Wine for Normal People

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

This is the first of our new weekly audio blog series: short, informative readings of blog posts from winefornormalpeople.com/blog.

 

To kick it off, Carmenère, a grape with the most dramatic backstory in the wine world! 

 

Find the full transcript here: http://winefornormalpeople.com/audio-blog-1-car…-story-ever-told/

Direct download: 01_Audio_blog_1__Carmenere_The_Greatest_Grape_Story_Ever_Told.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

White wines often get dismissed as being less complex than reds but that's hardly the case. In this episode we review aromatic v non aromatic whites and how to navigate whites to find styles & grapes that will give you a new appreciation for these wines.

Specifically we talk about:

  • Aromatic wines -- what aromas they exhibit, regions you'll most likely find them and how they are made. 
  • We talk about the merits of aromatic v non aromatic wines
  • We discuss aromatic grapes: Albariño, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Torrontés, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano and more

A good primer on whites and their breadth and depth! 

Direct download: Ep_163__Getting_to_Know_White_Wines.mp3
Category:wine, white wine -- posted at: 12:31am EDT

Jason Haas was the 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year. As the GM and a partner in the Tablas Creek joint venture with the Perrin family of Rhône fame (Château de Beaucastel is one of the most famed properties in Châteauneuf du Pape and the family own several other ventures through out Rhône and Provence), Jason has had an enormous impact on the Paso Robles region and the wine style there. In addition, he is one of the most talented writers in the industry  – his Tablas Creek blog has won multiple Wine Blog Awards and is up for another one in 2016.

 

This conversation was a culmination of years of admiration from afar -- I am a huge fan of the Tablas Creek wines and style. Here are some notes from the show:  

  • First we talk about the history of Tablas Creek and how the partnership between the Haas and Perrin families happened.

 

  • We talk about the factors involved in finding a perfect site for the project – soil types, microclimates, altitudes, etc. and the process they went through to find it.

 

  • We discuss the process Tablas Creek went through to import the vines from Beaucastel.  

 

  • We cover how and when Jason got involved with Tablas Creek and his hand in carving up Paso Robles into 11 appellations which happened in 2015. 

 

  • We answer the questions: what did and does make Tablas Creek’s vineyards so unique? and... It is possible anywhere with the right people and the right winemaking and growing, or is this a characteristic unique to certain sites that not all people are cognizant of in CA winemaking?

 

  • We discuss farming: organics, biodynamics, and dry farming and why Tablas Creek uses all three.

 

  • We talk about blends, and about the various tiers of Tablas Creek wine and how Jason and his team benchmark his brands against California and Rhône wines, and how they usually stack up.

 

A great conversation with a California legend in the making! This is a fascinating look at an up-and-coming area of California, and it's star player. 

 

Direct download: EEp_162__Jason_Haas_of_Tablas_Creek_in_Paso_Robles_CA_RM.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 4:20pm EDT

One of the most common questions I get is about random stuff floating in wine and what to do with it. In this episode we cover it all -- wine diamonds, sediment, spritz, clouds, and cork -- and explain what they are and what to do when you encounter them!

Direct download: Ep_161_Whats_that_floating_in_your_wine_.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

You want to know more about rosé? Ian Renwick, our regular contributor from the Luberon on the border of Rhone and Provence with Domaine de la Citadelle has been studying the ins and outs of rosé for years now. As his apprenticeship comes to a close, his "dissertation" is all about rosé and he shares much of what he knows. 

 

Here are the show notes. We discuss...

  • The history of rosé and overcoming the bad reputation of pink
  • Rosé's new found Popularity -- Brangelina, seasonality, and trendiness
  • How to make rose -- first how to make red and white, then the challenges of rosé
    • What grapes go into rose and why a lot of rose is crap
    • What people SHOULD do to make great rose -- DORK OUT
    • Why rose is the "most technological of wine" -- and whether or not it's drink making or wine making (my new favorite question)
    • The importance of maintaining aromatics in rose
  • Color differences, flavor differences and what to look for when shopping (hint, why color should NOT be a factor)
  • The question of age..
  • Food and wine pairing ideas
And then we end of the rosé rant! 
 
An excellent podcast that will give you new appreciation for rosé.
Direct download: 160_Ep_160__The_Ros_Story_with_Ian_Renwick.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:42pm EDT

A fascinating convo with podcast listener and coffee guru Kendon Shaw of Victrola Coffee in Seattle (victolacoffee.com) . We talk about the similarities between the two -- from an agricultural, business, and enjoyment standpoint -- and how coffee is evolving to become more like wine. Thanks to Kendon and Victrola -- a fascinating look inside the coffee business and a beverage that many of us take for granted, but probably shouldn't.

 

Kendon offers a coupon code:

www.victrolacoffee.com

Free shipping with this code: normalwine

Valid through 4/17/2017

 

 


We go out on a limb this week, sharing a personal story on a  controversial topic. But after years of questions from moms and dads to be, it's finally time. 

 

Rarely do women in the wine industry discuss their relationship to alcohol when they're pregnant and the decisions they make about drinking while nursing. But just because it's not discussed widely, doesn't mean it's not on people's minds. This one's for you, moms and dads. It's not advice (I'm no expert or doctor) nor is it meant to persuade you to do anything. It's just our story of what we did and the how and why behind it because someone needs to say it. 

 

So at the risk of everyone thinking I'm a terrible person, I admit that I did, in fact, drink in moderation during pregnancy. I talk about why I made the decision I did and what moderation actually meant to me (I actually tell you what I did in each trimester), M.C. Ice discusses his thoughts on it, and then we debate a bit. 

 

Hope this helpful to some of you, and doesn't alienate others! 

 

Direct download: 158_Ep_158__Did_I_drink_when_I_was_pregnant__Our_story.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 2:42pm EDT