Photo by: Nannette Eaton
Today we continue getting to know our favorite wine writers with a Q&A session with Bill Eyers of The Cuvee Corner
. I met Bill on a trip to Rioja a few years back and share his passion for wine, among other things. Outspoken and honest, it’s always a pleasure to spend some time with Bill whether that’s a few days drinking our way through Lodi or just a few minutes sharing samples at the recent Wine Blogger’s Convention.
So get to know Bill, and wait for it. It takes him a minute to get going but soon enough you’ll see what I mean about his being all Bill, all the time!
Snooth: How did you get involved in wine?
B E: My fiancee at the time, now my wife introduced me to wine via a trip to the Napa Valley over 10 years ago.
Snooth: How did you get involved in wine writing?
B E: I had an unexpected change in my career track, which allowed for a bit more free time and I wanted to stay productive. So from my wine notebook, the blog was born in 2008.
Snooth: Do you have any professional background in wine?
B E: I always equate the word 'professional', with getting paid. And with that being prerequisite for using the word, I'd have to say no, there's no professional background to speak of. I do work for a wine store in La Jolla on a very PT basis and I also do wine-tasting demos around the city and provide educational components to the demonstration as needed or requested. So that is the limit to my 'professional' background.
Snooth: What is your favorite wine region and why?
B E: My favorite wine region in the entire world is in Tuscany, where you find Brunello di Montalcino. I really enjoy its suave sophistication, bold, yet rustic fruit, bridled by a complex structure, gently plumbed with acid and stern but giving tannins.
Snooth: Desert Island wine?
B E: You have to drink it for the rest of your life so let us know why this is your choice. 20 year old Tawny Port, why because it can be sipped on in small quantities and then re-corked, left in the pantry or else where without a single concern of it turning to vinegar. And the cherry on top, it pairs every so nicely with a great cigar. Every one else on the desert island, will be begging me for a taste, when their still wines have gone bad. Remember there's no refrigeration on a desert island.
Snooth: Would you characterize your palate as new world, old world, or something in between? Why?
B E: Ha, I would have to say, it [my palate] has evolved greatly over the years, it's so old world now, I barely recognize who and what it is or where it came from. And I recognize that it continues to change and evolve, I believe getting far more refined, seeking older, and much more mature wines, that are far more than just a momentary flash in the pan. Because tannin, acid and structure, mean so much more to me now, than they did, when I started drinking wine.
Snooth: What do you think of wine writing today? What do you like about it and what would you like to change?
B E: I see most wine writing today as predictable, popularity seeking, plodding and void of authentic enthusiasm. Quit being wine marshmallows, the insipid fawning praise too many writers place upon every wine sample that comes down the path is a big issue destroying all credibility. What I like is the seeing new fresh voices I run into on occasion, before they've become jaded and still have their sense of wonder. What I would like to see changed, it's my hope that wine writers will all seek to be more authentic and true to themselves, giving little regard to thoughts of what their peers or popular wine culture may think of their opinions. I want to see wine writers who are unafraid of be controversial, but not simply for controversy's sake. For crying-out-loud could someone besides myself please take a stand about something in the wine, even if it's not popular.
Snooth: What wine do you look forward to trying each year?
B E: I have started collecting Bordeaux in multiple quantities, thus each year, I look forward to seeing how they develop over time.
Snooth: What wine do you just not seem to like? Why?
B E: Haha, without a doubt, just about any new world expressions of Sauvignon Blanc. Why: It's too, too much over the top freshly cut grass, overly citrus-y for no apparent reason, flabby, zero to nothing in the way of minerality, unyielding awkward acid and worst of all far too predictable. I suppose the reason why these wines are bottled with a screw cap. But I do like to keep these wines in the pantry, so on a moment notice, they can help me with a recipe. Blech!
Snooth: Recommend three wines, a red, a white, and a rose that will tell our audience the most about your palate, your likes, and your dislikes and please share a few of those likes and dislikes.
B E: Like: Red Wine:The amazing expression of Aglianico from Contrade di Taurasi. A White Wine: A Meursault from either of these three, Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes and just about any Bandol Rose would be the ticket to summer time sipping happiness.
Dislikes: In general I recommend avoiding like the plague, all commodity wines. Individual Dislikes Red Wine: Pinotage [blech] White Wine: Again NW Sauvignon Blanc Rose: Any attempt at producing a White Zin in a dry style. or the equally sickening and disgustingly insipid 2-3 grams of RS White Zin, consumed by the masses.