Wine blogger Bill Eyer reviews 300 wines a year, but he tastes thousands from Bordeaux to Napa. Ever since he launched his blog, Cuvee Corner, in 2008, Eyer dropped his day job in retail sales to hit the world's most celebrated wine regions. As the Chula Vista resident's palate evolved, so has his preference for wines from the Old World and particularly Tuscany, where he visited in 2009 and fell in love with the wine culture.
That hasn't stopped him from singing the praises of wineries closer to home, such as Harney Lane in Lodi, where he recently spent a week uncovering old vines and tasting his way through the region. Eyer is currently a finalist in two contests: the American Wine Blog Awards, where he is up for best wine reviews, and the DaVinci Wines (a cooperative of 200 growers) Storyteller Experience, which is open to artists, bloggers, photographers and anyone else who can capture the essence of Chianti's home. Find out why at http://cuveecorner.blogspot.com.
First encounter: "My aha moment came when my then-fiancé took me to Napa in 2002. We went to V. Sattui, and (owner) Dario Sattui was in the tasting room that day. He was the nicest guy ever, and we had no idea who he was. It was the experience I had there, and then the taste of Opus One when we went over to that winery, that sealed the deal. The scales fell from my eyes when I tasted that 1999 Opus One."
Latest discovery: Taurasi wines from Italy's Campania. They're so unique, because all the vineyards there are grown on volcanic soil, so you get that smoky campfire flavor. Most of the wines are based on the aglianico grape. They're big and heavy, and the tannins are huge. And they're a great value."
Tuesday night pairing: "Chianti Classico Reserva and pizza. The tannins in a high-quality Chianti are so dry and the acid so high, it really helps you cut through the high levels of mozzarella in use."
-- J. Yadegaran, Staff