Wine for Normal People

By Wine for Normal People

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Description

A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at http://winefornormalpeople.libsyn.com.

Episode Date
Ep 305: Gaia Gaja on the Past and Future of Barbaresco and Piedmont, Italy
42:04

This week, one of the most famous wine producers in the world joins us -- Gaia Gaja from Gaja in Barbaresco in Piedmont, Italy. We discuss the history of her famed family, why their wines are like liquid velvet, and how climate change is forcing new ways of thinking.

Her philosophy, outlook, and class show why Gaja has earned its place at the top of the wine world.

We discuss:

  • The history of the Gaja family and how they became so important in Barbaresco

  • We discuss Angelo Gaja, his philosophies and how he wound up changing the face of Italian wine by doubting everything, and always looking forward

  • Gaia gives us some insight into how Gaja does things so differently and yield such different, and amazing results 

  • We talk about Barbaresco and Barolo, the nuances of the land, and how those in Piedmont may be best suited to take on climate change. Gaia tells us a bit about Gaja's philosophy of optimism and change helps them take a different outlook on climate change and why biodiversity may be the key to helping things

 

Thanks to Wine2Wine Verona for inviting me to speak and for allowing me the opportunity to meet Gaia Gaja and share this show with all of you!

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!!

_______________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy. 

Dec 09, 2019
Ep 304: Hightower Cellars, Red Mountain, Washington, and an Honest Look at WA Wine
59:18

Tim and Kelly Hightower of Hightower Cellars have been making beautiful wine in Washington State (in the northwest of the US) specifically Red Mountain, for about 2.5 decades. They tell us about the evolution of Washington State wine, their path to owning a boutique winery, and then we discuss some of the reasons Washington wine can and should be so much more popular. This is a real insightful look into the challenges and opportunities of Washington State wine! 

Map Courtesy Wine for Normal People Book

Map (C) "Wine for Normal People" book

Here are some of the points we hit:

  • Kelly and Tim tell us how they each got into wine at fairly young ages, and what the early years of Washington wine were like 
  • The Hightowers talk about their drive to relocate to Red Mountain. We talk about the terroir of the area -- climate, soils, and terrain and why they are unique.
  • Tim and Kelly tell us the profile of Red Mountain wine and why it is so striking
  • We discuss the business model of many Washington producers and the disconnect between the tasting rooms of the town of Woodinville and the wineries located in the vineyards. 
  • We discuss the role of small and large wineries in Washington State 
  • Tim and Kelly tell us how the market for Washington wine has changed and grown, and how they see great things on the horizon for the state.

 

   

 

 

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!!

_______________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

 

  1.  
Dec 02, 2019
Ep 303: Alternative Wines For Thanksgiving Pairing
35:42

We have much to be grateful for this year – Patrons, the release of the , and all of you listeners! This is our yearly TG episode. This time we take the traditional pairings and offer some alternatives. You can stick with what you know based on our recommendations or go out on a limb. Either way, we are truly grateful for you, for your tolerance of our Beastie Boys and Hobbit references and for your continued support! Thank you!

 

Traditional Whites:

  • Riesling
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chardonnay
  • Gewurztraminer

 

Alternative whites:

  • Off-dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc
  • Grüner Veltliner or Verdejo from Rueda Spain
  • Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina, or Soave from Italy
  • White Rhône blends with Roussanne, white Priorat (Spain), or pure Roussanne from a winery like Truchard in Napa or from Savoie (Chignin Bergeron)

 

If you want…

Rosé:

  • Go for something New World with more fruit character. The Provence styles are unpredictable so unless you have a producer you love, go New World

 

Sparkling:

  • I prefer Champagne but Crémant (which we don’t mention but is a great option), Cava or American Sparkling will work, as will Cap Classique from South Africa. I’m less of a fan of Prosecco. I’m a big fan of drinking the bubbly with food rather than enjoying it just on its own.

 

Traditional Reds:

  • Pinot Noir
  • Zinfandel
  • Syrah
  • Beaujolais

 

Alternative Reds:

  • Lighter Garnacha, Bobal, or Mencîa from Spain
  • Austrian reds: St. Laurent, Zweigelt, Blaüfrankisch (as long as they are lighter and not too spicy)
  • Lighter styles of Zinfandel like those from the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma (we mention Nalle and Peterson as favorites) or Primitivo (still Zin!) from Puglia
  • Pinot Noir but New World styles from Oregon, Santa Barbara, and New Zealand
  • Cabernet Franc from Virginia, New York, and Loire
  • Merlot, especially Merlot from the Right Bank of Bordeaux

 

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices. They offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Nov 19, 2019
Ep 302: The Insider View of Long Island Wine with Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane Wine
01:08:45

Long Island has 3,000 acres planted with grapes and at least 60 wineries. Lieb Cellars has been around for nearly 30 years and this week Russell Hearn, winemaker for Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane Wines  (who has been there since the start), and Ami Opisso, General Manager and Long Island native, tell us about why Long Island is special, why Lieb is different, and how Bridge Lane is the king of quality wine in alternative packaging (yes, we cover this in detail!). 

After discussing all the various accents on this show (yeah, I'm from the 'Island so you'll hear me get mine back when Ami and I tawk!), we dig deep into Long Island.

  • We discuss the history of the region, beginning in the 1970s

  • Russell tells us how bodies of water, well draining soil, and sun exposure create a great environment for grapes

  • We discuss the weather and climate. Long Island is not known for stable, easy climate. With humidity, frost, and sometimes ridiculous quantities of rain, it seems like it couldn't work -- Russell gives us insight into drainage, why it is so important here, and Ami tells us about the true meaning of Sustainability on Long Island, where everything you spray goes directly into your drinking water.

  • Long Island has received some bad press regarding the local government's inability to provide a good environment for wineries. Ami annd Russell tell us the fascinating, insider deal on all of that. 

We move on to wine! We talk about...

  • The top reds and top whites of Long Island and what makes them special

  • We talk about why Long Island lacks some of the recognition other emerging East Coast regions often get 

  • Russell talks about the history of Lieb Cellars , since he's been the winemaker since its inception. He tells us why Pinot Blanc is so special to the property

  • Ami discusses Bridge Lane and how the idea to become the first winery on Long Island to produce wine in several alternative formats, including bottles, boxes, kegs and cans came about

  • Russell and Ami tell us, in detail, about different formats (box, can, keg) and the extensive research they did to ensure that neither corrosion from acid nor corruption of flavor would occur in things other than glass bottles. 

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices. They offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Zola

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To start your free wedding website or registry on Zola, go to www.ZOLA.com/wine

 

Nov 13, 2019
Ep 301: Sheldrake Point Winery -- Refreshing Candor (and wine) in the Finger Lakes
39:27

Sheldrake Point Winery in the Finger Lakes began in 1997. For most of that time, Dave Wieman, vineyard manager, and Dave Breeden, winemaker, have been with the winery. They dish on what it's really like it is to make wine in this ever-changing, awesome region.

Here are the show notes:

  • After our weekly plug of the Wine For Normal People Book (if you like the podcast, you will love the book and it's a perfect companion guide to the show!) we break the news that the audio got messed up. Aliens took over the audio for the first quarter of the recording and so M.C. Ice and I step in to do the re-cap!
    • We talk about the history of Sheldrake Point Winery, it's unique location, the importance of Cornell University, and warn you of the hilarity that ensues in this show

  • The Daves talk about how challenging it can be to manage a vineyard in the Finger Lakes and how moisture, drainage, slope, and microclimate make all the difference in making great wine in the Finger Lakes. Dave Wieman talks about whether he ever thinks about what it would be like to make wine in Napa, where things aren't quite so hard. 

 

  • We discuss the viability of sustainable agriculture in the Finger
    Lakes and what that looks like in a climate with humidity and rain

 

  • Dave Breeden, winemaker (and self-proclaimed "inside Dave") talks about his job as the guy whose job it is not to mess up what nature gave him! He serves all his answers straight up -- from talking about why it makes sense to use once used oak (it's better for the wine AND cheaper), to questioning why Gewurztraminer isn't more popular, to why he loves to dance the tango with Pinot Gris each year. 

 

  • We discuss the different styles of Riesling, how they are achieved and how Dave Breeden came around to liking the Gamay he works with. 

 

  • After many laughs, lots of honesty, and some stuff we just had to edit out (sorry), we talk about the bright future of the Finger Lakes and how things are only just beginning. 

Sheldrake Point will be at Underground Wine Events on 11/9/19! 

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Nov 05, 2019
Ep 300: A Past, Present, and Future look at Wine, for Normal People
49:45

As we always do when we hit a milestone, for episode 300 we reflect on three things we each have learned in the last 8 years.

We talk about the process of planning, writing, and publishing the book and possible future wine trends.

We thank you for all your support over the years!

 

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!!

_______________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Oct 29, 2019
Ep 299: Texas Wine Country with the Wineries of Texas Fine Wine
58:04

Texas is one of the oldest winegrowing states in the US, with vines predating California by 100+ years. The first vineyard in North America was by Franciscan priests circa 1660 in Texas and the industry grew throughout the 1800s. Texas is important in another way, as horticulturist Thomas Munson contributed greatly to finding the solution to  the phylloxera epidemic, which effectively saved the European wine industry from total ruin. After Prohibition decimated the industry in the 1920s, Texas jump started it's wine industry in the 1970s and today it's roaring back. Texas has 400 producers and it is growing and growing.

 

Jennifer McInnis, General Manager of Bending Branch and Ron Yates, the owner and President of Spicewood Vineyards, are part of a marketing consortium representing five of Texas’ most distinguished wineries: Bending Branch WineryBrennan VineyardsDuchman Family WineryPedernales Cellars and Spicewood Vineyards. Member wineries produce wines from Texas grapes, that try to express the terroir of Texas Hill County and the Texas High Plains.

             

Here are the show notes:

We start off talking about Texas, an area I admittedly (used to) know very little about. We cover:

  1. The breadth and depth of areas. Specifically What are the
    different areas/are there discreet AVAs? Where are they vis a vis the cities? We talk specifically about Texas Hill Country and the High Plains, which create premium wine in the state.
  2. We discuss the role of elevation and the similarities to other growing regions around the world (specifically the Duero in Spain, which Texas High Plains resembles).
  3. We talk extensively about climate – how it’s extremely erratic and how growing conditions here are unlike anywhere else with extreme heat, thunderstorms, hail, and unpredictable weather events that change each vintage and make winemaking a true challenge.
  4. We talk about the grapes that grow here and how over the last 5-10 years, grapes like Tannat, Tempranillo, and southern Italian varietals that are heat tolerant have thrived. We talk about why many growers in the past bought grapes from Washington State or California.
  5. We discuss some of the challenges that Texas has faced with the anti-alcohol lobby and how that has been overcome.

 

Then we discuss the 5 wineries of Texas Fine Wine and their goals of making excellent wine that is known outside of just Texas. Jennifer discusses Bending Branch(if you’re curious, here’s info on cryomaceration (extreme version of cold maceration)and flash détente, that she references!) Ron talks about Spicewoodand then we discuss Duchman,Brennan, and Pedernalesand their styles.  

 

We wrap by talking about the bright future of Texas wine!

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!!

_______________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Oct 21, 2019
Ep 298: The Transformation of Loudoun County, Virginia -- The Vineyards at Lost Creek
47:12

Loudoun County, Virginia is in close proximity to Washington, D.C. -- the farthest vineyards are just over an hour's drive away. But the area has been known more for  big, beautiful farms that are good for weddings rather than as a premier wine region of Virginia. Today, this is changing and Lost Creek is part of that change.

About 7 years ago Aimee and Todd Henkle of Lost Creek decided to buy a beautiful property that made mainly sweet wines and change it into a place with elegant, dry reds and whites. Aimee tells her story and that of a region maturing each year. 

Here are the show notes: 

  • Aimee is the Chair of the Loudoun County Wineries Association, so I ask her to tell us about Loudoun County. We review: 
    • Where is Loudoun County?
    • How many wineries there are, the terroir types, and what they specialize in
    • We discuss the controversial question of wineries growing grapes v. buying them from the west coast, a challenge that has plagued the legitimacy of Loudoun for years, and how things are changing
  • Aimee tells us how she got into wine from her background in electrical engineering
  • We learn about how the Vineyard at Lost Creek transitioned from sweet wine to dry wine, and how the quality has been improved greatly through vineyard practices
  • We talk about sustainable and organic viticulture and the
    challenges of farming in this unique mountain area
  • Aimee tells us about their elegant Chardonnay, Merlot and Cab Franc based blends, and why Tannat is a rising start
  • Aimee tells us what she sees for the future of Loudoun County

Lost Creek will be at the Underground Wine Event on 11/9/19! Get your tickets before we sell out!.

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!!

_______________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Oct 15, 2019
Ep 297: Anthony Road Wine Company -- a Legend in the Finger Lakes Region of New York
01:10:03

Anthony Road Wine Company is a legend in the Finger Lakes Region of
New York. It’s one of the pioneering wineries of the area, and it makes wines that reflect the soils and climate of the Finger Lakes. Their wines are made from grapes grown in vineyards owned or managed by the Martini Family and carefully selected by Peter Becraft, the head winemaker. Anthony Road is a family run, family owned, and family operated winery that makes outstanding Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, blends, and a variety of reds and rose, as well as some skin contact wines.

 
  

This week I speak with Peter Becraft, a man of many talents. He started out his career as a Fine Arts Masters student, working as a casting director for a famed fashion photographer in Manhattan. As with many of our generation, Peter found himself at a crossroad after September 11, 2001. He realized he needed to do something more fulfilling with his life. Previously finding more common ground and excitement in the folks his pastry chef wife Cary hung out with, he pursued a wine shop job in lower Manhattan and immersed himself in the world of wine. Today, he is the head winemaker at the iconic Anthony Road Wine Company in the Finger Lakes on Seneca Lake.

 

 Here are the show notes: 

  • Peter tells us how John and Ann Martini moved from Baltimore in 1973 and set up their farm. He gives us a great lesson on the history of Finger Lakes – what it was like when the Martinis came, and how things have evolved over the last 45 years.

 

  • We learn about the role of hybrid grapes and why they are different from and similar to the grapes we know and love (vitis vinifera)

 

  • Peter tells us about the climate and the differences between the Martini Family Vineyard and the Nutt Road Vineyard and why microclimate is so essential to winemaking In the Finger Lakes. Peter gets into really nerdy detail, including glacial movement, silt-loam soils, and how the depth and width of Seneca Lake influences the vineyards

 

  • Peter then shares his incredible journey from sculptor to winemaker. He tells us how he went from student in Virginia to fine arts Masters student in New York City to winemaker at one of the premier wineries in New York

 

  • Peter tells us how he learned winemaking, the importance of mentorship from former head winemaker Johannes Reinhardt and how he approaches winemaking

 

  • We discuss the variety of wines in Anthony Road’s portfolioRiesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Vignoles (a hybrid), Lemberger, Pinot Noir, Cab Franc, Merlot

 

  • We wrap with Peter’s view on what makes the Finger Lakes so special – its unity, vision, and collegiality

 

Peter and Anthony Road will be at the Underground Wine Event on 11/9/19!

 

You can meet Peter and try his wines at the Underground Wine Event in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 2019! 

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!!

_______________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Oct 08, 2019
Ep 296: Boundary Breaks of the Finger Lakes, Where Terroir Reigns Supreme
51:05

Boundary Breaks is located in the Finger Lakes in Central New York. It's the consummate cool weather growing region, where Riesling and aromatic whites reign supreme. Bruce Murray, the founder and creative force behind Boundary Breaks, tells us how he went from newspaper man, to working with Elon Musk, to running a winery so focused on terroir, they don't even have a dedicated winemaker.

 

Boundary Breaks was founded in 2007 by Bruce on the East side of Seneca Lake. It focuses on Riesling, which range in style from dry and complex to lightly sweet to a true Riesling Ice Wine. In addition to Riesling, small amounts of Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown on the estate. The wines are spectacular with a purity of flavor, and excellent terroir expression. Bruce's life is fascinating and Boundary Breaks, indeed, has broken some boundaries in what can be done in the wine world! 

 

Here are the topics we discuss: 

  • Bruce tells us how his life unfolded to bring him back to the area in which he grew up. He tells me how the Donnhoff Riesling from Nahe, Germany in a Thai restaurant in Vegas changed the course of his life. 

  • We talk about the Finger Lakes, how they were formed, why they
    are so unique and why the east side of Seneca Lake produces such excellent grapes. We get extra dorky, discussing Boundary Breaks' unique drainage system and why "wet feet" are bad for grapes

 

  • We discuss Riesling and how vineyard management is so pivotal to getting pure flavor. We detail each style Boundary Breaks makes -- dry, off-dry, ice wine plus aromatic whites like Gewurztraminer.

 

  • We talk extensively about the challenges of growing reds in the climate of the Finger Lakes and how quality has been spotty over the years, but is improving by leaps and bounds.

You can meet Bruce and try his wines at the Underground Wine Event in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 2019! 

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!!

_______________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Oct 01, 2019
Ep 295: Sleight of Hand- Washington State's Wine Magic
01:10:58

Sleight of Hand Cellars is the fulfillment of two dreams. Jerry Solomon was a real estate attorney in San Diego who longed for a small town life and wanted wine to be part of it. Trey Busch was a Walla Walla winemaker who had insane talent but needed a partner to make his dream winery a reality.

The two created Sleight of Hand 12 years ago to create exceptional, terroir driven wines that reflect the unique land of Walla Walla and Columbia Valley. Jerry takes us on a journey of the winery, the land, and the beautiful wines they produce!

 

They will be at Underground Wine Event on November 9, 2019 – don’t miss it! www.undergroundwineevents.com/events

 

Here are the show notes:

  • Jerry tells us how he and his wife Sandy made the move from San Diego Real Estate attorney to Director of Winemaking at the coolest winery in Walla Walla
  • He talks about the wonderful friendship and partnership between him and Trey Busch, an Atlantan who became a skilled Walla Walla winemaker after working for several excellent wineries
  • We talk about the special role of music at Sleight of Hand and how the winery got its name from a Pearl Jam song

  • Jerry explains why the Columbia Valley, and Walla Walla, in particular, are so special for winemaking. We talk soil (loess, which the Walla Walla folks pronounce "luss" and basalt), sun exposure, latitude and why these wines are so different from those from California
  • We talk about the variety of Sleight of Hand wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, Syrah, and red blends and what makes each so special
    • We discuss why Syrah, in particular, is such a standout in Walla Walla ad why Milton-Freewater Rocks District is so insanely good
  • I ask Jerry if he thinks Washington gets the respect it deserves on the world wine scene and why scores work against Washington wines

  • We discuss why Sleight of Hand wants to stay small
  • We close with how Neil Patrick Harris wound up on the Conjurer label!

 

 

 

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!

 ____________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

Sep 24, 2019
Ep 294: Walla Walla, Washington's Fathers of the Vine -- Eric McKibben of Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars
42:44

Eric McKibben grew up in Walla Walla, where his dad, Norm, is a founding father of the most important side of Walla Walla – the vineyard side. Norm is known to have helped grow the Walla Walla industry from a few dozen acres in 1989 to 2800 today, around the idea of impeccable quality in the vineyard.

The business is truly a family business. Norm is still involved but Eric is a partner. Eric worked for 11 years in Seattle in the telecom industry, earned an MBA and then returned to Walla Walla in 2003, where he is an active partner at Amavi Cellars and Pepper Bridge Winery. In 2004, he assumed the duty of General Manager at Amavi Cellars.

He also taught me pretty much everything I know about Walla Walla and is one of the best advocates for the region there is! If you get a chance to try these wines, you should do it -- they are pure Walla Walla and purely excellent! 

Here are the show notes:

 

  • Eric tells us about the Missoula Floods and why Walla Walla is such a unique growing region, unlike any other in the world. If you want to see a cool PBS documentary on the Missoula Floods, here it is

 

  • We learn about the early days of Walla Walla -- what was here, how grapes supplanted apples, and who the early players were and what they accomplished. We talk about Jean-Francois Pellet, winemaker and partner for both Pepper Bridge and Amavi, and why he was such a believer in this region when he came from Heitz in Napa for a job interview with Amavi and Pepper Bridge. 

 

  • We discuss the "bowl" valley that is Walla Walla, the soil types and and the styles that different parts of Walla Walla yield. We do a bit of compare and contrast on Napa v Walla Walla styles

 

 

  • Then we spend time dorking out about the flavors that you'll find in Walla Walla -- Syrahs that taste plush, some that taste like licking rocks. Cabernet that expresses terroir without being too full or rich. Semillon that has beautiful acidity. All of these things and how they are achieved. 


 

  • Finally we dip into the thorny question of why so
    many wineries are based in Walla Walla that don't make any wines from Walla Walla fruit only (they blend it with things from other part of Columbia Valley) and what that means for the AVA from a marketing and reputational standpoint. 

 

Amavi and Pepper Bridge will be at this year's Underground Wine Event in Washington DC. For tickets, go to www.undergroundwineevents.com 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!

 ____________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

M.M. LaFleur       

If you’ve wondered about these clothes, as I have, I’m here to tell you PULL THE TRIGGER! They are beautiful!! The M.M.LaFleur collection is designed by co-founder Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen. M.M.LaFleur offers personal styling to help you find the best pieces for your body and lifestyle. Right now, new customers can enjoy $25 towards their first purchase or Bento Box with the code WINE. Visit mmlafleur.com/wine for more details and to redeem this gift.

Sep 16, 2019
Ep 293: Afton Mountain Vineyards Proves Why Virginia Wine is So Unique
50:43

Virginia, on the east coast of the United States, has much history with grape growing, but not all of it was good. Today, however, exciting producers have mastered their microclimates and are making some of the freshest, most nuanced, terroir-driven wines in the United States.

 

This week I sit down with Elizabeth Smith of one of the top wineries in this lovely state, Afton Mountain Vineyards. We discuss everything from Virginia history with grape growing, to terroir obsession, to the European flare of the region, and why the wines are so darn good.  If you don't know much about VA or you're an obsessive this podcast will be equally fascinating! 

 

Elizabeth and Tony Smith both grew up in Charlottesville and had lifelong ties the Blue Ridge Mountains. After working and raising a family in coastal VA, and even trying their hands at grape growing there (not quite the right terroir!), they decided to move back to their hometown for their second act – winegrowing and making. They bought Afton Mountain Vineyards in 2009 and in this show, Elizabeth shares their story and how they came to make some of the best wine in Virginia.

 

  • Elizabeth shares her background and how she went from investment management to property management to winery management (and rocked them all!)

 

  • Elizabeth gives us a true education on the Monticello appellation – what matters to quality wine, what is challenging in growing grapes here, and why she and Tony selected the most westerly site in the Monticello AVA to make their elegant wines

 

  • We dork out on microclimates, what makes Virginia so unique, and why elevation, and extremely attentive (obsessive) vineyard management is the only way to make great wine in Virginia and why sustainable viticulture is better than organic in a dicey climate like that in the Monticello area.

 

  • Elizabeth answers the question: Why does Damien Blanchon, their French winemaker, and so many other French winemakers find themselves in Virginia, and decide to stay (hint: challenge without restriction!)

 

  • We talk about the varietals that do well for Afton Mountain (Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and Albariño for the whites, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Tannat, and Sangiovese for the reds) and the flavors they yield from this land. We have an interesting side bar about how Petit Verdot can really suck if not handled well!

 

  • We wrap with Elizabeth talking about how far Virginia wine has come in the last 10 years and a BIG teaser on a project Afton Mountain is starting this fall!

 

Find out more about Elizabeth and her wines at www.aftonmountainvineyards.com and come to the Underground Wine Event on 11/9/19 in Washington D.C. to meet her and taste her beautiful wines!

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Coravin  

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices. They offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

 

Zola

Zola, the wedding company that will do anything for love, is reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience to make the happiest moment in couples' lives even happier. From engagement to wedding and decorating your first home, Zola is there, combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. All in the service of love.

To start your free wedding website or registry on Zola, go to www.ZOLA.com/wine

 

Sep 09, 2019
Ep 292: The Secret, Stunning Wine of Swartland, South Africa
43:20

Just 40 miles/65 km north of Cape Town lies a large area that makes the most exciting, sought after wines in South Africa. Swartland (Dutch for 'black land') is full of young, passionate winemakers making wines that respect the hot, dry land from which they derive and are able to create wines of such depth, flavor, and nuance that it’s hard to believe so few know about them. In this show, we tell you about the Syrah, Rhône and Mediterranean varietals, the Chenin Blanc and other stunning white blends coming from this area and why you need to seek it out ASAP!

 

Overview of the region…

  • Swartland was oncea rural backwater, better known for wheat fields than vineyards
  • Vineyards traditionally grew where wheat couldn’t -- on the northern side of Paardeberge Mountains in the south, the plains of Piketberg in the north, and the smaller Ward of Riebeekberg and Kasteelberg Mountains in the east
  • Lots of old vines on slopes where nothing else grows, hand harvested
  • The climate ishot and dry with very low summer rainfall but with consistent afternoon and evening breezes off the Atlantic Ocean. Growers have less concern about fungus and other diseases. They use the ecosystem to keep the vineyards healthy with integrated pest management, bush training of vines, and dry farming

 

We dork out on plate tectonics!

  • Swartland has ancient geology. The terroirresulted from a combination of tectonic collisions, ancient volcanic activity and continental separation
  • The soils are the oldest in the world and are a mix of shale, arenite sandstone and granite, schist based terroirs. Malmesbury shale on Kasteelberg Mtn is the dominant soil.
    • vertical layering structure caused by tectonic shifts. Water drains away and vines dig deeper for liquid nourishment

 

Grapes/Winemaking

  • We talk about the grapes and terroir driven wines of the region
    • Red grapes: Syrah/Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Carignan, Cinsaut, Tinta Barocca, Pinotage
    • White grapes:Chenin blanc, Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette, Palomino, Sémillon, Muscat d’Alexandria, Muscat d’Frontignan, Colombard and Verdelho.
    • Viticulture:A lot of natural, noninvasive methods of farming
    • Winemaking:larger barrels that impart less flavor, less racking and stirring to keep earthy flavors, unfiltered, unfined wines – low input wines
  • The Ward of Riebeekbergnear the towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West has vineyards on eastern slopes of the Kasteelberg Mountain make big reds of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, and Chardonnay that are complex

  

We talk about South African and Swartland Wine history

  • We discuss how South Africa lies somewhere between the Old World and New World styles.
  • We discuss the early history in the 1660s, with the arrival of the French Huguenots who planted vineyards.
  • We tell the story of how, in late 1990s, Charles Back of Goats do Roam fame went to Swartland to source grapes and wound up transforming the area by  buying land and hiring Eben Sadie to run his “Spice Route” wines in 1998.
  • We discuss the modern history of the region and why it takes a special person to make wine in conditions withlow rainfall, un-irrigated vines and paltry yields.

  

Producers and the Swartland revolution

  

Top producers

  • AA Badenhorst: AA Badenhorst Family White,  AA Badenhorst Family Red are flagships; Secateurs produced from purchased fruit
  • Lammershoek:Traditional producer
  • Testalonga:“naked” style, funky wines
  • Lammershoek:Libero No. 5
  • Mullineux: Syrahs and white blends; entry level Kloof Street
  • Porseleinberg 
  • Sadie Family: Columella – Syrah-based blend (famous), Palladius – rich style white; cheaper, co-owned Sequillo range

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!

 ____________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

Sep 05, 2019
Ep 291: Vinho Verde (has so much more to it than you know!)
33:04

If you think Vinho Verde (pronounced veeng-yo vaird) is just a fizzy summer sipper, we're about to open up a new world for you in this show. You CAN get the run of the mill stuff but with multiple grapes, regions, and producer styles, if you dig deeper this wine has way more to it than you think!

 

Overview

  • Vinho Verde is not a grape variety, it is a DOC (wine area)
  • It literally translates to  'green wine' but means young wine – wine released 3-6 months after the grapes are harvested
  • This is one of Portugal’s largest regions:
    • 21,000 ha/51,000 acres of vineyards are planted -- 9% of the total in Portugal
    • 19,000 growers – like Champagne, 600 bottlers
    • 85 million liters of wine each year
  • 86% of the wine from Vinho Verde is white

 

What wine is here? 

  • Red, white, rosé, or sparkling. Can be late harvest OR brandy!
  • If labeled with grape, subregion or quality level (Escolha, Grande Escolha, Superior, Colheita Selectionada
  • Top white grapes: Alvarinho, Arinto, Avesso, Azal, Batoca, Loureiro, and Trajadura
  • Top red grapes: Amaral, AzalbTinto, Borraçal, Brancelho, Espadeiro, Padeiro, Pedral, Rabo de Ovelha and Vinhão

Winemaking:

  • The wine was fizzy because malolactic fermentation took place in the bottle as it sat on the shelf! Today, carbonation is added to finished wine to add sparkle

Wine style:

  • Light and fresh whites: high natural acidity, with fruity and floral aromas that depend on the grape variety
  • Have slight sparkle with low alcohol

 

History

  • Vinho Verde produced wine for over 2,000 years, one of the oldest regions in Portugal
  • Celts and Romas came, then Visigoths and Moors
  • During middle Ages: Vinho Verde may have been exported in the 12th century, to England, Germany, and Flanders – especially from top regions of Monção and Melgaço and Ribeira de Lima
  • Maize arrived in the 16th century alog with regulations to maximise production of it
    • New regulations banished vines to the field margins, where they grew up high, forcing the vignerons to pick them from tall ladders
    • Today most of Vinho Verde Region is now using modern methods, which give larger and better yield.
  • EU in 1986 improved technology – more capital, opened up the markets 

 

Location/Land:

  • Vinho Verde is Portugal’s northernmost wine producing region, above 40° latitude 
  • Series of granite-based plateaus within the valleys of the Minho, Ave, Cávado, and Lima rivers 
  • Most of the Vinho Verde region is at or near sea level -- highest elevation at 2,300 feet

Climate:

  • Temps go between 46°F (8°C) in winter and 68°F (20°C) in the summer – green landscape, temperate climate
    • Cooler coastal regions like Lima, Cávado and Ave -- more marine influence with cooler average temperatures and higher rainfall
    • inland subregions - Baião and Basto are both warmer
  • Annual rainfall is high – 47+ inches (1200 mm) in the winter and spring months

 

Subregions: 9, can be on the label with the name Vinho Verde


Monção e Melgaço: Best region, but least typical Vinho Verde

  • Inland DOP subregion, along the hillsides of the Minho River’s south bank
  • White: Alvarinho is best. Fresh but fuller than Rias Baixas, occasionally with some oak
  • Reds: Pedral, Alvarelhão 

 

Lima: 

  • Highest levels of rainfall.
  • Granitic soils and a small area with shale-based soil.
  • White: Loureiro grape: citrus fruits, rose notes, can be full like Alvarinho 
    • Use whites Arinto and Trajadura
  • Red: Vinhão and Borraçal – crunchy, crisp fruity aroma

 

3 Similar regions: Cávado, Ave, Sousa -- Mild

  • Sea winds, irregular topography, low altitude, mild climate,
  • Whites: Arinto, Loureiro and Trajadura with moderate acidity, citrus fruits and ripe apple and pears.
  • Reds: Vinhão and Borraçal grapes (not in Ave but in Cávado and Sousa)
    • Sousa: Espadeiro is often used to make rosé wines.

 

Basto: inland – HOT with high rainfall

  • High altitude, cold, wet winter, balls hot summer
  • White:  Azal is lemony with green apple notes
  • Reds: Espadeiro, Rabo-de-Anho 

Amarante: Inland

  • White: Azal, Avesso -- higher alcohol, more body because of heat
  • Red: Amarante sub-region is famous for its red wines: especially Vinhão variety

 

Paiva: 

  • Red: Vinhão gets great maturity and produce some of the most sought-after red wines

 

Baião: Inland/continental

  • On the border of Douro demarcated region, longer season 
  • Whites: Azal and Avesso (best ones from Avesso, creamy, fruity, with acidity)
  • Red:  Amaral 

 

Food Pairing:

  • Salads, Asian cuisine, bacalao (cod) and other seafood, in cream sauce or breaded; pork and potato dishes

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!

 ____________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

M.M. LaFleur       

If you’ve wondered about these clothes, as I have, I’m here to tell you PULL THE TRIGGER! They are beautiful!! The M.M.LaFleur collection is designed by co-founder Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen. M.M.LaFleur offers personal styling to help you find the best pieces for your body and lifestyle. Right now, new customers can enjoy $25 towards their first purchase or Bento Box with the code WINE. Visit mmlafleur.com/wine for more details and to redeem this gift.

 

Aug 26, 2019
Ep 290: Theresa Breuer of Georg Breuer Represents Rheingau, Riesling, and the New Face of German Wine
58:24

If you had no interest in Riesling or in Rheingau previously, this show will change your mind completely and make you jump out of your seat to try Georg Breuer's exquisite wines.

Theresa Breuer is a young woman who found herself (sadly, earlier
than she expected) at the helm of one of the most respected, highest quality Riesling producers in the Rheingau region of Germany.  I had the pleasure of spending the day with her a few years back and she is brilliant, poised, kind and a genius vigneron and cellar master, but more than anything, at 30-something, she is one of the best fresh faces and ambassadors for what Rheingau wine is, was, and should be. 

This show should give you a perspective on why Rheingau is so special and make you understand why a dork like me loves this place so much! 

Here are the show notes: 

HISTORY

  • Theresa shares Weingut Georg Breuer's nearly 140 years in wine -- from her great grandfather Peter's involvement in the business side of wine, to her grandfather after whom the Weingut is named, to her dad, Bernhard, and then to her.  
  • We discuss Bernhard Breuer's obsession with quality, bringing the reputation of Rheingau back from a less than stellar period, and her involvement in the business. 
  • Theresa shares her (beautiful) philosophies about wine and why it means so much to her.

Rheingau Education!

  • I have rarely found anyone who can educate on a region as well and succinctly as Theresa Breuer and we are lucky to have her explain stuff like: 
    • Where is Rheingau and what makes it so unique for wine?
    • The parallels with Burgundy in terms of Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Village, Regional sites and why it is so easy in Rheingau
    • Why Riesling is so dominant in Rheingau and why it does so well here (hint: reflection from the river, slate/quartzite soils, slopes!)
    • How climate change has affected the region, what a hot year like 2019 means for the wine, and what really matters to vintage
    • How oak is used in Rheingau (and it is used, a LOT!)

Theresa gives us the deep dive into site specific info. It's fascinating: 

  • Theresa shares detailed and excellent information about George Breuer's sites and the why and how behind the differences in the wines. We discuss their beautiful Grand Cru sites in Rüdesheim – Berg Schlossberg, Berg Roseneck and Berg Rottland and their wholly owned site, Nonnenberg in Rauenthal (in the eastern part of Rheingau
  • Theresa talks about her commitment to organic viticulture and her vision for the wines -- to let the vineyard produce the best wines and to let the Riesling show its home in the glass! 
  • We talk about what makes Theresa's wines elegant and age worthy.
  • We discuss the generational shift in Rheingau and what it does and will mean for wine in the future.

Theresa unveils big news: Weingut Georg Breuer bought some land in the (very different, Mittelrhein-type) wine area of Lorch, to the west of their Grand Cru vineyards. They will be learning more about the sites, and making wine from them soon! 

Check out the videos on my YouTube Channel -- you will love Theresa even more! 

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!

 ____________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

Aug 19, 2019
Ep 289: Orange (Skin Contact) Wines
44:00

We tackle a wine style that is adored in certain hip, wine "in-crowd" circles: "orange" wine, which is actually white wine made like a red -- there is long contact with the skins and seeds that give the wine a darker, orange-ish color, and VERY different flavors.

M.C. Ice and I are not big fans, but we do our best to explain the phenomenon of these whites made with skin contact.

 

Here are the show notes:  

  • You know it's time to cover a topic when, in Europe, the supermarket chain Aldi sells a bottle of skin-contact wine for less than $8 US! 

 

  • WHAT THE HECK IS ORANGE WINE??
    • First and most importantly, it's not from oranges but from grapes! 
    • Made exactly like a red but with longer maceration (the time during winemakig when the grape skins and seeds stay in contact with the juice) 
    • Reds with skin contact are red wines, reds with little contact are rosés; whites with skin contact are “orange”, without contact they are whites
      • Rosés usually undergo less than 12 hours macerating on their skins before the juice is pressed off 
      • Orange wine is the opposite of Rosé
    • Can make skin-contact wine from any grape – length of time with the skins will matter to flavor and the longer the time the more likely the wine is to mask terroir
    • Length of time varies, but maceration is LONG – days, weeks, months
  • Not all are orange so it’s better to call them “skin-contact wines.”

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MACERATING WHITE JUICE WITH SKINS?

  • The wine takes on a darker colored/orange-ish white color, as well as phenols, pigment. 
  • Aromas: Bolder and more intense same grapes vinified as traditional white – like rose v red
  • Flavors: Nutty, oxidized flavor, very sour with a cider note. Can be bold, nutty, like old apples, sourdough bread

  • Textures: Dry, tannic, intense (not very pleasurable sometimes)

 

Different styles:

  • Lightest ones, are acidic, aromatic wines, with fresh apricot, herbs
  • Medium ones – slight oxidation, some acetone notes, old apple
  • Then full-bodied, boldly tannic, and often smoky, nutty, lots of VA, off notes

 

Regions: 

  • The Republic of Georgia: Qvervi—underground vessels sealed with beeswax or oil soaked clothes. The practice of skin contact whites likely originated here 6,000 or more years ago (the practice still goes on today, although the Greeks and Romans quickly realized the best wines were those from free-run juice/whites not macerated, which is our "traditional" style today). Rkatsiteli is the main grape
  • Listen to the Georgia Podcast!

 

  • Italy: Most prominent in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, often called  ramato “copper-colored” wines from Pinot Grigio but Ribolla Gialla and Tocai Friulano are often used. 
    • Fruili producers who re-started the orange wine movement: Radikon, Gravner
    • Sicilian producers: Cos, I Vigneri 

 

 

  • United States
    • Long Island: Channing Daughters, Shinn Estate
    • California: Some Sonoma

 

  • Others: Australia – Sauvignon Blanc, Greece, South Africa, Croatia, France

 

Food Pairing: Skin Contact wine is versatile with food pairing but it depends on the weight and the treatment of the wine (length of maceration, barrel v. stainless steel, etc). 

  • Serving temps – 50 – 55˚ warmer side

 

Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!

 ____________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

M.M. LaFleur       

If you’ve wondered about these clothes, as I have, I’m here to tell you PULL THE TRIGGER! They are beautiful!! The M.M.LaFleur collection is designed by co-founder Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen. M.M.LaFleur offers personal styling to help you find the best pieces for your body and lifestyle. Right now, new customers can enjoy $25 towards their first purchase or Bento Box with the code WINE. Visit mmlafleur.com/wine for more details and to redeem this gift.

 

 

Aug 13, 2019
Ep 288: Martinborough, NZ and the Glory of Wellington Wine Country with Simone Madden-Grey
46:03

No, it's not a typo: Martinborough is a quality enclave in the larger Wellington Wine Country of New Zealand, which we discuss in depth in this episode. Simone Madden-Grey returns to tell us about the stunning Pinot Noir, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, up and coming Syrah, and other excellent Wellington wines that must be on your radar!

 

Here are the show notes:

Wellington Wine Country Overview

  • In 2016 three wine regions of the Wairarapa Valley in the lower north island formally launched Wellington Wine Country: Masterton, Gladstone, and Martinborough
  • The area is small -- just 3% of national plantings and 1% of national production, but represents 10% of producers

 

Location

  • The southern part of New Zealand's North Island
  • 35 miles (55km) north-east of Wellington (1 hr drive), New Zealand's capital city, in a wide river valley between Rimutaka mountain range and eastern Wairarapa hills

 Climate/Terroir

  • Semi-maritime, dry climate – rain shadow of the Tararua Ranges with blustery winds
  • Cool spring and autumn seasons, hot summer days with cool nights - long growing season
  • Martinborough Terrace: a crescent shaped area on the edge of a river terrace formed by the Ruamahunga and Huangarua rivers with gravel soils that drain well and stress the vines (in a good way)
  • Mountain ranges and hills
    • Remutaka and Tararua Ranges to the west protect from winds off Tasman Sea
    • Aorangi Ranges, western mountain ranges protect area from cold southerly winds coming in off the Cook Strait and together with the western moutnain ranges, also funnel cool breezes up from the Cook Strait

Soil

  • River terraces in Martinborough with pockets of clay and quartz-threaded greywacke (type of coloured sedimentary sandstone formed by river deposits) and volcanic basalt.
    • Alluvial soils can be up to 15m deep in Martinborough

Climate

  • Semi-maritime climate with high sunshine hours, cool Springs and Autumns, warm Summers
  • Warm, low rainfall, relatively long, dry growing season, low humidity and low disease pressure
  • Diurnal variation: Summer temps during the day 30˚C (86˚F) to 10˚C (50˚F) at night
  • Frost is an issue, very windy at times throughout the year, particularly in spring

 

Sub Regions: North to south

  • Masterton: Largest town in Wairarapa,first area grapes were planted in the region. Known for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir

 

  • Gladstone: Just south of Masterton, free-draining river terraces - Shallower terraces than of Martinborough and nearby. Clay pockets – planted Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc with high aromatics.

 

  • Martinborough – about 30 wineries: Colonial village is surrounded by small vineyards, family-owned producers – highly respected boutique wineries. Lowest rainfall of any area in the North Island and reliably cool climate for Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling and other aromatic whites.

 

  • Te Muna: Southeast of the township with stonier alluvial gravel soils, windier growing conditions and a slightly cooler climate than Martinborough. Escarpment and Craggy Range are here.

Wine Style: Red, white, sparkling (usually Methode Traditionnelle), rosé and sweet wines are all produced in the region

  • Pinot Noir: Thicker skins and smaller yields contribute an aromatic, savory, dark fruited profile with good acidity and potential for age.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: leading white grape variety, very important for export. More herbaceous and citrus driven, with mineral notes -- less of the big fruit style of Marlborough
  • Pinot Gris: Trying to coax a spicier, more complex style with pear and white stone fruit characters 
  • Chardonnay: For the last decade growers pick earlier to attain lower alcohol, more natural acidity -- lighter less tropical style.  Varying degrees of new oak and use of MLF, lees contact and stirring, but the goal is elegance
  • Riesling: Good acidity, very lemon-lime in flavor
  • Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Syrah and some Bordeaux varieties

The producer list!

  • High-profile small producers: Ata Rangi, Margrain, Dry River, Escarpment, Te Kairanga, Martinborough Vineyard
  • Paddy Borthwick in Gladstone
  • Larger but still good producers: Palliser, Craggy Range
  • Second labels:
    • Martinborough Vineyard’s "Te Tera"  (UK, NZ, Oz only)
    • Palliser "Pencarrow" (UK, NZ, Oz only)
    • Escarpment "The Edge" (UK, NZ, Oz only)

 

_________________________________________ 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

M.M. LaFleur       

If you’ve wondered about these clothes, as I have, I’m here to tell you PULL THE TRIGGER! They are beautiful!! The M.M.LaFleur collection is designed by co-founder Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen. M.M.LaFleur offers personal styling to help you find the best pieces for your body and lifestyle. Right now, new customers can enjoy $25 towards their first purchase or Bento Box with the code WINE. Visit mmlafleur.com/wine for more details and to redeem this gift.

 

Aug 09, 2019
Bonus Sponsored Ep: Greg Lambrecht, Inventor of Coravin
37:24

 This episode is sponsored by Coravin, the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months or even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too.

Although sponsored by Coravin, this is the same as any other interview show! Don't miss it!

Greg Lambrecht is the inventor, founder and board member of Coravin™ along with a number of other medical device companies. Greg holds a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds numerous patents in the fields of gynecology, general surgery, cardiology, and orthopedics. 


Greg is one of those great minds you come across every now and then -- creative, structured, smart, unhindered by things that seem impossible. You'll love learning about Coravin and how he made an enormous difference in the wine industry by taking off the guardrails of staid industry thinking and solved a problem wine drinkers the world around grapple with -- sometimes you just want one darn glass without opening a bottle! 

 Here are some of the topics we cover:  

  1. We talk about how a guy like Greg was as a child, and what it really means to be "mission-driven"

 

  1. Greg tells us about his journey into wine and how, while the rest of the dads of the world just drank too much or drank skunky wine while their wives were pregnant, he got busy inventing Coravin!
  2. Greg tells us all about the development process and some awesome stories about stuff that happened as he was developing today's Coravin
  3. Greg and I talk about the weird quirks of the wine industry and how being outside of it helped inspire his enormous creativity
  4. We get geeky on the details of how Coravin works. Greg sets me straight on Argon gas and why it doesn't work when I spray the stuff in the bottle but DOES work in Coravin.
  5. We talk about the next frontier for Coravin: screwcaps and sparkling! 

 

For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more.

Aug 07, 2019
Ep 287: The Grape Miniseries -- Chenin Blanc
59:18

In this episode of the Grape Miniseries, we discuss Pineau de la Loire, a.k.a, Chenin Blanc! This white grape is one of the most versatile in terms of wine styles it can make – from floral sparkling, to stunning dry and off dry versions to unctuous dessert wines. Chenin is underrated, not always treated with regard, but it has a pedigree and a class that can’t be doubted. After hearing about all it has to offer, you’ll want to run out and get a bottle ASAP!

 

Here are the show notes:

What Is Chenin Blanc?

  • It’s a high acid, white grape that makes everything from sparkling to dessert wines. When it’s grown poorly, it’s a boring neutral grape that’s used for its acidity but when grown in the right places, it can create a wine with great depth, character
  • DNA: Chenin is related to Jura’s Savagnin – parent + unknown grape
  • French grape scientist – Pierre Galet – Chenin Blanc started in Anjou in the 9thc, moved to Touraine by the 15thc
  • 1520 – 1535 -- Grapes planted at Mount Chenin in Touraine by the Lord of Chateaux de Chenonceau and the Abbot of Cormery

 

Flavors of Chenin

  • Chenin can express terroir, winemaker ideas, vintage but at its core it has a floral, mineral, honey note. Its nuances are determined by terroir, soil type and style
  • With botrytis the wine is like peaches, honey, apricots, marzipan, quince
  • Dry or off-dry from Loire: apple, chalk that turn into honey and quince – off dry can age
  • New World, especially South Africa: tropical fruit notes, good acidity

 

Viticulture:

  • Need ripeness and good control over its vigor to get depth and complexity
  • New clonal research is being done to delay budding because the grape is prone to spring frost, increase sugar development
  • Vintage variation: growers decide on a day by day basis what style and dryness of Chenin blanc they could make

 

Winemaking

  • New World: Can be blended or do well alone, some skin contact to get different aroma, soften with malolactic, lees contact, tropical notes bc of cooler temps of fermentation
  • Old World – fermentation temps – higher (60-68˚f. 16-20˚c) so they won’t get those tropical fruit flavors that come out with cooler temps (50˚/10˚C) – no new oak/toastiness
  • Loire:Made like German white wines – low, slow fermentations in large old oak or stainless steel, no malolactic fermentation, no barriques

 

Wine regions

Loire, France 

  • Sweet appellations:Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume, Vouvray
  • Dry:Saviennières (Nicolas Joly) – concentration, flavor, longevity, climate change has made dry wine possible in most areas – although some is off-dry, tryig to become a Grand Cru of the Loire
  • Range of sweetness levels, from dry to semi-sweet to sweet: Anjou, Crémant de Loire, Coteaux de l'Aubance, Jasnières, Montlouis, Saumur, and Vouvray
  • Varied:Saumur, Vouvray, Anjou –Vouvray
  • Moelleux wines:Sweet but can be artificially sweetened, so you need a good producer – Vouvray and Quarts de Chaume the best
  • Demi sec: great acidity, with a touch of sugar sometimes seem dry b/c of the acidity

Languedoc: Crémant de Limoux, Chenin must account for at least 20% and up to 40% of the blend with Mauzac, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

 

South Africa

  • Most in Western Cape: Stellebosch, Paarl and then Swartland, Olifants River
  • Good acidity in a hot climate
  • Swartland Top Producers: Badenhorst, Mullineux, Eben Sadie (blends
  • Stellebosch Top Producers: Ken Forrester, De Morgenzon

 

United States

  • California: Used it for jug wine because it had acidity, irrigated to the hilt – high yields, 4x as high as in Loire
    • Clarksburg AVA plus, Chappellet in Napa, Leo Steen in Sonoma/Santa Ynez, Foxen in Santa Barbara
  • Washington: Yakima
  • Texas High Plains (a few hundred)
  • Long Island, New York: Paumanok

 

Other wine regions: Australia,New Zealand, Argentina blended with Chardonnay, Mexico and Canada, and India and Thailand grow it too!

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Coravin  

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

Halpern Financial  Halpern Financial

Imagine a path to wealth that just works. A team of experts at your beck and call, technology to keep tabs on your money 24/7, financial education and the personal touch that makes organizing your financial life feel achievable, rather than daunting.Halpern Financial is a fiduciary, fee-only, independent advisor that offers a combination of online tools and personal connection to help clients systematically achieve their goals.

Go to halpernfinancial.com/wine for more information!

 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices. They offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Jul 30, 2019
Ep 286: The Extreme Altitude Vineyards of Salta, Argentina
40:44

Salta, Argentina contains the highest altitude vineyards in the world and some of the most unique wines. At these heights, UV radiation changes the grapes so in this tiny, remote area, the wines contain flavors and character you won't find from anywhere else!

Here are the show notes:

______

Overview:

  • Salta is at 24˚-26˚S latitude in the northwest of the country, 1500 km/930 miles northwest of Buenos Aires
  • Extreme altitude, extreme sunlight makes powerful, structured wines with a savory minerality
  • The area has been most famed for Torrontés, which is widely planted across wine regions, beautiful aromatics
  • History: Jesuit missionaries first planted grape seeds from Peru in the 1550’s, failed with an earlier attempt near Buenos Aires – first vineyards in Argentina. Today many vineyards over 100 years old, mostly in Calchaquí Valleys in the Andes Mountains

Location

  • Salta's home of the wine trade is Cafayate
  • The region crosses a bunch of valleys called the Calchaquí Valleys (they span other provinces --  Jujuy, Tucumán, Catamarca)
  • Salta is tiny compared to other Argentina wine regions: The region makes 1% of Argentina’s wines from its 5,200 acres (2,000 ha.) of vineyards
  • Climate: Harsh daytime heat warm days, cool nights with 45˚ F/7.2˚C temperature swings during the long growing season in the Calchaquí Valleys
    • More than 300 days of sunlight a year, wind and ultraviolet radiation – causes mutation inducing properties that magnify color and flavor

Sub areas of Salta

  • Cafayate:4 hours south of Salta with alluvial, porous, deep, sandy soils and clay base is similar to the profile of Mendoza. 
  • Molinos department: More than 100 miles from both Salta and Cafayate 8,000ft/ 2440 M to over 10K feet/3000M

Wine:

  • Both whites and reds are fruity with pure flavors, and alcohol is high with excellent acidity and balance
  • REDS: Malbec, Tannat, Merlot, Syrah, Cab, Cabernet Franc – all marked by extreme sun – color, flavor
    • Tannat is one to watch -- hard to sell internationally but it is a local specialty
    • Colomé produces a 100% Tannat under its Lote Especial label from its Finca La Brava vineyards, 1,700m above sea level in Colomé, Salta.
  • WHITES: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc,Torrontés
    • Torrontés has powerful acidity, floral aromatics – a big, strong white

 

Wineries Mentioned:

Bodega El Esteco:Altimvs and Chañar Punco are top wines from the Bodega

 

San Pedro de Yacochuya: Founded in 1988 by Arnaldo Etchart and Michel Rolland. Made an international reputation for the area

 

Porvenir de Cafayate:Oenologist Mariano Quiroga, with the American consultant Paul Hobbs (we had the Amauta Malbec while we were recording the show!)

 

José Luis Mounier, Finca Las Nubes: a high-altitude terroir expert, Torrontés, Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Colomé and Tacuil wineries in Los Molinos: Both growing vines at 2,500 meters/8,200 above sea level. Colomé’s Altura Maxima is at 10,000 feet/3,111 meters

 

______________________________________ 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

 

 

M.M. LaFleur       

If you’ve wondered about these clothes, as I have, I’m here to tell you PULL THE TRIGGER! They are beautiful!! The M.M.LaFleur collection is designed by co-founder Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen. M.M.LaFleur offers personal styling to help you find the best pieces for your body and lifestyle. You can try the collection at home with a stylist-curated Bento Box.

 

Right now, new customers can enjoy $25 towards their first purchase or Bento Box with the code WINE. Visit mmlafleur.com/wine for more details and to redeem this gift.

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Jul 22, 2019
Ep 285: Mendoza, Argentina and it's many facets
51:15

Mendoza is Argentina’s most important and prolific wine region, representing two-thirds of the nation’s wine production. We talk about the effect of altitude and other geographical features that make this area so unique. Then we break down sub regions and discuss the incredible diversity that guarantees there is a wine style for every palate out of this beautiful, mountainous wine region.

 

Here are the show notes:

First we tackle the stats and some history on the region:

  • High altitude vineyards in the Andes Mountains that range from 430-1610 M/ 1,411 – 5,282 feet
  • Latitude: 32˚ - 34˚ south
  • 151K hectares/373K acres
  • 5 large sub-regions: Valle de Uco, Primera Zona, North, East and South Mendoza Zones
  • Mendoza wine blossomed with the railroad coming through in 1885 and industrial wine production reigned for many decades. International markets weren’t a priority until the financial crisis of the late 1990s.

 

Next, we discuss the unique geography and terrain of the region:

  • We delve into the intense climate, the desert-like conditions, and how irrigation happens thanks to the inventions of the Huarapes and Incas
  • We discuss the altitude for a long time (sorry if it’s too dorky!) – and why it is the most important thing Mendoza has going for it.
    • Most vineyards are 3,000 -5,000 feet above sea level – big diurnals mean grapes can maintain acidity despite intense sunlight
  • Soils: Alluvial with loose sand over clay – areas differ based on what runs down the mountain…
  • Sandy areas – lighter, more aromatic elegance (red fruit)
  • Clay-based soils with lime: Dark, powerful Malbec

 

We chat about grapes and wine colors of Mendoza

  • Red: 61.2% with the main grapes:
    • Malbec – 40%
    • Bonarda – 17%
    • Cabernet Sauvignon – 12%
    • Syrah – 9%
    • Tempranillo – 6%
  • White: 15.8%:
    • Chardonnay – 21%
    • Torrontés Riojano – 15%
    • Chenin Blanc – 7%
    • Sauvignon Blac 6.5%
  • Rose: 23%

 

 

Then we riff on sub regions for the rest of the show!

 I. South Mendoza:

  • San Rafael: Malbec, Bordeaux blends – Cab, Syrah, Bonnarda, Chard, Semillon, Torrontés

II. East Mendoza

  • San Martin: Lots of coops, lots of Criolla Grande, Cereza, now moving to better wines
  • Lower altitude, a bit warmer, flabbier

 

III. North Mendoza: also warmer, can be very soft/low tannin and low acid wines

 

IV. Primera Zona: Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo – 40% of Argentina’s wineries, 881 inn total

Maipu –12 districts, 6% of Argentine wine

  • Familia Zuccardi, Rutini and Trapiche have vineyards here
  • Maipu is not quite as highly regarded as Lujan de Cuyo or Uco Valley

 Important Subareas:

  • Lulunta: East of Mendoza city, altitude is around 900-930m/ 3000 ft
    • Rich style of Malbec
  • Barrancas: 115 miles/185 km south of Mendoza city.Centered around the small township of the same name. Old region – started in 1880s
    • Slightly warmer climate here and lower lower altitude – 2500 ft/750 m- softer and riper than those from other parts of Mendoza
    • Cab, Syrah, Malbec 

 

Luján de Cuyo –14 districts, 8% of Argentine wine production

  • Just south of the city of Mendoza and on higher ground to the west of Maipú
  • Vistalba and Compuertas north of the river and Perdriel and Agrelo south of it
  • Grapes: Malbec with Cab, Chard, Torrontes
  • Hot, dry, desert-like but moderated by high altitude – average is 3300 ft/1000 m
  • Alluvial soils are the big thing here – rocky, sandy, poor soils, mountain soils – lots of stress on the vine
  • Catena Zapata, Bodega Septima, Cheval des Andes

 

Important Subareas:

Agrelo 

  • Complex Malbec – long-lasting, powerful wines
  • Also Cab, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc
  • In Center of Lujan de Cuyo: Bodega Septima, Pulenta Estate, Catena Zapata, Susana Bilbao

 

Las Compuertas

  • At opening of the Mendoza River as it emerges from the mountains -- Las Compuertasmeans "the floodgates"
  • Malbec vines are some of the oldest in Mendoza, up to 100 years old. Other grapes: Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay
  • Famous winery: Cheval des Andes

 

Perdriel 

  • Small sub-region (20 kilometers/ 13 miles) south of Mendoza
  • Some of the oldest vineyardsof Malbec and Cab
  • Wines are subtler and more refined, floral notes

 

Vistalba (means "view of the dawn" in Spanish)

  • Southwest of Mendoza
  • Malbec, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Cabernet, Sauv Blanc, Bonarda
  • Slightly higher than the surrounding regions -- better air circulation
  • Wines are often elegant in style Trapiche. Bodega Vistalba

 

 

V. Uco Valley (Valle de Uco)-- 14% of all Argentinean wine

  • Hour's drive south from the city of Mendoza, famed wineries
  • Since 2006, cultivated area grown by 65%, double the size of Luján de Cuyo
  • Grapes: 50% Malbec, Cab Franc has potential, Chard, Torrontés
    • Each zone offers a different profile of Malbec and other wines.
  • European investment here – from Bordeaux in particular:Lurton, Rothschild and Rolland
  • Soils: alluvial and fairly uniform: a clay and rock base with a stony, sandy surface
  • Cooler climate, slower ripening, Slightly higher above sea level Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo

 

Important Sub areas:

Tupungato 

  • Vineyards planted nearly 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) above sea level – way cooler here than farther north
  • Northern end of the Valle de Uco southwest of Mendoza.
  • Best -- Gualtallary, a precious corner
  • Violet scented Malbec: earthy, herbal and balsamic Cabernet Franc: elegant Pinot Noir

Tunuyán 

  • All about sub-appellations:
    • Chacayes: High vineyards, full but minerally wines
    • Los Árboles: Coolest area, borders Tupungato – Chardonnay is best here
    • Vista Flores: Prized property – (Clos de los Siete – Michel Rolland’s property is here)

San Carlos

  • Tunuyán river helps influence vineyards -- sandy alluvial soils with rocks and calcareous stones are irregular and that gives a lot of diversity in style
  • Two important subregions:
    • Paraje Altamira: Fruity, earthy reds with minerality, dusty note. Excellent Semillons (Check out Finca Suárez or Mendel)
    • La Consulta: Many old vines with intense and concentrated reds

 

Please shop around, try all the different styles and let us know what you like! I promise we will be doing the same!

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

 

Halpern Financial  Halpern Financial

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Go to halpernfinancial.com/wine for more information!

 

  

Zola

Zola, the wedding company that will do anything for love, is reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience to make the happiest moment in couples' lives even happier. From engagement to wedding and decorating your first home, Zola is there, combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. All in the service of love.

To start your free wedding website or registry on Zola, go to www.ZOLA.com/wine

 

 

Jul 15, 2019
Ep 284: Lorenzo Muslija from Andis Wine in Sierra Foothills, California
01:02:57

This week I speak with Lorenzo Muslija, the co-owner and National Sales Manager for Andis Wines in the Sierra Foothills of California. I had the honor of meeting him and getting to know him when he joined our November 2018 Underground Wine Event and I adore both him and his wines.

 

Opened in November of 2010, Andis Wines is a boutique winery located in historic Amador County in California's Sierra Foothills. They source from the best vineyards in the Sierra Foothills, hand sort and ferment their wine in small lots and the result is well-balanced, food friendly, terroir-driven wines.  Lorenzo recently became a co-owner of the business and we talk about his fascinating personal story, his love of Sierra Foothills, and what makes Andis unique.


Here are the show notes:

  • Lorenzo tells us about his early years growing up in Albania and Italy, his university life as a civil engineer, and how became owner and founder of one of the most popular (French-inspired) restaurants in Florence.
  • We discuss how his love of his children brought him to California and why he felt it was the right choice to study Wine Business Management rather than enology or some other path in the higher education vis a vis wine.
  • We discuss why Lorenzo, the international man of culture, taste, and cuisine, found excitement in working with one of the least developed wine regions of California (Sierra Foothills)
  • Lorenzo gives us the dish on the Foothills and why it’s great and not so great, as well as how Andis is able to do things well in their region. We also discuss how Lorenzo’s Italian sensibilities have helped shape Andis Wines.
     
  • We wrap by talking about Lorenzo’s latest venture – how he has become a partner in Andis and what that means for the winery and for this dynamic, wonderful guy!

 

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:


Patrons on Patreon 

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Last Bottle

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

 

The Citizenry

The Citizenry is a socially conscious home décor brand bringing time-tested craftsmanship to the modern home. They travel around the globe, partnering with master artisans to create designs with a soul, story, and a purpose. With pieces crafted in over 15 countries, their collections are designed to highlight the unique materials and craft traditions of each destination. And even better -- every dollar you spend supports fair wages, safe working environments, and is a direct investment into artisan entrepreneurs.

For a special offer, go to CitizenryPodcast.com and enter WINE.

Jul 09, 2019
Ep 283: US Wine Lovers Victorious In the Supreme Court Case with Tom Wark
46:41

Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine
Retailers (WineFreedom.org) rejoins the podcast to discuss the huge WIN for American wine consumers that has taken place.

The Supreme Court of the US, the highest court of the land, has basically decided that states are not permitted to block interstate commerce -- meaning wine shops anywhere in the US are permitted to ship wine to any consumer in the US, unless there is a health and safety reason for them to forbid it (which is pretty hard to prove!) 

 

Tom and I discuss the finer points of the case (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-96_5i36.pdf)
and the next exciting steps for us, as wine drinkers, across the US. Here are some of the high level topics we discuss: 

  • Tom refreshes us on what was at stake in the Supreme Court case. We get a bit wonky on the details but it's worth it to listen!

 

  • We discuss the ruling and why and how this opens the door for retailers to ship wine legally to all states.

 

  • We talk about the future -- potential challenges to shipping laws and how we, as consumers can help with the process. 

 

Go to https://www.winefreedom.org and sign up to find out how when activity is happening in your state that you can help with. A phone call or email could mean that your ability to order that really rare bottle of orange wine from Greece (or whatever other random stuff you want!) is just a click away! 

 

Canadians -- take note of this show. You're issues are similar and you need to see what happens here to model it so you can open up your wine trade too!

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Last Bottle   

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normaland join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

 

Halpern Financial  Halpern Financial

Imagine a path to wealth that just works. A team of experts at your beck and call, technology to keep tabs on your money 24/7, financial education and the personal touch that makes organizing your financial life feel achievable, rather than daunting.Halpern Financial is a fiduciary, fee-only, independent advisor that offers a combination of online tools and personal connection to help clients systematically achieve their goals.

Go to halpernfinancial.com/wine for more information!

 

Jul 02, 2019
Ep 282: Greece Overview
58:36

Greece is among both the oldest and among the newest wine nations
in the world. Although it got cooking with winemaking more than 6000 years ago, a huge break in the action took it out of the winemaking game from about the mid 1400s until the 1990s. It's back these days, and as it has always been grapes are grown everywhere in this small but diverse country.  With the best wines made from indigenous grapes and select regions, you'll want to listen to this show to know what to seek out. And don't forget to look at a map while or after listening! 

Here's a rundown of the topics we covered: 

Geography: We go over where the heck Greece is and what’s here that’s good for grapes!

  • Greece is in the southern end of Balkan Peninsula between Italy and Turkey
  • Climate: Mesoclimates matter to quality wine!
    • Mountainous & semi-mountainous vineyards: altitude moderates climate, cools down the temps
    • Islands and the coast: Maritime climate/Mediterranean climate but very hot. Growers need cool sites for grapes to thrive
    • Volcanic Vineyards:Santorini especially - volcanic soils layers of which are 30 to 50 meters thick, VERY DRY -- high acidity of the grape of Santorini

History

  • We discuss the entire deal – from evidence of wine in Greek peninsula since the 4000 B.C. to Ottoman Rule which destroyed much of Greek viticulture until the early 1800s to the rebirth of viticulture of the last few decades.

 

Classification:Before we launch into the regions and wines, we tell you about the classification

  • For PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)wines – higher quality):
    • Onomasia Proelefseos Anoteras Piotitos (OPAP) Dry wines
    • Onomasia Proelefseos Eleghomeni (OPE) --sweet wines
  • For PGI level (Protected Geographical Indication): cover larger areas, more styles and grapes
    • Topikos Oinos (local/country wine)
    • Epitrapezios Oinos (table wine)

 

  

The Regions and Grapes

Northern Greece: Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace

Thrace –isbordered by Turkey and Bulgaria in the North, Aegean in the south, makes mostly international wine varieties


Greek Macedonia– borders the Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria in the north and the Aegean sea in the south. It’s semi-mountainous, and the rocky soils make it great red wine country

  • Xinomavro (Kseen-oh-MAHV-roh):RED GRAPE.
    • Best when from Naousa in Macedonia
    • Firm tannins, bright acidity with flavors like red fruit and flowers, tomatoes, olives, dried prunes, nuts (compared to Nebbiolo)
    • Other growing areas: Northern and central Greece, Rapsani in Thessaly
  • Malagousia (mala-GOO-zee-ah):WHITE GRAPE.From Macedonia, near Thessaly
    • Full bodied wines with strong acidity, peach, lime, lemon, and soft textures. There are sweet or dry versions
    • Thought to be extinct -- professors and top growers, brought it back –resurrected by a winery Ktima Gerovassiliou (ktima = “estate”)

 

Epirus: NW Grecian mainland, mountains are essential to high quality.

  • Wines have great acidity – the PDO of Zitsa is making excellent sparkling wines and floral dry whites from Debina (WHITE GRAPE)

 

 

Central Greece: Central Greece, Thessalia

Central Greece (this is where Athens is): Hot and dry, more white than red

  • Saviatiano (sa-VAH-tee-AH-no) WHITE GRAPE is the most widely planted grape in Greece. It makes dry wines but is known for Retsina, which tastes like the pine resin that’s added to the must before fermentation.

 

Thessalia (Thessaly): Borders Greek Macedonia, Central Greece, the Aegean Sea  – Mediterranean climate with continental influences. Best areas are in the mountains that surround the region

  • Rapsani is on south facing slopes on Mt Olympus at altitude and makes Xinomavro and red blends

 

  

Southwestern Greece: Ionian Islands, Peloponnese

Peloponnese: Where Sparta and Olympia were this is a peninsula on the southern edge of mainland Greece. Best areas are on the eastern side of the Peloponnese, at altitude

  • Roditis (Ro-deet-is) WHITE GRAPE: dry, food-friendly, high-acid with lime, melon, saline, bitter citrus. Grown all over.
  • Agiorgitiko (ah-YOUR-yee-TEE-ko) RED GRAPE: Full-bodied with sweet raspberry, black currant, and plum, nutmeg and Italian herbs, smooth tannins. Wines from mountains are best especially Nemea
  • Moschofilero (MOSH-ko-fah-LAIR-oh)WHITE GRAPE:Lychee, rose, lemon flavored with good acidity and medium body. Grown in Mantinia: One of the coolest growing regions of Greece, specializes in the grape
  • Mavrodaphne (MAHV-roh-DAF-nee) RED GRAPE:Sweet, late harvest, red wine that usually tastes of raisins and chocolate with high tannins. Better when blended. Grown in Patras

 

Ionian Islands: Ruled by Venetians in Middle Ages – today tourism = shrinking vineyards

  • Robola, WHITE GRAPE:is Probably Ribolla Gialla from northeastern Italy. Lemon with pineapple, beeswax, quince, tart apple, can be rich and terroir-driven. Grown in Cephalonia

 

 

CRETE

Crete: Largest Island (150 miles long), on the southern edge of Aegean. Hottest vineyards in Greece.

  • Mandilaria, RED GRAPE: found throughout Greece and Crete in particular. It is too powerful to be made alone. Flavors are like stewed fruit, leather, with VERY powerful tannin

 

 

Aegean Islands

  • Santorini: Volcanic island, most famous WHITE GRAPE is Assyrtiko (ah-SEER-teek-oh)grown in basket-like vines (see below)
    • Dry Assyrtiko: lean, mineral, concentrated whites
    • Nykteri (“nith-terry”): oaked with creme brûlée, pineapple, fennel, sugar cookie notes
    • Vinsanto: Made with Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Athiri with cherry and raspberry notes. Tannic, high acidity, and can have high VA (‘nail polish’ smell)

  

  • Samos: Muscat of Samos, WHITE GRAPE, possibly homeland of Muscat Blanc
  • Límnos: Limnio, RED GRAPE with raspberry fruit and herb notes.
  • Paros: Monemvassia, WHITE GRAPE. From Peloponnese but cultivated only on Has mineral, citrus, nectarine flavors with a medium body, refreshing acidity.

 

 

To sum up:

  • Best whites:Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Moschofilero, Debina, Robola, Muscat of Samos
  • Best reds:Xinomavro, blends with Agiorgitiko, sometimes Mandalaria or Limnio
  • Best regions:Naousa (Xinomavro), Nemea (Agiorgitiko blends), Mantinia (Moschofilero), Santorini (Assyrtiko), Samos (Muscat)

 

______________________________________________ 

Thanks to our sponsor this week:

Halpern FinancialHalpern Financial

Imagine a path to wealth that just works. A team of experts at your beck and call, technology to keep tabs on your money 24/7, financial education and the personal touch that makes organizing your financial life feel achievable, rather than daunting.Halpern Financial is a fiduciary, fee-only, independent advisor that offers a combination of online tools and personal connection to help clients systematically achieve their goals.

Go to halpernfinancial.com/wine for more information!

 

 

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Most of the info for this show came from the Official Wines of Greece Web site: https://winesofgreece.org/

Jun 24, 2019
Ep 281: 30 Years of Tablas Creek with Jason Haas
52:38

Jason Haas from Tablas Creek returns (he was in Ep 162) to give us his perspective on 30 years of the most innovative winery in California, which runs in partnership with the Perrins of Rhône fame. We take the long view, discussing a retrospective blog post Jason wrote on what they got right and wrong in the last 30 years, and then we chat about what's next.

Here are some of the things we chatted about:  

  • Based on the blog post: The 30 years of lessons learned at Tablas Creek!
    • Wrong #1: Paso Robles is hot and dry, and therefore red wine country (and why whites are so essential to Tablas Creek)
    • Right #1: Obscure grapes can be great here. Yes they can! 

    • Wrong #2: They were going to make just one red wine and one white wine (and why theory was right but practice was wrong!)
       
    • Right #2: Importing new vine material would be worth the costs (and how it made them legendary)
    • Wrong #3: Vineyard and winery experience is enough to run a nursery (and how passing the torch to NovaVine was a big relief!)
    • Right #3: Organic viticulture works (and a deeper discussion of why and whether it even matter why)

    • Wrong #4: Tasting Room? Wine Club? Who needs 'em! From a business perspective, this made perfect sense but we talk about why it didn’t fly in reality and why that's a great thing. 

    • Wrong #5: People will buy it because Beaucastel --name recognition only gets you so far

    • Right #5: Fundamentally, this place is great for these grapes  -- We talk about how some people take advantage of this and how some in Paso are still working on it

 

We wrap with: What’s in the next 30 years?

Please check out Tablas Creek. Many consider them the best winery in America. It's a hard point to argue once you have their wines!

 

 

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Jun 18, 2019
Ep 280: Provence, France
53:12

Provence, France is a multifaceted wine region. Although it makes mainly rosé, there is much to explore here. To start, not all of that rosé is created equal. And there are whites and reds you may not be aware of, that are just stunning. This podcast is a surprising, dorky, deep look at this beautiful wine region.

Climate and terroir

  • Between Mediterranean and the Alps – southeastern corner of France, covers coastline
  • No vineyard is more than 25 miles from the Mediterranean
  • Provence is the only French wine region outside of Bordeaux with classified estates
  • Climate: Low humidity, Mediterranean climate – sea is its southern border: sunny, dry and warm. Can get overripe grapes b/c of sunshine. Winds prevalent – including the Mistral
  • Land: Soil poor, very varied -- limestone, calcareous, volcanic
  • Mountains: Sainte-Victoire Mountain, Sainte-Baume Mountains, Massif des Maures

Blends, not varietal wines:

  • Reds: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Whites: Rolle/Vermentino, Ugni Blanc/Trebbiano, Sémillon, Clairette,Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc

 

Provence rosé appellations

  • Côtes de Provence
  • Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence
  • Coteaux Varois en Provence.

 

Côtes de Provence: 90% Rosé, 6.5% red, 3.5% white

  • Largest appellation in Provence
  • Center to the eastern borders of Provence – eastern portion of Provence in included
  • Nearly 75% of all the wine production in Provence
  • 90% of production is rosé
  • Quality of sites varies wildly, as does the wine quality
  • 4 subregions
    • Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire: Red and rosé (largest, most common)
    • Côtes de Provence Fréjus: 75% rosé, the rest is red
    • Côtes de Provence La Londe: 75% Rosé, 25% red
    • Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu: Cool climate rosé 

 

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence: 82.5% Rosé, 5.5% White, 12% Red

  • 2nd largest area with various soil types
  • High acid, light rosé
  • Les Baux de Provence: (baou=rocky spur in Provence dialect) is within Aix
    • Tiny hilltop village, mainly organic viticulture – 85% of the farmers do organic or biodynamic
    • Makes red and roses (only 25% is rose) of GSM

 

Coteaux Varois en Provence: 85% Rosé, with red and white 

  • Western 1/3 of Provence central region of Provence, "calcareous Provence" – gravel, flint, limestone, calcareous soils in narrow valleys
  • High altitude, small area  

Bandol Wine: Nearly 70% is red wine with rosé, small amt of white 

  • Bandol is most famous for its red wines, Mourvèdre is at least 50% of the blend, though most producers will use significantly more
  • Whites: Clairette – 50-90% of Bandol Blanc with Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanc, Marsanne, Rolle, Sauv Blanc, Semillon 

Bellet Wine: Equal amounts of white, red, rosé 

  • Near Nice in hills of N, E, W on terraces – very steep, some single vineyard sites
  • Mostly consumed by tourists in Nice

 

Palette: Red, white, rosé made east of Aix-en-Provence in hills

  • Chateau Simone owns half the vineyards here – Ch Cremade, Ch Henri Bonnaud, Ch de Meyreuil and La Badiane make the rest

 

Coteaux de Pierrevert: Cool climate red, white and rosé wines are mainly made from Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut, Clairette and Rolle 

Cassis Wine: White is 75% of production, with red and rosé

  • Full-bodied, lower acid, herbal whites.
  • Clairette, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, Pascal, Sauvignon Blanc,
  • Rose and red from Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache

  

 

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

Podcasts referenced:

Ep 160: The Rosé Story with Ian Renwick

Ep 227: Derek Van Dam, CNN Weatherman on Weather and Wine

Ep 277: Bordeaux -- An Insider View with Serge Doré

 

Jun 10, 2019
Ep 279: Greg La Follette of Alquimista Cellars and pioneer of Sonoma, CA Pinot Noir
49:35

Greg La Follette is known in the wine world as a founding father of California Pinot Noir. A former seminarian and biochemist with degrees in Plant Biology and Chemistry, he was an early AIDS researcher at the University of California San Francisco before earning his masters degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis.

Greg has worked for BV, started La Crema and Hartford Court for Jackson Family Wine (Kendall-Jackson), started Sonoma Pinot cult brand Flowers and his own brands LaFollette (which he sold) and now Alquimista. Greg has consulted all over the world – in northern California, Oregon, Europe, South America, and Australia. He is widely considered an expert on Pinot Noir.

 

Here are a few things we chatted about:

  1. Greg's early history, including his time with André Tchelistcheff, the father of American Viticulture (also mentioned in Ep 275: http://winefornormalpeople.libsyn.com/webpage/category/ep-275-lane-tanner-the-pinot-czarina-of-santa-barbara-county-california)
  2. The allure of Pinot Noir and the various styles Greg has made over the years -- from big and brawny at Flowers to elegant and earthy at Alquimista. Greg talks about winegrowing and the challenges of Pinot Noir (and why Chardonnay is important to grow as a sanity check!)
  3. The influence Burgundy has had on Greg's wine over the years
  4. The fascinating chronicles of working at La Crema, starting Flowers for someone else, starting and selling Tandem (now La Follette) and then departing to the best stop: Alquimista Cellars!
  5. We discuss Patrick Dillon, Greg's partner in Alquimista (and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, writer, editor), and how their styles combine to make a style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay you won't find elsewhere in California. 

Alquimista's wines are spectacular. Check them out!  

 __________________________________________

 

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

 

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

Jun 03, 2019
Ep 278: The Art of Vegetarian Food Pairing
49:48

At the request of UK listener, Peregrine (great idea, thanks!), we discuss vegetarian food pairing, an art that's just as easy or hard as with any dish. The difference is that in the veg world, we pair with sauce and seasoning and the complexities are many --and we dig into many of them!

We discuss my three step pairing process and how it applies to vegetarian food:

  1. Pay attention to the weight of the food -- heavy with heavy, light with light.
    • Examples: simple salads with dry whites or rosé, Eggplant or heavy saucy dishes with heavier reds, Cream or cream-based dishes – northern European cuisines – best with cooler climate wines
  2. Figure out what the dominant flavor of the dish is and pair to that. 
    • Examples: Earthy veggies like mushrooms, root veggies – earthy reds like Burgundy, or Barolo, Chianti
    • Mushrooms have umami: Burugndy –white and red are best, but there is nuance
      • Creamy dishes – oaked white burgundy
      • Mushroom risotto: Arneis, Gavi, Soave, Fiano, Etna Bianco
      • Mushrooms with garlic: Pinot noir
      • Portabello mushrooms: same as steak: Zin, Malbec, Bordeaux, Cabernet
      • Asparagus or bell peppers –whites with higher acidity – Grüner, Sauvignon Blanc
      • Tomato-based dishes – reds from Italy
  3. Pay attention to the texture of the food and make sure it goes with the texture of the wine.
    • Structure of the food and the wine matter. Is the food salty? Chewy? Acidic? Pair it with the appropriate wine texture! 

 

We discuss MC Ice's favorite rule: What grows together, goes together 

 

We talk about the best pairings for spice: 

  • Sweeter Riesling or Chenin blanc, or fruity rosés (NEW WORLD) work well
  • Indian curry: A touch of sweetness helps, so does acid
  • Bright Thai curries are better with aromatic whites
    • Fruity rosé, off-dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc, Pinot gris, Viognier
    • Fruity Merlot or Shiraz, Portuguese reds
  • Stir fry with soy: fruity New World Merlot, Pinot, something low in tannin

 

We talk TexMex and Mexican: 

  • Black beans/burritos: Albariño, Beaujolais 
  • True Mexican food
    • Crisp whites: Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, dry Riesling,
    • Riojas, Chianti, Pinot noir can for heavier sauces
    • Soft juicy wines can work with refried and black beans or adobo sauces –Beaujolais or soft Syrah, Garnacha 
    • No tannin, no oak– kills the combo with chiles

 

Finally we discuss how salad has become so varied it's hard to make a good match. We leave you with some ideas:

  • Very fruity wines: Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosés
  • Grow/goes: Greek salad with Assyrtiko
  • Blue cheese dressing: Fruity, soft red – Zin, Beaujolais
  • Goat cheese salad: Sancerre
  • Caprese: Soave, Fiano, Gavi

 

 

Thanks to our sponsor this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

 

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

 

 

 

May 27, 2019
Ep 277: Bordeaux -- An Insider View with Serge Doré
55:27

Serge Doré has been an importer of small French family made wines for nearly four decades. His story and background is featured in episode 262, and in episode 276, we spoke with the vigneron of one of the small families he represents, Amelie Aubert from Bordeaux. This time he returns to speak with us about what Bordeaux is really like and his perspective on the good and bad of the region, how it compares with others and why it is so magnificent. 

 Here are some of the things we discuss: 

  • Serge's first experiences in Bordeaux in the 1980s and what the region was like before it was touched by the influence of Robert Parker
  • His take on the cultural and substantive differences between the Right and Left Bank.
  • The effect of critics on Bordeaux 
  • The business structure and climate of Bordeaux -- including the roles of the vigneron, the courtier (broker), and the negociant. 
  • We discuss the role of technology and how it has helped or harmed wine in Bordeaux
  • Serge gives us his view of the best value appellations in Bordeaux now and the best wines for shorter term aging

I had a great time listening to Serge's take on Bordeaux and how it has changed over the years. I hope you love this very lively, honest conversation too!

Learn more about Serge's wines here

 

Thanks to our sponsor this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

For the latest class schedule, please visit: https://winefornormalpeople.com/classes

 

Other shows referenced:

Ep 276: Familie Aubert, with Amelie Aubert, the 7th Generation of Bordeaux Winemaking

 

Ep 262: Serge Doré, Outstanding French Wine Importer

 

Ep 250: Amazing Innovation in Champagne with Thibaut Le Mailloux of the Champagne Council

May 21, 2019
Ep 276: Familie Aubert, with Amelie Aubert, the 7th Generation of Bordeaux Winemaking
39:49

The Aubert family has lived in Saint-Émilion on the Right Bank of Bordeaux since 1750 and has a long and successful history as producers of some of Bordeaux’s finest wines. Alaine and Bernadette Aubert own over 600 acres of vineyard property, making them one of the largest family producers on the Right Bank.

They run the estate with the help of their three daughters Cécile, Amélie and Héloise, with Amélie the 7th generation of the family to take over the reins of the family’s winemaking responsibilities. The estate centers around the old family home of Château de Ribebon, a magnificent 18th century building that was once a hunting lodge for King Louis XIV, beautifully preserved, on a terrace overlooking the Dordogne River.

Thanks to Serge Doré Selections for making this show happen! 

Chateaux list: (you can get these at www.winelibrary.com please call them to special order these wines except the Cab Franc!)

  • Château Macard (Bordeaux Superieur)
  • Château de Ribebon Reserve (Bordeaux Superieur Cabernet Franc)
  • Château Hyot (Côtes de Bordeaux -- Castillon)
  • Château Haut-Gravet (St-Émilion Grand Cru 'Grand Chemin')
  • Château Abelyce (St-Émilion Grand Cru)

 

Here are the topics we cover:

  • We talk about Amélie's family history in Bordeaux and how her mom and dad both came from winemaking families 
  • Amélie discusses her love of the wine business and her passion for tradition, as she got started with her grandfather in the business
  • We talk about the Right Bank -- the grapes (Merlot, Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon), the land, the climate/vintage variation, the culture etc and how it is different from the Left Bank
  • Amélie discusses the complication of the classification systems in St. Émilion -- the Grands Crus Classés and the controversy around the classification (Château Abelyce and Haut-Gravet are both classified chateaux)
  • We discuss the land and how terroir is so important to quality in Bordeaux. We cover the differences between the limestone plateau that Ch. de Ribebon sits on versus the clay and gravel of the Right Bank
  • Amélie shares why the Côtes de Bordeaux are exciting to seek out (Château Hyot is from Côtes de Bordeaux -- Castillon)
  • We talk about Bordeaux Superieur and the keys to getting a good one 
  • Amélie shares the purpose of oak barrels for her (and how it is not considered a flavor component - totally different from New World ideas!)
  • We discuss the great benefits of having a strict appellation system and how it helps Amélie make the best wine she can  
  • Finally, Amélie shares how environmental concerns will likely change how some things are done in Bordeaux, but not the style of the wine

 

Thanks to our sponsor this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

May 13, 2019
Ep 275: Lane Tanner, the Pinot Czarina of Santa Barbara County, California
54:36

When I was visiting Santa Barbara County, I got to sit down with the Pinot Czarina herself, Lane Tanner. She is famed for her deep knowledge of Pinot noir winemaking in Santa Barbara, having arrived as only the second woman winemaker in the county in 1981. Since then, Lane has built a reputation as one of the top Pinot specialists in California and she is a pioneer and icon in SB County.

She has had a long career and today, she is the winemaker and partner with Will Hentry Ep 259) in Lumen Wines, making exceptional single vineyard Pinot Noir, with great Chardonnay, Grenache, Grenache blanc and Pinot Gris to boot. Although accomplished, Lane is a total package – confident, strong, but kind and willing to share her story with us. We became fast friends and I can't wait to introduce you to her and her story in this show!

Here are the topics we hit on:

 

  1. How Lane got into wine, how she met and was mentored (inadvertently) by the famed Andre Tchelistcheff
  2. Santa Barbara County in the 1980s -- the culture, the wines, and how it has changed 
  3. Lane's ability to master nearly any task -- her "Inspector Gadget" -like quality to fix anything, and solve any problem (only she does it well and he did it poorly!)
  4. The importance of geography and geology to Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara. Lane's philosophies, how she came upon them, and why they yield such spectacular wine -- from picking decisions to pruning to clones, we cover it all! 
  5. The trouble with scores and judging (she's been a judge before so we get some inside dirt!)
  6. How the movies "Sideways" and it's residual effects made Lane retire for a time.  
  7. We talk Santa Barbara wine -- now and then.
  8. The present and future: Will Henry joins us again to help tell the the Lumen story and where it's going!

We hope to have an Underground Wine Event next year in Santa Barbara! Stay tuned for details! 

 

Thanks to our sponsor this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

May 07, 2019
Ep 274: Christopher Snowden on how moderate drinking is still good for you and why wine is NOT the new tobacco
54:18

Christopher Snowdon is the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs. His research focuses on social freedoms, prohibition and policy-based evidence. He is a regular columnist for the Spectator Health blog, where his article on March 28, 2019 “The campaign to make alcohol ‘the new tobacco’” caught my eye. 

 

In this show, Chris and I discuss the new narratives that the UK Chief Medical Officers and others in positions of power in public health are pushing out to the public. We dig into the problems with these studies, namely that the claims are relatively baseless and the research is skewed, and we talk about possible trajectories for Neo-temperance and the importance of vigilance and questioning the claims and the motives of these claims.

 

The show notes are simple this week: his two articles --

 

More on Chris: Snowdon is author of five books: 'Killjoys' (2017), 'Selfishness, Greed and Capitalism' (2015), 'The Art of Suppression' (2011), 'The Spirit Level Delusion' (2010) and 'Velvet Glove, Iron Fist' (2009). He has also written more than a dozen reports for the Institute of Economic Affairs including ‘Drinking, Fast and Slow’, ‘and ‘Closing Time: Who’s killing the British pub?’. He blogs at Velvet Glove, Iron Fist.

 

I made reference to the podcast we did about my experience drinking while pregnant. Here's the link!

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies
in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

  

Last Bottle

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Apr 29, 2019
Ep 273: The Grape Miniseries -- Tannat
45:32

Tannat is one of the gems of southwest France – a tannic, acidic, flavorful grape that makes wines packed with complexity (and huge health benefits!). This show takes you from the origins of the grape to the changes it needed to survive in modern times to the glory it’s achieving in Uruguay and its potential in California. A dorky show but a fascinating one, nonetheless!

 

Overview:

  • Mainly grown in Southwest France in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mtns and Uruguay
  • Also grown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Puglia (blending), Siciily, British Columbia and the US
  • Tannat is a great value! A great bottle of Tannat will is priced between $15-$30.  

Origins:

  • First mentioned in Madiran in 1783
  • Name from dialect in Béarn, France: means “colored like tan” for dark berries, tannins
  • Related to a bunch of grapes that are in the Pyrenees-Atlantique region – Manseng Noir is probably the closest relative

Vineyard/Grape character:

  • Vigorous, needs trellising to resist bunch rot (botrytis), mid-ripening and ripens reliably
  • Big bunches, small to medium grapes with thick skins
  • Many seeds – 2x as many as regular grapes – higher polyphenols in the wine.
  • Hard to de-stem because of hard wood
  • Recent research makes the case for oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) as the source of red wine’s health benefits. Tannat is the grape with the greatest concentration

 Winemaking/vineyard management to soften:

  • Vineyard:low yields, picking later, different soil types, new clones
  • In the winery: oak, concrete eggs, micro-oxygenation, extended aging, macerationn

Flavors:

  • Tannic, acidic, dark, with either red (raspberry) or black fruit (plum) with black licorice, vanilla, dark chocolate, espresso, and smoke notes and a long finish

 French Tannat

  • Basque-influenced regions of France near Pyrenees: Madiran, Irouléguy, Tursan, Béarn
  • Madiran: 60-80% of the blend, most do 100%. Red fruit, very strong tannin, high acid -- blended with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Fer to soften astringency.
  • Saint-Mont (min 60% of blend) – with Cab Franc, Cab Sauv
  • Irouléguy: Rosé – not much maceration b/c it will get too tannic
  • Béarn: 60% Tannat and a 40% mix Manseng Noir, Courbu Noir

Uruguay

  • 4,408 acres/1784 ha, 22% of Uruguay’s vineyards
  • Blending with Pinot noir and Merlot for softness and total balance
  • We discuss old vines v. newer clones
  • Best region: Canelones
  • Flavors: Softer tannins, black fruit

California

  • Grown in Paso Robles and Santa Cruz Mtns – Bonny Doon Vineyards, Tablas Creek, Joseph Swan sold it as a standalone
  • 2002: Tablas Creek petitions TTB to add Tannat to list of varieties for varietal wine

 

Food:  Needs high protein and high fat to the table to soften the high tannins

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make 
the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

  

Away

Away creates thoughtful standards for modern travel—universal pieces that reflect your personal travel style and make every trip more seamless. Away has the perfect gift for everyone on your list—and for every destination on theirs.

I really love this suitcase! You need to get one!

For $20 off a suitcase, visit www.awaytravel.com/wine and use PROMO CODE: wine during checkout!

 

Zola, the wedding company that will do anything for love, is reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience to make the happiest moment in couples' lives even happier. From engagement to wedding and decorating your first home, Zola is there, combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. All in the service of love.

To start your free wedding website or registry on Zola, go to www.ZOLA.com/wine

 

Apr 22, 2019
Ep 272: The Greats -- Rioja, Spain
52:33

Another in our series of the greatest wines in the world, this dorky, in-depth show goes over the intricate details of Rioja, Spain. The history is just fascinating(especially the ties to France), and the wines are a marvel. Rioja truly is a GREAT.

If the podcast is too weedy for you, skip to the end. MC Ice asks me a question about traditional practices in Europe and how I feel about it restricting creativity, and I give a staunch defense of the regulations in an answer he didn't expect! 

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies
in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

  

Last Bottle

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Here are the show notes:

Overview

  • Rio Oja – river oja
  • I discuss location: in the Ebro River Valley between Obarees Mountains, Sierra de Cantabria in the North, Sierra de la Demanda in the south
  • I mention the great wine houses of Haro: Roda, Muga, CVNE, Ramon Bilbao, López de Heredia to name a few.
  • I also mention Logroño, the capital city of the region with producers: Marques de Murrieta and Ontanon

History:

  • Yes, it's weedy, but I find it fascinating so I take you through Rioja's history from Phoenician settlers in 11thc BC to Ancient Romans, monks, the importance of El Camino (not the 1970s car, but the religious pilgrimage!), the Reconquista, colonial times to more modern ones.
  • We discuss the strong ties between Bordeaux, over the Pyrenees, and Rioja and how phylloxera actually served to cement that tie and help Rioja soar to new heights 

Geography:

  • We really get dorky here, discussing the River Ebro & its 7 tributaries that create valleys of Rioja
  • We talk about the climate, the microclimates and importantly, the sub regions:
    • Rioja Alta: Just under 50% of vineyards, premium wine
      • Sub valleys: Oja, Najerilla, Iregua 
    • Rioja Alavesa: 20% of wine, similar to Alta
    • Rioja Baja: further south in Ebro Valley, much drier, warmer climate, thanks to the Mediterranean influence 37% of production and growing (young producers)
      • Sub valleys: Cidacos (Bodegas Ontañon, one of my favorites is here), Leza, Jubera, Alhama

Grapes:

  • Reds: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo (Carignan), Maturana Tinta
  • Whites: Viura/Macabeo (the Cava grape), Malvasía de Rioja, Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Turruntés de Rioja 

Type of Wine:

  • Blends of grape varieties, vineyards and towns.
  • Control Board issues to those wines that meet quality and tipicity requirements:
  • Joven:Guarantees the origin and vintage of the wine. Fresh, fruity.
  • Crianza wines: Minimum of 1 year in casks/oak, 1 year in bottle. For white wines, the minimum cask ageing period is 6 mo
  • Reserva wines: Selected wines of the best vintages with an excellent potential. Aged a minimum of 3 years -- 1 in cask, at least 6 months in bottle. For whites, the minimum ageing period is 2 years, with at least 6 months in casks.
  • Gran Reserva wines: Selected wines from exceptional vintages. Aged a minimum of 60 months -- 2 years in cask, 2 in bottle. Whites: 4 years, with 1 year in cask

Viticulture:  

  • We end with a discussion of the restrictions around viticulture and winemaking and how restrictive it is. 
  • M.C. Ice gets me to wax poetic on whether I think we should restrict producers in this way, and I give an impassioned plea as to why I think it is essential. 

 

I heavily relied on the awesome site: https://us.riojawine.com/en/ for information in this pod! 

Also, I mentioned a Spanish language podcast I like. Here's the link to Coffee Break Spanish

 

Apr 13, 2019
Ep 271: The SoNapa Problem with Oded Shakked of Longboard Vineyards and Jim Morris, the Sonoma AND Napa Wine Guy
38:45

Napa and Sonoma are the two most famous places for wine in the United States. On a map, they are right next to each other and they seem really interchangeable. But looks can be deceiving. The truth is, that they are an hour drive apart and worlds away in climate, geography, grapes, cost, marketing, and culture.

 

This week, Oded Shakked, winemaker and owner of Longboard Vineyards and Jim Morris, the Sonoma Wine Guy, who now works for a Napa winery help me parse the differences. This podcast should help make everything a whole lot clearer when people talk about Napa versus Sonoma!

 

Here are the show notes:

  • Geography:
    • The distance between the areas – 45 mi -1 hr, the difficulty in getting between them
    • Looking at a map – and the geography of the two areas
  • Marketing differences – when and how they diverged: Napa’s 20 year head start and the importance of Robert Mondavi’s marketing efforts to Napa
  • Ease of travel in Napa v Sonoma
  • The money difference/investement -- small farmers v. outside money
  • The competition element – a problem for both Sonoma and Napa
  • What’s not different: SKILL!!! Everyone knows what theya re doing for the most part
    • Provenance, time, is smaller – Napa – elite
  • Experience difference:
    • Napa – an elite or aspirational experience, status, expense, trying to weed out people
    • Sonoma – more affordable, more relaxed
  • Costs differences – and how places used it to weed people out
  • Grapes and climate
    • Diurals/acid differences – Sonoma is cooler in many spots
  • Napa Envy by Sonoma
  • Sonoma’s Identity issue
  • One common problem: cost of living is going up and it’s harder to find people to work there
  • Some travel tips for Northern California wine country and all the other stuff you can do in Sonoma!

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies
in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

Blinkist:

Blinkist is the only app that takes the best key takeaways, the need-to-know information from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes so you can read or listen to. 8 Million people are using Blinkist right now and it has a massive and growing library: from self-help, business, health to history books.

Get the main idea of books so you can decide if they are something you want to read more of or if the gist is just enough! Right now, for a limited time Blinkist has a special offer. Go to www.blinkist.com/​WINE​ to start your free 7 day trial.

 

Apr 06, 2019
Ep 270: La Pitchoune Winery, Outsiders Who Broke Into Sonoma Wine and Rocked It
44:20

When Tracy Nielsen -- Co-Founder & Assistant Winemaker of La Pitchoune -- came to Sonoma from Colorado and wanted to break into the wine business, she struggled. Despite her fantastic personality, life experiences in sales, marketing, and customer service (plus she kicks butt because she was a river raft guide in her home state of Colorado), there was little offer of help or employment. So she and her husband, Peter Joachim Nielsen decided to start their own winery.

They hooked up with the Andrew Berge - Master Winemaker, with a degree in agriculture from UC Davis and experience in making wines that express the vineyard in which they grew. The quartet was rounded out by Brett Van Ernst, marketing powerhouse to form La Pitchoune Winery, and they have been wildly successful, making Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé and Chenin Blanc in small lots from excellent vineyards. 

La Pitchoune means “the little one” in French and the name speaks to small production, small lots, and their small size. This crew has not been around that long but already they’ve received major recognition from the wine cognoscenti and you can find their wines at Michelin-starred restaurants, including The French Laundry and Auberge du Soleil in Napa. 

They will be at www.undergroundwineevents.com on April 6, 2019 (please visit the site for other upcoming events!)

Here are a few notes from the show with Tracy and Andrew: 

  1. We discuss the origins of La Pitchoune and how Tracy and Peter decided to form it.
  2. We talk about Andrew's journey from Germany to Minnesota, where he grew up, to Sonoma, where he took a degree in agriculture. Andrew tells us how his more practical, mid-western approach to the wine industry has been an asset. 
  3. We drill into terroir and the benefits of a more hands-off winemaking style -- natural yeast fermentation, few additives, letting the land speak through the wine. 
  4. We discuss Sonoma Mountain, the small, varied appellation from which very few people make wine. 
  5. There is a lot of nerding out about the various vineyards and winemaking
  6. Finally, we talk business -- how La Pitchoune approaches customers and how its partnership helps them to succeed in the very competitive wine industry. 

 

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies
in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

  

Last Bottle

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

 

Mar 31, 2019
Ep 269: From Doctor to One Woman Winery--Kerith Overstreet of Bruliam
51:23

Kerith Overstreet is a triple threat: Bruliam Wines co-founder and winemaker, medical doctor, and mom to three teens.  After retiring from general surgery to pursue pathology and then medicine to raise a family, she tried her hand at winemaking with one barrel. She quickly found she had the chops for it and her fourth baby, Bruliam Wines was established in 2008.

Since then, Kerith has completed her enology courses at U.C. Davis and she is a one-woman show. She does EVERYTHING herself and the lovely single vineyard Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and chardonnay benefit from it. 

www.undergroundwineevents.com for tickets!

Here are some of the things we cover in the show:

  • Kerith takes us on her journey from growing up in San Diego, to East Coast college and med school student, to single vineyard, terroir-driven winemaker
  • Kerith discusses the interplay between wine and medicine and how it affects her today
  • We talk all about site, growers and why this kind of thing is the obsession of small winemakers
  • We discuss Pinot Noir and why it's such a fascinating grape
  • On a personal note, we discuss family, doing it as a one-woman show, and strange things people have said to Kerith in her time in wine

 You can get her wines at www.bruliamwines.com

 

 

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies
in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

 

Mar 25, 2019
Ep 268: Adam Teeter of VinePair, the Online Wine Mag that is Disrupting Wine Media
01:02:47

Adam Teeter is Co-Founder of VinePair Inc, the huge online magazine that tells it like it is in the world of wine, spirits, and beer. Adam is a true normal wine person, he is obsessed with wine and trying to remove the elitism often associated with the industry. In this awesome conversation we discuss Adam’s transition from music to wine (and its similarities), and how he built VinePair to truly disrupt wine media.

 

Show notes:

  1. We discuss Adam’s background and how he and Elizabeth are like the same person.

 

  1. Adam talks about the striking similarities between the record industry and wine. He talks about how his first successful venture in joining wine and music springboarded him to build VinePair.

 

  1. We talk nitty-gritty industry stuff – certifications in wine, Millennials and wine, the wine industry and how it’s so bizarre from a business perspective, and the goals of Vinepair to break down alcoholic beverages for normal people.

 

  1. Adam tells us about upcoming trends in the wine industry and media and we discuss how VinePair and WFNP are the beginning of the wine revolution in media.

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies
in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

  

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Mar 18, 2019
Ep 267: Leo Hansen of Leo Steen Wines, The Dane who Mastered California Chenin Blanc
42:00

Originally from Denmark where he grew up as the son of a chef and hotelier in the happiest country in the world, Leo Hansen started in the hospitality world at the ripe old age of 12 and hasn’t stopped since.

First he was a certified European sommelier working for a Michelin starred restaurant and that brought him to the US where he immersed himself in the world of New World winemaking. In 2004 he started Leo Steen Wines, which concentrates on divine Chenin Blanc (AKA Steen in South Africa, but ironically a family name as well!) but also makes Cab Franc, Chardonnay, and Grenache.

He has been in California for 20 years but he maintains a European palate and focuses on traditional European winemaking techniques like foot treading, natural yeasts, lower alcohols and less new oak. He’s the perfect balance of professional winemaker and sommelier and a fascinating guy all around.

 

And a few show notes:

  • Leo tells us about his early life as a the son of a chef and hotelier, including some notes about Danish cuisine!
  • We learn about Leo\'s career path, especially his time at Kong Hans in Copenhagen, a Michelin Starred Restaurant
  • We discuss the difference in sommelier culture in Denmark v. the US
  • Leo takes us through his journey from a harvest worker at Clos du Bois to owner of Leo Steen
  • Finally, we discuss his specific philosophies and wines and why site is so important to his wine.

For more info on Underground Wine Events, go to www.undergroundwineevents.com

 

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU!The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies
in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

 

Blinkist:

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Mar 11, 2019
Ep 266: Danny Glover- From LA Musician to L'Object Wine
43:49

Danny Glover has had a fascinating life! He moved from a life in music production and writing to a life in the vineyards and in the cellar. A man with an obsession with terroir and a knack for making low-intervention wines, Dan has worked in huge, medium and small wineries, building his skills and repertoire.

The first thing you should know is that even though that OTHER Danny Glover is also an African American who has a wine brand, this is the REAL DANNY GLOVER. The one who spends his time obsessing about his wines and his brand L’Objet.