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Episode 33 | Critic’s Choice: Sean P. Sullivan and Dr. Owen Bargreen

Sean P. Sullivan & Dr. Owen Bargreen

Sean P. Sullivan & Dr. Owen Bargreen, two of Washington State’s most revered reviewers, know what makes the Washington wine scene great. Sean has been exploring and reporting on his Washington Wine Report since 2005 and is a contributing editor at Wine Enthusiast Magazine. He also writes for Seattle Metropolitan, Washington Tasting Room, Washington State Wine and Touring Guide, and other publications.

Dr. Owen Bargreen, a Level 2 Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers, is the founder and executive editor of the Washington Wine Blog, one of the most in-depth and well-organized resources for Washington, Oregon and California wine scenes. He’s been writing about wine for more than ten years, has reviewed thousands of wines from around the world, and also contributes reviews to International Wine Report.

Sean and Owen share how they taste and review wines, the best ways to expand your palate, current Washington wine trends and the most prevalent threat to wine . . . “cork taint.”

Explore the best of Washington, Oregon and California wine at Washington Wine Blog

Get to know an expert’s guide to Washington wine at Washington Wine Report and learn more about how Sean tastes wine in his article, How I taste wines for review at Wine Enthusiast.

Are all wine enclosures what they’re corked up to be?

“I look at cork taint as an existential threat,” says Sean Sullivan as recounts that approximately 3-6% of all wine has 2,4,6-tricloroanisole, a.k.a, TCA or cork taint.. There is no perfect enclosure for a wine bottle but technology provides winemakers with options to help eliminate this pesky mold. It is a common misconception that TCA forms from improper storage or from holding onto a wine for too long. In fact, TCA will be present at the time of bottling if the cork is inflected.

We discuss a few TCA-free options like technical cork (DIAM), synthetic cork (Nomacorc), screw top and the glass top. There is a romance with traditional cork, but next time you’re at a winery, ask if they use cork alternatives.

Sean P. Sullivan’s photograph is copyrighted and courtesy of Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
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