Wine for Normal People (wine)

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

This week we discuss three recently published books by noted wine authors. We talk about the basic premise of each book and then give our take on whether or not they're worth reading in our opinions.

The three books are:

"How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto," by Eric Asimov, Chief Wine Critic of The New York Times.

"The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste" by Jon Bonné, the wine editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Buy the Right Wine Every Time: The No-Fuss, No-Vintage Wine Guide" by Tom Stevenson, noted wine writer.

 

 

Direct download: 101_Ep_101__A_Few_Wine_Book_Reviews.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

For our 100th episode we share some details about us -- both personal and wine-related. From talking about our childhood experiences with wine to M.C. Ice's passion and how he used to mow the lawn to my revelation of a type of wine I really hate and a cameo from the podcast founder, we use this time to share some good stuff about us!

We raise a glass to you, our loyal listeners, for being such a great community. Here's to 100 more!

 

 

Direct download: 100_Ep_100__WFNP_Gets_Personal.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 2:31pm EDT

You may think you know everything you need to know about tannin but in what could be our dorkiest podcast yet, we share a bunch of nerdy facts about tannin. And the show outline:

What are tannins?

  • They're the stuff that makes your mouth feel dry or pucker after you drink a red wine or a white that’s been aged in oak.
  • They are polyphenols – Chemical compounds in reds that easily bind to stuff, change often 
  • They affect color, flavor, and structure of the wine and act as a preservative – tannic wines can be cellared for a long time
  • They are Important in food and wine pairing – protein helps minimize tannins

Where do tannins come from?:

  • Found in skin, stems, seeds or from barrels or wood chips (tannin powder in the cheap wine)
  • Some words on tanning leather and how tannins impact animal skins
  • Vineyard management and winemaking

We then cover tannic food and high tannin wines including the big four:

  • Nebbiolo
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Tannat
  • Syrah

Enjoy and please drop any comments or questions here or on Facebook or Twitter!

Direct download: 99_Ep_099__What_is_Tannin_.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:14pm EDT

Based on a blog post I wrote on the same subject, in this episode we talk abut the three important things that distinguish cheap plonk from well made wine.

Here are a few links of stuff we mention on the show:

1. Tugboat Yards to support us or sign up for an online class (thank you!).

2. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

3. The blog post that details the important stuff in this post. Read now.

Enjoy!

Direct download: 96_Ep_096__Difference_Btw_Cheap__Expensive_Wine.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT