Wine for Normal People

The Grape Miniseries returns with a very special edition! Riesling expert Stuart Piggott joins us to give the low down on this exquisite but often misunderstood grape. This is a not-to-miss conversation with an entertaining, funny, NORMAL Riesling guru!

After gossiping about why a lot of wine experts are disconnected from normal people we cover stuff like:

  • The origins of the grape
  • Terroir's effect on Riesling
  • Style variation by place (Alsace,Australia, Austria, the US, Canada and more)
  • Growing Riesling and making it
  • The "petrol" note and spritz in the wine -- WHAT are they?
  • The sweetness factor
  • How to tell if something is sweet or dry by looking at the bottle and how to find a dry wine
  • Food pairings with Riesling
  • How to shop for Riesling to get the style you want
Next time we focus on Germany, the home and holy land of the grape!
Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

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Podcast music: "Café connection" by morgantj / CC BY 3.0, ©2009 - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)Map: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license
Direct download: Ep_087_Discovering_Riesling_w_Expert_Stuart_Piggott_FINAL.mp3
Category:Riesling -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

Ep 086: All About Bordeaux's Chateau Palmer

In a continuation of my amazing interview with Jean-Louis Carbonnier of the prestigious Bordeaux property Château Palmer, this week we talk more about the wines of the Château and what makes them so good. 

(WARNING: You may want to brush up on the Bordeaux podcasts before listening -- we get into some nerdy details!)

We weave through a bunch of sub-topics, but here are the main points:

  • The 1855 Classification of Left Bank Bordeaux Chateaux, where Palmer got the shaft
  • Is Bordeaux pricing fair? Do the wines measure up?
  • Palmer: its history, the blend, the terroir, the winemaking, and how it comes to taste that great.
  • Alter Ego, Palmer's lower cost wine with a slighlty different blend
  • Then we wrap up with Jean-Louis's takeaways about Palmer & Bordeaux

Thanks again to Jean-Louis and Château Palmer for their time and for educating us on this historic, classic, and unbelievably delicious wine! 

Direct download: 86_Ep_086__All_About_Chateau_Palmer.mp3
Category:French wine -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

Ep 085: Inside Bordeaux w Château Palmer

For this episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean-Louis Carbonnier, the Director of the Americas for one of the most esteemed Bordeaux château, Château Palmer and the owner of the communications firm Carbonnier Communications.

This is the first part of a two part conversation that you won’t want to miss. You may learn more about how Bordeaux really works from this conversation than from any book you can read, I know I did. In this installment, we talk about:


  • The differences and dynamics between French winemaking regions, especially Bordeaux and Champagne, since Jean-Louis has worked in both
  • Jean-Louis’s perceptions of how business gets done in Bordeaux
  • His thoughts on global climate change in Bordeaux
  • How the critics, especially certain American ones, have had a hand in shaping styles in Bordeaux
  • The all important French concept of terroir and why it lays at the heart of French winemaking


Stay tuned for next week’s episode when we discuss the 1855 Classification, it’s relevance today, and the nuts of bolt of how to make a wine as outstanding as Château Palmer.

Thanks to Jean-Louis! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this conversation! 

Direct download: 85_Ep_085__Inside_Bordeaux_w_Ch_Palmer.mp3
Category:French wine -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT