Wine for Normal People

Wine Traditions around the world are pretty interesting. In this episode we discuss the coolest ones. First we take a listener question from @mjgraves on Twitter about when to drink Cabernet Sauvignon. (Write in or call us and you’ll be on the show!!!  Anything goes! Call 800-599-8478 (in the U.S.) or 1-415-226-9105 and dial extension 5 to leave your question for the Wine For Normal People Podcast, and they’ll answer it in an upcoming episode!) Spanish Traditions and Cava Italian Traditions and Prosecco/Franciacorta Chilean Traditions and gold rings in the bubbles, Portuguese Traditions and Vinho Verde, Germany and Sekt, French Champagne, English speaking countries = boozing it up and fireworks. Grape of the week: Pinot Meunier Listen and you’ll get why I’ll be lugging a suitcase around my block at midnight, while shoving some grapes in my mouth! If you like the podcast, please review it on iTunes, drop a comment on the Wine For Normal People blog, or join [...]

Direct download: 35Ep035_WineTraditionsforNewYears.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT

Just in time for the holidays: Wine Gift Ideas!!! This week, Elizabeth and MC Ice talk about 4 kinds of gifts to get for the wine lover/liker/drinker in your life… Gadgets: The most useful, must-haves (not just random crap you buy just to buy!). Credit to listener Sayle Milne who provided the suggestion on wine charms! Glassware: The three kinds someone really needs and a few recommendations on what to look for and what to avoid. Books. From Facebook friend Brandon Robinson, they cover books: Elizabeth’s aversion to “Fun” wine books, three reference books for real wine dorks, and a shameless plug for the upcoming “Wine For Normal People” book (and shout to Elizabeth’s fabulous agent Myrsini!). And, drum roll…you didn’t think they’d cover all this stuff and forget the WINE, did you? They discuss strategies for shopping for wine as a gift — from in-store selections to wine clubs to the horror of wine shipping law [...]

Direct download: 34Ep034_HolidayGifts.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 3:06am EDT

They’re back at it — the Grape Miniseries makes a triumphant return! While drinking a rather skunked and old Napa version, MC Ice and Elizabeth tackle the King of the Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon. If you like Elizabeth’s dork out moments… get ready. Here are a few summary points: Elizabeth geeks out on the grape, talking about the history and the viticulture of Cabernet Sauvignon (everything from torrid vineyard love affairs to Pliny the Elder to methoxypyrazines). Elizabeth and MC Ice try to cover everything you ever wanted to know about Cabernet from the most famous regions around the world: - Old World: Bordeaux, Italy, Spain, and other parts of Europe - New World: California (Napa, Sonoma), Washington, Oregon, Long Island, South America (Chile, Argentina), Australia, South Africa They cover food and wine pairing and MC Ice gets really excited about the marriage of Cabernet and food. (the chemical reaction of tannin and filet fascinates him) And here&# [...]

Direct download: 33Ep033_TheGrapeMini-Series--CabernetSauvignon.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 12:09am EDT

Yep, we’re throwing it down with the rest of the wine world…but doing it the normal way. It’s a family time, so MC Ice and Elizabeth huddle ’round the mic to share some ideas about Thanksgiving wine. Shout outs from Facebook, iTunes, and email (elizabeth(at)winefornormalpeople(dot)com) It’s a tough holiday for wine, but great to be with Urban Tribe or family (Elizabeth explains the Urban Tribe, and how it differs from being a Member of the Tribe) MC Ice talks about a dessert that he’ll never eat again Wine Pairing Horses of the Apocalypse: Why food and wine pairing is tough for Thanksgiving Elizabeth waxes poetic on pairing philosophy — it’s not just about the meat! The Brass Tacks: Elizabeth and MC Ice discuss pairings for Thanksgiving — why the standard recommendations work, and why some other wines should be on the menu. They discuss everything from traditional Thanksgiving food to smoked and fried turkey, to spicy glazed ham. Eli [...]

Direct download: WFNPEp032ThanksgivingFINAL.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

Elizabeth and MC Ice are back from hiatus this week. We start with  a thanks to everyone for their hospitality on our Napa/Sonoma Harvest trip! Elizabeth is chronicling it on the blog, so check it out for details! Shout outs from iTunes — amazing new reviews! And a shout out from a listener to Ellie, the dog! Main Topic: Bargain Wines Thanks to Leslie Strolla for the topic! Defining what we mean: Cheap v. Bargain The top bargains from Europe: places where people speak Spanish, Bordeaux (yup, that’s right), some Southern Italian gems BAD values…you’ll have to tune in to find out what Elizabeth says aren’t great for your wallet The top bargains from English speaking countries: 1 part of California, and down under… White v. red — which is a better bargain? Elizabeth gives her take Some info on the sausage factory (or the bait and switch business that happens in the world of cheap wine…) Write to Elizabeth if you know of a great bargain: e [...]

Direct download: 11_9_11BargainsFinal.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 1:07am EDT

This week Elizabeth takes advantage of her time in Sonoma and sits down with Jim Morris of Michel-Schlumberger in the Dry Creek Valley. They have an awesome time together, discussing tons of great stuff…including some good gossip about how NOT to behave in a tasting room. Here are the high level show notes: Jim gives some background on Michel-Schlumberger — its European roots, its winemaking philosophy, and why it’s such a unique place (hint: they are really normal and focus on education — totally up Elizabeth’s alley!).  Jim posits it’s his lederhosen that make the wine so great. Elizabeth and Jim drill down on organic farming in practice. They get their hands dirty, dishing on honey bees, cover crops, and dog on the big wineries, talking about why sustainability should be called sustain-BULL-ity. Elizabeth puts Jim on the spot and gets him to tell a wild story about a cross-dresser, and what NOT to do in a tasting room. They discuss the ins and [...]

Direct download: 30Ep030MichelSchlumberger.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 12:37am EDT

This week, Elizabeth and Rick explore the sweeter side of wine, talking about some of the major dessert wines you may be wondering about. They discuss everything from the NASCAR grape to why rot is so awesome in dessert wine… Here are the show notes: Port: The big daddy of dessert wine A shout out to sweet Champagne…en vogue again Madeira: Thomas Jefferson’s favorite Sherry: Not an old-lady drink Vin doux Naturel – not really naturally sweet, but tasty nonetheless Why moldy grapes make kick-ass wine everywhere from Germany to Hungary A word on late harvest wines Please drop a comment on the Wine For Normal People Blog or Facebook Page. Dig the podcast? Please review us on iTunes and we’ll give you a shout out! Sponsored by the free Hello Vino app (wine recommendations on the iPhone or Android) [...]

Direct download: WFNPEp029-2011-10-02.mp3
Category:Uncategorized -- posted at: 10:41am EDT

If you’re interested in discovering some new wines based on your taste preferences, and you’re not afraid to break the habit of “going with what you know”, then Elizabeth and Rick have five easy ways for you to discover some new favorites. Show Notes: Some fun shout-outs from our friends who left reviews on iTunes and comments on the Facebook page Main Topic - How to experiment with new wines: Follow the grape (the “you might also like” method) Regional similarities and differences Discovering similar wines from different blends Using food & wine pairing suggestions from apps and web sites Your local wine shop (but beware of bad advice!!) Listener Question - Sayle Milne calls in with a question about “corkage” fees Grape of the Week - Muscat (and Moscato is one of the most popular wines this year!) Call us and you will be on the show!!! Do you have a wine-related question for Elizabeth? Anything goes! Call 800-599-8478 (in the U. [...]

Direct download: WFNP-028-2011-09-21.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Quick Wine Review - Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 This is a two-minute profile of an individual wine, where Elizabeth breaks down how the wine smells, tastes, feels, and which foods would pair well. The goal is to provide you with the information necessary to make an educated selection in the wine aisle - way beyond what the back label can tell you. If you like this format, PLEASE LET US KNOW! We have plans to publish these quick wine reviews for nearly every wine you can find in your local stores. We will still be publishing the long-form podcast on fun topics like the Top 10 Snobby Wine Terms and How to Speak to a Sommelier, but we will also publish these “Quick Wine Reviews” if you’d like to hear more. Like this? Then, tell the world: Please drop a comment on the Wine For Normal People Blog or Facebook Page. Dig the podcast? Please review us on iTunes and we’ll give you a shout out! Find more wine reviews in the free Hello Vino app (f [...]

Direct download: QWR-Robert-Mondavi-Napa-Valley-Cab-Sauv-2008.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

This week Rick and Elizabeth give you some awesome and random facts about wine that you can pull out at a party, family function, or anywhere else you need to make small talk! Elizabeth dorks out on wine history and stumps Rick on the Latin name for the Grape of the Week. Here are the show notes: We start with a few shoutouts to awesome reviews on iTunes and fun comments on Facebook And we answer another listener question! We want you to Call us!!! Do you have a wine-related question for Elizabeth? Anything goes! Call 800-599-8478 (in the U.S.) or 1-415-226-9105 and dial extension 5 to leave your question for the Wine For Normal People Podcast, and we will play it on the show! Listener Question - from Scott of MA (Rick’s home state!) Main Topic - Fun Facts About Wine (or, Wine Trivia) Aroma v. Bouquet: What are they…really? Wine History: Paranoia about poisoning — the origins of “drinking to your health” — and, the potential origins of the word &# [...]

Direct download: WFNP-027-2011-09-14.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:00am EDT