When it comes to wine learning, most of us feel like Ruth from Ozark.
The sooner you can admit this to yourself, the better off you’ll be. Because the wine world is far too big to ever feel like you know it entirely. I talked a little about this weeks ago when explaining the wine learning spectrum.
In short, the more you learn, the more uncertainty you feel. And I think that’s probably why we get stuck when trying to gain wine knowledge.
But, there’s perhaps one person who knows more than most.
Enter the grape Jedi: Carole Meredith.
If you don’t know Carole by name, you might recognize her from this clip from Somm: Into The Bottle.
Carole is exactly what the wine world needs. She’s a wine scientist. To borrow her words, she’s the balancing force against bullsh*t.
I’m working on a larger piece about Carole, but here’s what you need to know today.
- Carole and others pioneered DNA prototyping of wines at UC Davis.
- Their work allowed us to discover the parent grape varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc)
- They also discovered that Zinfandel and Primitivo are genetically identical.
- Now, she makes incredible wines on Mt. Veeder with her husband under the label Lagier Meredith.
If you love Carole, like me, here’s some great interviews from the research I’ve been doing:
- Video Interview with Karen MacNeil
- New York Times article from 1999
- GuildSomm Interview from 2011
- Interview from San Francisco Wine School
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Carole at Premiere Napa Valley some years back. She’s as cool, unassuming, and thoughtful as you might expect. As I sipped her delicious wines and absorbed her every word, I let slip that I was a huge fan.
As soon as she knew she had a wine geek in front of her, she went full scientist and schooled me on Tribidrag—the original name of Zinfandel dating back to the early 1500s. COOLEST. DAY. EVER.
If you’re interested in learning more about Carole, reply to this email. I have lots more links and articles to share.
So, in the spirit of last week and label deceit, keep your wine B.S. detectors on high alert. Carole will be proud.
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