#VINO4: Brian McClintic Master Somm and Entrepreneur

#VINO4: Brian McClintic Master Somm and Entrepreneur

#VINO4: Cool People. 4 Questions. 1 Bottle of Wine.

Brian McClintic, Master Somm and Entrepreneur

Why he’s cool: Brian McClintic is a Master Sommelier and documentary film star of the movies SOMM and SOMM: Into the Bottle.  After 20 years in the restaurant/retail industry he founded Viticole in May of 2016–an online wine club and travel blog that focuses on domestic and import selections that can’t be found on the open market.  By the 1st of every month, Brian travels to a wine region and offers out a special cuvee directly from the winery door in real time.  You can follow his travels and join the monthly wine club at: http://viticolewine.com

Viticole is Brian’s new startup. It’s a wine club that is born out of the elusive idea that world-class wines can exist between $35-$55.  Brian tells us that 99% of what he buys for himself falls within this price range.  These wines are almost impossible to find and even harder to make readily available, but through key relationships Brian’s fostered over the years in the industry, he’s poised to bring these wines to our doorstep. (Oh, and don’t forget the part where he gets to travel to wineries to find the best wines in that price range!)

We had a chance to chat with Brian and talk about millennials, wine, music and lemongrass soda. Enjoy!

We’re just going to jump in it – what affect do you foresee Millennials will have on the wine industry? 

They are a huge generation and now the largest consumer group in the world so they will not only affect it they will dominate it.  Millennials have access to information that other generations only dreamed about.  There is a more potent desire to travel more and take time before settling down.  Millennials also grew up with a consciousness of environmental impact that didn’t exist with the generation prior.

In these times, I think retailers have an opportunity to hone their standards of sourcing and redefine how information is presented to consumers. It was important for me that all Viticole wines are organically farmed and crafted with the most minimal intervention in the cellar.  We’re embracing technology and social such that we are a real-time travel blog with real-time photography/video, interaction with winemakers on Instagram, and much more yet to come…all of this is what a business today has to think about when trying to catch the attention of millennials.

Let’s talk food for a minute – do you have any unusual or atypical food and wine pairing?

Nothing too crazy.  There are reasons why the classics work but I eat a lot of ethnic food and find these parings work quiet well: Riesling with Thai/Vietnamese/Ramen; Syrah with Indian food.

We believe that music and wine should be paired – give us two of your best song and wine pairings

A big Barolo – with ‘Hurt So Good’
Clape Cornas (über-rustic Northern Rhone Syrah) — with any Tom Waits song


Has the rose craze peaked? A lot of California winemakers have jumped on board, and prices have spiked.

I think the day we embrace rosé year round is the day it transitions from a craze to mainstay.  I for one drink more rosé ‘out of season’ because of how well it pairs with fall and winter vegetables.

Bonus Questions:

What’s your favorite under-rated varietal?

Gamay.  It’s trending and won’t be underrated for long.

Where was the last place you and your significant other shared a romantic meal, what did you have, what did you drink?

BaBar in Seattle.  I had pho and a lemongrass soda.

Follow Brian’s shenanigans on Instagram, Twitter, and check out video highlights from Somm: Into the Bottle premiere in Napa last year.

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