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 Theodora Lee aka Theo, of Theopolis Vineyards —and the topics run the gamut from blends to TexMex to cocktails. Check out the full episode here THE FINAL FIVE (Ever so slightly edited for length!): QUESTION ONE Ellen: Whatcha drinking these days? Theo: I have to tell you, I am really into my first blend. I have never done a blend—all of the wines that I’ve always produced are all 100%. I bottled this blend in December, it is a Rhône blend but it’s not the one that everyone thinks of that has Grenache, Syrah and Mourveèdre. It’s not a GSM. Because I didn’t want to do a GSM. I wanted to do Theo blend! It’s called Theo-Patra’s Cuvée Cerise and it just got 94 points from Wine Enthusiast. And I will tell you I am loving it. It is a wonderful blend of my Petite Sirah , Syrah , and Mourvèdre . QUESTION TWO Ellen: I look forward to trying that! Question number two: what is either a favorite or unusual pairing you’ve enjoyed? Theo: Well, I like oxtails. Beef oxtails . And my mother is 94 years old and she says oxtails were something we had to eat because that was the end of the beef. But now it is a delicacy, and I have to tell you I love the oxtails with the 2017 or 2108 Petite Sirah. It is a big a big hearty dish over some creamy polenta. You can’t get better than that. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Nice! Question number three is another pairing question, and it is funny you are in Texas—when I was reading up on you I saw that you are from Texas. If you are eating Tex-Mex, what are your favorite things to drink. Theo: I had some great TexMex last night, and I would say Chardonnay with shrimp tacos—it was wonderful. It worked for me. Chardonnay is pretty full-bodied—I don’t really like wimpy wines, you have to understand—so the TexMex flavors really go well. The shrimp tacos also go well with my Symphony it really accentuates the spiciness of the tacos. But I love Chardonnay and last night that worked really well for me. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Question number four: what do you enjoy if not wine? Theo: My favorite winter drink is something called The Beautiful. Grand Marnier and Cognac . That’s what I’ve been drinking during the winter. My favorite summer cocktail is vodka , of course I like our Texas vodka, Tito’s vodka with club soda and lime is refreshing in summer. Because I have to drink whatever I’m feeling. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: That sounds refreshing! Well, our last question, the same I’ve been asking since the dawn of the show which can be related to food and wine or not is what is bringing you some joy these days? Theo: Our virtual wine tastings, actually. They are a way to connect with people, virtually bring pleasure to people’s lives. I love being in the beverage industry because I specialize in pleasure in the bottle. With COVID and people stuck at home, it is a way to add value to people’s lives. And when I give to others it makes me very happy. *** Look for Theo’s wines at theopolisvineyards.com ! Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Lisa Warr-King Packer here .

Theopolis Vineyards

Theo-Patra's Cuvée Cerise Mourvèdre Blend 2019

Ruby in color with medium intensity and a wide reddish/ purplish rim.

Fruity nose with black currants, black plums, blueberries, sweet cherries, oak, light vanilla, spices, herbs, chocolates and black pepper.

Medium plus in body with medium acidity.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, plums, cooked strawberries, spices, pencil lead, black pepper, chocolates, tobacco and peppercorn.

Medium finish with fine grained tannins and spices.

This is a tasty red blend from California. Showing mild complexity with a nice and soft mouthfeel.

Good by itself, tangy and fruit forward. Easy drinking and spicy.

This red blend is definitely still young, and needs 3 to 5 years to mature and get more complex. Has nice potential, and would be nice to revisit this in 3 years.

Good right out of the bottle and better after 30 minutes of airtime. After a couple of hours, it reminds me of a fruit forward Côtes du Rhône.

The high alcohol is not noticeable, so you better watch out.

An interesting blend of Mourvedre, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Aged in neutral French Oak barrels for 12 months. A small production of only 250 cases.

I paired it with cheeses and crackers by the lake.

14.9% alcohol by volume.

89 points.

$36.
— a month ago

Sharon, Tom and 14 others liked this

Theopolis Vineyards

North Coast Petite Sirah 2013

Petite girl, petite-Er sirah? Note this wine has curves in all the right places. SF Wine Competition winner for best petite Sirah, I garnered this bottle from “helping” at the double gold tour. It deserves the hype. It’s just a perfectly balanced mouthful. Like the bite from a plateful of sides (the cranberry sauce! The potatoes! The stuffing and wtf some green veg!) that somehow combines it all. I only wish I’d brought this to Thanksgiving. It does have some elegant cranberry acid cutting into the cassis. A plush texture with an acid that cuts through it all but you don’t think about unless thinking “how’s the acid?” And then there is an undercurrent of cocoa. The tannins for a petite sirah are remarkably chill and knitted together. Like a gravy that has melded with your potatoes. God I’m into this wine. I’d never found a petite sirah before that held court with such elegant and tantalizing aplomb. — 3 years ago

Eric, Jason and 15 others liked this
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

Fruit forward?
Ellen Clifford

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@Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher yes, for sure, it’s a new world wine. But balanced from fruit to acid to tannins. But they are plush tannins...

Theopolis Vineyards

Rosé of Petite Sirah 2014

An ample dose of (very ripe + very evocative) Anderson Valley fruit & flora: cherry, raspberry, pennyroyal tea, dank forest floor, still vibrant and youthful. This wine is just a bit too hot and heavy (nearly 15% alc) for my tastes. Really exquisite fruit here, but while I like this power and boisterousness in her Petite Sirah, I prefer the volume just a tad lower on my Pinots. Pardon any typos; I am a lightweight and no longer accustomed to these abvs on a Tuesday night!
— 2 months ago

Paul, Matt and 3 others liked this
Matt Perlman

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Pennyroyal tea and volume cranked up to 11...sounds like the official Pinot noir of Nirvana

Theopolis Vineyards

Yorkville Highlands Symphony 2015

I was so very into this—as I have been everything I’ve tried from Theopolis! Did you know Symphony was a grape? Me neither. I wasn’t sure if a crossing of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris would be my cup of...well, wine, but in the hands of Theodora Lee it absolutely is. Silly, balanced, it is an elegant bouquet of flowers neither over nor underdone. Just right. And a welcome change of pace! One of those wines that makes me anxious to meet the winemaker because all Theopolis’ wines have an idiosyncrasy that is undefinable and intriguing. And scrumptious. — 10 months ago

Martin, Paul and 20 others liked this
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

Where did you get this one?
Ellen Clifford

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@Paul T- Huntington Beach first time I tried Theopolis was at a tasting of the San Francisco Wine Competition winners that came through Los Angeles. This I ordered straight from the winery website
Ellen Clifford

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@Paul T- Huntington Beach highly recommend the Cab Franc and rosé too

Theopolis Vineyards

Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2018

Cherry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry, vanilla and oak. Medium-bodied and soft tannins. — 5 months ago

Paul liked this

Theopolis Vineyards

North Coast Petite Sirah 2017

This is a fantastic petite Sara with a great balance of acidity and tannins, with lovely notes of cherry. Full bodied without being overpowering. — 6 months ago

Theopolis Vineyards

North Coast Petite Sirah 2013

One of California's best examples of petite sirah. — 5 years ago

Jackie liked this