Getting to know: Jon Thorsen

The man behind

Snooth: What wine do you look forward to trying each year?
JT: Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah. One of my favorites year after year. Such lovely aromas that absolutely suck you right into the glass. 
Also, the Evodia Garnacha. This wine is an absolute value superstar. Less than $10 for vines as old as 100 years? You gotta be kidding me!
On a side note, I don't think people realize just how hard it is too make an excellent wine that retails for under $10. When you add in the cost of the labor, the bottles, the corks, labels, shipping and then tack onto that the substantial cut taken by the syndicate, I mean the distributors, and then also by retailers -- there's almost nothing left for the winery. In my mind creating a great $10 wine is a much bigger achievement and worthy of much more praise than creating a great $50 one. 
Snooth: What wine do you just not seem to like? Why?
JT: Beaujolais Nouveau. I just don't get it. At all. Fantastic marketing though! It's too bad you can't transplant their marketing savvy into some of the other regions in France that have much better wine but go relatively unnoticed here in the U.S.
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.
JT: Another hard question to narrow down but I'll give you three recent favorites.

Besides being an excellent wine the thing I really like about it is that it is made from a grape I had not yet tried, Mencia. I've reviewed something like 170 different varieties at The Reverse Wine Snob and I've only scratched the surface of what's out there and that's awesome.
This one is going to be hard to find as it is from Slovenia and does not have much distribution in the U.S. yet but I'm really hoping that changes. I had the opportunity to go to Slovenia last fall and I was blown away by the wines they are making, which shouldn't be a surprise given it's location right next to Italy and below Austria. (I was also blown away by the white wines they made back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s that are still going strong. Sauvignon Blanc from 1963, you gotta be kidding me!) 
A delightful blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Barbera from Lodi. I love the texture on this wine as well as all the wonderful fruit and then the mineral streaks on the finish. 

Jon Thorsen
Look for my book "Thumbing Your Nose At Bottles Over $20: The Reverse Wine Snob’s Guide To Buying Cheap, Quality Wine" coming on Skyhorse Publishing early 2015!

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  • Snooth User: Jon Thorsen
    Hand of Snooth
    1034047 90

    Thanks Greg!

    Jul 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM

  • Snooth User: vjg6014
    1480272 28

    Although I'll agree w/you there are many excellent wines in the 20 dollar range(Rhone Valley,Spanish Whites,etc...)To denegrate more expensive wines as folly is ridiculous.You clearly have not experienced great Burgundies,Barolo/Barbaresco,Brunello Di Montalcino,ChateauNeuf du Pape to name a few.These are fabulous wines that transcend your palate to another dimension.New World wines are still in the minor leagues in comparison to the ones I've mentioned.You need to look beyond your comfort zone and experience some of those wines I've mentioned.You will thank me for it...Enjoy,Life is too short to remain in second gear...

    Jul 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM

  • Snooth User: Jon Thorsen
    Hand of Snooth
    1034047 90

    Actually vjg6014, Greg can attest to the fact that I've had my share of $500 Barolos. In fact, I just spent a week in the Rhone Valley drinking wines from Cote Rotie, Hermitage, etc. If you read the site you'll see that I state many times that there are plenty of good wines over $20 -- they just aren't nearly worth the cost in my opinion. Is a $100 bottle really 5 times better than a $20 one? No way, although I'm sure you'll disagree.

    In any case I do thank you for jumping to conclusions and illustrating the elitist type of thought process that makes so popular! Cheers

    Jul 19, 2014 at 12:47 PM

  • Snooth User: vjg6014
    1480272 28

    First of all,I didn't jump to conclusions.I simply responded to your statement.I don't know what 500 dollar Barolo's you've had.If you really knew what you claim to know,you should know you can get great Barolo's in the 60-75 dollar range.For example,Elio Grasso.I clearly stated I enjoy Rhone Valley wines(Cote du Rhone Villiages),Spanish whites,all in the 20 dollar range.To call me an elitist is comical.It is true that some high end wines are not worth the price/quality ratio,this is where wine knowledge is power.Getting more for your money is essential as well as gratifying. Bruno Giacosa's Red Label wines as well as his entire portfolio are worth every penny.These are not every day drinking wines,but something to experience and sit back and say,it's great to be alive and share w/a like minded person.Even at half the price of Bruno's wines,are the wines of Giuseppe Rinaldi(also of Barolo).Clearly these are not for novice wine drinkers,but for more evolved and experienced wine lovers.It can best be compared to every day chain restaurants to higher end cuisine.Its the experience we seek that we yearn for,something that creates special memories that is out of the ordinary.Your comments are geared toward the people that drink wine as a social event,not as a passion in life.This is all fine and dandy for those who"like"wine who couldn't tell the difference between Calif.Chardonnay and a white Burgundy.Its an education of pleasure for the senses.Thats all I'm saying.

    Jul 19, 2014 at 3:11 PM

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