You may soon be sipping a dry white from Nebraska
California is king, but it could have competition one of these days. By Mark Ellwood
Dan Dunn, a former nightlife columnist, spent much of his adult life doing what nightlife columnists do: drinking. He’s a whiskey aficionado, cocktail expert, and beer enthusiast; wine was the only tipple that never tempted him. For a booze writer, that’s less a problem than an opportunity. In 2014, Dunn hit the road to learn everything he could about American wine. He wanted to know where it stood 40 years after the Judgment of Paris, when upstart U.S. wines famously bested French vintages in a blind tasting. He turned his 15,000-mile trip into American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man’s Blues (Dey Street, $16.99), a memoir-slash-travelogue. Dunn’s conclusion: “At least right now, they’re not making wine anywhere in the United States better than California.” (He should know. He visited at least one winery in every state, including all four in Wyoming.) But, he adds, “Forty years from now? Things are going to look a whole lot different.” Dunn’s glass is about half-full when it comes to these six vineyards.