Meet the Winemakers Behind our June Wines

June wine ian pax

We engaged star winemakers Pax Mahle and Ian Brand to craft these covetable wines that will elevate your upcoming Blue Apron meals.

They made these wines specially for Blue Apron, to complement our meals. These wines work so well with food because they were crafted to have balanced acidity, which is the key to making great-tasting, food-friendly wines.

Here’s an easy way to think about why acidity is important: Imagine a great slice of pizza. One of the reasons it tastes as good as it does is that the tomato sauce is acidic – it’s what draws out the flavors of everything else on the slice, be it the cheese, vegetables or the meat. Wine works in more or less the same way: It tastes good because its natural acidity balances with the flavors in the wine. The wine’s acidity also enhances the flavors of the food you’re eating.

June Wine Spotlight: Meet Pax of Pax Mahle Wines

June-Wine-Blog-Slice_04Pax went from sommelier to superstar winemaker practically overnight. There’s a waiting list to get most of his small-lot wines, which earn scores over 90 points from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.

June-Wine-Blog-Slice_06Pax achieves food-friendliness in his wines by working with vineyards in high-elevation areas. Up there, the vines get more sun exposure ]to ripen the grapes, but the process goes slowly since the air is so cold. Over the course of the growing season, the grapes ripen to that point of perfect taste – just the right balance of sugar (which ferments into alcohol)  and acidity, which remains in the wine and elevates the flavors of the food on the plate. Specifically, the Pax red pairs well with bigger, bolder-flavored BA recipes on this wine’s page: LINK TK

June Wine Spotlight:  Meet Ian Brand of P’tit Paysan


Ian was a broke surfer dude living out of his van when he got a job on the bottling line at Bonny Doon Vineyard, the biggest name in Santa Cruz wine. He was promoted to the lab, then went to work the vineyards at Big Basin, the most prestigious producer in the region. At age 30 and with $2,000 in his pocket, he and his wife Heather ventured south to Monterey to find vineyards for a label of their own. Their vibrant, zesty wines were an immediate hit.


Ian achieves food-friendliness in his wines by working with vineyards in remote areas of the foothills in the deep valleys of Monterey and San Benito Counties. While the elevations aren’t as high, the effects are similar since he finds vineyards exposed to cold winds blowing in off the Pacific and long sunshine hours. But the vines he works with are also in very rocky, nutrient-poor soils. So the vines have to extend their roots deep into the ground in search of water and nutrients to just get enough energy to ripen the grapes to a sugar-acid balance by the end of summer.


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