Got Wine? with Jeff Burrows

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June 21, 2016~Ever walk the wine aisles of the store and wonder, “Which wine do I pick? Do I choose the more expensive one? Do I choose the one with the most points? Or do just select the one with the most interesting label and hope for the best?”  Well, if you have, then maybe you need a Wine Guru to help you along the way! And you are in luck, because our guest is just that. Jeff Burrows and his site are here to help you make the best choice next time you are grabbing a bottle of vino…no matter what the occasion.

OMG: Welcome to our site Jeff. Tell us, how did you become interested in wine?

JB: “I came to wine late. Until 2009, we were a 4-bottles-a-year wine family, I could never understand what all the fuss was about. Our old next door neighbors and good friends started a winery in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and released their first commercial vintage in 2009.  Of course we bought some, but whew, $35 a bottle! I had never spent more than $20 on a bottle of wine.  I decided I should learn to actually understand a little more about this whole wine appreciation thing. That was the day I fell down the rabbit hole into Wine Wonderland. Now we have wine at the dinner table every day and our recycling is filled with empty wine bottles. It’s never too late to start!”

OMG: Nothing wrong with being a late-bloomer! So falling down the rabbit hole must’ve been an incredible journey, because it lead you to creating, right?

JB: “Wine encouraged a rekindled interest in food and cooking, and I started taking photos of our creations. I took a food photography class, and students in the class challenged each other to have their blogs operational by the last class.  There’s nothing like a deadline to encourage action! became my platform to share a combined love of food, wine and beautiful photography with other enthusiasts. The blog has brought me new blogging friends and winegrower contacts all around the world.”

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Peter and Casey (Jeff’s kids) shucking their way to oysters and Champagne
OMG: That’s amazing, and you’ve had such great success in such a short amount of time! What does the future hold for the site?

JB: “My goal over the next year is to work on increasing my readership. I’ve always tried to focus on content, and I receive consistently good feedback, but I’m hoping I can find more people interested in following along.”

OMG: What do you hope your readers are gleaning from your site?

JB: “On a daily basis, I’d love for my readers to incorporate wine at the dinner table, enjoying a glass with nice meals, take-out, and even leftovers. I’d also love for my readers to become curious about new wine regions and especially about small wineries, especially those that are still family run.”

OMG: Well that is certainly what led our paths to cross!  I’m all about the small wineries. I was a wine consultant and we specialized in boutique wineries, (besides, living in Northern California I’m surrounded by them), so I totally get what you mean. Plus, a glass of wine makes just about any meal feel more special…even those left-overs you mentioned!

Okay, this is the time when I put you on the spot. If you could pick anywhere in the world, where would it be and which wine would you be tasting?

Jeff with the red hose – Pumpovers at iOTA Cellars

JB: “Would you allow me two stops on my trip?”

OMG:  What the heck, you only live once!  

JB: “I’m a big fan of Italian wines, so I’d go to the Piedmont and then jump down to Sicily.  We’ve visited the Piedmont several times and we have lots of friends now that we miss and would love to visit again and enjoy eating and drinking with them.  Of course, this would include Barolo and Barbaresco, but there are so many delicious wines from the region, we would want to enjoy them all!  Sicily is on my short list for a new region to visit, and I can hardly wait until we get the chance to go.  My first stop would be the region around Mt. Etna. The volcanic soils and high altitude combine to produce wines that I find simply irresistible. Plus, there’s the whole active volcano thing!”

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Nicola Oberto of Trediberri showing me the finer points of brix assessment by reflectometer in La Morra, Italy.

OMG: Yep, Italian wines are my very favorite too, and we love them from all different regions of Italy. We also love that we can purchase some incredible wines for next to nothing when we are there. In fact, I shouldn’t admit this, but I think we drink more wine than water when we are in Italy!

So tell us this Jeff, what are your FIVE current favorite picks under $25 & your current 5 favorites if price is no object?


Under $25 (Summer Edition)
Two Shepherds Grenache Blanc – William Allen is crafting excellent Rhone inspired wines in California. Every time I open one of his Grenache Blancs, I’m always struck how pretty it is.
Calera Central Coast Chardonnay – My favorite under $25 American Chardonnay. Elegant, lean but pretty Chardonnay.
Any Provençal rosé! – Perfect for warm summertime lunches, crisp, fruity, so refreshing
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso – Lighter body red wine, takes a bit of a chill nicely.  Not that well known, but in my experience, a crowd-pleaser.
Trediberri Langhe Nebbiolo or Barbera d’Alba – Nicola is a friend of ours and we love his wines, these are two excellent wines, very reasonably priced.

Sky’s the Limit

Domaine Morey-Coffinet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (5-10 years old) – I visited Thibault Morey last fall, totally in love with their wines.  A bit out of my usual price range, but memorable.
J.L.Chave Hermitage (at least 15 years old) – somehow, we lucked into a tour at Domaine J.L. Chave a couple of years ago. They were so nice and we love their wines. Their Hermitage is legendary, again out of our normal price range and an old one would be a treasure.
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo (at least 25 years old) – Classic old school Barolo maker, I’d love to enjoy a properly aged bottle.
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOC – legendary Veneto winegrower, at $600 a bottle for current vintage, I’ll never be able to afford one, but I sure would love to taste it!
Paolo Bea Montefalco Sagrantino Passito – I love all the Paolo Bea wines I’ve tasted.  This one would be a great dessert wine to finish the evening after all those amazing wines above!
OMG: Now THOSE sound like some great picks that should be on our vino radars for sure!!! Do you have anything on the radar for you right now?
JB: “Our French Winophiles blogging group will be sharing and chatting about Loire Valley Wines around Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume and Menetou-Salon. Look for #winophiles on twitter this week!”
OMG: Ooh la la, that sounds like a FUN discussion that all our wine loving friends and followers should catch!  They should also check out your site: to get your latest information and recommendations for everyone’s next bottle of vino! Thanks so much for joining us at Daytripper Magazine Jeff.
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Sciabola (saber) at work at Enoteca Al Nido della Cinciallegra in Neive, Italy
If you have any questions for our Wine Guru friend, Jeff Burrows, leave them below.
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About the author

Michele Giacomini

Daytripper Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Michele Giacomini, is a Lifestyles Writer and the author of Looking for B.O.B. (Brightsides of Bull$#!+). She writes about everything chocolate, wine, food, travel and shoes—for everything else, she just makes fun of it. You may follow her here at Daytripper Magazine, or
Twitter @MissOhEmGee
LinkedIn at: Olivia Michele Giacomini

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