Wine for Normal People (uncategorized)
We’re on a roll — hitting the big regions of France. This week, we cover half the Loire. It’s the largest region in France, so we had to break it in two. But first, we remind everyone of our amazing partnership with Vinport.com, for which I am selecting wines that I think are great examples of their regions. Free shipping on 6 or more bottles, great prices, and descriptions of six kick ass wines that will let you taste exactly the attributes M.C. Ice and discuss on the podcast (and as I say on the podcast, I get a small portion of the proceeds, but I selected Vinport as a partner because they let me pick what I wanted to present to you, not what was on their agenda). LINK to my page on Vinport (which features two awesome Alsace wines this month!): LINK TO WFNP PAGE with Alsace wines for purchase! First a Loire overview, including Cremant (sparkling wine), the “branding” issue the region has, and two of the main areas: 1. Pays Nantais/Muscadet Feat [...]
Direct download: 78Ep078_LoirePart1.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 9:45pm EDT

In this mini-review we discover a sub-region that used to be part of the larger Côtes-du-Rhône region: Rasteau. Our foray into this new appellation was nothing short of a rollicking success! 2010 Cave de Rasteau La Domeliere Price: $15 Grapes: 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre Alcohol: 14.5% Color: A rich plum color with thick legs Smell: Shrubs and underbrush (garrigue, as we state), herbal, a horsetail (yeah, as in the animal), leather, with an undertone of cherry but fruit is definitely secondary. It was a bit of a cilia singer — a little hot from the alcohol Taste: Just like it smells — cherry, earth, medium tannin, nice round, full texture from the alcohol. Rich, full, earthy, and not too heavy. Drink or sink?: Drink! Great structure, great flavor, rich and drinks well above its price! Hope you enjoy the review! Drop a comment here, on Facebook or on Twitter and let us know what you think! [...]
Direct download: 04WineReview004_CavedeRasteauLaDomeliere.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 10:56pm EDT

In this episode we cover a lot of ground and hit on one of my personal favorite wine regions: Alsace, France. And the show notes: We introduce our amazing partnership with Vinport.com, for which I am selecting wines that I think are great examples of their regions. Vinport has access to some amazing regions and producers that aren’t always widely available. If you live in   state where you can have wine shipped to you, check out my page. Free shipping on 6 or more bottles, great prices, and descriptions of six kick ass wines that will let you taste exactly the attributes M.C. Ice and discuss on the podcast (and as I say on the podcast, I get a small portionof the proceeds, but I selected Vinport as a partner because they let me pick what I wanted to present to you, not what was on their agenda). LINK to my page on Vinport (which features two awesome Alsace wines this month!): LINK TO WFNP PAGE with Alsace wines for purchase! We do some listener thanks and s [...]
Direct download: Ep077AlsaceFrance.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

I love a crisp Chardonnay and Carneros, in southern Napa, usually delivers! This is a great wine, as you’ll hear us describe… The Wine: 2011 Truchard Chardonnay Where it’s from: Carneros, a cool climate area that straddles southern Napa and Sonoma. Price: $30 Alcohol: 13.9% Color: A pale straw, not to much color from the oak or over-ripe grapes! Smell: Very floral, like nightshade jasmine flowers and a mouthwatering lemon and green apple scent that made it seem lively. Taste: Much fuller and richer than we expected, with honeysuckle, jasmine, and then tropical fruits. Tons of pineapple and then vanilla from the oak but the acidity keeps the wine feeling fresh and light. As M.C. Ice says “I like how the oak is a side dish, not an entree. It balances the other flavors, doesn’t overpower them.” Great minerality too. Drink or sink?: Drink. An well-balanced, excellent and tasty Chardonnay. Very close to a European style but with great Cal [...]
Direct download: WineReview003_TruchardChardonnay.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 3:13pm EDT

Based on a popular article that circulated in a tech mag, proclaiming that “Wine Reviews are BS” and a bunch of listener questions we’ve received, we tackle the article and other critiques of the wine review world head-on. Are wine reviews really BS? We let you know what we think! In the podcast we detail the “Exhibits” from the article, debunking or agreeing with each, and using each as a basis for discussion about the world of wine reviews and whether or not the criticism is justified, in our opinions (which is all wine reviews really are anyway). Thanks for listening! We can’t wait to hear from you! If you’ve got a question you want us to answer, post it here or on Facebook or Twitter we’ll include it on the show! [...]
Direct download: 76Ep076_AreWineReviewsBS_NoBleeps.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 12:36am EDT

For this mini review, we break it down on a hybrid grape that has crazy descriptions. The review is solid but this is a “must listen” because M.C. Ice created a musical masterpiece at the end! Click here to listen. A weird grape, called either Scheurebe or Sämling 88 (”Seedling 88,” the name of the vine), it’s a cross between Riesling and a wild German grape. It was created by Dr. Scheu (rebe means vine in German), hence the name. It’s supposed to have crazy flavors — some that you taste in red wines like black currant. We sussed it out to figure out what was going on. Not sure we got the best version though… The Wine: 2008 K& G Strauss Sämling 88 Where it’s from: Steiermark, Austria Price: $15 Alcohol: 11.5% Color: Green, kind of clear with a little spritz Smell: Not so fresh (it smelled like sea water). A touch of grapefruit, but very light. Taste: Very light, with almost no flavor. Drink or sink?: Sink! Too [...]
Direct download: WineReview002_Scheurebe.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

This week we’ve got a different kind of show for you! No M.C. Ice, but instead a terrific interview with winemaker David “Merf” Merfeld from Northstar Winery in Walla Walla, Washington. This 43 minutes will give you a great perspective on the region through the eyes of a winemaker. Merf tells us all about the differences between the appellations, the grapes that thrive in the region, and why Washington is so unique. We hit on everything from soil, to wildlife, to distribution of Washington wines. A great perspective that we hope you enjoy! Thanks for listening! We can’t wait to hear from you! If you’ve got a question you want us to answer, post it here or on Facebook or Twitter we’ll include it on the show! ____________________________________________________________________ Podcast music: “Café connection” by morgantj / CC BY 3.0, ©2009 - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)Map: Licensed under the Creativ [...]
Direct download: Ep075InterviewwithDavid_Merf_MerfeldofNorthstarinWA.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

You know, if we can get to it relatively easily (i.e., it’s in the U.S.), we’ve got to visit a place before we do a podcast on it. You asked, and we went! This week: Washington State in the northeastern part of the United States. Damn! They are making great wine there, and it’s worth seeking out.  We get dorky about rocks, soil, and sunlight in this episode. Download us on iTunes or click here for the link to the podcast (and click on the arrow under the “listen now” to hear it) Here are the notes: Stats that you may find hard to believe, given Washington’s relatively low profile Geography and geology, including M.C. Ice’s nerdy turn as an (almost) geology minor We go MISSOULA on you! A bit more modern history The American Viticultural Areas — with a special focus on Yakima, Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, Snipes Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills, and Walla Walla Our best explanation of what the wines taste like There are a fe [...]
Direct download: 74Ep074_WashingtonState.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT

This week we have a hit parade of secret gems: the 9 wines you could sort of substitute for super expensive ones. A great topic provided by a listener! Since we hit the list pretty quickly, here are the wines and their analogues… Expensive Wine Less Expensive Analogue Brunello di Montalcino Rosso di Montalcino Oregon Pinot Noir, fruitier Burgundy New Zealand Pinot Noir CA Cabernet Sauvignon Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentinean Malbec Fine Bordeaux Rioja, Cahors, less fine Bordeaux Barolo Ghemme, Gattinara, Nebbiolo Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph Dry German Riesling Australian Riesling from Clare, Eden Valleys, Austrian Riesling Champagne Cremant, Cava, Sparkling wine from anywhere else – not Prosecco or Sekt Priorat Spanish Garnacha from Calatayud, Montsant or Monastrell from Yecla Enjoy it and make sure to post the expensive wines you love so we can offer some advice on less expensive alternativ [...]
Direct download: Ep073_AlternativestotheExpensiveStuff.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 12:02am EDT

As we’re making our way through edits for this week’s podcast, we did a Wine Chat/Mini-cast to fill in. This is on a very important issue that I think is going to shake up the wine critic world permanently. Kind of a big deal. Here’s a link to the Decanter.com story that covered this: Parker v. Galloni If you don’t want to read it, here’s the short of the story: Famed American critic Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate, who single-handedly sets prices and makes reputations for wines and who has arguably changed the way winemakers make wine so they can garner high scores,  sold a large portion of his brand to a group of Singapore investors and shook up the structure of the subscription-only newsletter. His named successor for evaluating California wine, Antonio Galloni, stepped down after the move and started his own Web site. He decided to withhold all the scores for Sonoma wines he had conducted prior to the sale, stating that he would publish [...]
Direct download: WineChat003_ParkervGalloni.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 11:52am EDT