Some of you may know him as one half of the T.L. blog, The Tender, but covering the goings on in his beloved neighborhood isn’t the only thing you’ll find Miquel writing about. Vinologue is a wine travel guide publisher that highlights “big wines from small regions” and presents them in a way that’s understandable to someone who’s never heard the word tannins before:
SCOUT: When did Vinologue first hit the digital bookshelves?
MIQUEL: We starting researching our first guides in 2007.
SCOUT: Where do you find the wines you feature? Does it take a lot of hunting since they're coming from such small places?
MIQUEL: Painstaking research. Given that we're often writing about wines that haven't really received a lot of attention (compared to say, Napa Valley), there's a lot of legwork in generating the guides and relying heavily on one's "wine scout" senses: bottles at the back of a barn, the smell of fermentation in the air, and asking lots of questions.
SCOUT: What all comes in a wine guide?
MIQUEL: We include a touch of history, maps, GPS locations if the winery is open for visits, lengthy overviews of each winery and their wines, as well as breakdowns of dishes that are often served with each of the wines. As we publish electronically, we work to update the guides whenever news comes along so that they're as up to date as possible.
SCOUT: Where do you want to see Vinologue go?
MIQUEL: As far as the horizons will let us. There are a lot of great wines out there and currently we have, or will be releasing, guides for Dalmatia & Istria in Croatia, Herzegovina in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Empordà in Spain, and Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. On the wish list are guides for the wines in Northern Baja of Mexico, Côtes du Roussillon in France, as well as Ethiopia.
SCOUT: What's so magical about wine for you?
MIQUEL: It's amazing how much it can change from one day or place to another and you really never know exactly what you're going to get. Also, it's a crafty beast that, despite whatever certifications and experiences someone has earned, blind taste tests can fool even the most trained of wine experts.
SCOUT: What are some of your go-to wine spots in your neighborhood, the T.L.?
MIQUEL: Terroir, Biondivino (really looking forward to Ceri's future wine bar), The Barrel Room.
SCOUT: Outside of your hood, who are some local winemakers on your radar?
MIQUEL: Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars, Julie Johnson at Tres Sabores, Armando Ceja at Ceja, Frane Franicevic at Sunce.
Cheers to Vinologue’s Wine Guides! Get your eye on them here.