Wine for Normal People

First we hit on the Background on Roman Empire

  • The Roman Empire lasted from around 753 BC until 476 AD and encompassed most of Europe
  • The impact was far, wide, long lasting – Romans started the industry all over Europe AND they discovered winemaking practices that are still around today

Expansion of Wine

  • We discuss the Greeks and how they got the ball rolling with viticulture in Italy
  • Then we go over the conquest of Europe by the Romans vis a vis wine – from the Punic Wars and Carthage on. Spain, Gaul (France), Germany, and Britain


Golden Age of Wine

  • We talk about the Golden Age of wine in Rome in the 2nd century BC
  • We discuss the medicinal, social, and religious roles of wine -- including how it was used by wealthy people to show their friends how rich they were
  • The transformation of wine into a daily necessity where everyone from the rich to slaves drank it


Viticulture in the Roman era

  • The concept of terroir is not new – writers from Pliny to Columella discussed the relationship between the land and the vineyard – soil type, slope, proximity to water were all important to viticulture
  • Winemaking wasn’t so different from how it is today – the importance of how you press grapes, sur lie aging, the process of making sweet wine, and storage and aging were cited by writers
  • Romans differentiated between vineyards and had famed wines: we talk Falernian, Alban, Caecuban and more
  • We discuss the importance of place name v grape type and how the tradition continues

All in all, a dork-fest of an episode, but a very fun one indeed!

In Vino Veritas!

Direct download: Ep_156_Wine_of_Ancient_Rome.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:58pm EDT

In this episode I have a fangirl moment with Jane Anson, one of the top wine writers in the world. She's the contributing editor and Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter Magazine,, and, among other publications, and author of the book "Bordeaux Legends," the story of the Premier Cru of Bordeaux.

In the show we talk about:

1. Jane's background, how she traveled the world and how she wound up as a journalist for one of the foremost wine magazines in the world.

2. The future of wine media

3. Jane's book "Bordeaux Legends" and her other books 

4. Bordeaux -- her impressions of the region, its classification systems and the state of affairs on the left and right banks.

5. We wrap with a discussion of Jane's favorite places in Bordeaux (from a wine and non-wine standpoint).  

A fantastic conversation and hopefully the first of many (I begged her to come on again and she said yes!)

You can find Jane @newbordeaux on Twitter and on her site

Direct download: 155_Ep_155__Jane_Anson_of_Decanter.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT