Published on September 7th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz


20 Interesting Wine-Related Discoveries For September 2021

Summer 2021 is now almost over with the warmer months of 2021 still in full effect. While 2021 has already proven to be another difficult year for many, it has produced plenty of interesting new wines and wine-industry developments. In turn, below are 20 product recommendations and/or interesting vineyard-related news items that are keeping things interesting for wine enthusiasts.

Portugal’s Vinho Verde Region

While many people are familiar with the simple, light, easy-drinking white wines of Vinho Verde, this region also produces wines that are more full-bodied with more depth and complexity. These high-quality wines are unique and make a great pairing for a variety of dishes, yet are affordable, and can be enjoyed throughout the warm summer months and beyond. They can also age quite well. Alvarinho is the predominant grape variety in the white wines of the region, with a number of other native grapes (e.g. Arinto, Loureiro) used in the production of Vinho Verde white wines. In addition to the whites, the Vinho Verde region even produces rosés and reds.

The young, white Vinho Verde wines have a citrus or straw color and rich, fruity and floral aromas, as depending on the grape varieties used. In the mouth, these wines are generally-harmonious, intense and refreshing. Aged Vinho Verde wines are golden in color, with aromas of honey and ripe fruit, like a quince. In the mouth, they have more complexity and structure, resulting in a rounder, fuller and more persistent wine. A highly-recommended wine region to experience if you are not already on-board with Vinho Verde’s finest.

Hallmark Channel Wine Club

Hallmark Channel, as owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc., is Crown Media Family Networks’ flagship 24-hour cable television network. As the country’s leading destination for quality family entertainment, Hallmark Channel delivers on the 100-year legacy of the Hallmark brand. The network features an ambitious lineup of original content, including movies, scripted primetime series, and a lifestyle show, Home & Family. Additionally, Hallmark Channel is the exclusive home to world premiere presentations of the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise. Rounding out the network’s slate are some of television’s most beloved comedies and series, including The Golden Girls and Frasier.

Recently it was announced that the Hallmark Channel is creating a new way for people to enjoy life’s special moments with the debut of the new Hallmark Channel Wine Club. Created in collaboration with lifestyle wine company Wines That Rock, the Hallmark Channel Wine Club features a series of Special Reserve wines shipped 4 times a year exclusively for Wine Club Members. The Club’s first release, which began shipping this month, is Autumn Dreams (a special Reserve Pinot Noir with notes of boysenberry pie and ripe cherries). For its Winter Wine Club selection, the club will feature Snow Kissed (a Special Reserve Zinfandel with notes of blackberries and delicious plums). Per Danielle Mullin, SVP, Brand Marketing of Crown Media Family Networks: “By joining the Hallmark Channel Wine Club, members will receive exciting new wines created exclusively for the Club and enjoy some impressive member benefits including bonus bottle(s), shipping discounts and special offers, wine tastings with the winemakers, a free month of Hallmark Movies Now, and other unique benefits like Hallmark Channel DVDs, Hallmark Publishing eBooks and audiobooks, Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, and more.” The Hallmark Channel Wine Club is offered in 3, 6 and 12-bottle options, each shipped quarterly to your doorstep.

Kind Of Wild Wine

Kind Of Wild is an idea from brothers Adam and Jordan Sager who have been importing, introducing and creating highly successful certified organic wines for decades with their family importing company Winesellers, Ltd. In turn, they have almost 50 years of combined experience working in the wine industry and understanding consumer preferences and trends. The brothers use their unique skills and relationships to discover amazing new organic winegrowers to partner with and create new wines, while also doing great things for our planet.

Another reason the brand is different than the others is that it pledges to donate at least 1 percent of revenue to partner foundations and environmental organizations that support organic and regenerative farming, including Kiss The Ground and Organic Farming Research Foundation. Thus, you have organic, vegan-friendly wines from a label which is truly helping to make the world a better place.

Dog Point Winery

Dog Point wines are hand-crafted and handpicked from estate fruit grown on some of the oldest vines and best sites in Marlborough, New Zealand; some of these plantings date back to the 1970s. The name “Dog Point” itself dates back to the earliest European settlement of Marlborough, when boundary-keeping dogs were employed to protect the local flocks of sheep. Wandering shepherd’s dogs roamed the region and thus the area was named Dog Point. Today, there is a friendly pack of dogs on-site at the winery that greet guests at the vineyard.

Its Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2019 carries a suggested retail price of $25.00 and has become an icon within its category. It is a stainless steel Sauvignon Blanc that pulsates with energy, expressiveness and complexity, pushing the boundaries of what you may expect from Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It is a pure, citrus-driven Sauvignon with subtle tones of pear and white peach, as its the palate bursts with fresh grapefruit and Meyer lemons for juicy flavor and refreshing acidity. The wine is ideal alongside fish and seafood offerings, and it can be comfortably cellared for 5 years or more.

Licence IV Wine

Licence IV is a French wine brand made for the curious and adventurous enthusiasts who enjoy fine wine without the rules. The brand recently expanded its offerings to include French wine in cans in the United States. The company’s first canned offerings include their flagship Blanc — reportedly the first-ever Muscadet released in this format — and Rosé, which are both now available for purchase in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New York and Washington.

Founded by French sommelier Gregory Castells, Licence IV changes the idea that French wine is intimidating, and instead has developed a line of wines that are complex yet easy to enjoy without compromising on quality and taste. All of these wines are made from small, family-owned wineries in France and selected with the same discernment adhered by legendary French wine importer, Martine’s Wines, the parent company of Licence IV. The name itself, Licence IV, is named after the permit in France that allows cafes, restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs to serve alcohol. Licence IV Wines are available in a 1 liter bottle, in 250ml cans, and in canned 4-packs.

Cool Cat Wine Spritzers

Cool Cat has launched a pair of naturally-flavored wine spritzers: Original (Elderflower Mint Lime) and Citrus, with 2 more on the way this Summer (Berry and Grapefruit). They feature a base of California Pinot Grigio, cane sugar, and are naturally gluten-free. Containing just 150 calories and 2 carbs per 12-ounce can — the equivalent of 2 glasses of wine — these canned cocktails are portable, recyclable, and great on-the-go. Cool Cat will be participating in Seltzerland in multiple cities, having already hit Tampa and Atlanta.

Tenuta Luce’s Lucente 2018

Tenuta Luce is an estate known to produce wines with a distinctive personality.Lucente is Tenuta Luce’s second wine, the result of a careful selection of high-quality Sangiovese and Merlot grapes that are capable of producing a wine that stands out for its contemporary style. A perfect representation of the unique territory where it is produced, the wine matures for 12 months in barriques inside Tenuta Luce’s cellar before bottling. In turn, the wine carries an intense and bright red color.

Its nose opens with intense fruity hints of blackberry, plum, and currant, enriched by toasted and vanilla nuances. On the palate it is full-bodied, soft and elegant, with a persistent finish that displays a pleasantly sweet and fruity long finish. Famed American wine critic James Suckling has regularly given Tenuta Luce offerings a rating over 90.

Fetzer Vineyards

Reportedly the largest winery in the U.S. to have B-Corp status, Fetzer is also said to be first U.S. vineyard to receive a CarbonNeutral certification. In turn, consumers can feel good about enjoying Fetzer’s delicious wines, all of which at an affordable cost.

Fetzer’s 2019 Riesling bursts with crisp citrus notes in the glass with a characteristic subtle suggestion of sweetness on the palate. Its 2020 Sauvignon Blanc hails from the vineyards of Chile and delivers notes of tropical fruit with a refreshing twist. Meanwhile, its 2018 Shaly Loam Gewürztraminer is crafted in an off-dry style, bringing layered aromas of melon and peach with warm cinnamon spice alongside nuanced notes of peach cobbler and pineapple upside-down cake.

Attems Sauvignon Blanc

Yellow-gold in color with greenish reflections, this wine has a distinctive and complex bouquet revealing notes of tomato and sage on the nose followed by late-ripened peach. It displays fresh and lively fruit on the palate with a refreshing crispness and an alluring, well-balanced finish. Excellent with a first-course dish such as seafood pasta or risotto.

Meanwhile, Attems’ Pinot Grigio Ramato is reportedly named after its copper color, which is obtained by leaving the must in contact with the skins for 24 hours. This wine boasts a rich, fruity bouquet and opens full and weighty on the palate, with multi-faceted flavors including white peach, cantaloupe, blackberry, and cherry. You can enjoy it with fatty fish, delicate or vegetable-based antipasti, and sweet-savory meats like prosciutto.

Mascota Vineyards’ Unánime Wines

Argentina is renowned for its Malbec. In a world revolving around the Malbec grape, Rodolfo “Opi” Sadler decided to head off the beaten path to pursue “the grape that stole his heart,” Cabernet Sauvignon, and was exceptionally-triumphant. Opi’s deep-rooted talent and passion has made him so successful in every aspect of crafting wine. Thus, the success of Mascota Vineyards and its Unánime Wines.

Unánime Cabernet Sauvignon is a concentrated, inky wine with rich tannins and mature red fruit flavors. 14 months of aging in French oak barrels help lend it structure and a balanced finish. Its 2017 edition notably-earned a 94-point rating from American wine critic James Suckling.

The Prisoner Wine Company’s Latest Offerings

The Prisoner Wine Company’s name was inspired by the classic sketch Le Petit Prisonier by 19th century Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The sketch was part of Goya’s series entitled The Disasters Of War, as created to be a visual protest against the injustice and brutality of the Spanish War of Independence in 1808. When its first wine, The Prisoner, was released 2 decades ago as a complex blend of some of California’s best and most unusual grape varieties, it helped change the perception of what a red blend wine could be. Today, Prisoner’s Director of Winemaking Chrissy Wittmann and her team work with over 100 growers in northern California, bringing together exceptional fruit to produce a family of intriguing wines unrestricted by tradition.

Its 2019 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is the brand’s newest offering, as available nationwide. It is elegant and silky with aromas of strawberry jam, cinnamon spice, dark cherry and dried herbs. Oak barrel aging imparts hints of vanilla and toast making this dangerously good for all summer barbeques this season. Defiantly bold, this wine is sourced from a unique, unmatched variety of Russian River and Carneros AVAs to produce a supreme Sonoma Coast pinot. This is the fourth wine to join the collection of cult classics from The Prisoner, which also includes the coveted Red Blend, a Carneros Chardonnay and a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Martini & Rossi

Martini & Rossi Fiero is a wine-based aperitivo made with a blend of white wines and carefully-sourced botanicals, including sweet Spanish orange peels grown in Murcia, which are hand-peeled and dried under the sun in a traditional method that takes time and care to protect the natural essential oils. While the orange peel provides the vibrant citrus notes, botanicals artemisia absinthium and artemisia pontica — which are both harvested in the village of Pancallieri in Turin — contribute the signature bitterness and herbal aromatics that are the distinguishing characteristic of Italian aperitivo drinks. The result is the distinctive intense citrus flavor orange flavor of Martini & Rossi Fiero.

Speaking of Martini & Rossi, the brand and photographer Greg Williams came together to curate a once in a lifetime digital photography series of friends reuniting. Friends were being asked to submit images of their in-person gatherings as people hope to safely reunite and create a truly unique moment in time. As part of curating the digital gallery, the brand and Williams chose 4 people to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be photographed remotely with their friends by Williams himself, using emerging new technology. Commented Williams: “The past year has been tough, and I’ve certainly missed being able to hang out with my friends, that’s why I’m so pleased to be partnering with such an iconic brand as MARTINI & ROSSI on this project. I describe myself as a candid photographer, capturing images in-the-moment, and as friends start to meetup there are going to be so many opportunities to take beautiful shots.”

South Africa’s Wine Industry

South Africa’s wines are widely-known for their good value and for being incredibly food-friendly. With a food tradition such as braai, where anything and everything can be a part of the meal, having wines that can go with a huge variety of dishes is a must. Consider wines with full fruit, spice, and tobacco, like Pinotage, or crisp citrus, florals and a green herbaceousness — like Sauvignon Blanc — or even the bright stone fruit and citrus of the wide variety of rosés, all available from the winemakers of South Africa. A few great picks from these region, for those new to the South African wine region:

– 2017 L’Avenir Provenance Pinotage – L’Avenir produces wine from the emblematic South African varietals of Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, grown in Stellenbosch and made with a touch of French flair. Spicy, with cherries, mulberries, and crushed pomegranate. The tannins are medium, silky, and balanced.

– 2019 Raats Original Chenin Blanc – Raats Family Wines is committed to making outstanding Chenin Blanc, as it’s one of the only 2 grapes they grow. The Original Chenin Blanc is unwooded with distinctive yellow apple, kiwi, and pineapple with a long mineral finish.

– Lubanzi Sparkling Rosé – A refreshing rosé in a can that is a perfect partner for any adventure, it’s full of crisp acidity, wild cherries, and sweet strawberries. Dedicated to making a real, meaningful social impact, Lubanzi partners with the Pebbles Project, a not for profit that provides health and education resources to the families who live and work on South Africa’s wine farms

Jackson Family Wines

Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned, vineyard-based company with a penchant for exploration. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman Barbara Banke, the Jackson family, and our employees continue to uphold to this day. The Jackson family’s collection of 40 wineries spans significant winegrowing regions, from California, Oregon, France, and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Vineyard ownership and sustainable practices remain key to consistent quality and artisan winemaking underscores a steadfast commitment to making wines of character and integrity.

Last month, Jackson Family Wines announced its Rooted For Good⁠: Roadmap to 2030 initiative, a 10-year sustainability and climate action plan designed to address the climate crisis and position the company for resilience in the face of changing social and environmental landscapes. Its comprehensive goals and initiatives aim to make a significant impact across the wine industry by leading the way to become climate positive, create positive social impact, and support the Jackson family’s long-term vision for a sustainable future. The program establishes specific goals for Jackson Family Wines to achieve by 2030 in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, water management, land conservation through regenerative farming practices, and social responsibility to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and wine community.

Santa Margherita Wines

Santa Margherita is an Italian wine brand renowned for pioneering Pinot Grigio and also putting Prosecco Superiore on the map. Its wwines are classic Italian varietals that come from their vineyards in Italy. They are diverse, flavorful and authentic. The portfolio of renowned wines includes Pinot Grigio, Chianti Classico Riserva, Sparkling Rosé, Prosecco Superiore and most recently its new Rosé.

National Chianti Day 2021 came up a few days ago on September 3rd. Inaugurated by Santa Margherita in 2020, National Chianti Day celebrates one of the most recognized red wines from the Tuscany region of Italy. Its Chianti Classico Riserva — the wine choice that many returned to while they “wine o’clocked” it in 2020 — makes perfect sense as days become cooler and the palate is ready for change. According to Nielsen data, Santa Margherita’s Chianti Classico Riserve has been growing on a double-digit trend since 2019, outperforming the overall Chianti Classico Riserva category in the past 52 weeks by 6 points.

Markham Vineyards’ Marked Parcels Series

As harvest approaches each year, Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls walks the Markham Vineyards’ land looking for the best examples of varietal and vintage, hand-marking the parcels to be reserved for these rare and limited vineyard-designate bottlings. In turn, the series’ Yountville Ranch Vineyard is crafted from a single parcel on the vineyard’s Yountville estate ranch.

This dark and mysterious Merlot invites further investigation into the melted milk chocolate and brambly, blackberry aromas. Lush, jammy black fruit melds with the dense, chewy tannins through to the end on the palate luxuriously. A bit of brightness on the finish is a testament to the age-ability of this wine. You can expect 87 percent Merlot, 9 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 4 percent Cabernet Franc as this offering’s composition.

Taylor Fladgate

Taylor Fladgate is one of the first historic Port wine lodges, having been established in 1692. A family company since its foundation, it has been dedicated exclusively to the production of high-quality Port wines, from the planting of the vine and harvesting the grapes for fermentation, ageing, and bottling of the assorted styles of Port wine. The family’s commitment to the future of Port wine is also demonstrated in its determination to preserve and, where appropriate, improve the unique environmental, social, and economic aspects of the Douro region through the promotion of sustainable viticulture. Taylor Fladgate is also recognized as the most important producer of Aged Tawnies and has one of the most extensive reserves of cask aged Port wines.

Taylor Fladgate Port first blended Chip Dry White Port in 1934, making it the first Port house to produce a dry white aperitif Port. Earlier in the summer, the renowned house officially announced the release of the first ready-to-drink White Port & Tonic cocktail, as presented in a stylish and convenient pre-mixed 250ml can. The White Port and Tonic, otherwise known as “the Porto Tonico” in its homeland, has been the traditional summer drink throughout Portugal for its refreshing and not-too-sweet character. It is ideal for sipping.

Daou Family Estate’s 2018 DAOU Soul Of A Lion

This month, winemaker Daniel Daou has delivered a highly-anticipated Cabernet Sauvignon with the nationwide release of 2018 Estate Soul Of A Lion, the crown jewel of DAOU Family Estates. Soul Of A Lion has established Paso Robles, California as a rising star for world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. True to its reputation, this 2018 vintage is nothing short of a tour de force displaying a rare trifecta of power, density and elegance. So much so, it has already received stellar ratings from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (94-96), Jeb Dunnuck (96+), and Wine Enthusiast (96).

In a prepared statement, Georges and Daniel Daou, brothers and co-owners of DAOU Family Estates, describe Soul Of A Lion as “the most important wine they make,” as named in honor of their father Joseph, who gave them the courage to follow their dreams. The 2018 DAOU Estate Soul of a Lion — carrying a suggested retail price of $150.00 — is now available for purchase via


Last month, Barcode co-founder (and NBA star) Kyle Kuzma’s limited-edition drop became available nationwide via The new SKU, Pinot Noir — a delicious grape flavor — will join the existing product lineup of Watermelon and Lemon Lime. Kuzma teamed up with celebrity trainer and former New York Knicks Director of Performance, Bar Malik, to launch Barcode in April, with the goal of delivering a functional beverage that bridges the gap between health-conscious consumers and elite athletes. While the performance drink space has been dominated by options with low nutritional value, Barcode is naturally sweetened with monk fruit and includes all-natural, non-GMO ingredients such as coconut water, adaptogens and vitamin-D, that help hydrate your body, boost your immune system and decrease stress and fatigue.

Barcode bottles also come equipped with an AR-enabled customer experience. By scanning the product’s QR code, consumers can receive curated content and workouts. In a short amount of time, Barcode has even earned the loyalty of plenty of celebrity fans, including Kelly Rowland, Winnie Harlow, Bazzi and The Chainsmokers.

Champagne Bollinger x 007

After more than a year of anticipation, it is finally time to raise a glass of 007’s favorite bubbly, Champagne Bollinger, to the 25th James Bond adventure: No Time To Die. The film will premiere across the U.S. on October 8, 2021 through Universal Pictures International and MGM. The by-product of this collaboration is Bollinger’s Limited Edition Special Cuvée, the official Champagne of the movie franchise, which brings together 3 icons: Bollinger’s signature Special Cuvée, the Aston Martin DB5, and the legendary British secret agent James Bond. The limited edition gift box, as designed by celebrated Bond photographer Greg Williams, features the silhouette of Bond alongside his Aston Martin DB5 and is now available for the suggested retail price of $79.00.

Pure Bright by [ yellow tail ]

There might have been some over-indulgence for you this summer (e.g. food, alcohol), so perhaps it is time to get back into fine form. Enter Pure Bright by [ yellow tail ], a low calorie and low alcohol wine under $7.00 a bottle that is offered in 3 varieties, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. Pure Bright is cool, crisp and light enough to enjoy any day of the week at less than 85 calories per glass; that clocks in well under 500 calories per bottle. If you are looking for one to start with, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar’s go-to is reportedly the brand’s Pinot Grigio.

The Vice Wines

The Vice is a Napa Valley luxury wine brand made in small batches. Each batch is crafted from single grape varietals sourced from hand-selected vineyards that best express the grape varietal and the region that it comes from. The Vice is a result of passionate labor, sustainable farming, a long expertise of the wine industry and a current understanding of the consumer’s wine trend. Everything is said to be done by its founders, who drive the truck to get their fruit, beyond crushing, bottling and labeling.

The brand recently revealed the “The Tri” Tasting Kit, a unique tasting experience featuring “The Tri” 2019 and the single-varietal signature wines that are blended to create it: St. Laurent, “Majorelle” 2019; Malbec, Oak Knoll 2019 and Cabernet Franc, 2019. A rare, complex blend, “The Tri” — named and inspired by founder/winemaker Malek Amrani’s passion for both wine and triathlon — is so much more than the sum of its parts. The quantity of each grape in the blend — 18 percent Cabernet Franc, 52 percent St. Laurent and 30 percent Malbec — represents the 2016 Rio Olympics of swimming, running and cycling time percentages of Olympic triathlete Joe Maloy. “The Tri” brings these stunning single-varietal Napa Valley wines together to create something completely different and uniquely stunning. In partnership with the USA Triathlon Foundation, each purchase of “The Tri” Tasting Kit includes complimentary access to a series of live virtual tastings with Amrani and Joe Maloy to provide a unique opportunity to deconstruct the blend, discover the process and experiment with blending yourself.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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