Thu, 17 November 2016
Thanksgiving is a meal with so much complexity that you may just want to think about streamlining your wine choices. We offer a "one wine" solution -- versatile choices that go with everything -- so you don't have to stress! Here's the shortlist that we mention:
Off-dry Vouvray and off-dry Riesling
Premier Cru Chablis
Alsace whites -- especially Riesling, Muscat, and Gewurztraminer
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc or Priorat Blanc
Bubbles! American Sparkling or Prosecco are fruitier and may be best
Especially New World rosé that can stand up to the multitude of flavors
Bubbly rosé is a great pick too
Caveat Emptor, since red is less versatile for Thanksgiving. Pick something low in alcohol, low in tannin, and moderate in acidity
Top picks: Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc
We also welcome our first sponsor -- HelloFresh! HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that makes cooking fun and easy. Each week they create awesome recipes with step-by-step instructions that take about 30 minutes to cook. They give you all the ingredients in an awesome package with exact quantities you need. All the food is nutritionally balanced and it is darn tasty, as we will attest in the podcast.
If you want to try this amazing, easy service, you get $35 off when you enter the promo code WINE! Trust us, you won't regret it! We are hooked after trying some of their tasty meals that got us out of our cooking rut.
Wed, 16 November 2016
Every year on the third Thursday in November at midnight, Beaujolais Nouveau hits store shelves, cafés, and restaurants around the world and (a declining number) of people rush out to get this invention of marketing genius.
The celebration of this hastily made wine, for which grapes are picked and then processed in a scant few weeks before you drink it (as opposed to quality wine which is made over several months, if not years) is the creation of producer/negociant Georges Duboeuf. This guy took the Old World idea of festivals that celebrated new/young wine — wine made from grapes fresh off the vines — and put a marketing machine behind it to get the world to support Beaujolais Nouveau.
The problem: young wine is best when it’s fresh and sipped at the winery. When it travels overseas and is stored for a month the wine is terrible. But even then, I bet if we tasted it fresh, Beaujolais Nouveau tastes like bananas, bubble gum, and pear candy, with little acid or tannin. Apart from color, it has more in common with a white than a red. It’s fun, but it doesn’t taste that great and as we’ve become more sophisticated in our wine drinking, Beaujolais Nouveau has become less exciting to most people.
Sadly this increasing sophistication has had terrible repercussions in the region of Beaujolais — forcing some growers out of business and creating tensions among those who depended on this product for their livelihoods. So the question for Beaujolais is: Now that Beaujolais Nouveau is on the rocks, what else is there?
Enter higher quality Beaujolais. This is the stuff wine people go nuts over but that few others know about: the 10 Beaujolais Crus that make distinctive, floral, fresh wine from the Gamay grape. Just south of Burgundy and north of Rhône, on a swath of granite, which is Gamay’s preferred soil, are scattered areas that make outstanding wine. From north to south these are: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Côte de Brouilly, and Brouilly.
The wines produced in these Cru run the gamut — from floral and fruity to rich, earthy, and complex. Here’s a quick grouping of each type:
Most of these wines are incredibly well priced for what they are — around US $20 or less — and they taste like nothing else you’ve ever tried. I don’t know of other wines that can boast flavors of iris flowers, violets, or lily of the valley and also have raspberry, earth, and spice notes. The combination of freshness and structure — most Cru have excellent acidity but also a round, soft texture — make these wines like nothing else you’ve ever had.
So clearly, I love the stuff. Go get yourself one from an area I just mentioned that sounds best to you and report back on the blog: winefornormalpeople.com/blog and we’ll compare notes.
Wed, 9 November 2016
Ian returns as a co-host, talking about his latest venture -- starting an independent wine shop. We discuss the work that goes into this process, what you should look for in a indie shop, & economics of bottle pricing. Fascinating behind the scenes look!
Visit his site jadedpalates.com to see his selection and, if you're in the UK, to get the free shipping he's offering to WFNP listeners!!
Tue, 1 November 2016
A poem...because Halloween is our favorite holiday!
An Ode To Halloween Candy Pairing…
Halloween was fun, now it’s day of the dead
So don’t make a mistake that will mess with your head
Although some have an empty bowl where once there were sweets
Most of us have tons of left over treats
Whether you’re stealing from your kids or eating from the work trough
We’re here to make sure your wine doesn’t taste off
Because although some wine people recommend Cab
Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Syrah in their gab
We’ll remind you once more as we did in a podcast
That you should reconsider before you reach for a glass
Dry wine is nasty with Halloween candy
Regardless of your palate, it just doesn’t taste dandy
Bitter and gross with a hollow taste,
With delicious candy, it’s such a waste
Better for you is wine that is sweet:
Port, Muscat, Late Harvest anything you really can’t beat
Ruby Port with Snickers? Late Harvest Zin with Kit Kat?
We’ve told you a hundred times, this pairing is where it’s at
Sweet Sherry or sweet Vin Santo is nice
For Starburst and Skittles don’t think twice
Although I’d save the Sauternes and Tokay
With the sweetness of the candy, you could give it a try!
We know that sweet wine may not be in your cellar
But a wine sweeter than the dessert transforms things like Cinderella
So grab a sweet wine, invite some friends by
Choose some of these pairings, just give it a try
‘Cause Halloween comes just once a year
And this volume of candy will soon disappear
Don’t mess it up with a crappy pairing
That will leave you drunk and have you swearing.
Trust us on this one, we’re not trying to be beat
For candy, Post-Halloween, you better go sweet!