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Wanda Mann
New York City
I am a native New Yorker with a passion for travel, food & wine, and little black dresses!
Recent Activity
Cristian Rimoldi, Export Director, Champagne Delamotte The 2021 season of Wine With Wanda on Instagram Live kicked off on a sparkling note with Champagne Delamotte. My special guest was the House's export director, Cristian Rimoldi. Founded in Reims in 1760, at more than 250 years old, Delamotte is the fifth oldest house in Champagne. Watch our chat on IGTV, YouTube, or by clicking the video below. In addition to discussing Delamotte's rich history, Cristian shared his personal and professional journey from the Argentinian Pampa to France. During out chat, we tasted Champagne Delamotte Blanc de Blancs NV ($90.99) and Champagne... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at Wine With Wanda
“The wine is a very real metaphor for the favorite people in our lives—bold, layered, interesting, confident with gentle, soft edges.” Christi & Dave Ficeli, founders of C. Elizabeth image courtesy of C. Elizabeth Strong women and the power of love inspired the creation of C. Elizabeth Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2002, Christi and Dave Ficeli were newly engaged lovebirds and enjoying a quiet night out in Napa. As the conversation turned towards their future, Christi and Dave determined that wine would be an integral part of the life they were building together. "We decided to create a wine that reflected... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2021 at Wine With Wanda
I jokingly call the Pasqua brothers the “Bad Boys of Verona." In reality, Alessandro and Riccardo are absolute gentlemen, but they do love to shake things up. Many people in the wine world talk about experimentation and innovation, but the Pasquas actually do it. Their cheekily named wine, Hey French, You Could Have Made This But You Didn’t ($40), is a perfect example of their wicked sense of humor and commitment to crafting fine wine. A blend of mostly Garganega, rounded out with Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon, Hey French is a multi-vintage wine and combines 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2021 at Wine With Wanda
When that Riesling feeling hits, no other sip will do. I recently opened a beautiful bottle produced by a 9th generation family winery in Alsace: Domaine Sipp Mack Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2015 ($49). Located in the northeast of France, Alsace is one of the world’s most geologically diverse wine regions. 13 distinct soil types have been identified in Alsace and each imparts a distinct fingerprint on the flavor of the wines. The grapes for Domaine Sipp Mack Riesling grew in limestone soil, which imbues the wines with vibrant lemony flavors and snappy minerality. This is a dry Riesling but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2021 at Wine With Wanda
2021 has finally arrived, and it’s a new year like no other. Let’s face it; the world remains in turmoil, and people are suffering. I’m approaching this new chapter with cautious optimism, and I look forward to the day that we can hug, travel, and spend time together again. These long months of social distancing have not been easy, but time at home has also been a blessing. Time to read, relax, and just be still. Time to really think about my life and the people in it. Long phone chats and Zoom happy hours have strengthened my relationships with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2021 at Wine With Wanda
When exploring wines, José Rallo, CEO and Co-Owner of Donnafugata encourages everyone to "Discover Sicily. Trust Sicily. You'll be in Sicily with just a sip!" For the season finale of Wine With Wanda on Instagram Live, I wished for a vibrant, charming, and clever guest, who also makes beautiful wine. 5th generation vintner José Rallo was the obvious choice. CEO & co-owner of the award-winning Sicilian winery Donnafugata, José is a savvy businesswoman with the soul of an artist. When José is described as the face and voice of Donnafugata, they really mean it. A talented vocalist, José believes in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Dynamic is an inadequate descriptor for 4th generation vintner Dr. Laura Catena, Managing Director of Bodega Catena Zapata in Mendoza, Argentina. Known across the globe as one of the most compelling champions of Argentine wines, Laura is also a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Medical School. For many years, Laura balanced her demanding career as a physician with guiding her family's celebrated winery to greater heights. Bodega Catena Zapata's La Pirámide winery in Mendoza. image courtesy of Catena Zapata Malbec may seem ubiquitous now, but during our recent Instagram Live chat Laura shared the challenges she faced in the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
"Wine, just as a guitar, requires discipline and care, and above all a sensitive soul to interpret them.” Marcelo Pelleriti, winemaker, Bodega Monteviejo I suspected that my Instagram Live chat with Marcelo Pelleriti would be no ordinary virtual wine tasting, but I certainly didn't expect it to end with a live guitar and vocal performance. He's going to be a tough act to follow. I'm still smiling. A true renaissance man, Marcelo is not only one of Argentina's most celebrated winemakers, he's made a name for himself in France too. Marcelo makes wine in both countries, and his 2010 Château... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Jesús Artajona Serrano has been the winemaker at ENATE since it was founded in 1992. Traveling by trains, planes, and automobiles may be a risky proposition in this age of social distancing, but you can still explore the world through wine. I recently took a joyful journey to Somontano, Spain, with ENATE winemaker Jesús Artajona Serrano on Instagram Live. image courtesy of Bodega ENATE Somontano is located in northeastern Spain, south of the Pyrenees, on the natural border with France. I first visited Somontano in 2017 and have been there three times; I fell in love with the wines, the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
image courtesy of Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery "I strongly believe in the Russian River Valley's capacity to consistently produce world class wines. The key is cool breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean blanket." -Theresa Heredia, Winemaker, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery When does a wine cross the threshold from being good to very good, or even great? I don't seek perfection in wines because I'm not certain it exists. And let's be honest, barring technical flaws that render a wine undrinkable, perfect wines, just like self-righteous people, can be a bit boring. For me, a wine goes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Enrique Tirado, Winemaker, Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon image courtesy of Viña Don Melchor With so much turmoil in the world, I am grateful that I get to escape for a bit and travel virtually through wine. I don't take it for granted. I recently had the pleasure of tasting on Instagram Live with the esteemed and extremely talented Enrique Tirado, winemaker for Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon (Puente Alto Vineyard, Chile). When I met Enrique last year, the world was a very different place. Thank goodness for the elegant consistency of Don Melchor. First created in 1987, the second vintage of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Daniel Pi, Chief Winemaker, Trapiche image courtesy of Trapiche Whenever someone asks what sparked my interest in wine and led me on my current path as a chronicler and enthusiastic student of fermented grapes, I confess that I struggle to offer a short and simple answer. Like many of us, a collection of past experiences shaped my current reality. But if I have to pinpoint one moment that gave me a firm push towards wine, it was meeting winemaker Daniel Pi of Trapiche in 2009. That fateful day marked the first time I sat with a winemaker and tasted wines... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
image courtesy of Talbott Vineyards Even domestic travel is a dodgy venture these days, so I was thrilled to participate in a virtual wine journey to California’s Santa Lucia Highlands courtesy of Talbott Vineyards. Santa Lucia Highlands may not yet have the global name recognition of some other Golden State appellations, but it is home to some very impressive wineries, and Talbott is one of the most iconic. Located in California’s Central Coast in the east-facing terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range and south of Monterey Bay, wine grapes were first planted in the Santa Lucia Highlands in the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Amelie Derrieux-Sable, Director of Marketing, Champagne Henriot I’m still smiling after my sparkling Instagram Live conversation with Amelie Derrieux‑Sable​, Director of Marketing for Champagne Henriot. Known for their distinctive Chardonnay driven style, Champagne Henriot was founded in Reims in 1808 and is one of the few remaining family-owned houses in Champagne. Watch our chat and tasting by clicking the video above, on Instagram, or YouTube. We started off with their flagship Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs ($65). Aged for 4 years on the lees, it is an elegant expression of Chardonnay that sashays across the palate with delicate bubbles, crisp... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Carmenere grapes image courtesy Wines of Chile Carmenere’s dramatic back story always reminds me of a telenovela heroine that lived in the shadows until her true noble identity was revealed. Long mistaken for Merlot, Carmenere arrived in Chile in the 1800’s with other Bordeaux varieties. In 1867, that dastardly louse known as Phylloxera wiped out most of Bordeaux’s vineyards, including Carmenere. Meanwhile, Carmenere was secretly thriving in Chile. After years of obscurity, Carmenere was finally correctly identified in 1994, and the course of Chilean winemaking was forever changed. Now known throughout the world as Chile's signature wine, the quality of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Isabel Galindo, winemaker for Las Moradas de San Martín My recent Instagram Live chat with Isabel Galindo, winemaker for Las Moradas de San Martín, inspired me to give her a nickname: La Reina de Garnacha (Queen of Garnacha.) Isabel makes Garnacha that sings in the glass. There's nothing generic about the wines of Las Moradas. Made from old-vine Garnacha, with some vines more than 100-years-old, the wines of Las Moradas tell a story of terroir and winemaking that respects nature. Located just one hour from Madrid, Las Moradas is an oasis that feels a world away from the hustle and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
The silver screen's most famous spy may be best known for the specific way he orders his Martinis, but James Bond, aka 007, is also a fan of bubbly, specifically Champagne Bollinger. Bollinger and Bond have been linked together since Roger Moore ordered it in 1973's Live and Let Die. Bolly, as the Brits affectionately call Bollinger, has been featured in 14 Bond films. And believe it or not, there has never been a formal agreement or exchange of money between Bollinger and the producers of Bond; the deal was sealed with a handshake in 1979 and has been honored... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
One of the many reasons I love Sangiovese is how beautifully it expresses the diverse terroirs of Tuscany. Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Brunello di Montalcino may be Tuscany’s best-known Sangiovese-based wines, but Vino Nobile di Montepulciano also has a rich history and authentic sense of place. Contucci's vineyards in Montepulciano image courtesy of Contucci I recently tasted Contucci Rosso di Montepulciano 2018 DOC ($29.99) and Contucci Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015 DOCG ($39.99). If you’re not too familiar with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Contucci is a lovely introduction. The Contucci family is one of the oldest in Montepulciano; their roots... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
There's more than one way to sparkle! The next time you're craving a glass of bubbly, pop the cork on a bottle of Rotari Trentodoc. Crafted from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes grown in steeply terraced vineyards from Trentino's valleys and hills in the heart of the Dolomites, Rotari is an elegant expression of the Italian Alps. Produced using the Metodo Classico, the bubbles in Rotari, and all Trentodoc, are created by a second fermentation in the bottle. Rotari Brut Trentodoc 2014 ($19.99) is the perfect introduction to the Rotari style. Crisp and refreshing, the essence of Chardonnay shines through... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Michael Accurso, winemaker, EnRoute image courtesy of EnRoute During my recent Instagram Live chat with EnRoute winemaker Michael Accurso, I discovered that his passion for Pinot Noir is only rivaled by his great sense of humor and love of cooking. That certainly makes sense: if he hadn't become a winemaker, Michael considered careers as a professional chef or comedian! But don't let his easygoing nature fool you; Michael is a precise and serious winemaker. Founded in 2007 by the partners of Far Niente winery in Napa Valley, EnRoute is committed to crafting wines that express the essence of Pinot Noir... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
If you're a fan of sparkling wines, it's time to pop the cork on a bottle of Méthode Cap Classique from South Africa. Made in the same precise and labor-intensive method as Champagne, the bubbles in Cap Classique wines are also created by a second fermentation in the bottle. However, don't think of Cap Classique as an imitation of Champagne; the process is the same, but these wines are an expression of South African terroir. And the wines of Graham Beck are an authentic introduction to the charms of Méthode Cap Classique. image courtesy of Graham Beck Founded in 1983... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Vineyards at Fattoria di Magliano, in the heart of Tuscany's Maremma region. Maybe I should have consulted a psychic or given a crystal ball a vigorous shake? I certainly would have benefitted from some forewarning that my October 2019 journey to the Maremma region of Tuscany would be my last trip abroad for the foreseeable future. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep much of the world on lockdown, memories of past journeys are more precious than ever. Who knows when I'll travel overseas again, but I feel fortunate that the wines, landscapes, and people of Maremma are seared in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
image courtesy of Early Mountain Believe it or not, every state in the USA makes wine, even Alaska! California accounts for about 85% of American wine production, and while other states can't match their quantities, many are also producing world-class wines, including Virginia. If you've never tasted a wine from Virginia, I encourage you to start with some sensational sips from Early Mountain. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Early Mountain's 300-acre property is planted with 55-acres of vineyards. They craft their wines with diverse grape varieties, including Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malvasia Bianca, Sauvignon Blanc, and Tannat.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Times have dramatically changed since I started blogging twelve years ago. Newer social media platforms like Instagram have fostered a vibrant and influential wine community. Surely, I'm not the only one that spends too much time scrolling through photos of beautiful vineyards and mouthwatering wines. In addition to my Instagram Live interview series, I frequently post wine reviews on Instagram and thought it would be great to start sharing reviews of the standout wines here on the blog. Shannon, Robin, and Erin Lail I recently tasted two superb wines from Lail Vineyards in Napa Valley - Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc 2018... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2020 at Wine With Wanda
Savennières, Loire Valley image courtesy of Loire Valley Wines Like many of you, it's been at least six months since I've traveled beyond my hometown's borders. Hopping a flight for a wine-centric journey fuels my daydreams, but I'm continuing to explore the world through wine. Recently, I took a virtual journey to the Loire Valley with three charming Chenin Blanc wines. Known as the Garden of France, the Loire Valley is France's leading producer of white wines, and the indigenous Chenin Blanc grape is the heart and soul of many of these wines. Because of its natural acidity and fruitiness,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2020 at Wine With Wanda