Get to know Vineration wine scout Brian Seel in 7 questions.
What are your favorite varietals?
I love spicy reds and aromatic whites like Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Chenin Blanc, and Riesling. I can find a great wine from any category, but I personally love these varietals because most over-deliver on quality for the price.
How many wineries have you visited?
Nearest I can count: 230 total
Which wine clubs do you personally belong to?
Robert Young Estate, Williams Selyem, A Tribute to Grace, Carlisle, MacLaren
What is the greatest wine you’ve ever had?
I can’t name just one! Among my all-time favorites: 2012 Felton Road Block 5 Pinot Noir, 2008 Lindaflor Malbec, 2000 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Craggy Range Le Sol, 1979 Smith Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Lagier Meredith Syrah
What's the best food & wine pairing?
A dry or off-dry riesling with Thai curry is the ultimate pairing! The riesling's fruit flavors really complement the curry's kaffir lime, Thai basil, and coconut flavors. The wine's high acidity helps cut the spiciness and refreshes your palate.
Do you have a favorite wine memory?
One moment is really special: The grape stomping competition at the 2017 Sonoma Vintage Festival. Lindsay and I entered the competition when she was 5 weeks from Georgia's due date. The goal is to crush the most juice possible out of a barrel of grapes with your bare feet! We didn't win, but it was a quintessentially fun, local, and messy wine country experience.
What is the world's most beautiful vineyard?
Rippon Vineyard in Wanaka, New Zealand is astoundingly breathtaking. The winery is perched above the gentle sloping Tinker’s Field vineyard which rolls into the sapphire waters of the eponymous Lake Wanaka. The far side of the lake is bulwarked by the aptly named Minaret Peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park. The juxtaposition of sloped vineyard rows, shimmering lake, and snow-capped monoliths is a majestic formula which commands wonderment. It’s a place that any poet-laureate would dream of immortalizing in verse.
Other non-travel ramblings on wine and business.