Rank #1: #5 Craft Beer's Sensory Goddess
Gwen Conley has her dream job: She tastes beer for a living at The Lost Abbey, a brewery in Southern California. On this episode, Gwen talks about the 18-month training process she went through to refine her palate, and her ideas about what you should be drinking.
May 05 2016
Rank #2: #4 Time in a Barrel
It took almost 70 years after Prohibition ended to open a
(legal) distillery in New York State. VinePair takes a trip to that
distillery, Tuthilltown in Gardiner, NY, to see how it's shaking up
the bourbon industry one small barrel at a time. Along the way, we
meet a couple other New York distillers, whose opinions about
whiskey are almost as strong as the spirits they produce.
Apr 14 2016
Rank #3: #3 Being Black in a White Wine World
André Hueston Mack is founder of the Oregon winery Mouton Noir, a former sommelier, and—more than anything—a guy who likes to shake up the status quo. In this episode, André talks about what it's like being African-American in a mostly white industry, as well as his desire to turn people's expectations on their head when it comes to wine.
Mar 31 2016
Rank #4: #2 Authentically Irish
We explore the rise and fall and rise again of Irish Whiskey, and how one whiskey-making family sought to break a monopoly and rekindle an authentic experience.
Mar 16 2016
Rank #5: #1 A Funeral for Cork
Part of what sets wine apart from other drinks is the ritual surrounding it. It approaches a ceremony when you pop open a bottle. Especially when there's cork involved. A cork closure is unique to wine (for the most part) and it requires a special tool to open it, elevating the whole process that much more.
But Randall Grahm thinks cork is ruining wine. Grahm, the owner of Bonny Doon Vineyard in California, has made it his life's work to kill the cork. Grahm bottles all of his vineyard's wine in screw caps, and in the early 2000s, he staged an event that would leave its imprint on the wine industry for years to come: a funeral for cork.
In this episode, we explore why Grahm is so vehemently opposed to cork--and why his innovative ideas about cork might be behind the times.
Mar 08 2016