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 if you listen in with a glass, then nobody is drinking alone! You can play along with the WhoWhatWhereWhenWhyWine quiz, weigh in on a poll and just join in with Ellen drinking a lovely J Vineyards Pinot … In lieu of guests, at the end of every action packed episode, Ellen is phoning a friend with her Final Five questions. This week she has artist and fellow former St. Louisan, Matt Hirscheld (check out his art here ) on the phone to talk wine, food, and joy. Click here for the full episode. THE FINAL FIVE (edited for length): QUESTION ONE Ellen: Whachu drinking? These days. It can be alcoholic or not. Like, what are you enjoying? What beverage…. Matt: You know I have been getting into mochas a lot, lately. Ellen: Oh! Like the coffee with chocolate? Matt: Yes, that’s my drink in the morning. It gets me up and going so it has been the drink of my choice, and obviously, being a St. Louis guy you’d think I’d say Bud Light is my alcoholic drink…if I was going to pick a wine I’d say a Sauvignon Blanc is what I’d go with. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Cool cool, okay question number two is—and I think I know what you are going to say—what’s the best pairing between food and drink? Matt: Best pairing—Bud Light and Imo’s. (Note from Ellen: Imo’s is a thin crust pizza place in St. Louis) Ellen: I know you so… Matt: There’s not a better pairing than that. I can’t think of anything; those two go hand in hand. Ellen: I honesty have never tried those side by side but I’ve had those both and not liked them by themselves. If I had them together would I change? Matt: Yes. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Okay. You’re on next time we’re in St. Louis. Speaking of St. Louis, where do you drink in St. Louis? That’s the next question. Matt: When I’m back in St. Louis, I usually stay around the neighborhood. Either I go to the Loop [Note from Ellen: St. Louis has a Loop too, not just Chicago!], to Blueberry Hill, or I’ll go to Lester’s in Ladue…you know it’s funny, every time I go back it seems like there’s a bunch of new places that opened up that I was never aware of, so I’m always finding new spots whenever I go back. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Question number four, of the final five, is there a wine whose label—you’re an artist—is there a wine whose label you’ve seen, and you’re like “oh that’s good art”? Matt: You know, I don’t know what it is, but the Coppola brand always sticks out to me. I know they have different variations of the logo, but they always sort of stand out. Ellen: Director’s Cut ? Matt: Yeah I don’t know how that applies, but it always stands out. I can always spot those things. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: And now I’ll ask you the final “what’s giving you joy” question… Matt: Well I think, especially given the times we’re in right now, I think it’s being able to keep in touch with my friends and being able to check in on everybody and see how everyone’s doing. I think now more than ever it is more important to get in touch with people who maybe you haven’t talked to in a while. Just reach out to them and say hi, and it really goes a long way. Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Punam Patel here .

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Director's Cut Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Love this Coppola wine. Well balanced yet big bold flavors of oak, earth, and fruit. — 4 years ago

Peter liked this

J Vineyards & Winery

Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2015

Mostly Monterey Pinot Noir in this Central Coast blend, cherry and black raspberry flavors, a bit of leather and spice on the finish. Nice medium-light body. — 4 years ago


Bud Light Lager

Tough to beat. — 8 years ago

Dave, Chris and 2 others liked this


Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Shay A

VASO cellars is essentially Dana Estate’s third label. However, what makes VASO unique is that while it’s a third label, the fruit that is used is the same fruit that goes in to Dana. No young vines or anything like that here. The main difference is the way it is oak aged. This SB comes from Dana’s Hershey Vineyard on Howell Mountain.

This is good. Like really good. Would love to try next to Dana’s own SB. 8yrs young and drinking wonderfully...almost shockingly so. This is like a combo of high end Bordeaux Blanc with Aesthete Sauv Blanc. Aromatically, it leaps from the glass with honeyed sea salt, grapefruit, lemongrass and white peach. On the palate, it is so textured and rich, almost creamy. More peach, poached pear, lemon oil, creamsicle, and wet rock. There is good acidity here (still at 8yrs for a Napa SB!), and while the profile is rounded, it’s certainly not flabby. One of the best Napa SBs I’ve tasted and still has a couple years of cruising at peak. I’m going to open my ‘13 soon, but I’m going to hold my ‘15 for a while! Best around cellar temp, don’t get it too cold or it will mute some of the flavors. I owe you for this one,
@Mike R !
— 4 years ago

Kirk, Tom and 42 others liked this
Joseph Barsky

Joseph Barsky

Wine-Searcher shows this up to $290/bottle. The true bottle shock! No Vaso to be found. Would have liked to compare with the Dragonette SB.
David L

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Contact Dana to get on the list. My Dragonette was shipped yesterday. Looking forward to trying it very soon.
David L

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@Billy L. 12 & 15 vintages at $50.

J Vineyards & Winery

Canfield Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Hey hiiii I opened this for my first solo pod recording but don’t you babies worry I drunk dialed a friend at the end so you hear someone else. This wine‽ Smells like what you thought high-school-autumn would taste like in junior high. Tastes like a damn good adult vacay to say...I dunno autumn leaves in Vermont? I’ve never done that but if I’m ever allowed to leave LA again (“Safer at Home” mandates staying in place so I dream). Essentially this is your perfect Cali Pinot. If called to make a J Vineyards fave call? Well I would need to taste this beside the Strata bottling (in my Taco Bell pairing column) but gosh it’s good. — 4 years ago

Neil, Ron and 17 others liked this

Cloudy Bay

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Cloudy Bay’s 33rd vintage. I’ve been a fan since their 12th. In fact, their 1996 was my epiphany wine; it was THE bottle that started it all. Founded in 1985 by David Hohnen of Margaret River’s Cape Mentelle along with its first winemaker, Kevin Judd, who would go on to spend 25 years there before creating his own label, Greywacke. Judd is widely considered as the pioneer responsible for elevating New Zealand wine to its current status. Judd also happens to be one of the best wine photographers in the world (I highly recommend his ‘The Landscape of New Zealand Wine’). Cloudy Bay was acquired by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy) in 2003. Production of the 2017 vintage was down due to Cyclone Debbie. All fruit that was not harvested prior to the storm was discarded. Lime oil and white grapefruit combine with lemongrass and apricot, and will have you bracing for a razor sharp acidity to come, but what follows is superb balance. There’s a ping of acidity that’s just enough, which allows the flavors to linger just a little longer than usual. Still a fan. — 6 years ago

James, Eric and 26 others liked this