Home Wine News Articles Shop for Wine Accessories About Links Downloads Contact

Good Grape Wine Company

Left side of the header
Right side of the header

Field Notes from a Wine Life – Trend Edition

Odds and ends from a life lived through the prism of the wine glass…

The Devil’s Cut

I’m a sucker for the clever and unconventional, I admit it.  One such bit of cleverness isn’t even wine-related, though it is oak barrel related.

Most wine enthusiasts are familiar with the, “Angel’s Share.”  It’s a term that denotes the wine (or spirits) that is lost from a barrel due to evaporation during the aging process.  Now comes the, “Devil’s Cut” from Jim Beam.

Using a proprietary process that extracts the bourbon moisture that’s left in the staves of the barrel after being emptied, this extract is then blended with regular Jim Bream to create a deeper, more characterful sipper.

I’d hate to think what a wine might taste like if the, “Devil’s Cut” was blended in from a wine-aged oak barrel, but a thumb’s up to Jim Beam for thinking outside the box.  The wine world could use more esoteric and idiosyncratic ideas similar to what the Scholium Project is doing, turning wine on its head.  Can a day be too far away when white Pinot Noir and orange wines aren’t outliers?

Speaking of Idiosyncratic

Last year I wrote a story on Proof Wine Collective and their out-of-the-box wine label design work.  An edgy company of twenty-something’s in San Luis Obispo, they’re set to eschew a services-oriented business helping market other people’s wine projects and start their own wine thing.

Anti-wine by the guys at Proof sets the table for what’s to come with an Anti-wine Manifesto that says in part, “I can hear the death rattle of our industry when salespeople peddle wines made and re-made in the same style, over and over.  I hear it when they glorify classism, pretending that customers own a cellar to age wines for decades, when in truth we buy a bottle to drink tonight…My goal with this project is to be free from the affectations of an industry I can no longer respect.  These wines follow no formulae (Ed. Note:  Nice use of the plural of formula!). They are blended between vintages in order to take the best traits of each.  I regard red and white varietals as equals, and intermix them with no interest in what is “sellable.”

I like idea, for sure.  However, initial reverberations indicate that they’re going to have to do some traditional-type activity in the wine business to get solid footing.  Sales at retail.  Wine events.

If a nascent wine brand truly wants to be free from the affectations of the industry and do so without being shticky then it has to be prepared to swim completely against the current. 

I’m rooting for Anti-wine, but I’d also like to see a completely new playbook written for the wine business, not a statement of intent while coloring inside the lines.


I’ve read a couple of recent articles that indicate that watches are set to become a trend (here and here).  This struck me as odd because I hadn’t received the memo that watches were out of style.  I started to think about accessories for wine enthusiasts that are decidedly out of style and I came to the tastevin.


Traditionally used by Sommeliers, but long out of favor, the only reason I know it’s not a mythical unicorn, is because a Somm. at my honeymoon resort some years ago was wearing one and checking the quality of the bottles he was serving by taking a quick sniff and slurp.

Now inspired, I’m starting a one-man wine trend.  If you see me at a wine tasting in the future it’s probable that I’ll be using a tastevin instead of the insipid glassware that’s usually provided.

Feel free to adopt usage of a tastevin for yourself.  The key to not feeling douchey is to either be incredibly confident or so hip that others don’t even know its hip.  Either will work for this emerging trend that you and I are starting.  Buy one at


Posted in, Free Run: Field Notes From a Wine Life. Permalink | Comments (3) |


On 08/10, Tony Penman wrote:

I’d hate to think what a wine might taste like if the, “Devil’s Cut” was blended in from a wine-aged oak barrel, but a thumb’s up to Jim Beam for thinking outside the box.

On 08/31, Awnings Staten Island wrote:

Nine one…!!Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.. i love wine..

On 11/06, Atlanta 16 DJ wrote:

Tastevin is a good alternative to glasses. But that will require more effort.


View More Archives