…spontaneously fermenting

back to the roots


Since it’s fall and root vegetables are in season now, I thought I would take this time to finally, after a quiet year (of not updating much), get back to my roots.

So here are two visuals of what I consider back to roots that stimulate me. Beet roots and Rosso del Contadino. Both come from the land and from nature. Both are natural. both are delicious


The Contadino 9 continues Cornelissen’s drive to create the best wine he can from the grapes that nature gives him. Thanks to Frank’s careful attention to not disturb nature, she gives him healthy grapes. But if it wasn’t for his intellect and expertise, the wines would not be as wonderful as they are. Because  I know, and especially he knows, and despite what many winemakers say, wine IS NOT made in the vineyards. The raw materials come from the vines, but knowing when to harvest the grapes and what to do next can only be decided on by the winemaker.

This is why Frank’s wines taste of the volcano. Deep, salty and bloody. They come from a place that is undisturbed by humanity and they taste that way. So, with all the respect that is due you Frank, thank you. Thank you for understanding nature and how to take what she gives you and produce some of the most compelling wines I have ever tasted.

Category: 1 WINE, 2 PRODUCER PROFILE, Frank Cornelissen - Mt. Etna (Sicila), Italy, natural wine (100% living wine)


A quick tasting note: Si Vintners Sophie

photo (1)Dear blogger,

I have to say that it’s nice to get emails from afar, but it’s even nicer when these emails state that the reason for their contact is due to this blog (yes, this very blog you are reading – for the first time in 3 months – yes, I know..).

I also get emails from winemakers who would like me to taste their wine because they think that I might enjoy them. I have been disappointed a few times I must admit, but when Polish-born Iwo Jakimowicz emailed me one year ago (27/05/2012), I was intrigued. For one, I  live in Poland.  Two, this Polish-born winemaker claimed to make “natural” wine in Australia. Not only is Australia literally distant, but often their wines were distant as well – from the natural wine world.  I knew that they are making strides when it came to making wine with minimal intervention, but these examples were hard to find in Europe, especially in Poland

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Australia, biodynamic wine, Margaret River, natural wine (just about)


I just can't get enough


No, not the song (even though my wheels are spinning now). I just can’t get enough.. of Brignot. The wine maker who now lives in Japan but in a previous life made grapes ferment into masterpieces in the Jura (and in other places in France, although his Jura wines are the (best) shit). He’s not a dinosaur,  but his wines are legendary, rare and gigantic on an emotional level. I have a handful of favorite producers, as anybody does, and still when I taste the wines of Jean-Marc I feel immortal…sort of the way his wines taste.

I am not going to give you a lot of factual bullshit. Google the grape and the region if you want, but here is what’s important – what this wine tastes like. Once again my only regret.. it was only a damn half magnum..

Nose:  walnuts, flowers, yellow roses, limes, underlying minerals, lemon peel, pomelo, pansy

Palate: Taste is ducking good. Juicy. Character of Vin Jaune.  This 2004 Savagnin is balanced like hell. Still in place with acid, fruit and structure after 8 years and no “preservatives” like sulfur  You think that sulfur preserves a wine? bullshit. You know what preserves a wine? Good grapes preserve a wine, that’s it.

Dear Jean-Marc,

Please please please don’t stop bottling fermented grapes. Your fermented grapes are why I am what I am and do what I do.




Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, France, Jura, Molamboz, natural wine (100% living wine)


Instagram quick post

Instagram quick post
On the nose mature yellow apples, panettone, flowers, salt, camomile and hints if honey and walnuts. On the palate it’s bone dry with clover honey, walnuts, yeast and salt with a long deep finish. Oily and balanced. Still very much alive and going on 12 years old. Grazie!#naturalwine #biancaravini #maule

Category: 1 WINE, Instagram quick post, natural wine (100% living wine)


Instagram quick post

Instagram quick post
Ok. Now we're talking! Tip top!! #naturalwine

Category: 1 WINE, Instagram quick post, natural wine (100% living wine)


Instagram quick post

Instagram quick post

Yes I think so part 2 #naturalwine

Category: 1 WINE, Instagram quick post, natural wine (100% living wine)


Instagram quick post

Happy birthday Frank Cornelissen! The Munjebel Rosso 10 Anni - 10 wonderful years that can only be celebrated with this pure Nerello Mascalese, and nothing more or less. One of your best Efforts to date. Fantastically fresh and light and refreshing yet structured and concentrated like no other wine I know. You and this wine are the reason I fell in love with natural wines. I'm looking to your 20 Anni already!

Happy birthday Frank Cornelissen! The Munjebel Rosso 10 Anni – 10 wonderful years that can only be celebrated with this pure Nerello Mascalese, and nothing more or less. One of your best Efforts to date. Fantastically fresh and light and refreshing yet structured and concentrated like no other wine I know. You and this wine are the reason I fell in love with natural wines. I’m looking to your 20 Anni already!

Category: 1 WINE, natural wine (100% living wine)


You've come a long way

Believe it or not, when I tell people that I’m from California I feel embarrassed. Especially when people  know i focus on natural, and California wines are often far from that.  And I have always found that odd, especially when I was wolfing down organic food way before the rest of the world. For as far back as i can remember we (I) have been eating organic food in California, and i do mean as far back as i can remember, and i am pretty damn mature.

So, why in my opinion has California dropped the ball when it comes to wine? I don’t think i want to answer that, but I hear the sounds of coins clattering in the background.  But things are changing, no pun intended. How do i know this? Well for one, i have been found drinking a California wine or two lately , and i avoided them like the plague when i lived there.  And of course we are known to write about this topic these days, and a great movie highlights the natural wine movement in California, Wine From Here.

Catching me drinking a wine from California is still a rare occurrence, but of course where I live doesn’t help the situation any. I posted pictures a few years ago of Donkey and Goat’s wines and now i will do the same for Hank Beckmeyer’s La Clarine Farm.  I have been reading, as many of you have, about him and his wines more and more often. They are impossible for me to get a hold of in Poland or Norway, but thanks to Hank’s emails and  a California shipping address, I have been fortunate enough to get 3 bottles each of his 2009 and 2010 Home Vineyard bottling’s.

Hank runs his farm in Somerset, in the Sierra-Nevada foothills in California, resting up at around 600-700 meters over sea level. I don’t at what elevation Hank’s vineyards grow, but i am sure he will chime in with a response. Somerset? Surely you mean Sonoma right? Nope . Hank and his goats make some damn good wine in Somerset. Rather,  Hank works extremely hard to help nature make her wine. I am not going to go on and on about how Hank does this, if you want to read it from his own words, you can do so here

I have tasted his wines only 2 times. Yes, only twice. I bought six bottles and I have to admit I gave one (2010) away as a wedding gift to close friends of ours because they were worth it. I gave a second bottle (2009) away to Maxime  at the Green Man and French Horn in London (one of the restaurants in the Brawn, Terroir, Soif group) cause I knew he would understand it. That left me with 4.  I drank two, one of which was consumed two days ago and I can tell you that it was the fastest disappearing bottle of the evening and there was even a bottle of La Stoppa among the bunch.

The wine was everything that I really hoped for, and i mean really hoped for. After all, I had guests, they knew I was from California, and most of all, they knew that I really only drank natural wine. The wine stood up to test and was just as refreshing as I had hoped. Fresh fruit, ripe tannins and refreshing acidity. No silky, velvety mouth feel, no warm alcohol and thank god no vanilla! Glog glog wine from California, finally!

All I can say is “California, keep doing what you are doing. You’ve come a long way”


Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, California, El Dorado, natural wine (100% living wine), Somerset


A (very quick) tasting note: 2005 Jérôme Saurigny S – A Chenin Surmûris

I remember when I first met Jérôme Saurigny  back in 2009 when I was visiting Patrick Desplats (Griottes). Patrick took us to meet his friend Jérôme and taste his wines. I still remember being blown away by his (dry) Sauvignon Blanc.  A Sauvignon like none I can remember tasting before. Just ripe, juicy fruit without the “off” aromas we are familiar with in a Sauvignon. You don’t need to guess that Jérôme’s wines are made with no additives, including the industrial yeasts so often added to Sauvignon Blanc’s giving them their “characteristic” aromas. Of course he was a friend of Patrick’s, so no surprise there.

As we left his place he handed me a small 50cl bottle of his sweet wine and told me to enjoy it. Well, I finally did – 3 years later. On one hand I don’t know why the hell i waited 3 years to drink that wine, on the other hand I’m glad I did. It was worth the wait.

The “S” is made from Chenin Blanc grapes and is one of only a small handful of sweet wines that I know of that is made without any additions, including SO2. No easy feat for a sweet wine which is allowed to have up to 400 mg/liter (ppm) in the EU. This wine most likely clocks in at less than 25 mg/l. What the hell does this mean? Well it makes for  a much purer, cleaner wine.

Date tasted:  October 15th, 2012

Ooohhh fuck was my first impression on the nose. Slightly volatile (compounds, which I love) with hints of yeast. Quince apples.  Slight “flor” hints. “Fresh walnuts”

Oh Jesus on the palate. Extremely fresh. Not sticky. Acid is medium-low, but refreshing.

A very drinkable dessert wines, not for sipping. Enjoy quickly since there is only 50cl

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Coteaux du Layon, France, Loire, natural wine (100% living wine)


Once upon a time

I want to tell you a true story about wine and how it’s made. I went to visit a winemaker in Piemonte last year, a producer I respect tremendously and whose wine I often use as the benchmark against other wines from the same grape and same area. The wines are not complicated. They are simple and I like them that way.

We sat down to taste, as is the normal routine when visiting a winemaker. But this tasting turned out to be very different than routine. She began by showing me two «identical» bottles of wine side by side and asked me to taste each one and let her know what I thought.

The first I tasted was good, but not fantastic. It tasted quite ordinary. Nothing about the wine turned me off necessarily, but nothing about the wine made me take notice. It tasted like a standard, off the shelf wine. She then poured me a glass from the second bottle, and wow! OK, this I recognized as her wine. Compared to the first bottle, this one was «alive». Aromas jumped out of the glass to greet me much more eagerly then the first wine. More precise fruit, more depth, just a pleasure to sniff. On the palate, deeper yet fresher fruit. Clean, refreshing and drinkable. Absolutely drinkable.

So I said to her that I thought the first wine was not her wine and that the second wine was hers. She said “no”, these are both “my wines”! What?!

So,what was the difference between these two wines?  Well, the difference was quite simple really, and at the same not simple at all. They were both made from the same healthy, ripe grapes, from the same vineyards, picked exactly at the same time. What? Impossible! But wait…

The first wine tasted was made from grapes that were sent to a laboratory immediately after harvest. In that laboratory they proceeded to make wine like many conventional wine makers do. They added sulfur.  They selected a yeast to begin the fermentation, which of course finished quickly within 7-10 days. They added sulfur, enzymes, clarifying and clearing agents, sulfur, etc, etc etc. They then filtered the wine, added sulfur then bottled it. The whole process took a month or so.

The second bottle was made by the winemaker in the winery, they way they always make their wine. That is, nothing much. No added yeast to start the fermentation, no enzymes, no sulfur, no clarifying or clearing agents, etc, etc, etc. Just a light filtration before bottling. That’s it and the process took about 5-6 months instead of just one month.

The difference was remarkable, not only in the wine making, but also in the final product. Some might argue that the first wine was fine and good, but nobody with proper taste buds would prefer the first wine after tasting the second. So why do producers make wine (like) in a «laboratory»? Well, the answer is quite simple, it’s often about time and money. By producing wine in a conventional manner, we can guarantee that the wine will ferment, we can expect a standardized product year after year, and we can do all of this very quickly. Time is money and most wine consumers want their favorite wine to always taste the same.

With “natural wine making” on the other hand, we don’t know when fermentation will begin, or if it will begin at all. More importantly, we don’t know how the fermentation will go and when it will stop. The choice to make natural wine may not be rewarding initially, but over time and with experience, the choice is often rewarded.

So please, don’t ruin your perfectly good grapes. Thank you

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, natural wine (100% living wine), Once upon a time




Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

Get in touch

Joseph would love to hear from you! You can contact him by email at