It’s no exaggeration to describe “Florida” Jim Cowan as one of the most respected and admired commentators in the online wine community. A true gentleman, Jim is the consummate voice of reason, with a common sense view of all things wine-related that resonates strongly with his many friends and readers. Most of us in Gang of Pour go back a number of years with “Florida” Jim, having met up with him all over the country to share good food, wine and friendship, and several of those events have been documented in our pages, going all the way back to the second “Bacchus tour.”
It’s been especially interesting to follow the development of Jim’s taste in wine over the years. Like many of us, he started out drinking big California Cabernets out of plastic cups at NASCAR races…; OK, that’s definitely an exaggeration, but there IS a story there, and perhaps one of these days we’ll get him to tell it. He really DID start out on those big Cal Cabs though, but gradually developed a taste for what we like to refer to as “real” wine, that is wines that are balanced, made as naturally as possible and that show a real sense of place, or dare I say it, terroir. His comments and descriptors are plain spoken and straightforward, and have earned him an avid group of followers wherever he posts them.
A few years ago, Jim paid our old friend, Russell “Bacchus” Bevan a visit. Russell is enjoying notable success as a winemaker with his own Bevan Cellars label and has also made wines for such highly-regarded producers as Showket Vineyards and Dry Stack Cellars. Jim caught the “winemaking bug” himself, and describes here how he established his own Cowan Cellars.
We are extremely pleased to welcome “Florida” Jim Cowan to Gang of Pour. He will be archiving his tasting notes here and, from time to time, stopping by to comment on his experiences as a winemaker or just about anything else that he has a mind to talk about. Jim’s initial offering is a compilation of his complete tasting notes from 2009 and the first part of 2010. They are divided into Bubbles, Whites, Roses and Reds. We will add prior years in the coming weeks.
Reporting from Day-twah,