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 Victoria James, who is wine director of Cote, author of “Wine Girl”, and creator of Wine Empowered. Check here for the full episode. THE FINAL FIVE (ever so slightly edited for length!): QUESTION ONE Ellen: Whatcha drinking these days? Victoria: So you know during quarantine, I think everyone is drinking a bit more than usual, and I’m certainly using this opportunity to kind of explore some wine I don’t often get to drink, so I’ve been drinking a lot of Austrian Rieslings and Gruner Veltliners . For some reason I just haven’t spent a lot of time drinking these, so I’m quite enjoying that. QUESTION TWO Ellen: I don’t drink those enough myself. Question number two is what’s the best or most unusual pairing you’ve ever had? Victoria: You know I think one of the most unusual pairings I’ve ever had that really resonates with me is I think there’s this conception that sweet wines should always be enjoyed with sweet foods such as dessert, and I had this revelation a few years ago when I was in Bordeaux with Hervé Dubourdieu from Roûmieu-Lacoste , and he pulled out this ice cold bottle of Sauternes , and we drank it with roasted chicken. It was just sort of the most simple yet most decadent thing ever to have this really savory bird with this honeyed golden elixir, and it sticks with me still and so, yeah, don’t be afraid of sugar. QUESTION THREE Ellen: I love that. Cool, well question number three is when this whole thing is up and we are free to move around, where is the first place you’d like to visit? Victoria: For sure, my favorite restaurant in New York, of course besides my own, Cote Korean Steakhouse, is King. And if you know, it’s sort of little tongue-in-cheek, the name. It’s on King Street in New York but it’s run and owned by three women who are incredible: Claire, Jess and Ann—Annie. I love it because it’s food is inspired by the River Café in London. Very Italian Riviera meets south of France and everything is drenched in olive oil, and it’s simple but beautiful, and I can’t wait to go back. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Awesome. Question number four is if you were to make a wine, what would you make and what would you call it? Victoria: Well, I’ve worked harvest a couple of times, enough to know I’m a terrible winemaker so I’d definitely have to have a consulting enologist because I’m you know, that’s certainly not my forte but I would love to make something. My favorite wine and food come from the Mediterranean and south of France and are these sunbaked wines with preserved acidity. They’re just so savory and oily, so maybe something from Collioure , right by the Spanish border where the Pyrenee mountains fall into the Mediterranean Sea and…I don’t know what I would call it. I’d probably name it after the region. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: Beautiful. Question number five is what’s bringing you some joy these days? Victoria: I’m very grateful for all of the friends and family I have. And even though we can’t be together during quarantine or pandemic as much as I would like, I think I have such a wonderful support system, and these incredible people were so instrumental not only in my career, and helping me write this book, but also during quarantine checking in on me and such. So I am so grateful for the people that make my life so special. Want more? PLEASE get Victoria’s book “Wine Girl”—I adored it. Order from Cote if you are in New York—the wine program just got nominated from a James Beard! And check out Wine Empowered—it does a lot of good. Cheers! Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Carrie Dykes here .

Coume del Mas

Quadratur Collioure Red Rhone Blend 2016


Digging this. Tried grilling with charcoal for probably the first time in 35 years. Gotta save my propane. Can’t get it filled. Overcooked some filet but it was edible. Another teeth staining wine. Ripe juicy fruit. Happy Saturday!! — 4 years ago

Eric, Dawn and 9 others liked this

Sohm & Kracher

St. Georg Grüner Veltliner 2015

One of my favorite Veltliners ... toasted fruits, chalkiness that reminds of Chablis, green elements of classic GV. Awesome. A tad bit bottle age. — 4 years ago

Château Roûmieu-Lacoste

Cuvée Léon Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend

Nice dessert wine. Sauternes after a great dinner of grouper, saffron rice and summer salad, wonderful pairing. Carmel bouquet, with thick long lasting legs. Peach and rose petal notes. — 6 years ago


Wachstum Bodenstein Smaragd Riesling 2011

Simply outstanding! Simply outstanding! Enticing aromas of pineapple, apricot and green apple. Flavors of white peach and honey on the palate with firm acid for a long finish - great! — 7 years ago

Joel, Ceccherini and 5 others liked this


Fantastic review!

Domaine du Traginer

Collioure Rose 2018

This is awesome, deep and complex. Ranier cherry, herbs. And really working during this quarantine with any random food I’m throwing at it (currently ragu) — 4 years ago

Chris, Amritha and 4 others liked this

Château Roûmieu-Lacoste

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend 2014

I just don’t know how they make such a delicious wine for the price creamy apricot / pineapple , honey ( sugar /acid ratio is amazing ) nice and viscous in the mouth spiced apricot pineapple amazing — 4 years ago

Billy, Mark and 2 others liked this

Franz Hirtzberger

Rotes Tor Federspiel Wachau Grüner Veltliner 2015

Lots of fresh mineral on the nose with hints of rounded mellow fruit. A lot of depth, but very soft flavor with a mellow spicy peppery finish. It tastes like it was still fast asleep. After a couple days the peppery fruit started coming forward more. Maybe needs time. But how much I don’t know. There is a lot there but it’s so faint at times. — 5 years ago

Ira and Shawn liked this

F.X. Pichler

Loibner Steinertal Smaragd Riesling 2013

Awesome Austrian Riesling! Lemon pith, Asian brown pear, river rocks, honey, brown sugar, and Chrysanthemum tea. Good balance of fruit and minerality. Complex with a nice long finish. — 4 years ago

Domaine du Mas Blanc (Docteur Parcé)

Collioure Les Junquets Red Blend 2003

Very good Syrah blend 2003. Took sometime to open up. Some fruit and tannins. — 4 years ago

Château Coutet

Sauternes-Barsac Sémillon Blend 2003

Beautiful nose of dried apricot and honey. Really nice persistence. The acids are very low but the fruit intensity is lovely. — 5 years ago

Severn, Sharon and 20 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

These guys make really nice Sauternes.