Episode 107: Thirsty Nest and a Glacially Cool Factoid
Jacqueline Strum, Wine Enthusiast’s Director of New Business Development, gives us the 411 on the new Thirsty Nest Wine and Spirits Registry. We also learned a little about Glacier Wine, an upcoming book about wine from the French Alps, and other cool things on the wine horizon. Pour a fresh glass, click play, and thank you for joining us!
In Our Glasses:
Steph: “Leftover Villa Crespia “Novalia” Brut Franciacorta that we opened to celebrate our friend’s 75th birthday. This bottle is 100% Chardonnay and is remarkably youthful and fresh. A perfect bubbly for the friends and conversation. We had it with some traditional tomato basil bruschetta. I think I need to make haste and go get a case!”
Val: “This is the Ampeleia 2012, from Ampeleia, which is in Roccatederighi, located in the Grossetto province in the Maremma. The IGT denomination is Costa Toscana, and this wine is made from mostly Cabernet Franc, some Sangiovese, and “Mediterranean” varieties like Grenache, Carignan, Alicante and Mourvedre – this is what really makes these wines unique in this part of Italy. I actually got to visit this winery and the lovely town of Roccatederighi. Some pictures of this lovely part of Tuscany can be seen in the Vino With Val blog, http://www.vinowithval.com/2016/12/08/meandering-the-maremma/.”
Interview with Jacqueline Strum, Director of New Business Development for Wine Enthusiast, Founder of ThirstyNest
Jacki was literally born into the wine industry. Let’s just say she learned the difference between red and white wine glasses when Saved by the Bell was still airing new episodes — leading to an Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and a 15-year career in the wine & spirits industry. When she realized her background could help solve not only the problems she faced while planning her own wedding, but also a major pain point for thousands of other modern couples, the idea for ThirstyNest was born.
After a lifetime of fielding wine and spirits questions from friends, she can’t wait to be that one friend that knows all about booze — maybe too much — for all of ThirstyNest’s newlyweds. Needless to say, in the words of Jessie Spano, she’s so excited and she’s so scared.
The Thirsty Nest
ThirstyNest could be the newest thing in wedding registry. The website describes it as “… a Curated Wine and Spirits Registry for the Modern Couple … Because you already have a coffee maker.”
Jacki tells us how ThirstyNest came to be. While she was going through her own wedding day preparations she realized that she had run out of things to register for in terms of engagement, shower, and wedding gifts. Living in a 500 square foot New York apartment didn’t exactly allow space for china and vases – things many people don’t to accumulate when it comes to more modern lifestyles.
This concept of valuing experiences as opposed to “stuff” is not lost on millennials. Furthermore, the societal trend of marrying later in life plays into the reality that many people have already established households or are combining households by the time they marry. She mentioned, “…I could afford most things like plates, forks … we already had a nice coffee maker … we already had some cookware because, you know, I’m a grownup, I have to feed myself. So … I got to the point where this must be really common.” A lot of her friends were going through the same thing.
Reflecting on her time with Wine Enthusiast, where their collective fingers are on the pulse of trends in the wine and spirits world, she started to connect the dots. She says, “Wine is an experience in a bottle” that can be shared. The market comprising the largest wine consuming generation in history, the millennials, dovetails with trends toward craft cocktails, and premium experiences as opposed to accumulating stuff.
From tips to everything from creating a signature wedding cocktail, which is a thing now, to – according to this cute blog by Jacki – Why a Wine & Spirits Registry Should Be a Thing, the registration frustration stops here. And this is where the fun, in addition to your future as a couple, starts! Sommeliers, mixologists and other popular wine media personalities are creating one-click curated lists to make registration easy and fun.
The website goes live at the end of May 2017, but you can sign up now to stay in touch and be the first to hear about the launch!
You can also contact Jacqueline Strum and the ThirstyNest team at:
What is Glacier wine?
a) A place where you can buy wine & beer kits in Canada?
b) A wine rally on a glacier somewhere between Italy & Austria?
c) A heavily oxidized wine made from an obscure grape in Switzerland?
d) A Washington State Late Harvest Riesling by Randall Graham’s Pacific Rim winery made from Riesling?
e) All of the above?
Well, the answer is e) all of the above, but we’re going to to focus on c). However, here are the links to a) in case our Canadian friends want to check out Glacier Beer and Wine in Richmond, British Columbia. We’ve also linked up b), Val Senales Glacier Wine Rallye and ski resort goodness in Sud Tirol/Alto Adige, because it looks freaking cool (pun intended).
But let’s talk about c) because Val has a weird obsession with fringe wines, particularly those that are purposely oxidized or biologically matured (under flor). Think of wines not only like Sherry, Montilla-Morilles, the Vin Jaune of Jura, the Tibouren Rose’ of Provence.
Vin du Glacier, Gletscherwein or “Le Glacier” comes from the Valais region in Switzerland. MySwitzerland.com defines Glacier Wine as “The Sherry of Valais,” and is a tradition that goes back at least 400 years. It is aged in 500 liter larch or oak barrels for at least 10 to 20 years, but is aged in the fractional blending system similar to the Solera method of Jerez where the barrels always have wine in them, and newer wine is added each year in June. It’s called “Glacier Wine” because the wine is matured in an alpine setting. It should be noted that the wine is brought, traditionally, to the cellars via mules.
The grapes involved in this mythical, unicorn of a wine (not to be confused with last week’s unicorn of a frappuccino) are traditionally Rèze, which can be traced back to the 1300s, but is very rare now – although there is evidence of it in Jura and Savoie (Blanc de Maurienne). Humagne Blanche, Ermitage (Marsanne), Petite Arvine, Chasselas and Malvoise are now more commonly used.
The wine? It’s dry, like a fino sherry, but unlike sherry is not fortified. The wine also doesn’t form flor, as in fino Sherry or Vin Jaune that gives them their briny, acetaldehyde characteristics. A two inch tartar build-up lines many of the barrels, some of which date back to the 1800s. The larch wood of these barrels are believed to give the wine almost a pine or resinous taste, and of course you have the nutty, oxidative notes (these would be secondary notes, as a note, which come from the wine making process, as opposed to the tertiary notes from bottle aging we mentioned a couple of weeks ago).
Here’s the kicker – the wine is only available in Grimentz in the Val d’Anniviers, and it is never bottled. So how does that not make it a bucket list wine? Check out: www.vinsduvalais.ch or www.valdanniviers.ch for information on how to get your lips on some glacier wine, if you don’t know a local who can hook you up.
Speaking of fringe wine, and even the Rèze grape, Wink Lorch, author of Jura wine, is working on another cool book: Wines of the French Alps: Savoie, Bugey and beyond.
The above link goes to the Kickstarter program which ends 8 May.
One of our listeners, Ken Severson, raised $61,000 dollars for 2 local food banks here in Northern Colorado last week by organizing a wine dinner themed around the book “1001 Wines You Must Taste Before You Die”. This was Ken’s 6th year in a row putting on this event, and I am so proud to be a friend and supporter of Ken’s creative ideas that bring wine and fundraising together.
Ken collaborated the last 5 years with Chef/Owner Jason Shaeffer of Chimney Park Restaurant, and together, there isn’t anything they can’t do – food & wine wise!
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