovely taste. It’s quite refreshing and would go well with seafood, salads, summer pastas or just passing around with friends on a sunny afternoon in the park. — 3 years ago

Topo Chico

Mineral Water

Love it! — 8 years ago

Corina Darold
with Corina

Daou Vineyards

Paso Robles Grenache Rosé 2019

Beautiful - as it warms to room temp it is becoming more and more complex. Bumping up my initial rating. — 3 years ago

Paul, Eric and 17 others liked this
Sharon B

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So as a Rosé it’s better warm?
Laura Purdy

Laura Purdy

@Sharon B I felt like the flavor profile completely changed as it warmed up a bit. Maybe 30 min?
Jeff Venier

Jeff Venier

The new Daou rose is very tasty. Maybe a touch ripe for me but a more “serious” rose than most.

Vignobles & Compagnie

Réserve des Chastelles Tavel Rosé Blend 2018

Shockingly for the price. Mostly fruity—red berries, sweet grapefruit, served up in a cantaloupe bowl and garnished with pure whipped cream. Dry desserts. — 3 years ago

Stanley, David and 10 others liked this


Kali Hart Pinot Noir 2017

Tonight’s actual quaranwine! If you aren’t wearing the same shirt you have all week/haven’t gained five stress-baking pounds you aren’t doing quarantine right. Also, ignoring this particular wine would be silly as it is reliable (needed in these times), scrumptious (needed always because yummy things make happy people) and yeah, I am a fan of Talbott’s work. You know those black and white pictures you see that if you look at one moment you see one thing and the next moment another? I feel like this wine is if paying attention to fruit—rich and heady! Then you think of acid, tannins and body and see something else. And all of that keeps you going through the glass. I’ve been lucky enough to have Talbott wines sent to me (yes this was a free sample but if you saw how many samples DIDN’T get written about...) and I feel lucky to be able to say both this and their Chardonnay have been dependably punching above their weight, price-wise. Yum. C’est tout. Ce soir. — 3 years ago

Paul, Serge and 20 others liked this
Serge S

Serge S

Ellen Clifford

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@Serge S 🥂! I’ll take all the virtual cheers-omg I can get in these times of solitude!