Tue, 1 November 2016
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!
Tue, 25 October 2016
What is natural wine, exactly? Isabelle Legeron, Master of Wine and leader of the natural wine movement & founder of the RAW Wine Natural Wine Festival explains it in great detail & talks about why it's so important for us to consider drinking natural.
Direct download: Ep_170__Isabelle_Legeron_Leader_of_the_Natural_Wine_Movement.mp3
Category:wine, natural wine -- posted at: 1:54pm EDT
Tue, 18 October 2016
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
Sat, 15 October 2016
A small production area of Spain, Priorat is one of only two DOCa (highest quality) regions of the country. These wines are expensive, but for good reason - they're in short supply & are outstanding.
We tell you how to get the best of the best of Priorat!
Go to winefornormalpeople.com/blog for more detailed show notes.
Fri, 7 October 2016
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
Mon, 26 September 2016
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.
Fri, 16 September 2016
The EU classification of wine, based on the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system, is a complex system that designates and controls names of wine, and I think it's great, despite what others would say...
For the transcript and more detail please go to winefornormalpeople.com/blog
Fri, 9 September 2016
Verdejo from Rueda, Spain: An Original
I love wines from Spain. For many reasons. They’re often inexpensive yet high quality. When they’re good, they’re fresh, layered, and delicious. And maybe best of all, they’re originals – you don’t see every country growing Spanish grapes. These are one of a kind.
The reds are fabulous and what the country is best known for, but the whites are compelling and outstanding too. Albariño from Rias Baixas and the rare white blends of Priorat are particular standouts, but maybe the best white grape of all is Verdejo, a full, creamy, pear and herbal tasting wine with nut and honey notes and enough acid to keep it fresh and lively. This grape -- possibly native to this area, possibly brought by predecessors of the Moors from North Africa --has settled in well and Rueda, located on a 2,300 foot high plain just northeast of Madrid, is where it shines.
In this dry, boring looking plain of north-central Spain, soils are rocky and well-drained. The vines struggle and if they weren’t so drought resistant they wouldn’t survive. Rueda’s climate is like that of any mid-western area — continental with hot summers and cold winters. The day to night temperature swings (diurnals) are extreme, and that means that the grapes can gather acidity in the cool nights to offset the ripeness they get from sitting in the hot sun all day.
Given the location, weather is erratic. Storms whipping over the Iberian peninsula smack the area and frost, wind, hail, and any number of other natural maladies can maim or kill the crops unexpectedly. And one of those maladies, the killer of all European grapevines in the late 1800s through the early 1900s, the phylloxera root bug, kicked the area in the teeth and put Verdejo at risk of falling into obscurity, if not extinction.
After ripping through the area and killing 2/3 of the vines, growers replanted on American grapevine roots (which are resistant to phylloxera, can anchor the plant, and can take a graft from a different grape species with no noticeable flavor difference). But they picked grapes that produced quantity over quality, and Verdejo, a slower grower, got bumped by Sauvignon Blanc and Viura (also used in Cava and white Rioja). Most of the stuff produced from 1922 through the 1970s was Sherry-like wine of variable quality often sold in bulk.
Help came from an unlikely source in the 1970s: Marquis de Riscal, a Rioja producer, who decided to bring Verdejo into the spotlight and make dry whites from the grape. The Bodega’s dedication to reviving the grape transformed it. Part of the problem for Verdejo-based wines was that they did seem to oxidize (turn into that sherry-like concoction) quickly. With investment and research, Riscal and other producers found that night harvest, cooler fermentations, and a good dose of sulfur dioxide helps preserve the aromas and freshness of the wines and makes them shine.
My opinion: Good call!
Named for the green color of its berries (verde), Verdejo is the 5th most planted white grape in Spain and is popular in its mother country. And it’s clear why: The grape is unlike any other. It’s aromatic with its citrus notes and usually a distinctive earthy, underbrush/shrubby smell. It tastes like bay leaves, almonds, and has a slight bitterness and great mouth-cleansing acidity. Despite its crispness, wines of Verdejo have a full, smooth, silky texture that I love. It’s a complex, food friendly white -- great with everything from sheep’s milk cheese to pasta or fish in lemon or lemon cream sauces. The grape’s acidity makes it refreshing for warm weather but the full nature of the wine makes it a great fall and winter white too.
Through this praise of the grape, I’ve failed to mention one of the coolest things about Verdejo: you can get great stuff for around US $15. That said, not all Rueda or Verdejo is created equal so let me give you some tips for buying before I sign off.
Have you had Rueda Verdejo? What do you think? Please go to winefornormalpeople.com/blog and drop a comment and get a full transcript of this audio blog.
Wed, 31 August 2016
This time we address the fascinating terroir, land, climate, and history of Champagne. This is the less-told story of the region, not the one about how the wine is made or the different types you can buy. We hope to show Champagne in a different light.
*NOTE: We don't discuss the still wine areas of Champagne, Coteaux Champenois and Rosé de Riceys because they are made such limited quantities and are very hard to find.
What is Champagne?
Location, climate, terroir
Interesting Champagne Facts
Thu, 25 August 2016
I know you were wondering...“What is Côtes-du-Rhône? What's in it? Where is it from?" I've got you covered!
For the transcript and details, go to http://winefornormalpeople.com/blog