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 Maryam Ahmed, star of SommTV’s “Sparklers” and creator of Field Blends, a new wine destination experience. Check out the full episode here THE FINAL FIVE (Ever so slightly edited for length!): QUESTION ONE Ellen: Question number one, whatcha drinking? What are you into these days? Maryam: I’m a really big advocate of white wine-shocker I grew up in the Finger Lakes —I really like acid driven wines so am drinking a fair amount of Riesling from the Finger Lakes , but I really also like Bourgogne Aligoté , and there’s a lot of really cool field blends coming out of California. One of my favorites is called White Light , it’s by Hobo Wine Company, but Folk Machine is the wine brand it comes from. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Question number two is do you have a favorite pairing? Any kind of beverage, any kind of food. Maryam: A fairly obvious one, but one I wouldn’t want to leave behind is Champagne , or bubbles really, with French fries. I love French fries. I like the texture of bubbles that makes eating fatty foods feel less guilty. One thing that’s an odd one, that isn’t wine related, is I’m a huge fan of pickles, and I really like instead of a dirty olive martini, a dirty pickle martini. I like the pickle martini with popcorn. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Is there a wine that made you want to get in the wine world? Maryam: No, but I’m always happy to answer this question because for me the “aha” wine moment wasn’t a wine, it was a moment of “aha, wine is powerful” in that I saw people coming together and enjoying themselves. It wasn’t about which wine, just what I saw wine being able to do for people, bringing them together. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Do you have a dream destination for Field Blends? Maryam: I’ve never gotten to go, but I’d really like to explore the Okinagan Valley. I think it would be really cool to bring people to that region. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: The last question, and your answer can be related to wine or not, is what’s bringing you joy these days? Maryam: Simple things. I love the beach; I go as often as I can. And then, I’ve had time to cook for myself more. That used to be such a big part of my life and then I started a business and got a little bit busy. I just had a small girls’ dinner, and I love cooking Pakistani and Indian food for people. It’s just nice to have home cooking like that. *** Follow Maryam @goodfriendsgoodfood and @maryamandcompany, and her website is Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Lamar Woods here .

Laherte Frères

Les Beaudiers Rosé de Saignée Vieilles Vignes Extra Brut Champagne Pinot Meunier 2015

Well, what even is there to say about a wine like this? Sometimes words really are not enough.

First, this color. Remarkably romantic and positively thrilling. Deep crimson with slightly darker undertones. Pretty perlage with sparse, tiny bubbles. The nose is warm and inviting with a plethora of red berries out of the gate. Ripe cherries and wild strawberries abound with blood orange notes accompanying. Peaches and herbs with red currant aromas.

These Laherte champagnes are always so delicious and terroir driven. This is easily one of the more lush of his wines that I’ve tasted. Extra Brut dosage and the acidity is high but you may not even notice it. It has so much power and verve to it, it’s truly outstanding. The Saignée method produces some light vinous characteristics but not nearly as much as you may imagine. Nice balance and impeccable structure, especially considering that it’s just a baby right now.

An engaging and exciting attacks with just the right amount of earth on the palate. That vivacious red fruit is immense here along with plenty of limes and a little lemon. The finish is long and spectacular and you will want more. An instant favorite of mine. And there will be more.
— a year ago

Ted, Adriana and 9 others liked this

Empire Estate

Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2017

Very Mosel in style. Nose has pristine apple with a hint of barely ripe peach. Nice slatey minerality underneath. So pure smelling. Crisp and so balanced in the mouth, with fruit and cracked stones in equipoise. Dry and clean as a whistle on the finish. Nicely done. — 2 years ago

Aravind, David and 14 others liked this

Domaine Bernard Defaix

Bourgogne Aligoté 2019

Lemon zest, fresh cut apple, mandarin oranges, pleasant bit of creamsicle on the finish, balanced as can be. Fairly simple, but exactly what it’s supposed to be and quite good. Will be great with white beans, rice, and leeks! — a year ago

Severn liked this

Dr. Konstantin Frank

Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2019

Cathy Corison

World class. — 2 years ago

Severn, Dawn and 22 others liked this


Brut Royal Champagne Blend

It’s good champers, what else to say? Well plenty—I like a rich bubbly. The bready notes take a back seat to fruit n cream, and there is an interesting bit of...well when I first smelled it I thought...”Ricola”? Something herbal and sure to soothe the throat. — a year ago

Aaron, Bob and 21 others liked this


Cheers beautiful one! 🥂
Ellen Clifford

Ellen Clifford Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@Trixie awww shucks thanks m’lady! 🥂

Hobo Wine Company

Folk Machine White Light Tocai Friulano Blend

Beautiful wine and what a great blend! Bright acidity. Smells of white flowers and the ocean air. Just lovely. Paired with seared white fish laarb (thai salad) and it was a dynamic duo! — 2 years ago

Severn liked this