Wine for Normal People
Ever wonder what those little tags with numbers on them in the wine shop actually mean? Who determines the difference between an 89 and a 90? What’s the scale like? How do they conduct these tastings? In this episode we critique the critics, talking about the various scoring systems — what they mean, what to look for, and why, ultimately, they are kind of like noise to your decision-making process. After shout-outs and a listener question on punts (in which M.C. Ice gives a crazy explanation that you can’t miss), the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle, we get to the main topic: We cover the various systems of Robert Parker/the Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter, Jancis Robinson, and the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle. We quote from their websites about their scoring methodologies and then give our impressions of them. We talk about alternate methods of evaluating a wine and a way to revolt against the system…although w [...]
Direct download: 52Ep052_CritiquingtheCritics.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

This week, it’s an episode near to my heart, since allegedly 25% of my family is from here: Austria. I tell an anecdote about traveling there as a dumb college student and “translating” some German. Then, after some great shoutouts (thank you for writing in and reviewing us on iTunes), we move on to the main topic. Since 70% of production is white, we first discuss the main grapes of Austria: Grüner Veltliner (Grooner Felt-LEAN-ah) and Riesling. We chat a bit about the reds of Austria: Zweigelt (SFY-Gelt), Blaufrankish, and St. Laurent. Then we cover the regions. We talk about Vienna and the three super high quality regions of Kremstal, Kamptal, and Wachau (along with it’s classifications of dry whites: Steinfeder, Federspiel, Smargd) We touch on the classification system of wines and what it means — Landwein, Tafelwein, Qualitatswein, and Pradikat. Then we touch on the slightly scandalous, tabloid history of Austria. From the Romans, to Charl [...]
Direct download: 51Ep051_Austria.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 1:02am EDT

YAY! Episode 50! Thanks to everyone for listening. Very cool milestone! We banter a bit about our experience opening an old bottle of wine (we’ll do a bonus clip of the experience soon), do shoutouts, and then we have a fabulous listener question: If you have a vegetarian diet, what types of wines should you think about? As a preview — vegetarian or no, you follow the flavor of the food! The options are much more varied than most people think. Then it’s on to the main topic: Summer Sippers. Here’s a link to the podcast: Here’s a quick rundown: Reds: We have some specific ideas for grilling out. Then we discuss wines that can “take a chill” and be sipped. High on the top of the list: Beaujolais (NOT Nouveau). Here’s a link to the cool new Beaujolais web site that I love and that will help you figure out which area’s wines will work best for you (look under regions): Discover Beaujolais Rosé: Love it. Nothing el [...]
Direct download: 50Ep050_SummerSippers.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 1:11am EDT