[WINEMAKER SPOTLIGHT] Viña Mayu

Photo: Leslee Miller

You could say that Viña Mayu's destiny was written in the stars. 

Mauro Olivier grew up working in vineyards during summer breaks from school. So when the time came to start his own winery, he decided to make the most of the clear, arid conditions in Chile's Elqui Valley. In this desert valley, the days are hot and dry and the nights are fresh and cool. It is known for its crystal clear atmosphere, perfect for viewing the stars and the majesty of the solar system at night. The valley actually holds the worlds' majority of observatories.  In fact, the Elqui Valley is considered an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. So, in 2005, Olivier staked a winery in this magical region, calling it Mayu, the Incan word for "river of stars" (the Milky Way!).

Olivier tapped his cousin, Italian-born Giorgio Flessati (pictured above), to be Mayu's winemaker, and the two set out to make unique and delicious wines that take advantage of the Elqui Valley's extreme nature.  With over 320 days of sunshine...

[RECAP] What We Learned At A Virtual Wine + Cheese Party

Photo: Leslee Miller

One joy in the time of Corona Virus? Virtual wine classes!

Sip Better's sommelier, Leslee Miller, has been putting her wine education chops to work from the comfort of her own home. Through her consulting business, Amusée, Leslee has begun hosting live themed wine classes via Zoom, and the latest one turned into one big wine and cheese pairing party! Wine lovers from around the country tuned in on Saturday April 18th to discuss how to create a killer cheese and meat spread (see that beauty up above?), which wines to pair with which snacks, and more. I was there too! And here are three of my takeaways:

VARIETY IS KEY
Make sure your cheese(and meat) board reflects the spice of life: variety! Choose at least one cow's milk cheese (like Gruyère), one goat's milk (such as fresh chèvre), and one sheep's milk cheese (like Manchego). Not only do these different milks offer many pairing combinations and flavor profiles to explore, they also ensure that most of your dining mates will find...

For The Love Of Canned Wine

Photo: Nick Scheerbart via Unsplash

Hello from my house!

Isn't that where we all are during this COVID-19 pandemic? Inside of our houses?

One of the only true pleasures of these long days of self-isolation is that nature walks and moments outside are PLENTIFUL. Some of us can even see our friends and family by carefully meeting up with them in socially distant-safe spaces. Like the woods! Or a sprawling state park. A couple of lawn chairs in a big green space is the only way to party these days. 

And guess what! There's a canned wine for that situation. The intrepid and ever-inspiring Broc Cellars has made their Love Wines walkable.

Broc Cellars Love Wine boxes
[above photos by Vinnie Biskupic]

Winemaker Chris Brockway champions minimal intervention winemaking techniques and ethical farming practices, and his Love Wines are crafted to express this mission while also being super affordable. Gotta love a wine that makes your heart AND your wallet feel good, right? And now that Brockway's Love Red and Love White blends are available in cans, the...

The Pleasures of Low Alcohol Wine

Photo: Kelsey Curtis via Unsplash

When it comes to healthy living, wine--and alcohol in general--often doesn't fit into the picture. Whether you're counting calories or just trying to keep your alcohol consumption light, an abstract wine label can leave you wondering what the heck you're actually consuming and what it might mean for your health. Luckily, you really only need to know one thing: Alcohol content matters! When you see that little percentage on a wine label, pay attention. 

Alcohol content signals a few things. First of all, it's the primary way to decide whether or not a wine is high in calories. Because alcohol is produced with sugars (in wine's case, natural grape sugars), we know that wines with a larger alcohol content (15% +) may contain left over sugar (called residual sugar) because the yeast used in the fermentation process has been exhausted. Remember, yeast eats sugar--kind of like Ms. Pac-man--during the fermentation process, and the bioproduct is alcohol. Wines that contain this left over...

The Sip Better Gift Guide 2019

Photo: Superkitina

The holiday season can get a little hairy when you're worried about what to get alllll of those fine folks you love on your list! Let me help you cut through the clamor of consumerism--here are a few of my favorite things from 2019. Hopefully they inspire you to treat your favorite people (and wine lovers!) this Christmas and beyond!

AGATE CHEESE BOARD | Anthropologie

This pretty, sparkling serving board makes a stunning backdrop  to one of my personal favorite appetizers--cheese! And you know what plays well with cheese? Um, wine!

 

2020 PLANNER | Wit & Delight

I love a good notebook, and this sleek little planner has the bonus of helpful productivity and planning tools. Plus, Wit & Delight is a favorite blog and design house local to Minneapolis! 

A BOTTLE OF HAUS APERTIF | Haus

Haus makes delicious European-style apertifs made from only the best ingredients, like California wine grapes and other natural goodies. This is the liqeur that's been missing from your bar! It's also a...

The Sip Better wine club is all about

  • Truly awesome wines.
    No re-packaged bulk juice here!
  • Introducing you to new wines,
    hand-picked by me, just for YOU
  • Supporting boutique,
    family-owned wineries
  • Fun & Education! You'll become an
    expert with our videos and tips