F&W's Megan Krigbaum tracks down an expert wine tour guide, a brilliant sommelier-turned-inventor and a new online wine shop with super-value bottles.
Wine-Country Tour Guide
Carrie Simon spent months staying in hotels, visiting wineries and meeting with fly-fishing outfitters and other outdoorsy types in Washington state's Yakima and Walla Walla wine regions. All this on-the-ground research informs her tailor-made travel itineraries for her new travel-planning company called Washington Wine 9.
Austrian native Aldo Sohm, the star sommelier at Manhattan's Le Bernardin, recently collaborated with renowned winemaker Gerhard Kracher to produce Sohm & Kracher, a spectacular Grüner Veltliner from the Niederösterreich region of Austria. Sohm has also teamed up with the French knife company Laguiole to make what he describes as "the Ferrari of corkscrews" (priced accordingly). $45 for wine, $220 for corkscrew; winemonger.com.
Every bottle in Etty Lewensztain's well-curated new online wine shop, Plonk Wine Merchants, costs $30 or less and comes with a video tasting note. plonkwinemerchants.com.