Every year I reflect back on the best wines I’ve enjoyed the past year, and since I’ve had so many I often Google my name on the Internet to remind myself of it all. Of huge note was our trip to the Lake Garda, Italy DOC, and Chateauneuf du Pape…but there were many, many other wines – and spirits – I’ve enjoyed. Here they are, pretty much in order from January through December 2022:
I only had one day in Lodi to taste wines, and for this section I will focus on just one as it was so remarkable we became club members. Winemaker and owner Susan Tipton of Acquiesce Winery, aka the White Wine Winery, has been making award-winning Rhone wines that many other people have discovered long before we found them. There wasn’t a single wine that we didn’t love, from that first tasting and since with our club shipments.
As a wine journalist I try very hard to visit new wineries to write about when I visit California wine country. This past year the wineries of note that I loved in Napa include Myriad Cellars (winemaker Mike Smith makes an amazing number of 100-point wines), Hall Wines, Cakebread Cellars, Ladera Vineyard, Stag’s Leap Cellars, Titus Vineyards and Honig Vineyard and Cellars.
The Garda DOC
Lake Garda is the biggest lake in Italy, not as famous as Lake Como – I’m told that’s only because George Clooney made Como more popular when he set up residence there – and a large winemaking AVA. Prosecco is king, but I also enjoyed many red wine varieties while there. It’s also a beautiful lake dotted with amazing coastal towns that each offer something interesting for travelers and wine lovers. Read more about it in my article in Elite Magazine.
Chateauneuf du Pape
Eddie and I jumped at the chance to visit this amazing wine area – and this is how our adventure was titled for the online magazine Daily Ovation: A Wine Lover’s Bucket List: Eve Bushman Spends a Week Touring and Tasting in Chateauneuf du Pape. (Bite-sized articles on the area can also be found on this blog.) Besides all of the amazing Rhone wines we got to taste in several wineries, and sharing the experience with seasoned writers, my most vivid memory was seeing the amazing large quartz stones, that went two meters down before hitting any earth, that many of the vineyards were covered in. I’d heard it described many times, “rocky soil”, but seeing it was believing it. Wineries we visited included Domaine Du Pegau, Domaine Roger Sabon, Domaine de la Mordoree, Domaine Andre Brunel, le Clos du Caillou, Domaine la Barroche, Chateau Mont-Redon, Domaine du Grand Tinel, Domaine Saint Prefert et Domaine Isabel Ferrando and Vieux Telegraphe.
Single Bottle Posts and Events
When I have a remarkable bottle I do single-bottle blog posts on them in this blog. My thinking is that a winemaker has spent so much time creating that one wine, let me try and do it justice by devoting an article to it. I also receive bottles for review, dedicating the same space on the blog for them as well, and attended some remarkable events. In 2022 I truly loved a 2008 Robert Mondavi To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon from our cellar, Vinos Zanzonico 2020 Reserva Chardonnay and 2019 Reserva Syrah, Middle West Pumpernickel Rye whiskey, Corvezzo wines from Italy, the 2022 Bar and Restaurant Expo, 2021 Alavida Kosher Malbec, wines from Portugal’s Herdade do Esporao, Masters of Taste 2022, PureCru Brut Rose Sparkling wine, 2019 Chateau du Moulin-a-vent Beaujolais, many discoveries at the Universal Whisky Experience, Greek wines, 2019 Catena Malbec from Argentina, Knox and Dobson ready-to-drink cocktails, Valdobbiadene Prosecco and others. (If any of these interest you feel free to email me for the hyperlinks, or search this blog for more details.)
Now I can only ask, what exciting wines and spirits will 2023 have for us?
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Proof Awards, Cellarmasters, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.