Special Edition: Explore the World of Wine
Bonner Private Wines brings the best bottles to your door
In 6000 B.C., people in the country of Georgia discovered that the grape juice they stored gradually turned into something else... Something much richer, more delicious, and infinitely more fun to drink. Many centuries later, the world is still enjoying it: wine.
Wine, after all, is universal. There are winemakers on six out of the seven continents, each as diverse as the regions they represent. With so many varietals to choose from, where do you start?
Supermarkets don’t offer a great selection, and wine shops can be daunting. The best way to explore the world of wine is with a guide, an expert who can help curate a collection of wine and then help you navigate your way through them.
Bonner Private Wines is the next best thing to living with your own personal sommelier. Founded by Will Bonner, Bonner Private Wines allows you to discover small-batch wines not generally available in the U.S.
The wines are curated by renowned former winemaker Julien Miquel, Associate of the Institute of Wines and Spirits (AIWS). Members not only have access to tasting notes, but they can follow Miguel on a tasting journey through exclusive videos that only members have access to.
Although he grew up spending time in one of the best-known wine-producing countries, France, Will Bonner says he didn’t get into wine until his family bought a cattle ranch in Argentina that had a vineyard on it.
“We tried this wine, grown in the middle of the Andes mountains and we were stunned. The wines tasted so rich and so unique.”
Bonner discovered that the high altitudes of the Andes, along with harsh conditions like strong wind and little rain, cause the skins of the grapes to be extra thick, giving these wines deep colors and bold notes. Bonner decided to share his discoveries. “We wanted this kind of wine to be available in the U.S. In the Andes, the winemakers take a traditional approach. They do as little as possible in the winemaking process. They use very little oak and use indigenous yeast.”
Bonner made contact with an importer that specializes in bringing back wine from France and Italy. They head up sourcing in Europe, finding small producers that are usually edged out by big, widely known winemakers. “It’s something truly unique we specialize in,” says Bonner.
With the help of Julien Miquel’s expert nose for wine, Bonner Private Wines ships a curated assortment of three or six wines every two months — most of which aren't readily available in your local wine shop. Each collection is accompanied by a link to a PDF that breaks down all the details of the wines.
Even more exciting is the link to Julien Miquel’s video that explains the regions and details about each vineyard and its winemakers. Pour yourself a glass and taste along with Miquel as he talks through the tasting notes and suggests food pairings for each wine. “Julien is one of the world’s top wine influencers. We wanted him to tell the stories of these wines and where they come from,” says Bonner.
Though there are several different wine clubs to experience in the Bonner family, the wine maven suggests the Winemakers Club, which now features French wines. “It’s the perfect introduction to becoming a real wine aficionado,” says Bonner. The Winemakers Club costs $150 for three bottles (with a free bonus bottle) and $270 for six bottles (with a free bonus bottle) every two months (shipping included).
For those who have a more adventurous palate, there are additional options: The Extreme Altitude Club explores the wines of the Andes Regions and the Wine Explorers Club offers premium wines hand-selected from France, Spain, Italy, and more.
Bonner says that wines are so much more than a drink - they’re a passion. “Something about wine has captivated humanity for centuries.”
Bonner shares that our connection with wine is like nothing else in life. “When you open a bottle of good wine, there’s a sense of place, a direct connection to the land and the environment where the grapes are grown. Wine is made in a specific way. It takes so much passion and drive. When you open a bottle of wine, you’re connecting with nature and there’s no end to what you can delve into. It’s so captivating and enjoyable for all those reasons.”
If you’ve always been curious about wines and didn’t know where to start, Bonner has some great advice. “Jump in and join our club. There is no risk to you to try us out. We keep our prices in the $30-50 range per bottle to make it accessible and to deliver an authentic product. There’s adventure and romance in a bottle of wine. That’s what we want to capture in our wine club."