Wine for Normal People

For this final mini episode of 2014, I'm solo! M.C. Ice has the flu and can't record so I bring you three tips for New Year's Eve:

1. Drink from "fine" to "poor", i.e., don't drink the best stuff last!

2. Don't bring great stuff to a party or dinner if it won't be appreciated

3. Try lower priced sparklers like Cava, Crémant, American Sparkling wine, Prosecco, Sekt, or for a cool, unusual twist -- Champagne made from one of the 19,000 growers in this region of France who made wine that really reflects the land and is less "homogenized."

And the resolutions:

1. More podcasts and online classes in 2015!

2. More podcast interviews in 2015

3. All internet wine ordering, all (ok, most) of the time!

I hope you've had a wonderful 2014 and that 2015 is full of health, wealth, and happiness!



Thank you for listening and for your support!


Direct download: 117_Ep_117__New_Years_Tips_and_Resolutions_for_2015.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

Although we love getting super dorky, sometimes we like to do a super practical podcast that you can take with you to the wine shop!


High alcohol naysayers be contradicted! If it's cold outside, you WANT high alcohol wines. So that's the kinds of wines I'm recommending...with the caveat that they must be balanced and not just heat.

Suggestions include:

Whites: Oaked Chardonnay, Châteauneuf du Pape blanc and other Rhône blends, southern Italian whites, Soave, South African Chardonnay, and a surprising, dark horse Pinot Blanc from Germany.

Reds: Syrah from Swartland, Crozes-Hermitage, or Walla Walla, Washington, Mendocino Zinfandel, Malbec from Cahors, France, Monastrell from Jumilla, Rioja/Tempranillo, Amarone, and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Go fill a case and let us know what you think!

Direct download: 116_Ep_116__Winter_Wines.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 2:21pm EDT

Following the journey back to my homeland, we discuss the amazing wines of Long Island and how far they've come. We'll give you the lowdown from climate, to vintage, to the best wineries of the area...and yes, we name names.

Direct download: 115_Ep_115__Long_Island_Wine.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:06am EDT

After recording the podcast, we had to add a disclaimer because we realized that this was a little insider-y for most people, but we still decided to launch this because there is a big debate raging in the wine world about what grapes and wines should be featured on wine lists. We realize some of you may not like this podcast and may think we've gone off the rails -- be patient! I felt we needed to cover it because it's been a huge debate in 2014 and one that doesn't seem to be going away.

That debate? Robert Parker, esteeemed wine critic, has been coming down hard on what he terms "hipster" sommeliers who are pretentious, only feature natural wines on their lists and eschew common grape varieties and big brands. Others have fired back at him saying that he is fighting for relevance by brining this up with such vitriol. 


Here's an few articles on the debate (I can't reference Parker's original article because it requires a subscription but these have excerpts): 

From Vinography:

From The Gray Report:

From Hawk Wakawaka:


And a few of the wine lists I'm referencing:

Vinegar Hill House, Brooklyn, NY:

Table, Donkey, and Stick, Chicago, IL :

Camino Restaurant, Oakland, CA:


We look forward to your comments on this one! 

Direct download: Ep_114__Old_v_New_Guard_Wine_Lists.mp3
Category:Wine Business -- posted at: 3:16pm EDT

All wine from Europe falls under a classified category. From DOCG to Pradikat to AOP, this week we cover what these categories mean and why they're important. And we give you the best news of all: it's not as hard as you may think and it can help you get better wine! 

Direct download: 113_Ep_113__European_Wine_Classification_Systems.mp3
Category:European Wine -- posted at: 1:09am EDT

This week we talk about a wine bucket list experience at Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida (US), answer a listener question on decanting, and then tackle southern Rhone. We focus on the better regions of the area and tell you the secrets to drinking better than just regular, old Cotes du Rhone.

Direct download: 111_Ep_111__The_Southern_Rhone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05am EDT

Using M.C. Ice's experience and his "lightbulb" moment in learning about a wine's potential to age, we discuss a recent tasting of a high end Bordeaux wine and how he was able to identify that this wine was a diamond in the rough (and it's not just because it costs $700 a bottle!).

Direct download: 110_Ep_110__How_To_Tell_If_A_Wine_Can_Age.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:08pm EDT

This week I interview a close friend who happens to be the GM of a few wineries in Napa, the Dentist (he will be on again and if we want his candor, we need to disguise his identity!). He lives and works in Napa and he goes into detail about what the earthquake on August 24, 2014 felt like and what its ramifications are for the wineries and vineyards. The earthquake measured 6.0 on the Richter scale and is now considered a "major disaster" by the US government.


This is a firsthand account of an earthquake and what happens afterwards to the people, the land, and the wine. 


Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy! 



Direct download: 109_Ep_109__The_Napa_Quake.mp3
Category:California -- posted at: 11:12am EDT

In this podcast we review the six selections on the page. As M.C. Ice says -- these selections just keep getting better. This is an amazing batch and one you'll want to hear about, even if you don't live in a state where you can get delivery. These wines are worth seeking out.


The wines featured:

  • A French rosé
  • Bardolino
  • Ribera del Duero
  • Rioja Reserva
  • Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
  • Vintage Port (great to hold if you had a special occasion in 2011, as we did -- our first daughter was born then!)


Affordable, awesome wines that are easy to order. The podcast is like a tasting guide for you! Thanks for listening and for your support!

Direct download: 108_Ep_108__Vinport_Wines_August_2014.mp3
Category:Vinport -- posted at: 3:09pm EDT

This week we cover a bit about the Rhône Valley and then discuss specifics of the 8 communes of the Northern Rhône and what they have to offer. 

From north to south, the communes are:

1. Côte Rotie

2. Condrieu

3. Château Grillet

4. St. Joseph

5. Crozes-Hermitage

6. Hermitage

7. Cornas

8. St-Peray

and we throw in Clairette de Die for good measure! Some of my favorite wines are from here, so I hope you like the podcast! 

Direct download: 107_Ep_107__The_Northern_Rhone.mp3
Category:French wine -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT