Patrick Comiskey- Words and Wine

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Patrick Comiskey should be well-known to those who read the Los Angeles Times or who seek out writing about wine.  He has been a regular fixture with the Times and, more recently, with the wine and spirits blog 750 Daily with many articles advising about smart wine drinking as well as various aspects to the Los Angeles wine world such as the legacy of Piero Selvaggio of the recently-closed Valentino restaurant or a story about L A wine tasting groups going back to the 60’s and the future important figures in L A wine who were members.

Perhaps more importantly, Patrick has been an editor at Wine and Spirits Magazine and has written for a more deeply wine-savvy readership.  In our talk, Patrick gives an insight into how the W & S editorial board chooses its subject matter.

Patrick also wrote a book on the past and present of Rhone grape varietals in The U S titled, “American Rhone: How Maverick Winemakers Changed the Way Americans Drink” (U. of California Press).  Sounds nerdy, but if you have ever wondered where that Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier, Rousanne, etc. came from, there’s an entertaining and compelling story that Mr. Comiskey offers up.  Patrick’s experience as a sommelier in San Francisco in the early 90’s gave him a first-hand knowledge of many of these wines and their creators.

Today, grape varietals from the Rhone have been bursting out in availaility and various styles.  They are also a forward-looking class of varietal and blended wines which, for the forseeable future, may respond well to our changing climate.

In our discussion, Patrick’s formidable insight into American Rhone grapes is always slightly under the surface of the various other topics that we touch on, including the various styles of wine that presently coexist in our market, recent trends in wine marketing, thoughts on wine journalism and more.  Hopefully this interview will encourage listeners to seek out Patrick’s nuanced and engaging writing and his byline wherever it may be found. 

When at the end of our talk, Patrick refers glowingly to his neighborhood,  it is Village Green in Los Angeles.


In this conversation, I glowingly mention the producer Scar of the Sea.  At the same time I was tasting Scar of the Sea wines, I was also tasting owner Mikey Guigni’s wife, Gina Guigni’s Lady of the Sunshine wines. They were equally excellent and worth seeking out.