Wine for Normal People (wine)

This co-podcast with Brian Weber from Bartender Journey will teach you a ton about what goes on behind the bar with wine! From the danger of ordering rosé to how long a wine is left open before chucked, we give it to you straight! 

 

Brian launched our full conversation on his podcast, which includes more basics about wine. I've edited our conversation to focus just on the wine-relevant portions! We talked about...

  • How much knowledge do bartenders have about wine?How much training do they receive?
  • Is it ok to ask for samples?
  • How long does wine stick around before it's chucked if it's sold BTG? Do they ever try it - or just pour and hope it is still good? How many days do you leave a red by the glass compared to a white after opening?
  • How does pricing of wine work in a restaurant setting?
  • Do you think of us wine folk as silly purists? Meaning, a great cocktail is made from a few, if not many ingredients, and we winos are mostly looking for singularity.
  • What do you do when a customer tells you the wine you served is corked?
  • Have you ever faked rosé by adding red  to white wine? 
  • Are there any cocktails that do not screw up your palate before the meal?
  • What are some new and exciting wine cocktails being offered? How much of a difference does better wine make in these cocktails?

A very fun conversation from which I know you'll learn a ton! 

 

Enjoy! 

Direct download: 127_Ep_127__A_Bartenders_Take_on_Wine.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 2:42pm EDT

Forget the scare-mongering media's claims about arsenic in wine! We have the real deal. This week, I was HONORED to host Dr. Carl Winter, PhD, and professor at University of California at Davis. He's a food toxicologist & food safety musician (you must listen to his songs about food hazards, sung to popular music. He is hilarious but brilliant because the stuff is so memorable). He sets us straight and let's us know there is nothing to fear when it comes to arsenic in wine. I'm copying in some points he gave me on arsenic in wine, in case you want to go further in your knowledge on the subject.

AND the bonus. M.C. Ice was so enamored of the concept of food safety music, that he created something in homage to Dr. Winter. I hope you love it (and I hope he does too!).*

MANY thanks to Dr. Winter. A cool dude, an inspiration to us, and an all around nice dude!

Direct download: Ep_126__Arsenic_in_Wine_with_Dr._Carl_Winter.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

It's Groundhog Day in the US, which means, according to the namessake movie, we get a do-over! So we re-do the episode on aging -- we discuss what to hold, why, and the history behind it. We talk about ideal storage conditions & why we don't cellar wine. 

We hit on:

  • The history of aging wine
  • The chemical components that make a wine good for aging
  • The role of cork in aging
  • Which wines may age best
  • The ideal conditions for cellaring and ways to cellar wine -- temperature, humidity, light, vibration
  • Bottle types and dumb phases
  • Why we don't cellar wine

Hope you enjoy and learn more this time than the last time we covered this! 

Direct download: 121_Ep_121__Aging_Wine_Revisited.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 1:34am EDT

For Australia Day, we revisit this amazing continent and one of its finest wine gems -- Margaret River. As Australia emerges from its post-critter wine era, the country is in need of a reset. If ever there was a region to rejigger people's perception of Aussie wine, this is it. 

Australia Day

Here's the link: MARGARET RIVER

  • We first talk about Western Australia -- its size, location, and the other wine regions here.
  • We focus in on Margaret River, the area that makes 3% of Australia's wine and 20% of its premium wine. 
  • Margaret River was founded purely as a science project, and it's worked out pretty well. We hit on climate, terroir, soil, and the most successful grapes.

After you hear our description of the flavor profiles of these wines, you're going to want to run out to get some! And you should. It's great stuff. 

Enjoy and happy Australia Day!

 

Direct download: 120_Ep__120_Margaret_River_Australia.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 1:49am EDT

After some thanks and two awesome listener questions, we take up Cabernet Franc, the parent of some of the delicious red grapes you know! 

From interesting, unexpected origins, to how it spread through France, we cover the early life story of this amazing grape. 

Then comes the dork fest, with info on grape DNA, flavors, and the importance of canopy management. We discuss where this old grape grows, and the best emerging areas. 

 

The podcast hopefully will inspire you to seek out wine made from this moderate, flavorful grape.

 

Hope you enjoy it! 

 

Direct download: 119_Ep_119__Grape_Miniseries_Cabernet_Franc.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

I had the honor of talking with Bill and Betsy Nachbaur of ACORN Winery in Sonoma. From Sonoma history, to grape leaf shape, canopy management, barrel toast, and their specialty -- field blends -- you will learn so much from this podcast. I know I did!

 

A few more details on the winery we forgot to hit...the significance of the winery and vineyard names...

 

Vineyard Name
Our Vineyard name, “Alegría”, means happiness and joy in Spanish. Bill chose the name, because he was much happier as a farmer than he’d been as a lawyer (and folks like his products) .  He chose a Spanish word to honor California’s Mexican heritage, and to recognize that our ranch was  part of the Rancho Sotoyome land grant.  Spanish was spoken here before English, and our workers are mostly Mexican. We also use it as a toast. Alegría!
 
We wanted the winery name to be different than the vineyard name, because we wanted out grape buyers (we sell about a third of our grapes to other wineries), to vineyard-designate the wines they made from our  Alegría Vineyard grapes. We felt they’d be more likely to do so, if the vineyard name was not also the name of a winery.  Also, because Betsy’s Dad (and others) kept mispronouncing Alegría (saying Algeria), we wanted a name that was easily pronounceable and memorable.
 
Winery Name 

 

We chose “ACORN” because we are tiny like an acorn; there are oak trees in our vineyards, our wine is aged in oak barrels; and an acorn is a symbol of potential, prosperity, and good fortune. It is also easy to pronounce. A writer once headlined an article about us: “Mighty Wines From Little Acorn Flow.”
Direct download: 118_Ep_118__ACORN_Winery_of_Sonoma_CA.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 2:44am EDT

For this final mini episode of 2014, I'm solo! M.C. Ice has the flu and can't record so I bring you three tips for New Year's Eve:

1. Drink from "fine" to "poor", i.e., don't drink the best stuff last!

2. Don't bring great stuff to a party or dinner if it won't be appreciated

3. Try lower priced sparklers like Cava, Crémant, American Sparkling wine, Prosecco, Sekt, or for a cool, unusual twist -- Champagne made from one of the 19,000 growers in this region of France who made wine that really reflects the land and is less "homogenized."

And the resolutions:

1. More podcasts and online classes in 2015!

2. More podcast interviews in 2015

3. All internet wine ordering, all (ok, most) of the time!

I hope you've had a wonderful 2014 and that 2015 is full of health, wealth, and happiness!

 

 

Thank you for listening and for your support!

Elizabeth

Direct download: 117_Ep_117__New_Years_Tips_and_Resolutions_for_2015.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

Although we love getting super dorky, sometimes we like to do a super practical podcast that you can take with you to the wine shop!

 

High alcohol naysayers be contradicted! If it's cold outside, you WANT high alcohol wines. So that's the kinds of wines I'm recommending...with the caveat that they must be balanced and not just heat.

Suggestions include:

Whites: Oaked Chardonnay, Châteauneuf du Pape blanc and other Rhône blends, southern Italian whites, Soave, South African Chardonnay, and a surprising, dark horse Pinot Blanc from Germany.

Reds: Syrah from Swartland, Crozes-Hermitage, or Walla Walla, Washington, Mendocino Zinfandel, Malbec from Cahors, France, Monastrell from Jumilla, Rioja/Tempranillo, Amarone, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Go fill a case and let us know what you think!

Direct download: 116_Ep_116__Winter_Wines.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 2:21pm EDT

Following the journey back to my homeland, we discuss the amazing wines of Long Island and how far they've come. We'll give you the lowdown from climate, to vintage, to the best wineries of the area...and yes, we name names.

Direct download: 115_Ep_115__Long_Island_Wine.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:06am EDT

Using M.C. Ice's experience and his "lightbulb" moment in learning about a wine's potential to age, we discuss a recent tasting of a high end Bordeaux wine and how he was able to identify that this wine was a diamond in the rough (and it's not just because it costs $700 a bottle!).

Direct download: 110_Ep_110__How_To_Tell_If_A_Wine_Can_Age.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:08pm EDT