Driving through the rolling hills of South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region, surrounded by vines planted by 19th-century European settlers and cellar doors of Australia’s oldest wineries, the last thing you’d expect to find is a multi-dimensional, five-story-tall Rubik’s cube. But at d’Arenberg winery, that’s exactly what you’ll find. The architectural marvel of bold shards of mirror and glass and metal is home to one of the world’s most immersive, anticipated wine-tasting experiences, and it is set to finally open this November.
Dubbed the d’Arenberg cube, this $14 million AUD project dreamed up by d’Arenberg’s lovably eccentric, fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, will be equal parts cellar door, art gallery, immersive tasting room and fine-dining destination. Each of the elements have the explicit intent of shattering your senses and heightening them to the optimal sensory place for wine tasting.
We’ve all been there —the waiter accidentally pours someone else’s Pinot Noir into your Barolo, ruining your perfectly good glass of wine. You smile and tell them it’s okay while silently seething, reminding yourself that we all make mistakes. And while it’s something that just happens sometimes, it’s not something you’d expect to happen at Melbourne’s Attica, one of the best restaurants in the world. That is, unless it’s being done on purpose.
Jane Lopes, Attica’s new sommelier, is used to guests freaking out when she tries to pour a Chikuma Nishiki “Kizan Sanban” sake into a half-full glass of 2011 Crawford River “Noble Dry” Riesling. “We’ve had people cover their glasses, try to move their glasses out of the way, yell, ‘What are you doing?!’,” she said of her mixed-in-the-glass wine pairing for the restaurant’s abalone with seaweed butter and black garlic cream course.
Just because you want to be eco-friendly doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing bachelorette road trip with your best ladies to celebrate the end of singledom — Especially in Napa Valley. From the latest electric cars that make it possible to drive long distances without recharging, to a growing eco-friendly wine movement, restaurants supporting local organic farmers, and no shortage of top notch spas boasting eco-friendly products, Napa Valley is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of luxury and make some wine filled memories with your best friends — all while leaving the smallest environmental footprint.
When it comes to restaurant lingo, nothing is more perplexing than somm-speak.
While overhearing an expediter yell at a line cook in the middle of service can sound foreign to the uninitiated, the world of “soigne” has nothing on the strange, poetic language that sommeliers—and, consequently, wine writers—have adopted when talking about wine.
Because descriptions like “loamy forest floor” can sound ridiculous to casual wine drinkers, MaryseChevriere—sommelier at Dominique Crenn’s Petit Crenn in San Francisco—decided to channel foofy wine slang into art. The result: Fresh Cut Garden Hose, an Instagram account that contains a series of cartoons inspired by the strangest of somm-speak.
When it comes to food and wine pairings, there’s no shortage of classic combos that always work: oysters and Champagne, Cabernet and steak, Zinfandel and BBQ. But, what about the nights when you’re craving a glass of vino with something that you can pick up and devour at home? Perhaps even something you can score from, dare we say, a drive-thru?!
As you’ve probably already guessed, we’re talking about the ultimate in high/low food pairings: the perfect glass of wine to punctuate your favorite takeout. (Admit it: Doesn’t an In-N-Out burger and a glass of light red sound simply divine for dinner tonight?)
Of course, Southern California’s original fast food haunts all seem to be lacking a skilled sommelier for a reco, so we called upon Matthew Kaner for help. Kaner is the wine director and co-owner of some of L.A.’s coolest wine bars, like Bar Covell and the just-opened Augustine Wine Bar — i.e. the perfect person to help us pair some delicious eats with a perfectly-selected libation.
From SoCal favorites like Winchell’s Donuts and In-N-Out Burger to Taco Bell and Panda Express, we’ve got all the best new wine pairings that you could possibly need. Cheers!