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JOHN TALKS ABOUT HIS WINE – KRISEMMA 2011 Available now in the UK.




JOHN            Hi everybody, I’m really excited about the new wine, my Krisemma 2011 Bordeaux AOC and I can honestly say I’m so pleased that you all wish to be part of this journey with me by asking questions which I hope I can answer.  I’m sure your questions might also help to aid my enlightenment too!  There are a lot to get through, so apologies if I don’t manage them all….


Anonymous emailer asked what is your first memories of wine?


JOHN  I remember going to Spanish bodegas on holiday in Spain with an empty jug and filling it with local red wine straight from a barrel.  That was the first time that I realized it’s not just about the wine, it’s about where it comes from and who you share it with.  I still think that you can find some fantastic local wines.


Jill Alderfer asked about the history of getting involved with developing Krisemma and reasons for selecting the blend.


JOHN            The very first great red wine that I ever drank was Lynch Bages from the Pauillac region of Bordeaux in France.  I loved it so much that when Emily was born I bought her a case to celebrate her birth, and we’ve opened a bottle for every special event in her life.  I did the same for Kristian. For Krisemma 2011 I wanted to make a wine from the same region in France so Emily and I went down to Bordeaux and chose the parcels of vineyards that we’d like the grapes to come from, and then blended the wine to give us this typical Bordeaux style wine with the specific characteristics that parcels of Left Bank Pauillac and Margaux for the Sauvignon Cabernet and Right Bank Merlot add.  By blending the left and right bank in this way we felt that we were blending a wine that was both drinkable now with wonderful fruit characteristics and soft tannins, but also had the structure to give it aging potential and the ability to mature and improve year on year.


Mark Lacob asked If Krisemma was a lady, would she be a brunette, a blonde, or a redhead?


JOHN  (Laughs!) If I was drinking Krisemma in the Northern cold climate areas then it would be a blonde, if I was deep in the southern Mediterranean, then it would be a brunette!


Adrian Kaplan Rosen asked how are the final descriptions of the wine and the notes decided upon? I am always curious when I see strawberry, cocoa, melon, etc on the label since I know the wine is basically grapes.


JOHN  I think when you taste a wine you need to taste it and decide whether you like it.  For me that’s the most important thing.  I think great tasters or sommeliers will identify different flavour profiles and when they tell you then somehow you can then recognize what they are saying.  I’m not sure if it’s subconscious or not, and it does help you pick and chose wines in the style you like.  During fermentation when grape juice turns to wine all of these different aroma compounds are created, and often it takes a trained palate, or someone with a naturally great palate, to recognize all of them.  But to me you’ve just got to enjoy the wine that you buy and drink.


Keith Hall asked is there any way to get autographed bottles in the USA for very special gifts?


JOHN            The laws in the US for selling and distributing wine are very difficult and vary state by state, but we are talking to various people and working on bringing the wine to the States and hope to let you know about that in the 2015.  That is why the wine is currently only available in the UK – but of course if you’ve friends over here they can probably buy it for you which would be good!  In fact I’ve just spent all day signing them all so they will all be signed too. 


As you may or may not know, I’m just finishing recording my new album and I’m going to be launching it in New York in the Spring of 2015.  I haven’t got the exact date, but I’m hoping at the same time that we will do a wine tasting and that you can purchase the wine then, and obviously I’ll be there so I can sign those bottles too.    So just watch this space and the website, as it draws nearer we can give you the exact date as it will be the date of the release of my new album which I’m very excited about.


Joanne Powell Dilts asked whether the wine would be available in CanadaI


JOHN            We’ll do what we can for Canada too (and other countries mentioned!).  The important thing for us with Krisemma Wine is that each release is a small release.  I didn’t want to mass produce a wine, rather I wanted to find and produce small parcels of a quality wine that I can enjoy with friends and hope you do as well.


Lucas Cecil asked what is your favorite wine, also why did you want to start making your own wine?


JOHN            The first wine that we made was from Napa from a winery called Behrens and Hitchcock and I just love the whole drive through Napa and Sonoma – or any great wine region – it gives you such a chill down your spine to see the vineyards.  Actually it’s not just the vineyards… the French have a word for it, ‘terroir’ and it doesn’t just mean the earth, it means everything about that particular area that comes together to make the wine from that particular region.  It’s just magic.  You watch any of the movies set in wine country, they are always great fun, but there is something special about it.  So for this wine I wanted to make a wine from Bordeaux in France.  It’s a dry red wine and it will be drinking for the next decade or more – if you can keep the bottle!  Hopefully we will be making a white wine as well, but that is something for the future and maybe for next year….


I wanted to make my own wine because I thought it would be great to be able to choose and be able to drink the wine that you love and made yourself.  There is always something special when you make it yourself – like making your own food, or music!  If you’ve got your own wine, when friends come round for whatever occasion, dinner, parties, it’s fabulous to have your own wine.  It’s a great conversation builder and talking point.


Lee Roschen said I’d love to buy some here in Minnesota. We will have no problem getting it chilled this time of year. All we have to do is toss it outside for about 1 hour!


JOHN  To those of you in Minnesota, and anyone suffering the bad weather, keep your red wine at room temperature – and you keep warm too!


Teri Bigelow said I knew a man here that used to fly the Moodyblues on tour his name was Larry and he flew you guys on tour in 94 95 or 96


JOHN            I remember Larry very well!  Say hello to Captain Larry!  He safely flew us on many tours and made me feel really comfortable.  When you are playing a different city each night and you have to get on that plane twice a day, you really need someone sitting at the wheel who will get you there safely… well done Larry.


Phil Beck said is it a "Vintage Wine"?


JOHN  It will be in another decade!


Edna Nardone Feulner said I enjoyed both cruise wine tastings but did prefer the wine served on the MBC#1. I would like to know the difference between Wine#1 and Wine #2


JOHN            Good question! The Napa red that we had on the first cruise was a 2002 wine, and so we were all lucky enough to be drinking that at 11 years old and at perfect maturity, but it was also coming towards the last few years of it’s life.  The Bordeaux 2011 that is available now, and was on the second cruise, had only been in bottle for about three months at that point and was very much a baby at the beginning of its life, so it is hard to compare them like for like.  As is typical with Bordeaux wines they really evolve with age and develop different and more complex flavour profiles, and from next year will be starting to show itself properly, and will continue to mature after that.  But it’s always good to decant it – we couldn’t do that on the cruise, but it really helps to let it breathe, it does really work with younger wines.  The 2011 is going to last and last has many many years ahead (if you can resist drinking it now that is!), and will be a very different wine to drink by next year, and as it continues to evolve.  I can’t wait to try it at 11 years old!  That’s why it’s great as a present as the gift can last for years.


Luis Guadalupe asked which kind of wine do you prefer? White or Red?


JOHN            I choose a wine for the moment really.  I really love white burgundies , always have, but also when I’m in Italy I drink a lot of Italian wines, especially from Piedmont and Tuscany, in America I tend to drink wines from there, and I’ve recently been introduced to some South African Chardonnay which is really brilliant.  With reds it often depends on what I’m going to eat, and sometimes it’s just to sit down with a nice glass of red wine which is really relaxing thing to do on a late summer’s afternoon.  After a gig I like to drink white wine, often Stags’ Leap Chardonnay if I’m in the US as the red wine relaxes me and for me personally I just like a glass of white.


John Morell asked about which types of grape are in the wine – his father was a winemaker


JOHN  All the grapes in Krisemma 2011 are red grapes – 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot.  As your father made wine you’ll know this, but I always find it interesting that the colour of wine comes from the skins, and that white wine can be made from red grapes if you don’t put the skin in.  For instance champagne is normally made with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, and only the chardonnay is a white grape, yet the finished champagne is white.  That is why you can buy a ‘blanc de blanc’ which tells you that it is white champagne made white grapes.  Actually one of my favourite vintage champagnes for very special occasions is made in this style – Tattinger Comtes De Champagne.


Kim Headley Fritchie asked can you describe your wine in three words?            


JOHN  Cheers my friends           


Ciny Robinett Gentlemna asked which appellation will your wine be from?


JOHN            It’s a Bordeaux AOC.  It doesn’t come from one single village eg Pauillac as we have blended left and right bank, but we are very proud to have an AOC appellation wine!


Majorie Guthrie asked what’s in the name?


JOHN            The name is from Kristian and Emily….


Carol Rowe asked do you have a white that you like, and if so what is it and why? Also, what is your overall favorite wine and what makes it your favorite?


JOHN            I love Chardonnays, but my very favourite are the Burgundies.  I love wines from Meursault, Puligny Montrachet, Chassagne Montrachet, Le Montrachet and so on.  However, you can enjoy the wines at any level, there are some wonderful ‘burgundies’, that you can buy that are not from specific villages, but are great value and so enjoyable.  I like to buy my wines from the villages and even from the Chateaux themselves, and if you ever get a chance you must drive through the Route des Vins de Bourgogne (Wine Road), it’s one of the most spectacular drives you can ever do.


Robert Koehl asked If you could pair Krisemma with any dish, what would it be?


JOHN  A great big steak!  Ribeye steak cooked Pittsburgh style, or lamb with rosemary and garlic cooked slowly in the oven and then and barbequed quickly, or perhaps if you’re a vegetarian a roasted root vegetable dish with garlic, herbs and olive oil all braised in the red wine.


Linda Richardson asked is the grape for the wine being grown locally or imported to the UK? Will there be a website to order?


JOHN            The wine is all made in Bordeaux, the grapes are from the vineyards there and the wine is fermented, aged and bottled all there too.  That’s why we can have the Bordeaux AOC classification.  The wine has now been shipped to the UK and is available through my website (Editor – see for details on how to order, or email krisemmawine (@)  (Not a clickable link to avoid spambots).)


Dona Pratt asked about the soil types and how this influences the wine


JOHN            It’s really interesting to see how the vine roots grow, and how great Chateaux select their vineyards.  Some of the very best vines are grown in what looks like terrible ground, stones, chalk, not too much soil etc.  What’s important is that the roots can go really deep down.  Each different soil gives different profiles, back to the French idea of ‘terroir’.  For instance the Margaux in Krisemma 2011 has large gravel mixed with sand over a thin layer of clay, the Pauillac has a light, sandy gravel soil and the Merlot in Côtes de Castillon is from a south facing slope of soil of clay over limestone.  This is why each region can be so different, despite being only miles apart.  The Margaux gives richness and finesse, and floral and red aromatics (it’s often called the feminine appellation), the Cabernet Sauvignon brings power, tight fine tannins and dark fruit and cedar, and the Merlot brings a depth of fruit and subtle tannins.


Caro Cool said Looking forward to your new album and are you going to take it on the road like Justin did?


JOHN  Anything’s possible!  I just want everyone to get the album first, to enjoy the album, and then we can see what happens, see where we go!


Sue Olstrom asked what made you pick Napa Valley for your wine instead of, say, Saint Tropez or another area? Are you considering another wine of different blends or are you planning to focus strictly on Krisemma?


JOHN            The 2002 wine was from Napa.  If you are ever in that region take a look, it really is one of the most beautiful places, and I just wanted to make a wine from there.  After that, I thought where next, and thought why not make a wine from Bordeaux, somewhere that had first inspired me in my wine journey, and as I said earlier I’m hoping that we will be making a chardonnay next year so watch this space…. And that may be from another area!


Suzanne Wimberly asked what has been your favorite aspect of wine making in process?


JOHN            The excitement is from start to finish… you see the vineyards, nothing there then leaves grow, the grapes grow, they then go through version when the red grapes turn from green to red, the grapes get harvested and crushed, the first juice coming out, and then it goes into oak barrels and eventually into bottles.  The whole process.  And then you go back to the vineyard and see that it’s all gone back to sticks and the process is going to begin again….


Eleanor Hudson asked about the balance of fruit v. tannin, and the grape varietals that go into your wine. Oaked or not?


John            At the moment the wine is more fruit forward, almost like separate parts, and over time as the wine matures the fruit and tannin will become more integrated, and the wine blends in beautifully.  You can enjoy the wine young, but it’s always interesting to see how it changes over time.  The wines were aged in barrel for 18 months, so that also gives a lot of complexity that will show as the wine matures.  And yes, I’m sure it would go with banana nut bread!


Bobbie Murry McWilliams asked is it better than the French Beaujolais wine?


JOHN  French Beaujolais is great fun when it comes out in November, but it’s really designed to be drunk straight away.  Bordeaux requires a little time… but then it will last longer and, I hope, give you much more enjoyment.


Yvonne Modarres asked have you discovered any particular food that you find that excited your taste bids with Krisemma 2011


JOHN            I love it with cheese…


Anne Marie Dranchak asked when do you anticipate the wine to be at its peak?


JOHN            I think from next year, and it will continue to improve over the next decade… To put it simply I would say it will reach its peak if you can avoid the temptation to drink it now!  Cheers everyone – I hope you enjoy the wine!







© 2016 by

Krisemma Wine Ltd


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