Wine for Normal People (wine)

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!

 

 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Direct download: Bonus__An_Ode_to_Halloween_Candy_Pairing.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

There is a lot of buzz about organic and biodynamic farming but what is it? Why does it matter? Does it make sense? You judge after hearing this explanation of both practices. 

 

For the transcript and details, go to http://winefornormalpeople.com/blog

Direct download: 10_Audio_blog_10__Organic_and_Biodynamic_Wine.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:07pm EDT

Garnacha, or Grenache is known by many but appreciated on its own by few. This time I talk about the grape and where to get the best of it. For the transcript and more detail please go to winefornormalpeople.com/blog

Direct download: Audio_blog_9__Garnacha_Tinta_Red_Grenache.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:49am EDT

In the shin of Italy's boot, Campania is the province south of Rome. The area encompasses Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and some of the most unique, tastiest wines in the world. Want to know what regions and grapes are up and coming? Look no further.

Direct download: Ep_168__Campania_Italy.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:34am EDT

The list of wines that are underrated, overlooked, and great values! Some are mainstream, some less so but all fabulous. From Syrah to Chenin Blanc to Sherry and many in between, this should give you some great ideas of what to buy! 

 

And here's the list!

 

 

  1. Dessert wines of any type:
    • Vintage Port, Ruby or Tawny Port, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Banyuls (red), stickies from Australia, sweet Riesling from Germany, Tokaji from Hungary -- all enormous values!
  1. Chenin Blanc: Aromatic, complex, high in acid, great off dry or dry.
    • Vouvray, Saviennieres, and some South African Chenins are outstanding. Napa's Chappellet and Long Island's Paumaunok make great US versions.
  1. Blaüfrankisch (Austria)/Lemberger (Germany): Spicy with black pepper and cinnamon, it makes your mouth feel alive. Medium bodied, cherry-like, interesting, not the same old same old.
  1. GERMAN and ALSACE Riesling and all Alsace whites: Well priced versions for under $20 - $25. Thierry Thiese is always a winning importer in the US.
    • German Riesling: Range of wines for range of cuisines – off dry, dry, semi-sweet – great with spice, great with cheese, great with fish (fuller styles). Dimension, -- floral to citrusy, peachy to minerally, petrol (gasoline) to fruit-bowl like always balanced with acidity
    • ALSACE whites: No secret that I love them. Soft, full, flavorful, great with food. Riesling, Gewurz, Pinot Gris, Muscat – all have an unctuous quality.
  1. Portuguese reds
    • Reds from Douro or Dão: Touriga Nacional is the main grape, they contain the grapes of Port but are dry. Complex, dark and red fruit, earthy, range from medium to full. Versatile and usually CHEAP!
    • Bairrada (Baga):  is amazing when made well and becoming more available.

An honorable mention for the Mencía grape from Bierzo, which is amazing and usually underpriced

  1. White Bordeaux
    • Best are Semillon majority with Sauv Blanc and Muscadelle. Look for top wines from Graves or Pessac-Leognan.
  1. Loire Cabernet Franc
    1. Medium bodied, earthy, tea-like, with red and black fruit. Acidic. Lots of dimension and real depth – even though it’s lighter in style.
    2. Chinon, Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Touraine are top areas (not mentioned but also one to check out: Saumur-Champigny. It can be overpriced but good versions are pleasant)

Another honorable mention: Loire Muscadet, from a single vineyard or great producer is less than $20 and can be floral with a bready quality (when the bottle says sur lie) and when from a great producer.

 

  1. Syrah: Full, spicy, rich, peppery, perfumed, herbal, lavender, savory
    • Northern Rhône, South Africa, Central Coast, Washington State, Australia (Shiraz)
  1. Langhe Nebbiolo: Earthy, tar and roses, can be acidic and tannic, lots of gravitas in the right hands and great with food. 
    • No one knows WTF it is but it can be like a baby Barbaresco or Barolo. Its unpopular because people are unaware of it. Very well priced.
  1. Sherry: A perfect aperitif, underpriced for what it is. Another one to surprise guests with – the nutty factor of an Amontillado will win friends and influence people 
    1. The range is incredible (this is just a sample of the types available -- there are many more!)
      1. Fino: dry and like olives and almonds
      2. Manzanilla: Nutty and salty -- like a richer Fino
      3. Amontillado: Aged 8+ years, almond and walnut character. Rich, dry
      4. Oloroso: Oxidized, richer, complex, like alcohol infused walnuts, dry.
      5. PX/Pedro Ximenez: sweet, raisined, nutty, full, and amazing on top of vanilla ice cream.

 

What do you think? Do you like the list? Have you had any of these? Will you try any? Drop a comment and let us know!

Direct download: 166_Ep_166__Our_List_of_Underrated_Wines.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:13am EDT

Txakolina, also called Txakoli (CHOCK-oh-lee) is an acidic, saline, and floral white from the autonomous Basque region between Spain and France. It's a delicious summer wine that you need to get your hands on and I tell you why.

 

For the transcript and details, go to http://winefornormalpeople.com/blog

 

 

Direct download: 04_Audio_blog_4__Txakolina_A_Basque_Wine_You_Should_Know_About.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:24pm EDT

Greece has a long, long history of winemaking, but it's not as popular as some other regions. I explain my theory of why and then talk about grapes to explore.

 

For the transcript and details, go to http://winefornormalpeople.com/blog

Direct download: 03_Audio_blog_3__Geekin_on_Greece.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

Jane Anson, brilliant contributing editor and Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter Magazine (and nominee for Louis Roederer's 2016 Feature's writer and online communicator of the year) returns! She and I take on geopolitics and wine!  If you're confused about why Brexit is such a big deal for Europe and the UK,  listen to this podcast.

We explain the politics of this unprecedented move and how it could affect the global landscape for wine. A must listen if you want to get up to speed on this important issue! 

Here are the notes. We discuss...

1. What exactly IS Brexit?
 
2. What do we know so far about how it is affecting the market for wine? 
 
3. Why this matters for European wine now and in the future in UK, in the US and in other New World places
 
4. What are likely outcomes for the UK and the global wine market?
 
5. Jane's personal perspective and what she thinks is going to happen
 
 
The link to her piece from Decanter that prompted this podcast: http://www.decanter.com/wine-news/anson-brexit-bordeaux-wine-307599/
Direct download: 165_Ep_165__What_Brexit_Means_for_Wine_with_Jane_Anson.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

This time I take up the issue of wine shipping and U.S. wine law in all its convoluted messiness. For the full transcript and details on Free the Grapes, go to http://winefornormalpeople.com/audio-blog-2-the-problem-with-u-s-shipping-law/

 

 

Direct download: 02_Audio_blog_2__The_Problem_with_US_Shipping_Law.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 1:44am EDT

Introducing Simone Madden-Grey, our new "down under" correspondent, who will be helping us explore the world of wines from Australia and New Zealand. After meeting her and learning of her fascinating background we discuss the Yarra Valley, an excellent cool climate region of Australia. 

Simone's Web site, Happy Wine Woman: https://happywinewoman.com 

And a link to her blog, where she discusses her favorites from Yarra:  http://wp.me/p3fxzw-Jt

What did we discuss in this episode?:

1. An introduction: Who is Simone? Our new correspondent for Australia and New Zealand and founder of Happy Wine Woman services/writing

 

2. What is going on in Australia at large? An overview and discussion

 

3. What is the Yarra Valley and why did we choose to do the first podcast on it?

  • We discuss the high wine quality, its differentiation from traditional Australian styles, and the importance of it in the revival of Australia’s global image

4. What is Yarra? Overview

  • 1 hour from Melbourne
  • Some historical details
  • The reputation as a large, diverse area with many wine styles, although known mostly for restrained Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along w sparkling 
  • 37˚ S latitude -- same as Mendoza in Argentina, southern Bio Bio in Chile. 37˚N -- Santa Cruz, CA, Virginia, Sicily, Peloponnese
  • Coolest part of mainland Australia  
  • Diversity: Valley Floor v Upper Yarra, Mediterranean v continental climate, rainfall levels


5. Grapes/Wine:

  • Chard and Pinot 60% of production, but Cabernet and Shiraz big players too.
  • Simone tells us what to expect from these wines from a flavor perspective. 

 

Here's Simone's full list of Yarra Valley wineries:

Yeringberg http://www.yeringberg.com/

Yering Station http://www.yering.com/

Yarra Yering http://www.yarrayering.com/

Giant Steps http://www.giantstepswine.com.au/

Innocent Bystander http://www.innocentbystander.com.au/

Domaine Chandon http://www.chandon.com.au/

Out of Step http://www.outofstepwineco.com/

Salo http://www.salowines.com.au/

Arfion http://www.arfion.com.au/

Payten and Jones https://paytenandjoneswine.com.au/

Jamsheed http://jamsheed.com.au/

Warramate Wines http://warramatewines.com.au/

De Bortoli http://debortoliyarra.com.au/de-bortoli-yarra-valley.html

Direct download: 164_Ep_164__Yarra_Valley_of_Australia_with_Simone_Madden-Grey.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 7:36am EDT