Rank #1: Ep 179 - Dogliani DOCG and Dolcetto
This week we are talking about the Dogliani DOCG and the Dolcetto grape.
Poderi Luigi Einaudi 2017 - priced $26.
- This wine is from a blend of Dolcetto grapes from the vineyards of the Einaudi estates which surround Dogliani
- Aromas of red licorice and spice
- It’s dry with medium acidity and medium tannins with flavors of red fruits, earth and a bitter almond note on the finish
- The aromas of this wine are almost candy like and we love the mix of complex fruit, earth and spice flavors in this wine.
- This wine gave us Beaujolais vibes but still it’s own unique thing.
- This dark violet wine has aromas of dark cherries and blueberries and earth
- It’s dry with medium acidity and tannins with flavors of dark fruits, earth and that bitter note on the finish that Dolcetto is known for.
- This wine is deeper more intense and complex than the first wine we talked about
- Both of these wine do not see any oak which was a surprise to us
- Recommended food pairing: marinated grilled skirt steak
Rank #2: Ep 122 - Summer Wines - Canned Wines
We continue our summer wines series. Since it’s well into summer, we thought it was a good time to take about the new trend of canned wines. When picking wine to sample for this episode, we only purchased canned wine that was strictly wine. We decided to just stick with straight wine so we could make a fair comparison to other wines.
- Nose of white grapefruit, lime, arugula and a hint of dry hay
- It’s dry with medium plus acidity, light bodied with flavors of white grapefruit, lime zest and dry hay
- It’s crisp, light and refreshing - great for light dishes like salads, light cheeses and hot days on the patio
- Priced around $7 for a 375ml can which comes out to be $14 for a bottle of wine
- You can purchase this wine here
- This wine has a nose of wet rock and strawberries
- It’s dry, light bodied, medium acidity with flavors of strawberries and cream and grapefruit
- It’s light and fresh tasting, perfect to chill for the patio
- Priced around $9 for 375ml which come out to $18 for a bottle, you can also buy a four pack of this wine for $30 which is a little over 2.5 bottles
- You can purchase a four pack of wine here
Underwood Pinot Noir NV by Union Wine Company
- This wine has a nose of cherry, raspberry with a hint of dusty earth and dried oregano
- It’s dry with medium acidity and light body with flavors of cherry, raspberries, dried oregano, black olives and a hint of earth
- It’s fruity but tastes more savory and it doesn’t has as much acidity as I thought but still enough to pair on it’s own
- Although it’s a red still light enough to pair with you favorite summer dish and warm weather
- Priced around $7 for 375ml which comes out to $14 for a bottle
- You can purcahse this wine here
- Blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah
- It’s dry, full bodied, with medium plus acidity and medium tannins and flavors of blackberries, blueberries, and mushrooms
- Fruit is there but this wine is so savory so this is your fatty, meat grilling wine
- Priced around $5 for a 250ml can which comes out to $15
- You can purchase this wine here
Rank #3: Ep 042 - Port
Port is the most famous wine from Portugal. It's a sweet, rich, and delicious fortified wine that is meant to be sipped and savored. We like port because it goes well with a lot of desserts making it a nice fit for this time of year. In this episode we discuss the history of Port, the Douro Region, how Port is made, styles of Port, flavor characteristics, and food pairings.
Rank #4: Ep 178 - Four Wines August 2019 Edition
It’s time for another four wines episode. Every couple of months we talk about four different wines we've tasted recently and want to share with our listeners.
Famille Hugel Gentil 2016 - priced around $12.
- This white blend has a light lemon color with aromas of lemon pith, nectarines, white flowers and minerality
- It’s dry with medium plus acidity and flavors similar to aromas - stonefruit, lemon and white flowers
- This was is very aromatic - fruity and floral and a really light, crisp and tasty wine
Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling 2017 - priced around $14.
- Light lemon color with strong aromas of stonefruit, lemon and honeysuckle
- It’s medium sweet and medium acidity with flavors of peach, apricot, and tangerine
- Ripe, fruity wine with just the right amount of sweetness and low alcohol for spicy foods
- This wine has a lot of food pairing options: Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Indian as well as German-inspired dishes like sausage and schnitzel, Mexican dishes like Chile Verde and enchiladas, and desserts like fruit tarts and pies
Cantina Colli Euganei Extra Dry Prosecco 2017 - priced around $16.
- This sparkling white wine has a pale lemon color with aromas of lemon and white flowers
- This wine has a touch of sweetness with medium plus acidity and flavors of lemon rind, white flowers and pink lady apples
- Crisp, fruity and floral, an all around lovely wine that we believe would pair with a lot of different food options
Les Hauts de Trintaudon 2010 - priced around $15.
- This wine comes from the left bank of Bordeaux from Haut-Medoc region and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot
- This wine has a deep garnet color with aromas of dusty earth, dark fruits and pepper
- It’s dry, full bodied, medium acidity and tannins with flavors of black cherries, vanilla, and black pepper
- The tannins in this wine are silky smooth and although it has some age on it this is still a juicy, fruity wine
- Food Pairings: pair with fat meats like Beef and lamb as well as earthy mushroom dishes
Rank #5: Ep 054 - Viognier
Viognier is an overlooked wine. I think part of the reason is because people have difficulty pronouncing the word and they don't want to sounds stupid. This wine is worth sounding stupid for and do not worry - in this week's episode we say Viognier about 100 times so by the end you'll be an expert.
In this week's episode we explore this revived Rhône variety:
- History (or lack of) of Viognier
- How it grows and where it grows
- Winemaking techniques
- Styles and Flavor characteristics
- Food pairings
Rank #6: Ep 083 - Paso Robles
Paso Robles Wine Country AVA was established in 1983 and located in San Luis Obispo County, California. It's a part of the larger Central Coast area north of Santa Barbara County. With approximately 40,000 acres of wine grapes. it's known for its history with varieties like Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Rhône-style wines.
This week on the podcast, we discuss:
- History of Paso Robles wine
- Paso Robles's large size and diversity in terroir
- Newly formed sub-AVAs
- Grape varieties and wine style
Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel 2015 - priced around $19. This wine is 100% Zin sourced from 9 different vineyards all in Paso Robles. Lovely nose of dark fruit, blueberry, baking spice like clove, as well as leather. It's dry with medium acidity and medium level of smooth tannins with flavors of freeze dried strawberries, blueberry jam, and a little dark chocolate. We thought this wine was very easy drinking, it’s ripe, juicy and lush. It has a decadent feel, almost desert like and this wine is 16.5% ABV but doesn’t taste like it so be careful!
Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - priced around $27. Paso Robles is also known for their affordable, tasty Cabs and look no further than Justin. This wine has aromas of black cherries, flowers like violets, and a smoky charred smell with a touch of anise. It's dry with a full body, medium plus acidity, medium smooth tannins and flavors of cherry, black currants, vanilla, baking spices and toasty oak. You can taste the oak aging on this wine but it’s done with such finesse and care. This wine lives up to the hype of California Cabs. This is a great cool weather sipping wine. Great balance of fruit vs. oak and acid vs. tannins. Buy now and drink soon!
Rank #7: Ep 046 - Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley is a special place. It sits in the same latitude as Burgundy but the terrior is so different. Columbia Valley seems like the ideal place to to grown grapes; dry, lots of sunshine and low nutrient soil causing the vines to grow deep. Thanks to it's large size, if it's Washington wine, it's Columbia Valley.
This week we tackle the Columbia Valley AVA and we discuss:
- The size and scope of Columbia Valley AVA
- The History of Washington wine
- Terrior of Columbia Valley
- The wines of Columbia Valley
Rank #8: Ep 102 - Sherry
This week's episode is all about Sherry. Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes and produced in a small region in South West Spain. We talked about another type of fortified wine, Port, back in episode 42. If you are interested in listening to that episode click here.
In this episode we discuss:
- Where does Sherry come from?
- History of Sherry
- How it's made
- Different styles of Sherry
- Food pairings - check out a handy food and Sherry pairing guide from Sherry.Wine
Dry Styles of Sherry: Light to Heavy
- Pedro Ximénez (PX) or Moscatel
- Lustau Rare Amontillado Escuadrilla - priced around $30.
- Beautiful amber color with 18.5% ABV
- Average age is 12 years old
- Aromas of burnt sugar or caramel, orange rind, kalamata olives and hazelnuts
- It’s dry with medium plus acidity with flavors of intense hazelnuts, soy sauce, mushrooms, coffee and oak on the finish
- This wine is very savory and salty with long complex finish that keeps going
- It’s not like any other wine we’ve had before
- Serve slightly chilled, 55-57F
- Cesar Florido Moscatel Especial - priced $14 for 375ml bottle.
- Truly a dessert wine using the Moscatel grape and 17.5% ABV
- Nose of buttered pecan, brown sugar, vanilla and herbal liqueur
- It's sweet but not too sweet, full bodied with medium acidity and flavors of pecans, stewed prunes and orange peel
- Long finish and the flavors come in stages and lingers long after the wine is consumed
- Like a warm hug, perfect for a cold, winter day
Rank #9: Ep 176 - Aging Wine
This week we demystify the topic of aging wine. Check out the links below to read more about aging wine.
Sources used for this episode:
- Wine Enthusiast: What Really Happens as Wine Ages?
- Vinepair Guide to Aging Wine
- The Wine Cellar Insider: Complete Guide to Properly Cellaring Wine and Aging Wine
- Wine Folly: Deciding How long to Age Wine
- Wine Folly: Four Traits of Wine that Age Well
- Wine Spectator: Is It Worth It to Age Wines Anymore?
- Wikipedia: Aging Wine
Rank #10: Ep 031 - Côtes du Rhône
In this episode, we discuss Côtes du Rhône AOC and red wine it produces, history of wine in the Rhône region, differences between north and south Rhône, Côtes du Rhône classifications and food pairings
Rank #11: Ep 041 - Sparkle Time - Popular Types of Sparkling Wine
This week's episode is all about sparkling wine!!! We cover Champagne, Cremant, Cava, Prosecco, and Moscato d'Asti.
Rank #12: Ep 069 - Muscadet
This week we continue our series on lesser known white wine varieties with a french wine called Muscadet. The name of this wine is rather confusing; not named for the region it hails from (Pays de la Loire) or the grape used (Melon de Bourgogne). Some believe the name originates from people believing the wine had a "musky" aroma but that is also confusing since the flavors of this wine are subtle and anything but musky.
In this week's episode we discuss:
- Melon de Bourgogne the grape. Where did it come from and how did it end up in Loire?
- The sub-region Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine
- Muscadet has different rules than other French AOCs
- Sur Lie winemaking technique
- Flavor Characteristics and food pairings
Rank #13: Ep 50 - Central Coast Pinot Noir
Central Coast is a huge wine region spanning 250 miles down the coast from southern San Francisco to the tip of Santa Barbara County. Central Coast is a series of valleys running east to west leaving it open to coastal fog and afternoon breeze. Normally I hear California and visions of hot weather and big wines come to mind, but Central Coast's cool climate gives us wines reminiscent of Old World Burgundy. With high acid and refined fruit, Central Coast Pinot Noir is the ultimate expression of terrior and the winemaker's artistry.
Rank #14: Ep 110 - Oregon Wine Country Stories: Decoding the Grape
Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Ken Friedenreich the author of the new book, “Oregon Wine Country Stories, Decoding the Grape.”
Before I interviewed Ken, I had a chance to read his book and I loved it. No matter where you are in your wine journey, it's a great read and I highly recommend it.
Ready to buy the book? Click here to order from Amazon and you won't even have to leave your house.
Rank #15: Ep 056 - Pinot Grigio
People view Pinot Grigio as a super light, thin, patio-pounder. Well, this may be the case for a good chunk of the mass produced wine coming out of Northern Italy but if you are quick to generalize, you'll miss out on some fabulous wines. There are so many variations of this wine throughout the world that it cannot be boxed into one type or one style. Pinot Grigio (A.K.A. Pinot Gris, which translated from French literally means "grey pine cone"), has so much more to offer the world than how it's often stereotyped. In this episode we dig deeper in the Pinot Gris grape and the wine it produces.
In this week's episode we explore:
- What countries are the major producers of Pinot Grigio?
- It's relationship to Pinot Noir
- History of the Pinot Gris grape in Europe
- The many styles of Pinot Grigio
- Food Pairings
Rank #16: Ep 082 - Russian River Valley
This episode starts a series focused on California wine regions. We spent most of the summer learning about wines from Europe and now we are looking to explore wines from the state that produces about 85% of US wine, and we’re starting with the Russian River Valley.
The Russian River Valley is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Sonoma County, California. There are more than a million acres of land within Sonoma and the region produces twice as many grapes as Napa. With such a diverse landscape, it’s difficult to make generalizations about the region so we are going to focus on just one of its 12 AVAs.
This week's episode we discuss:
- Where is Russian River Valley and what's its impact?
- History of wine in the region
- Climate and geography in the Russian River Valley and its impact on the grapes grown
- What to expect from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines in the Russian River Valley
Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay 2015 - priced around $20. This wine is definitely a bridge between what you would expect from California and Burgundy style Chardonnay. This wine has a beautiful lemon color with aromas of baked apple and a touch of baking spice and reminds me of fall. It's medium bodied with quite a bit of acidity so pair it with food like soft/young cheeses and dishes with cream or butter sauces. We experienced flavors of baked apples, almost like apple pie with a nuttiness to it. The malolatic fermentation is evident in the smooth and creamy texture. The oak flavors are there but it’s not heavy handed - there's a real finesse to the wine.
Kenwood Vineyards Pinot Noir 2014 - priced around $18. This wine has aromas of cherry cola, star anise, and dusty earth. Beautiful balanced wine with medium body and medium acidity. It tasted so savory, with flavors of mushrooms and smooth, soft tannins that gave us a velvet texture on the tongue. This wine can pair with all kinds of food, especially with mushroom or meaty dishes, or enjoyed on its own just sipping.
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Rank #17: Ep 151 - Super Tuscans
This week we are talking about Super Tuscan wine. Super Tuscans come from as the name suggests, the Tuscany region of Italy which is located in central Italy. “Super Tuscan” is a term used to describe red wines from Tuscany that may include the use of non-indigenous grapes, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Tenuta Monteti Caburnio 2010 - priced around $21.
- 55 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Alicante Bouschet, 15 % Merlot, 5 % Cabernet Franc, 5 % Petit Verdot
- Nose: Dark fruit - blackberries, black currant, black plums, floral (like lavender and rose)
- Dry, full body, medium plus acidity and smooth, soft medium level tannins
- Flavors: dark fruit, vanilla, touch of rose and lavender
- You can tell this wine has spent some time in oak and in the bottle - soft edges but still quite a bit of acidity so probably would be great with even more age
- We were not expecting the floral component - we feel this is a bit of French influence showing.
- This wine is complex and structured, can stand up to food or good for sipping on its own
Toccata Classico 2015 - priced around $29.
- This wine was given to us as a sample
- The grapes in this blend are 50% Sangiovese, 30% Cab Sav, 5% Merlot, 5% Freisa, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cab Franc
- Nose: sweet & smokey BBQ ribs, ripe black cherries and blackberries, vanilla
- Dry, full body, medium tannins, medium plus acidity
- Flavors similar to aromas, plus black plum
- This is an intense wine that needs food with big flavors and/or a bit of fat. Most people will probably want food with it.
- This one could also age a bit longer, especially if you want to accentuate those umami flavors.
Rank #18: Ep 093 - Welcome to Willamette Valley
We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview several producers from Willamette Valley in Oregon. So over the next handful of episodes we will be share those interviews and some great wines with our listeners.
This is all thanks to Carl Giavanti from Carl Giavanti Consulting who we met at last year’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, CA who connected us to these producers and provided us with an opportunity to sample their wines.
If you are a long time listener you know we’ve done a few interviews in the past and it’s been a goal of ours to feature more interviews on this show. We are always interested in learning why people decide to get into the wine business and learn more about this journey and what inspires them. But before we start those episodes, we wanted to release this episode to give our listeners a short introduction to Willamette Valley.
We’re coming up to our 100th episode and to celebrate, we want to make you part of the show! Call into our new voicemail and tell us how the podcast has impacted you, or a short, fun story from your wine journey, or something you’ve learned about wine that’s made a difference for you. The number to call is 937-889-WINE (937-889-9463). If you can’t leave a voicemail you are welcome to email us at email@example.com.
Sources: Willamette Wines
Rank #19: Ep 064 - New Zealand Pinot Noir
New Zealand is known as the “Sauvignon Blanc capital of the World” which we covered way back in episode seven of this podcast. For this episode we're going to learn more about New Zealand wines and focus on the second biggest varietal after Sauvignon Blanc, which is Pinot Noir.
In this week's episode we discuss:
- History of wine in New Zealand
- Climate and Geography of New Zealand
- Sustainability in New Zealand Winemaking
- Pinot Noir in New Zealand and why it grows so well.
- Flavor Characteristics of New Zealand Pinot Noir
- Food Pairings
Rank #20: Ep 060 - Finger Lakes
May is Finger Lakes Wine Month and to celebrate, this episode is all about Finger Lakes!
New York state makes more wine than any other US state after California, and it's centered around the Finger Lakes AVA, which was established in 1982 and includes 11,000 acres of vineyards. It's the largest wine-producing region in New York State, located in Upstate New York, south of Lake Ontario and is home to 130 wineries producing about 90% of the state’s wine.
This week we discuss:
- The History of Finger Lakes wine region
- Climate and Geography of Finger Lakes
- Diversity of wine grapes in the Finger Lakes