Sommelier Jill Mott on Minnesota Connections in Wine and Whiskey


When I talk about wine, I’m often prattling about the deliciousness of French wines, funky Iberian bottlings, and essential, natural domestic producers. There are SO many Minnesotans at the helm of some of the coolest natural wine, high-octane whisky, and other favorite libations we thought, why not shed light on these rare finds! Hold onto your hats and support your local folk! They’re representing the beverage scene on a global scale.


MN Connection = Phineas Fittipaldi (previous owner of Troubadour Wine Bar, Uptown)

Phineas ditched town the last couple vintages to make wine in California with a celebrity in the Cali wine world, Matthew Rorick of Forlorn Hope. Each vintage, Matthew has let him harvest and bottle his own wine under Phineas’ private label, Dance Party Wine Collective (very appropriate if you know Phineas). He’s all about drinking wine, learning, but most of all, enjoying! This bottling is from Matthew’s estate vineyard wrought with schist and limestone soils. Grapes were foot trodden and left to macerate for a brief five hours to extract a gorgeous, raw, raspberry color. The nose oozes of a good time with notes of dried meadow grass, flint, red currants, and hibiscus!  The palate has the tannin of old oak (read: structure to pair with food!) but drinks light and bright! Perfect for the end of summer!


MN Connection = Jill Mott of Jill Mott Selections (Minneapolis)

Weird. Yes. This is me but by popular demand only 😉

“I came across Samuel Cano of Vinos Patio, a small outfit in La Mancha in 2012. When he poured me my last sample of wine, straight up brandy wafted from the glass! I was like, Samuel, what the hell is that? He said, “I tried to make a dessert wine and harvested my Airén (grape) in December. It had SO much sugar but fermented dry – the natural yeasts were so strong! It now has 18% alcohol.” 18% alcohol?! He saved it and decided to add wine to it every vintage and release a very small amount from two barrels annually.” This bottling is a collection of:

2011 (mentioned above) + 2012 (Airén grape must)

2013 – Rosé

2014 – Airén w/ no skin maceration (think a lighter-drinking white wine)

2015 – Airén w/ 100-365 days of skin maceration

2016 – Airén w/ 100-365 days of skin maceration

2017 – Airén w/ a veil of flor (the yeast that resides atop Sherry)

This is perhaps the most complicated, savory, wild, and interesting wine you’ll have all year. Salvaje = savage in Spanish and is quite fitting. Eccentric nose and palate that smells of umami, miso, and flashy apricots and tastes electric with almond skin-like tannins from being aged in chestnut. 30 cases bottled, six cases came to the entire United States. Henry & Son has one… No sulphur added.”


MN Connection = Hai Trong of Ngon Bistro + J. Carver (locally owned distillery)

Anyone that’s been to the institution, Ngon Bistro in St. Paul knows the owner Hai, loves his whiskey He’s teamed up with J. Carver a couple times to bottle his own blend for Ngon but now, it’s just too good to not share the grain-filled wealth! For the first time ever, it’s being released to the public and you can only find it in select establishments (Henry & Son is the only retailer to carry it in Mpls!).

This is one barrel of Brickyard Straight Bourbon + one of Runestone Straight Rye blended at cask strength: a whoppin’ 132 proof. Water down or serve on the rocks if you’d like – we find it drinks all too smooth on it’s own.

Jill Mott


Originally aired on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2019 on the Morning Show with Emily Reese.

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