My epiphany wine was a 2000 Turley Zinfandel (sorry, don’t remember the vineyard) drunk on a tiny tropical island. Here’s the story:

Tropical Whine
Imagine yourself on a tropical island, with azure waters and swaying palms. Imagine savory meals of fresh lobster, mangrove crab and toothsome tuna. Now imagine pairing those appealing meals with wine that tastes like it was squeezed out of a sailor’s socks. That’s not rain on a parade—it’s acid rain.

That’s what my sweetheart Alice and I braved during our year on the Micronesian island of Kosrae, a strongly skipped stone above the equator in the North Pacific. Having been accustomed to the California bounty of wines at home, it was a sad island education to learn how difficult it was to get decent wine.

Kosrae is out there. WAY out there. Hawaii’s more than 2,500 miles away, Australia is about the same. That isolation means removal from primary markets and shipping lanes. And with a population of 8,000, wine marketers aren’t going to get bang for their buck. Factor in very high temperatures: any goods shipped to the island are subject to thermal torment.