Monday, November 1, 2010

The Quick Sip on our Winemaker, Tim Milos:

Fifth generation Bay Area resident Timothy Milos jokes that he’s “dropped out of some of the best schools in the country.” The truth is, the biology and genetics expert spent three years at Cornell working toward his PhD in molecular genetics when he realized he would never be content to sit in a lab day after day. The son of builders, Tim missed that feeling of actively applying his science, or as he says, “of sitting on top of a foundation wall at the end of the day.” Fortunately for Tim and the wine world, Tim spent some time in the cellars of a Finger Lakes winery and stumbled upon the perfect intersection of biology, agriculture, architecture, history and art: making wine.

“Every fermentation,” he says, “is a living system. It is its own ecology, and it evolves over time. It is as complex a matrix as you could ask for.”

After leaving Cornell to study enology at UC-Davis, Tim made his way to Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars, then Opus Wine and finally wound up as winemaker for S. Anderson Vineyard. In 2004, he partnered with Marco di Giulio (another Bounty Hunter alum) and started his own consulting practice. He’s been consulting for premium Napa Valley wineries ever since.

Tim indulged our whims and engaged in a little oenological free association. Below are the results:

1. My winemaking role models…don’t exist. “I don’t have heroes; what I like most are wines that are expressive of a place and not the winemaker.”
2. If I weren’t making wine I’d…be completely lost. “Honestly, I cannot imagine doing anything else, but if forced to answer, I might consider teaching science.”
3. When I’m not drinking my own swill… “I’m drinking wines from as far away as possible. I’m constantly working not to develop a strictly California palate.” Rhône wines are a favorite, Cornas or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. North or South, he loves them all.
4. The food and wine pairing that makes me sit up and pay attention is… “Gewurztraminer (with lychee flavors and not too much residual sugar) and Thai.
5. The ultimate aperitif wine is… “An old fashioned.” While Tim prefers classic cocktails, he says, “Wine should be enjoyed as people want to enjoy it.”
6. At the end of the day… “Kiss your lover, open a bottle wine and enjoy the evening.”

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