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Ron Donoho on that “wacky” wine: “Waiter, I’ll have what she’s having.”


In the aftermath of the natural wine earthquake at Jaynes on August 9, we’ve added even more natural wines to our list. If you’re ready to take the natural wine leap, ask your server about natural wine. No secret handshake required, just an open mind and a happy palate!

Here’s a review of the first-ever Natural Wine Summit by San Diego man-about-downtown and executive editor of San Diego Magazine and contributor to NBC San Diego Ron Donoho.

Wine, Extra Wacky

Jaynes Gastropub in North Park hosts Natural Wine Summit with bio-dynamic offerings


Jaynes Gastropub in North Park hosted a Natural Wine Summit on Sunday. I confess to never having sampled Jaynes food fare—but I’m prepared to go back. Incentive enough is Liverludlian proprietor Jayne Battle’s foresight to collect and showcase green-but-good-timing distributors of “bio-dynamic” wines in her two-year-old eatery.

What’s a gastropub, and what are natural wines? Man, these buzzkill questions are slowing down the narrative flow.
Okay, a gastropub is a British term for a bar that has better than average pub food. (The term probably sounds more enticing to Brits.) Natural wines—most bottled in Europe—are those produced with minimal intervention.

They’re not simply organic. They’re hyper-organic, says Kermit Lynch representative Kate MacWilliamson, on hand at Jaynes Gastropub to pour a 2007 Reisling, a 2008 Bandol Rose and a 2006 Dupere Barrera from a winery in Provence, France called Nowat.

“Nowat is extra wacky,” says MacWilliamson. “The name comes from ‘no watts’—no electricity at all is used to create this extremely bio-dynamic wine.”

Kermit Lynch wine merchant Kate MacWilliamson sells extra wacky wine.

Extra-wacky is exemplar of the terms used to describe winemakers at this Natural Wine Summit.

“Mavericks” is the word used by DSWE rep Alexander Stuempfig. Paris Driggers of Purple Palate Wine Brokers talked about Austrian farms where “it’s cool to have vines covered with fungus inside the winery.” Robert Brownson of Farm Wine Imports called his producers “hippies.”

“Too much wine-making has become soulless,” says Brownson. “In the 1980s and ’90s, wine became a symbol of wealth. People forgot to eat drink and just be merry. Wine is for getting buzzed and talking about sex, drugs and rock and roll.”

Like the lady said in “When Harry Met Sally”: “I’ll have what he’s having.”


We can’t help but wonder if Ron Donoho is related to Don Ho but we imagine the answer is No.

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