“Fire on All Sides” – Mark Oldman Interviews Doug Boeschen About his Vineyards’ Remarkable Escape from the Vineyard Fires

Boeschen

Fire on all sides: this is what Boeschen Vineyards winemaker and cofounder Doug Boeschen saw as flames threatened his Napa winery. Join me Thurs, Oct 22 7 pm ET/ 4pm PT for an interview and virtual tasting with Doug Boeschen about his winery’s remarkable escape from destruction and how he and his fellow winemakers are surviving the terrible fires. The event is FREE but seats are limited. Register here. (We will definitely be raising a glass to the brave first responders).

Embers fly from a tree as the Glass Fire burns at Boeschen Vineyards in St. Helena, Calif. The photograph made it around the world in the international press and became a symbol of the terrible Napa fires.

Wine Globe Being Finished: a Mark Oldman collaboration with Bellerby Globemakers

wine globe
“With geography and travel so critical to wine appreciation, why isn’t there a high-quality wine globe,” I asked myself a few years ago.
After contacting the world’s finest globemakers, Bellerby & Co., and visiting its remarkable London studio last summer, I partnered with them to create the first-ever globe of the world’s wine regions. 🍷 🌎  It is the culmination of 15 months of laborious research. All of the world’s major wine regions are represented, including appellations and districts in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the United States, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Portugal, New Zealand, Uruguay, Croatia, Georgia, and others. Based on my quarter century of writing and speaking on wine, it also includes “Oldman’s Icons,” a listing of the most iconic wine producers in the world.
Above is a photo of my prototype being (hand)made today in London. Our beautiful vinous globe will soon be available to order and will make an unparalleled gift for wine connoisseurs, especially in this era of Covid-curtailed travel. For inquiries, please email Alf (alf@markoldman.com). Stay tuned for updates.

Cameron Diaz’s “Clean Wine” Stumbles in “War of the White Wines”; Sting and Dave Matthews Score Big

Cameron Diaz is a beloved A-lister but her newly released white wine doesn’t quite match her golden reputation, a survey of celebrity wines found.

Cameron Diaz’s “clean wine” was voted least favorite (14%) of the celebrity white wines, while musicians Sting and Dave Matthews triumphed – tying for top spot, the survey found.

With celebrity wines gaining plenty of attention of late, wine expert and author Mark Oldman wanted to determine which star’s beverage was the best, and hosted the first ever virtual “Celebrity White Wine Showdown”.

‘One of the most interesting findings was that almost everyone (88%) agreed that celebrities should not call themselves “winemakers,” said Oldman. “That is a title best left to trained professionals,” Oldman said.

With 386 households logged in via Zoom, Oldman instructed the group on how to evaluate white wine and then presented the contenders. Under scrutiny were five celebrity white wines by Dave Matthews, Zac Brown, Cameron Diaz, Lisa Vanderpump, and Sting. (Drew Barrymore’s Carmel Road Chardonnay was disqualified before the event as the actress is no longer associated with the label.) Attendees purchased the wines in advance of the tasting.

The competition comes on the heels of Oldman’s “Celebrity Rosé Deathmatch,” in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s wine was voted top rosé.

The results for best celebrity wine white were as follows:

1] tie) The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay 2018 (Dave Matthews)  (co-winner) (26%)

1] tie) Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Bianco 2018 (Sting) (co-winner) (26%)

3] Vanderpump Chardonnay 2018 (Lisa Vanderpump) (20%)

4] Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Chardonnay 2017 (Zac Brown) (16%)

5] Avaline White Blend (Cameron Diaz) (14%)

The survey also revealed:

  • 90% said they are no more likely to buy a wine advertised as “clean” but 56% believe that wines should disclose more information on their labels
  • Only 23% of respondents think celebrities drink their own wine “often”

The next celebrity wine competition happens this Wednesday (August 26th, 8pm ET), when Oldman hosts the “Celebrity War of the Sparkling Wines” in which Christie Brinkley, Isiah Thomas, Francis Ford Coppola, Giuliana Rancic, John Legend, and Drake (aka “Champagne Papi”) compete for sparkling supremacy, Free registration is here:

For full survey results, please see below.

                                 Celebrity White Showdown: Full Results

Poll: August 18, 2020

Via: Zoom Polling

Respondents: 386 households

 

1.Which wine was most delicious/tasted the best?

1] tie The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay 2018 (Dave Matthews) (26%) co-winner

1] tie Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Bianco 2018 (Sting & Trudie Styler) (26%) co-winner

3] Vanderpump Chardonnay 2018 (Lisa Vanderpump) (20%)

4] Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Chardonnay 2017 (Zac Brown) (16%)

5] Avaline White Blend (Cameron Diaz) (14%)

 

2. Which wine had the best label/packaging?

1] The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay 2018 (Dave Matthews) (37%) winner

2] Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Chardonnay 2017 (Zac Brown) (21%)

3] tie) Avaline White Blend (Cameron Diaz) (16%)

3] tie) Vanderpump Chardonnay 2018 (Lisa Vanderpump) (16%)

5] Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Bianco 2018 (Sting & Trudie Styler) (9%)

 

3. Does it matter to you if a wine calls itself “clean”? Are you more likely to buy it?

Yes (10%)

No (90%)

 

4. Do wines need to disclose more on their labels beyond sulfites (e.g., additives like lactic acid, sugar)?

Yes (56%)

No (44%)

 

5. How much do you think celebrities drink their own wine?

A lot (23%)

A little (60%)

Never (7%)

 

6. Should a (non-formally-trained) celebrity who has his/her own wine be able to call themselves a “winemaker”

Yes (12%)

No (88%)

Wine Fraud: Rudy Kurniawan Saga with Author Peter Hellman

wine fraud

Wine fraud is an ever-increasing problem for winemakers and wine lovers. And it often goes undetected. To quote Peter Hellman’s In Vino Duplicitas, “A good con man never takes your money. Instead, you thrust it into his hands.” ⚠️

Be sure to register for my FREE virtual event (THIS Tuesday, 8pm ET) with Peter, who covered the Rudy Kurniawan saga from the very beginning for Wine Spectator and published the award-winning book, In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire (Workman Publishing/The Experiment). We will get into the mind of the most notorious forger 💀 in wine history and learn the inside scoop on Hellman’s extensive research. And Peter will share some rare primary materials relating to the Kurniawan affair. I’ll also reveal a bottle of “Rudy wine” that I personally tasted.

If you’d like, sip along with a special wine (just make sure it is the real thing). Register for this FREE virtual wine tasting here.

In Vino Duplicitas is the best account of fraudster Rudy Kurniawan to date. Riveting, deftly-researched, entertaining, it’s a page-turner that reveals all sorts of new details about the largest wine fraud in history. Purchase it here

And I write about wine fraud and one of the Rudy bottles I’ve had in this piece for Bloomberg Pursuits.

See all of my upcoming virtual wine tastings here.

 

 

Celebrity Wine: Brad Pitt’s Rosé Triumphs in “War of the Rosés”

celebrity wine

With the height of rosé season upon us and celebrity wines flooding the marketplace, this week I hosted a virtual “Celebrity Rosé Deathmatch” to determine which celebrity rosés were worthy of the vinous A-list.

With 471 households logged in via Zoom, I instructed the group on how to evaluate rosé wine and then presented the seven contenders. Under scrutiny were the pink drinks by Pitt & Jolie, John Legend, Francis Ford Coppola, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, and Post Malone. Attendees purchased the wines in advance of the tasting.

Participants voted through Zoom’s online polling system, and the results were as follows:

1] Miraval Rosé 2019 (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) (29%) (winner)

2] tie) Hampton Water Rosé 2019 (Bon Jovi) (20%)

2] tie) LVE Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018 (John Legend) (20%)

4] tie) Maison No. 9 Rosé 2019 (16%) (Post Malone) (16%)

4] tie) Sofia Rosé 2019 (Francis Ford Coppola) (16%)

6] Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019 (Mary J Blige) (8%)

7] Invivo X Rosé 2019 (Sarah Jessica Parker) (7%)

The Miraval was prized for its zesty, delicate personality and notes of red berry, melon, and tangerine. One could argue that this gorgeous rosé is one of the best things to come out of Brangelina’s marriage. Jon Bon Jovi and John Legend’s pink rosé also fared well in the competition.

I also asked participants to vote for the best rosé packaging. Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia Rosé, named for Coppola’s movie-director daughter, won the day with its long, bowling-pin bottle shape and floral label. Close behind were the squat, cognac-shaped designs of John Legend and Pitt & Jolie. Also performing well was the slender, bat-shaped bottle and gothic design from relative upstart Post Malone.

1] Sofia Rosé 2019 (Francis Ford Coppola) (24%) (winner)

2] tie) LVE Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018  (21%) (John Legend)

2] tie) Maison No. 9 Rosé 2019 (Post Malone) (21%)

2] tie) Miraval Rosé 2019 (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) (21%)

5] Hampton Water Rosé 2019 (Bon Jovi) (16%)

6] Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019 (Mary J Blige) (11%)

7] Invivo X Rosé 2019 (Sarah Jessica Parker) (3%)

Despite some experts’ disdain for celebrity wine, all of these rosés had charm and refreshment value, even the ones ranked lower.

The next celebrity wine tasting happens on August 18th, when I hosts a “Celebrity White Wine Showdown” in which the white wines of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Dave Matthews, Sting, Lisa Vanderpump, and Zac Brown will battle it out for supremacy.

Next week, on August 11th, I also host “Mind of a Wine Fraudster” with Peter Hellman, author of the award-winning In Vino Duplicitas. We will discuss Hellman’s research into the motivations behind the crimes of notorious wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan

These virtual tastings are free to those who register. To sign up or to see a full listing of virtual wine tastings, please visit this page.