Thu, 31 December 2015
To usher in 2016, we bring you a poem to make you smile and laugh. Thank you for listening in 2015 -- you are truly the best audience in the world!
Sun, 8 November 2015
It's getting cooler in the northern hemisphere (and it's still not hot in the southern one!) so we thought we'd make some recommendations for what you could get to drink well this fall!
Before we get to it, we announce FALL/WINTER CLASSES! Please head to winefornormalpeople.com/classes to register!
And here are the slots:
Let us know what you wind up getting or if you have any new favorites from our recommendations!
Wed, 14 October 2015
In this episode we talk about the enormous and growing popularity (in North America) of red blends.We discuss:
Thanks for listening! Enjoy!
Fri, 21 August 2015
After a trip to this stunning region full of kind people and delicious wines, we can finally report on it!
To understand this region, you've got to get into a serious dork out mode because the story of how vinifera grapes can grow in this cold place goes all the way back to the glaciers! So briefly, in this podcast we cover:
1. The importance of the Lake Effect and how depth matters to grape growing
2. Weather and what that can do to a vine
3. Grapes and how Riesling is a goddess in the Finger Lakes, and unlike Riesling anywhere else
4. Glaciers, soils, and other nerdy earth-science stuff that relates to grape growing here.
5. History of the region and preview of the soon-to-be-released podcast with Fred Frank, grandson of the pioneer of east coast vinifera winemaking, Dr. Konstantin Frank
6. How to get these wines
After you hear this you're definitely going to want to get your hands on these wines or visit the region. A great story, and a fascinating region! Enjoy!
Fri, 24 July 2015
Saving a wine to enjoy when your kid turns 21 or on your 10th or 20th wedding anniversary is a great idea, but what will last that long? This week we've got a great list of options for you with advice on how to research your best options and storage tips to boot!
Here's the list:
1. Vintage Champagne
2. Alsatian Riesling from producers like Zind Humbrecht, Marcel Deiss, or Trimbach. Or German Riesling from producers like Donnhoff or JJ Prüm.
3. The Italians: Barbaresco and Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, or Taurasi from Agliancio
4. White and red Burgundy
5. California Cabernets from specific producers: Ridge, Heitz, Chateau Montelena, Freemark Abbey.
6. Heavier Northern Rhônes of Syrah like Cornas or Hermitage or Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the specific producers in Southern Rhône.
7. Bordeaux from the best producer you can afford
8. High end Rioja
Sweet Wines (my top picks for long aging)
2. Vintage Port
3. Tokaji from Hungary
Whatever the occasion you're commemorationg there's a wine for you! Congratulations!
Direct download: 136_Ep_136__Birth_year_Anniversary_Commemoration_Wines.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:37am EDT
Sat, 4 July 2015
From hot dogs to burgers to potato salad and corn on the cob, we've got you covered. A mini-cast that you can listen to on the way to the wine store so you make sure you grab the right bottle! Have a safe 4th and drink well!
Tue, 30 June 2015
This week, we have a great story for you! Ryan Schmaltz, podcast listener and chemistry Ph.D turned winemaker at Bella Winery and Wine Caves in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma shares his fascinating transformation.
Ryan contacted me a few years ago, telling me about his plan to switch careers from the life of a chemist to that of a winemaker. Fast forward a couple of years and he made his dream a reality.
In this podcast, Ryan shares his story of tenacity, hard work, and risk taking, which paid off. You'll love hearing about his path and then the dork outs about working with Zinfandel, Syrah, and Grenache and the challenges of each grape.
A fascinating conversation, we hope you enjoy and learn!
Direct download: 134_Ep_134__How_to_Become_a_Winemaker_with_Ryan_Schmaltz_from_Bella_Winery.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:15am EDT
Thu, 4 June 2015
After a recent trip to Sonoma, we reflect on how things have improved in the past few years. The maturity of the region, including the quality of the wine and creativity of the producers, the family legacy of farming, & some great travel tips are covered. In more detail...
1. First we discuss how Sonoma has entered young adulthood– it’s grown up We saw more maturity in producers, less exhuberence and more balance in both wine and attitude.
2. We saw a change in the risks people are willing to take too. There was more creativity, more awareness about the environment and far better articulation around why certain farming practices are used – we heard about concrete benefits, not just marketing BS on biodynamics, organics, and sustainability.
3. M.C. Ice observed found there was more under the radar to discover, and liked what he found when he looked a little closer.
4. As we've observed before, the family stories of these Sonoma properties are interesting – there seems to be more emphasis on farming and connection to the land, especially now that many smaller properties are getting sucked up by big hulking wineries. We saw strong pride at every small winery we visited, especially at Mayo Family Vineyards, from whom you'll hear a clip near the end of the podcast.
5. We discuss our crazy barrel tasting with Bill of ACORN (and promise more to come)
6 We wrap up with some key travel tips, like: keep the itinerary tight by planning well, consider renting an Air BnB, drink plenty of water, and make sure there is food in the car. We covered a bunch more too!
Hope you like this episode. And thanks to our sponsor:
Get a FREE audiobook download at www.audibletrial.com/winefornormalpeople. There are more than 100,000 titles to choose from, including some great wine books, for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.
Direct download: 131_Ep_131__Observations_From_A_Trip_To_Sonoma_CA.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:05am EDT
Thu, 28 May 2015
In this episode we talk with Jim Morris of MacPhail Family Wines. We discuss a lot of stuff with our old friend and one of the nicest guys in Sonoma. Topics range from:
A great enrichment to previous CA podcasts and fun conversation with a great, smart guy!
Direct download: Ep_130__CA_Pinot_with_Jim_Morris_of_MacPhail_Family_Wines.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:28am EDT
Sat, 9 May 2015
An impromptu recording with one of the only producers in the Dry Creek that does Mediterranean grapes, not just Zinfandel: Mick Unti of Unti Vineyards.
The conversation is very free form, but we discuss:
Because this was unexpected, it's a bit more unstructured than some of my other interviews, so I hope you can roll with it and still enjoy!
Direct download: Ep_129__Mick_Unti_on_Igniting_Sonomas_Grape_Revolution.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT