Wine for Normal People

Show notes:*** Shoutouts to friends on Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, and commenters on email and on the blog Merlot (yes, the “t” is silent) Merlot: The Goldilocks wine — medium and great because of it! Descriptions of different styles of Merlot and why some of it is kind of bad and some is outstanding Merlot’s relationship with Cabernet Sauvignon A bit of background on this lovely grape — where it came from Growing regions and styles: France (Bordeaux), Italy, the Baltic states, New Zealand, Australia, and US (Washington State and CA) A little on food pairing Prestigious producers of Merlot Please leave us your feedback at the Wine for Normal People blog, on the Wine For Normal People Facebook Page, and on Twitter @normalwine Sponsored by the free Hello Vino mobile app (iPhone & Android) ***Program note/Correction: In this episode, Elizabeth mistakenly says Merlot is grown in the “Baltic states” when s [...]

Direct download: WFNP-018-2011-06-10.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:43pm EDT

In homage to the great TV trend of the 1980s, we begin a mini-series on the big grapes from around the world. We’re moving beyond Grape of the Week to go in depth on the wine major league that you ask the most questions about. This week’s episode is on Sauvignon Blanc, just in time for the warm summer weather!! Show Notes: Main Topic -Sauvignon Blanc The Sauvignon Blanc grape, its origins, flavor profile, and why methoxypyrazines and cat pee aren’t such bad things in this grape. We then drilled down into the main regions that produce Sauvignon Blanc and talk about differences in styles: Sancerre/Pouilly- Fume for minerally wines that strip the enamel off your teeth (but are delicious) Napa, California for a softer, floral style, sometimes with an oaky twist Marlborough, New Zealand, for excellent  grapefruit flavors, acid, and even a jalapeno kick Bordeaux for a softer blend with Semillon and Muscade [...]

Direct download: 17Ep017GrapeMiniSeries_SauvignonBlanc.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

Another great podcast with Elizabeth and guest host M.C. Ice (thanks again for co-hosting!) Shoutouts to friends on Twitter, Facebook, and commenters the blog Main topic: Inside the Wine Industry · How does the wine industry work? – Regulation, the three tier system, and how it functions A few ways you can get into the industry if you want to pursue it as a career The real scoop — Elizabeth’s opinions on how it’s far from glitz and glamour. Elizabeth and M.C. Ice share some personal experiences and tell it how it really is Personalities in the wine industry — from the veteran to the lifestyle junkie, to the snobs, you’ll find it all in this biz To sum it all up: think long and hard before diving into the wine industry…it’s not too much different from any other business, despite what it looks like from the outside! And…The Grape of the Week is Cabernet Franc Join the conversation on Facebook or on the Wine For Normal Pe [...]

Direct download: WFNP-016-2011-05-11.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 12:59am EDT

Rick takes a week off, so Elizabeth and special guest M.C. Ice discuss how to shop for wine so you walk out of the store with what you need and want. Show Notes: Shout-outs - Some great Twitter replies and Facebook posts Main Topic M.C. Ice confronts his fear of the Wall of Wine (WoW) and admits that he shops by label This time it’s personal: Elizabeth takes the bull by the horns and tries to teach M.C. Ice how to break down the store so he starts bringing home some better wines! Elizabeth and M.C. Ice talk about the key questions to ask yourself before you even get in the store? “Why am I here?” is a good place to start. Shopping with a purpose is essential. They then get into the importance of deciding on the type of wine you want — from color, to sweetness level, to weight, to style by wine producing country. Grape of the Week: Verdejo from Rueda in North Central Spain — a great alternative white, kind of like Sauvignon Blanc, but with a bite. Shar [...]

Direct download: WFNP-015-2011-04-27.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

You may have seen the terms “organic”, “biodynamic”, or “sustainable” on the wine label, and wondered what they actually mean. Elizabeth and Rick define these terms and explain the differences, and also call out some winemakers. Show Notes: Shout-outs - Some great Twitter replies, comments on the blog, iTunes reviews, and Facebook posts Main Topic - Organic, Biodynamic, and Sustainable Wines Sustainable - Not certified… but maybe it should be Organic - A certification for certain winegrowing practices Biodynamic - Definitely some weird science going on - a must listen! Let Us Know (on Facebook) - Does “organic”, “biodynamic”, or “sustainable” matter to you? Grape of the Week - Grüner Veltliner (GROO-nah velt-LEE-nah) Next Week - A special spotlight on Pinot Noir Sponsored by the free Hello Vino mobile app (iPhone & Android) More at the Wine for Normal People blog Tweet This [...]

Direct download: WFNP-014-2011-04-15.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

The mystical subject of food and wine pairing… Is it an art form? Is it chemistry? Is it all nonsense? Elizabeth and Rick answer these questions, spark some controversy, and provide some guidance to help make sure your next meal and wine selection are perfect. Show Notes: Shout-outs - Some really funny Twitter replies, comments on the blog, and Facebook posts Main Topic - Food and Wine Pairing The great controversy - should we drink what we like? Elizabeth’s metaphor for food and wine matching Some basic rules to remember The regional influence on food and wine pairing Dessert!! Should you drink wine with sweets? Grape (or Wine Style) of the Week - Rosé (roh-ZAY) How rosé wines are made Grapes from which rosé is made Well-known regions for producing rosé wines Typical flavor profiles of rosé Sponsored by the free Hello Vino mobile app (iPhone & Android) More at the Wine for Normal People blog Tweet This [...]

Direct download: WFNP-013-2011-04-01.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Believe it or not, there are some unwritten rules about tasting wine in a formal setting.  Whether you’re at a winery, wine bar, or a fancy dinner, Elizabeth and Rick help by explaining ‘wine etiquette’. Show Notes: Thanks to Matt and Brandy for leaving comments on the blog and giving us the idea for this show topic Huge props to Steve Paulo at Notes from the Cellar - an awesome wine blog that previously covered 8 Rules for Visiting Tasting Rooms (it’s a great read!!) Shout-outs - Awesome reviews on iTunes, the blog, and the Facebook page Main Topic - Wine Etiquette When presented a wine, what do you do with the cork? Does it matter if you hold the wine glass properly? What are the best questions to ask at a wine tasting? Should you spit out your wine at a tasting? The difference between wine tasting rooms and wine bars Should you always finish your glass of wine? Should you tip the sommelier, or not tip on alcohol? When visiting a tasting room, are you obli [...]

Direct download: WFNP-012-2011-03-25.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Credit: Flickr In addition to going over the correct pronunciation of sum-muhl-YAY (and sharing a few fun mispronunciations), Elizabeth and Rick provide some tips to help you have a productive conversation with the sommelier at a restaurant.  We hope to make your wine ordering experience much more enjoyable and less intimidating. Show Notes: Shout-outs - Some awesome comments posted on the blog, Facebook page, Twitter, and also iTunes News - We’re number one! We’re number one! The U.S. ramps up their wine consumption. Main Topic - How to speak to a sommelier The correct pronunciation of sum-muhl-YAY (thanks to forvo.com) Different levels of wine expertise The surprising etymology of the word “sommelier” Ordering from the wine list, and what to ask the sommelier How ordering wine is like choosing kitchen cabinets What to do if your sommelier is a jerk Grape of the Week - Sauvignon Blanc Next Week - It’s a surprise!! Sponsored by the free Hello Vino m [...]

Direct download: WFNP-011-2011-03-18.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Back for part two on the topic of terroir (teh-RWAH), but this time Elizabeth and Rick talk about the different aspects of terroir and why they make a difference in wines produced from different regions. Show Notes: Thank you’s - Please keep posting your comments on the Facebook page Main Topic - Aspects of terroir: Location Climate Weather Soil …and other nuances Grape of the Week - Cabernet Sauvignon (again, but this time influenced by the terroir of Bordeaux) Next Week -How to talk to a sommelier (that wine expert at the restaurant) Sponsored by the free Hello Vino mobile app (iPhone & Android) More at the Wine for Normal People blog Tweet This [...]

Direct download: WFNP-010-2011-03-11.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Terroir (teh-RWAH) - It’s a HUGE topic in the wine world, and not without controversy. In this first segment, Elizabeth and Rick define terroir and its effect on wine. Show Notes: Shout-outs - More awesome feedback from our friends on Facebook, the blog, and on iTunes! Wine News - We skipped this week’s news to make room for the big main topic… Main Topic - What is Terroir? - A loaded question How to pronounce it correctly What does it mean (translation)? Its effect on wine (can you actually taste terroir?!) The big controversy - Is terroir a bunch of hooey? The origins of terroir (a bit of history) Grape of the Week - Cabernet Sauvignon (and its differences in terroir) Next Week - Terroir Part 2: Its different aspects and why terroir matters Sponsored by the free Hello Vino mobile app (iPhone & Android) More at the Wine for Normal People blog Tweet This [...]

Direct download: WFNP-009-2011-03-04.mp3
Category:wine -- posted at: 8:00am EDT