At the beginning of setting up PTC, we received an email from over the water from Nancy and Peter of Pull That Cork. Since then we have both been in regular contact and we thought it would be nice to present them to the UK because they have a cracking blog and Instagram account that you need to be following! their story and travels are real, and really represent what we are all about. Below is a small intro into who they are and what they’re all about.
How did you get started in wine blogging and why did you set-up Pull That Cork?
In 2010 Nancy and I had the idea to start a wine blog one evening while on vacation in Scottsdale, Arizona. We were in a restaurant that, at the time, served wine made exclusively in Arizona. We thought that was interesting. We didn’t have any idea about other wine blogs but thought it would be fun to share stories about the places we went and the wines we discovered.
What is your favourite winemaking style?
Our favourite style has evolved over the years as we learned more about wine and tasted a broader selection of wine. We particularly appreciate wines made with organically or biodynamically-grown grapes. We enjoy cool-climate wines with little obvious oak influence, natural wines and orange wines in particular. They can be a bit funky sometimes, but also excellent. We recently enjoyed an excellent orange wine by winemaker Gogi Dakashvilli from the Republic of Georgia. That said, we love white and red Bordeaux as well.
What is your favourite varietal and why?
We have different favourites, which keeps things interesting. Nancy’s favourite is Pinot Noir because, when it’s good, it can be weightless and complex at the same time. Nancy also has an appreciation for white wines from around the world. I don’t have a favourite variety but tend to choose Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay in the summer. A nice Cattaratto or Grillo from Sicily is right up there too. We both love rosé from around the world and drink rosé all year long. For red wine, I love a really nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc, but we had a great Blaufrancish recently too. We try to taste many unusual or obscure wines so that it makes it difficult to choose a favourite. Just had a great skin contact Grillo last week.
Do you drink sustainably produced wines and if so what are your views?
We always look for a seal of sustainability on the wines we purchase. If they are organic or biodynamic, that is even better. We frequent a wine bar in Santa Barbara, California when visiting that only serves organic and biodynamic wines. We believe that fewer potentially harmful chemicals in the vineyard is better for the vineyard workers, the environment and ultimately the wine we consume. Our experience has been that winemakers using organic/biodynamic grapes, in particular, make wines with minimal intervention in the cellar too, which we appreciate in the glass.
What is one of the hardest things in writing about wines that you find with Pull That Cork?
The most difficult thing is to adequately describe what we taste. We try to keep our tasting notes relatively brief using descriptors most tasters will recognize. We also recognize that taste is very subjective and not all wine drinkers appreciate the same style of wine. We try to describe what we taste without making a judgement as to whether it is our personal style or not.
There are a couple of things that sometimes make it difficult. Maybe the wine isn’t that good to us but we have to recognize that for many people their taste is different and they love the wine. We have to look at the wine from their perspective and just describe the wine without making a judgment.
Sometimes a wine just doesn’t have a good story behind it so you have to do the best you an to come up with some good copy.
What is the most rewarding thing about writing about wine?
That has changed over time. Initially, in addition to the wines we discovered while travelling, we wrote about the wines we tasted at a local wine shop every week. We realized that other tasters who couldn’t attend the tastings looked for our blog posts to see what they missed. That was rewarding.
Eventually, we began to receive sample wines from wineries and public relations companies that enabled us to share wines from around the world with our readers. That has been rewarding and educational.
These experiences have opened our minds, and palates, to different styles of wines from around the world. Now, when we travel, we always look for local wine and enjoy sharing those wines with our readers. In addition to wines from several US states, we have discovered wine in expected places like Canada, Sicily and South Africa, but also in unexpected countries like Zimbabwe and Namibia. Hearing the enthusiastic accounts of winemakers and sharing them with our readers has been very rewarding.
When we first started writing we weren’t looking very far ahead or really know much about how blogging worked. At that time when all of a sudden we started receiving free wine samples, that was quite rewarding. Now we get too many samples but it is rewarding to know we are recognized by so many in the industry.
I would say what is most rewarding now is how writing about wine has opened our minds to all the different varietals and countries making wine. Now we always combine finding new wines with our trips. I don’t know how many states in the USA we have had wine from, but many. When we were in Zimbabwe we bought wine from grapes grown and vinified in Zimbabwe. We have visited wineries in Namibia, South Africa, Sicily and other countries.
To get more of an idea of their travels, please sign up to their blog here: pullthatcork.com