Entry in progress—B.P.
What’s a Unicorn Wine?
Parsing sommelier speak
Posted: Oct 24, 2013 10:30am ET
By Jennifer Fiedler
On March 1, Michael Mina wine director Rajat Parr offered this explanation on Twitter, “A wine that is ‘rare,’ ‘not seen much’ ‘special bottlings.’ Not always the most expensive but just hard to find.”
In early August, an attempt to establish a true set of rules for unicorn wines began on Twitter under the hashtags #unicornrules and #unicornwinerules. (For the Twitter uninitiated, hashtags, denoted by the # character, are a way of labeling the post for search results.) The results were as follows:
• The wine must have a production of fewer than 200 cases. (@RN74, Raj Parr, Aug. 5)
• “You feel genuinely uncomfortable when opening because it may never happen again.” (@ChadZeigler, RN74 sommelier Chad Zeigler, Aug. 5)
• “There is no price limit.” (@RN74, Raj Parr, Aug. 5)
• “The winemaker is no longer with us or retired.” (@RN74, Raj Parr, Aug. 6)
• “The wine can’t be on Wine Searcher [wine-searcher.com].” (@corkhoarder, Grand Cru Select’s Bryan Garcia, Aug. 7)
• “If you have to ask, it ain’t Unicorn.” (@leviopenswine, writer Levi Dalton, Aug. 5)
The Wall Street Journal
WSJ. MAGAZINE WHAT’S NEWS
Oenophiles’ Latest Obsession: Unicorn Wine
Popularized on social media, the term is used to refer to bottles as elusive as the mythical creature
By ZACHARY SUSSMAN
April 30, 2015 3:26 p.m. ET
As sommeliers continue to shape the wine world’s tastes, one charming bit of industry jargon has lately begun spilling into the mainstream: “unicorn wine.” Used to refer to bottles as elusive as the mythical horned horse, the turn of phrase for ultrarare vintages—think one of the long-lost whites from Clos de la Maréchale—was popularized as a hashtag on the Instagram and Twitter feeds of sommeliers like Rajat Parr, wine director for Michael Mina’s restaurants, and the NoMad’s Thomas Pastuszak. The phrase points to a larger trend in the business: Unlike the blue-chip trophy wines that collectors have typically vied for (Latour, Lafite), unicorn wines confer status not by cost but by the skill—or luck—it takes to acquire one. It’s a brand of exclusivity you can’t just buy.
What Is Unicorn Wine?
by Levi Dalton Sep 22, 2015, 3:15p
These are 13 of the most desired wines on the market.
Amongst all wines available to buyers, when it comes to certain producers, there are just never enough bottles to satisfy demand. And the fierce desire for what is in limited supply has led to changes in the way New York sommeliers write wine lists in the ever competitive and thirsty city. Enter “Unicorn Wine,” a new category of wine taking hold in Manhattan—the once in a lifetime bottles that every sommelier dreams of drinking, and bragging about, before they die.