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Rank #17 in Food category

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Wine for Normal People

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #17 in Food category

Arts
Education
Food
Hobbies
Read more

A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at http://winefornormalpeople.libsyn.com.

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A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at http://winefornormalpeople.libsyn.com.

iTunes Ratings

745 Ratings
Average Ratings
603
79
25
18
20

Great, conversational resource

By glennno - Aug 08 2019
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Found this podcast while researching a trip that would include a brief visit to Umbria. After listening to the episode about Umbrian wines, we altered our plans to extend the Umbrian portion of the trip, both to sightsee and explore the wines more, which are hard to find in the USA. Been enjoying the rest of the podcast since. Casual and informative.

Best way to learn about wine

By Robbie Mills - Aug 03 2019
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I love this podcast! Just returned from a trip to St. Emilion and the Loire Valley. I am now revisiting all I learned about wine. I have learned more by listening to this podcast than the classes and tastings in France. My confidence with wine lists in restaurants has greatly increased as has my ability to purchase wine from a store that I will actually enjoy. I recommend this podcast to everyone I know.

iTunes Ratings

745 Ratings
Average Ratings
603
79
25
18
20

Great, conversational resource

By glennno - Aug 08 2019
Read more
Found this podcast while researching a trip that would include a brief visit to Umbria. After listening to the episode about Umbrian wines, we altered our plans to extend the Umbrian portion of the trip, both to sightsee and explore the wines more, which are hard to find in the USA. Been enjoying the rest of the podcast since. Casual and informative.

Best way to learn about wine

By Robbie Mills - Aug 03 2019
Read more
I love this podcast! Just returned from a trip to St. Emilion and the Loire Valley. I am now revisiting all I learned about wine. I have learned more by listening to this podcast than the classes and tastings in France. My confidence with wine lists in restaurants has greatly increased as has my ability to purchase wine from a store that I will actually enjoy. I recommend this podcast to everyone I know.
Cover image of Wine for Normal People

Wine for Normal People

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at http://winefornormalpeople.libsyn.com.

Rank #1: Ep 111: The Southern Rhone

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This week we talk about a wine bucket list experience at Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida (US), answer a listener question on decanting, and then tackle southern Rhone. We focus on the better regions of the area and tell you the secrets to drinking better than just regular, old Cotes du Rhone.

Oct 04 2014

55mins

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Rank #2: Ep 288: Martinborough, NZ and the Glory of Wellington Wine Country with Simone Madden-Grey

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No, it's not a typo: Martinborough is a quality enclave in the larger Wellington Wine Country of New Zealand, which we discuss in depth in this episode. Simone Madden-Grey returns to tell us about the stunning Pinot Noir, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, up and coming Syrah, and other excellent Wellington wines that must be on your radar!

Here are the show notes:

Wellington Wine Country Overview

  • In 2016 three wine regions of the Wairarapa Valley in the lower north island formally launched Wellington Wine Country: Masterton, Gladstone, and Martinborough
  • The area is small -- just 3% of national plantings and 1% of national production, but represents 10% of producers

Location

  • The southern part of New Zealand's North Island
  • 35 miles (55km) north-east of Wellington (1 hr drive), New Zealand's capital city, in a wide river valley between Rimutaka mountain range and eastern Wairarapa hills

 Climate/Terroir

  • Semi-maritime, dry climate – rain shadow of the Tararua Ranges with blustery winds
  • Cool spring and autumn seasons, hot summer days with cool nights - long growing season
  • Martinborough Terrace: a crescent shaped area on the edge of a river terrace formed by the Ruamahunga and Huangarua rivers with gravel soils that drain well and stress the vines (in a good way)
  • Mountain ranges and hills
    • Remutaka and Tararua Ranges to the west protect from winds off Tasman Sea
    • Aorangi Ranges, western mountain ranges protect area from cold southerly winds coming in off the Cook Strait and together with the western moutnain ranges, also funnel cool breezes up from the Cook Strait

Soil

  • River terraces in Martinborough with pockets of clay and quartz-threaded greywacke (type of coloured sedimentary sandstone formed by river deposits) and volcanic basalt.
    • Alluvial soils can be up to 15m deep in Martinborough

Climate

  • Semi-maritime climate with high sunshine hours, cool Springs and Autumns, warm Summers
  • Warm, low rainfall, relatively long, dry growing season, low humidity and low disease pressure
  • Diurnal variation: Summer temps during the day 30˚C (86˚F) to 10˚C (50˚F) at night
  • Frost is an issue, very windy at times throughout the year, particularly in spring

Sub Regions: North to south

  • Masterton: Largest town in Wairarapa,first area grapes were planted in the region. Known for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir

  • Gladstone: Just south of Masterton, free-draining river terraces - Shallower terraces than of Martinborough and nearby. Clay pockets – planted Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc with high aromatics.

  • Martinborough – about 30 wineries: Colonial village is surrounded by small vineyards, family-owned producers – highly respected boutique wineries. Lowest rainfall of any area in the North Island and reliably cool climate for Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling and other aromatic whites.

  • Te Muna: Southeast of the township with stonier alluvial gravel soils, windier growing conditions and a slightly cooler climate than Martinborough. Escarpment and Craggy Range are here.

Wine Style: Red, white, sparkling (usually Methode Traditionnelle), rosé and sweet wines are all produced in the region

  • Pinot Noir: Thicker skins and smaller yields contribute an aromatic, savory, dark fruited profile with good acidity and potential for age.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: leading white grape variety, very important for export. More herbaceous and citrus driven, with mineral notes -- less of the big fruit style of Marlborough
  • Pinot Gris: Trying to coax a spicier, more complex style with pear and white stone fruit characters 
  • Chardonnay: For the last decade growers pick earlier to attain lower alcohol, more natural acidity -- lighter less tropical style.  Varying degrees of new oak and use of MLF, lees contact and stirring, but the goal is elegance
  • Riesling: Good acidity, very lemon-lime in flavor
  • Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Syrah and some Bordeaux varieties

The producer list!

  • High-profile small producers: Ata Rangi, Margrain, Dry River, Escarpment, Te Kairanga, Martinborough Vineyard
  • Paddy Borthwick in Gladstone
  • Larger but still good producers: Palliser, Craggy Range
  • Second labels:
    • Martinborough Vineyard’s "Te Tera"  (UK, NZ, Oz only)
    • Palliser "Pencarrow" (UK, NZ, Oz only)
    • Escarpment "The Edge" (UK, NZ, Oz only)

___________ 

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes!

Last Bottle 

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Coravin 

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

M.M. LaFleur

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Aug 09 2019

46mins

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Rank #3: Ep 201: How to Develop Your Wine Palate

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We received two very similar listener questions so it was time to make a podcast of it! They were....

Caryn R: I am trying to learn more about aroma and taste. How does one discern that a wine has notes of pineapple and honeysuckle, for example? Is all of that really true or just marketing? Can i learn to smell and taste with more nuance?

Ted A: I'd like you to discuss palate. Can it be enhanced? How do you improve your palate? Do some people like me just not have a great palate, and it can't be improved?

We address all the questions above:

  • First we discuss the biology and building blocks of aroma
  • We talk about a number of categories of aromas from a chemical perspective (which, actually, as I look at them, remind me of names from Game of Thrones!): Esters, Pyrazines, Terpenes, and Thiols. Lots of great info on http://winefolly.com/review/where-wine-flavors-come-from/
  • We discuss some other broader smell categories and what they manifest as in wine: oak, botrytis, and the yeast brettanomyces too!
  • Then we give you some action items: 
    • How to separate broad categories: fruit v herb v earth v other stuff 
    • How to become a student of smell and flavor by paying attention
    • The importance of slowing down to experience wine and food more fully
    • How to learn what certain structure terms mean by tasting certain things

And finally, non-conventional advice like: don't buy aroma kits and stop with the blind tasting, already!

Enjoy! 

Special thanks to our sponsors:

www.hellofresh.com - use the code Wine30 to get $30 your first week of meals! 

www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/wine -- don't forget to check out: The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking for the tasting class we discuss!  

Sep 15 2017

46mins

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Rank #4: Ep 215: The Grape Miniseries - Syrah

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First off, we discuss Sonoma Underground, the event I'm co-producing on 24 February 2018 to showcase 15 amazing, "underground" producers in Sonoma that are hard to find, don't get the press they deserve, and make outstanding wines. Limited tickets available to you! Get yours: www.undergroundwineevents.com

Then we talk Syrah!

Syrah is one of tastiest grapes in the world but because it changes based on where it's grown, it can be a bit of a risk to buy. In this episode, we cover the fundamentals of Syrah, why it ranges in flavor and what to expect from the regions that make it.

Here are the show notes:

About the grape:

  • Many different styles, many different faces
  • Dark skinned, vigorous so have to tame it to get flavor
  • Same as Shiraz NOT the same as Petit Sirah (cross of Syrah with Peloursin)
  • Flavor depends on climate – you can’t generalize 
  • Lots of theories about its origins - but the wine is from the Rhône. It's a cross of Dureza in Ardeche and Mondeuse Blanche from Savoie 
  • Old World – plants based on total site (terroir, esp soil), New World = climate, soil less important

Top Places that grow Syrah:

  1. France
  2. Australia
  3. Languedoc
  4. Spain
  5. Italy
  6. Argentina
  7. South Africa
  8. CA
  9. Chile

 Climate:

  • Low tolerance for too much heat and too little heat
  • Buds late, ripens early – short growing season

Vinification:

  • Co-fermentation – esp with Viognier (Côte Rôtie and Australia) – no more than 5%, with Marsanne and Roussanne in Hermitage (up to 15%)
  • Stems and oak play a role

Places:

Rhône

  • Northern Rhône: 
    • General flavors – peppery when less ripe, fruity and perfumed when more ripe
    • Côte Rôtie:  floral, roasted, bacon, lavender notes
    • Hermitage: minerally, tannic, bacon, herbs
    • Cornas – fruity, heavier, less nuanced
    • Crozes –Hermitage and St-Joseph: flatter areas -- lighter, more peppery, floral, earthy, great values
  • Southern Rhône
    • Hot and dry, Syrah gets overripe – need cooler, north-facing sites to slow ripening, Grenache gets best sites, Syrah is part of the blend
  • Known as an improver variety in Languedoc and Provence with Grenache and Mourvèdre

 Australia

  • Much hotter than Rhône – heavier styles
  • Barossa: Benchmark Shiraz– chocolaty, dark fruit
    • Best versions are dry-farmed
  • Victoria, Canberra, Western Australia - More Rhône-like versions 
  • McLaren Vale: Different styles often like milk chocolate
  • Clare Valley: dark cherry
  • Sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • Penfolds Grange is the most famed version 
  • Check out the podcasts with Simone Madden-Gray for more info!

 United States:

  • California: Dry Creek Valley, Paso, Central Coast areas, some Napa as GSMs or alone.  
  • Washington State: Some are big and full of plum, cooler sites in Yakima very nice with bacon. Outstanding in Walla Walla

Chile:

  • Colchagua – warm, fruity
  • San Antonio Valley – Limari and Elqui – lean with some fruit but not over the top 

South Africa

  • Swartland is the best – fruity, spicy, but restrained

New Zealand

  • Needs hotter sites: Gimlet Gravels in Hawkes Bay, some in Marlborough

Italy

  • Sicily, versions from Planeta, Used in Super Tuscans

Thanks to this week's sponsor who makes the podcast possible!

The Great Courses Plus -- who makes you smarter and more well rounded! With thousands of outstanding video lectures that you can watch or listen to any time and anywhere, The Great Courses Plus is an easy way to stimulate your brain and make you smarter! For a free  trial, go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/wine

Jan 13 2018

44mins

Play

Rank #5: Ep 099: What is Tannin?

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You may think you know everything you need to know about tannin but in what could be our dorkiest podcast yet, we share a bunch of nerdy facts about tannin. And the show outline:

What are tannins?

  • They're the stuff that makes your mouth feel dry or pucker after you drink a red wine or a white that’s been aged in oak.
  • They are polyphenols – Chemical compounds in reds that easily bind to stuff, change often 
  • They affect color, flavor, and structure of the wine and act as a preservative – tannic wines can be cellared for a long time
  • They are Important in food and wine pairing – protein helps minimize tannins

Where do tannins come from?:

  • Found in skin, stems, seeds or from barrels or wood chips (tannin powder in the cheap wine)
  • Some words on tanning leather and how tannins impact animal skins
  • Vineyard management and winemaking

We then cover tannic food and high tannin wines including the big four:

  • Nebbiolo
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Tannat
  • Syrah

Enjoy and please drop any comments or questions here or on Facebook or Twitter!

Mar 02 2014

40mins

Play

Rank #6: Ep 125: The Difference Between Napa and Bordeaux Reds

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Apart from the obvious (which, M.C. Ice states): there's an ocean and a continent separating them, what IS the difference between the Caberet Sauvignon based wines of Napa and those of Bordeaux (Left Bank). Here are the things we address:

  • Latitude -- Bordeaux is at 45˚ and Napa is at 38˚ and it makes a difference
  • Terrain -- the Left Bank is on a high plateau, near rivers, and is on gravel and clay. Napa is in a valley with big mountains flanking it on each side and Bay and Ocean providing cooling influences
  • Soil -- the Left Bank is relatively uniform. Napa contains half of the soil types that exist on earth
  • Flavors -- Bordeaux is more earthy, Napa more fruity
  • Blends -- Merlot factors into Bordeaux in a more significant way

Enjoy and for more information visit www.winefornormalpeople.com

Mar 28 2015

33mins

Play

Rank #7: Bonus Sponsored Ep: Greg Lambrecht, Inventor of Coravin

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This episode is sponsored by Coravin, the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months or even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too.

Although sponsored by Coravin, this is the same as any other interview show! Don't miss it!

Greg Lambrecht is the inventor, founder and board member of Coravin™ along with a number of other medical device companies. Greg holds a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds numerous patents in the fields of gynecology, general surgery, cardiology, and orthopedics. 

Greg is one of those great minds you come across every now and then -- creative, structured, smart, unhindered by things that seem impossible. You'll love learning about Coravin and how he made an enormous difference in the wine industry by taking off the guardrails of staid industry thinking and solved a problem wine drinkers the world around grapple with -- sometimes you just want one darn glass without opening a bottle! 

 Here are some of the topics we cover:  

  1. We talk about how a guy like Greg was as a child, and what it really means to be "mission-driven"

  1. Greg tells us about his journey into wine and how, while the rest of the dads of the world just drank too much or drank skunky wine while their wives were pregnant, he got busy inventing Coravin!
  2. Greg tells us all about the development process and some awesome stories about stuff that happened as he was developing today's Coravin
  3. Greg and I talk about the weird quirks of the wine industry and how being outside of it helped inspire his enormous creativity
  4. We get geeky on the details of how Coravin works. Greg sets me straight on Argon gas and why it doesn't work when I spray the stuff in the bottle but DOES work in Coravin.
  5. We talk about the next frontier for Coravin: screwcaps and sparkling! 

For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more.

Aug 07 2019

37mins

Play

Rank #8: Ep 211: The Grape Miniseries -- Sangiovese

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This week, we revive the Grape Miniseries from podcasts of old to bring you: Sangiovese! The star of Central Italy that does amazing things when taken care of. 

Here are the notes:

History of Sangiovese

  • Spotty history -- probably has existed a long time but wasn't mentioned until the 1500s.
  • The name likely comes from the monks in Santarcangelo di Romagna at foot of Monte Giove, who chose the name of sanguis Jovis when forced to call wine by name other than vino. It could have also come from the ancient language of Etruscans, who used similar to words for an offer to the gods

Grape origins

  • Probably from Sicily and Calabria – in 16th century there were grape exchanges between northern and southern Italian regions
  • A cross of two reds: Ciliegiolo and Calabrese di Montenuovo

Climate, land, soil

  • Needs warmth to ripen, but not too much
  • Ripens better in Montalcino than Chianti – nights are warmer, less rainfall in Montalcino
  • Chianti –  only 10% of the land good for cineyards
  • Maremma – rich, broad, hot with short growing season. High alcohol, low aroma
  • Autralia – Canberra in NSW, other warm areas show promise
  • California – more intense sunlight, different character
  • Soils –Tuscan soil is varied. The best for Sangiovese is galestro and albarese
    • Soils are a challenge for New World Sangiovese winemakers

Winemaking

  • Important to get ripeness in the vineyard
  • Traditional aging in large casks of Slavonian oak or Chestnut
  • Modern styles use small French oak barriques
  • Sangiovese is often blended – Canaille Nero, Coloring, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah are popular partners
    • Sangio needs extra color, richness – low in acylated anthocyanins means light color

Sangiovese Flavors

  • Light juicy wine or huge complex ones or harsh
  • Traditional wines: cherries, violets, tomatoe, herbs, tea-like notes, high acid, high tannin, not fruity
  • International wines: vanilla, spice, oak, dark fruit, higher alcohol

Return of the Clones: 

  • Clones – color, flavor, concentration of fruity, 102 clones of Sangiovese
  • 1988 – Chianti Classico Conzorzio with Universities of Pisa and Florence– launched Chianti Classsico 2000 project to improved quality

Found in:

  • Italy: Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Marche, Puglia, Sicily, Umbria
  • US: Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara. Washington State, New Mexico
  • Other North America: Mexico, Ontario, BC
  • Australia – growing
  • Other New World: NZ, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc

The difference in Tuscan wines using Sangiovese:

  • Maremma: dark black fruit, herbal
  • Chianti Classico – cooler – sour cherry, red berry, violet, tea leaf
  • Brunello di Montalcino – 100% Sangiovese, different depending on where it's grown in the appellation
  • Vino Nobile di Montepulciano –  earthy, rich, lovely
  • Emilia-Romagna – dark, dense, richer than Tuscan versions
  • Marche – Rosso Piceno, Rosso Conero – usually blended with Montepulciano – can be gloppy
  • Umbria -- fuller, denser than Tuscan versions

Thanks to our sponsors this week! 

For a free month of amazing video lectures from The Great Courses Plus, go to my special URL: thegreatcoursesplus.com/wine

Storyworth: Sign up through my special URL and receive $20 off! 

storyworth.com

Dec 09 2017

54mins

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Rank #9: Ep 102: Wines of Piedmont, Italy

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We return from our baby and massive home renovation hiatus with a hugely important region in the wine world -- Piedmont, Italy.We cover the major reds and whites, including Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis, Gavi, and Moscato. This should give you a good base for exploring this region that has a ton of great wines to offer but may be a little daunting to figure out!

Jun 18 2014

40mins

Play

Rank #10: Ep 143: The Red Blend Trend

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In this episode we talk about the enormous and growing popularity (in North America) of red blends.We discuss:

  1. The stats on red blends in the US and their explosive growth, especially at the low end
  2. The marketing gimmicks around the trends, including the fascinating names the large companies have come up with from "InspiRed" to "The Troublemaker."
  3. The flavor profile of most blends and the differences between them and varietal wines. 
  4. The benefits of blends and the names of some very famed blends.
  5. The difference between "intentional blends" and "kitchen sink" blends. Along with the sweetness factor.
  6. My opinion on the importance of back label copy to help explain the blend better
  7. A run down of the potential winners and losers of the trend

Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

Oct 15 2015

31mins

Play

Rank #11: Episode 003 Oak and Wine - What’s the big deal?

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Elizabeth and Rick cover everything you ever wanted to know about oak and its influence on wine, and then some. Plus, we define a few fancy wine terms to throw around at your next dinner party. Show Notes: News - New Zealand sets a lofty goal Shout out to Bosman van der Merwe Oak - The what, why, and how Flavor profiles, aging, and the good vs. bad uses of oak Some fun wine terminology Grape of the Week: Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio Elizabeth’s radical proposition for Pinot Gris Differences in flavor profiles for Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio (lemon water, anyone?) Next week: Trendy wines Sponsored by the free Hello Vino mobile app (iPhone & Android) More at the Wine for Normal People blog Tweet This [...]

Jan 22 2011

36mins

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Rank #12: Ep 287: The Grape Miniseries -- Chenin Blanc

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In this episode of the Grape Miniseries, we discuss Pineau de la Loire, a.k.a, Chenin Blanc! This white grape is one of the most versatile in terms of wine styles it can make – from floral sparkling, to stunning dry and off dry versions to unctuous dessert wines. Chenin is underrated, not always treated with regard, but it has a pedigree and a class that can’t be doubted. After hearing about all it has to offer, you’ll want to run out and get a bottle ASAP!

Here are the show notes:

What Is Chenin Blanc?

  • It’s a high acid, white grape that makes everything from sparkling to dessert wines. When it’s grown poorly, it’s a boring neutral grape that’s used for its acidity but when grown in the right places, it can create a wine with great depth, character
  • DNA: Chenin is related to Jura’s Savagnin – parent + unknown grape
  • French grape scientist – Pierre Galet – Chenin Blanc started in Anjou in the 9thc, moved to Touraine by the 15thc
  • 1520 – 1535 -- Grapes planted at Mount Chenin in Touraine by the Lord of Chateaux de Chenonceau and the Abbot of Cormery

Flavors of Chenin

  • Chenin can express terroir, winemaker ideas, vintage but at its core it has a floral, mineral, honey note. Its nuances are determined by terroir, soil type and style
  • With botrytis the wine is like peaches, honey, apricots, marzipan, quince
  • Dry or off-dry from Loire: apple, chalk that turn into honey and quince – off dry can age
  • New World, especially South Africa: tropical fruit notes, good acidity

Viticulture:

  • Need ripeness and good control over its vigor to get depth and complexity
  • New clonal research is being done to delay budding because the grape is prone to spring frost, increase sugar development
  • Vintage variation: growers decide on a day by day basis what style and dryness of Chenin blanc they could make

Winemaking

  • New World: Can be blended or do well alone, some skin contact to get different aroma, soften with malolactic, lees contact, tropical notes bc of cooler temps of fermentation
  • Old World – fermentation temps – higher (60-68˚f. 16-20˚c) so they won’t get those tropical fruit flavors that come out with cooler temps (50˚/10˚C) – no new oak/toastiness
  • Loire:Made like German white wines – low, slow fermentations in large old oak or stainless steel, no malolactic fermentation, no barriques

Wine regions

Loire, France 

  • Sweet appellations:Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume, Vouvray
  • Dry:Saviennières (Nicolas Joly) – concentration, flavor, longevity, climate change has made dry wine possible in most areas – although some is off-dry, tryig to become a Grand Cru of the Loire
  • Range of sweetness levels, from dry to semi-sweet to sweet: Anjou, Crémant de Loire, Coteaux de l'Aubance, Jasnières, Montlouis, Saumur, and Vouvray
  • Varied:Saumur, Vouvray, Anjou –Vouvray
  • Moelleux wines:Sweet but can be artificially sweetened, so you need a good producer – Vouvray and Quarts de Chaume the best
  • Demi sec: great acidity, with a touch of sugar sometimes seem dry b/c of the acidity

Languedoc: Crémant de Limoux, Chenin must account for at least 20% and up to 40% of the blend with Mauzac, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

South Africa

  • Most in Western Cape: Stellebosch, Paarl and then Swartland, Olifants River
  • Good acidity in a hot climate
  • Swartland Top Producers: Badenhorst, Mullineux, Eben Sadie (blends
  • Stellebosch Top Producers: Ken Forrester, De Morgenzon

United States

  • California: Used it for jug wine because it had acidity, irrigated to the hilt – high yields, 4x as high as in Loire
    • Clarksburg AVA plus, Chappellet in Napa, Leo Steen in Sonoma/Santa Ynez, Foxen in Santa Barbara
  • Washington: Yakima
  • Texas High Plains (a few hundred)
  • Long Island, New York: Paumanok

Other wine regions: Australia,New Zealand, Argentina blended with Chardonnay, Mexico and Canada, and India and Thailand grow it too!

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes!

Coravin  

Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!

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Go to halpernfinancial.com/wine for more information!

Last Bottle 

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices. They offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Jul 30 2019

59mins

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Rank #13: Ep 059: Bordeaux Part 1

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After catching up on shoutouts, talking about my debut on national TV (see this clip from The Weather Channel!), and doing our regular banter, this week we get started on the huge topic of Bordeaux.
We just scratch the surface of why Bordeaux is such a big deal, talking about:
Stats that will explain why the area is so significant in the wine world
The history of Bordeaux and how it became so important in wine
The basics on geography — the differences between the left and right banks
A near end to Bordeaux: phylloxera and a dorky discussion of clones, grafting, and grape species
This is just the beginning. Next week we continue on Bordeaux, discussing the four most important things you need to know to get up to speed.
If you like the podcast, please pass it on to your friends, review it on iTunes, drop a comment below, or join the awesome conversation on Facebook (Wine For Normal People page) and Twitter @normalwine! And if you’ve got a question you want us t [...]

Oct 19 2012

27mins

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Rank #14: Ep 228: The Greats - Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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We begin a new series on the great wines of the world. Every so often we will profile one of the greatest wines on earth, talking about the history, the terroir, and why these wines are so special. We begin with the Southern Rhône gem: Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Here are some of the notes from the show:

The Greats: Chateauneuf du Pape

  • Variable Appellation in southern Rhone that makes about 1 MM cases per year
  • Expensive and great because: tastes great, limited supply, and expensive winemaking techniques 
  • Profile: Rich spicy, full-bodied reds – product of Warm-climate viticulture. Can be tannic or jammy, White and (rare) rose are made too
  • The new generation in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is ambitious, quality minded and eager to show that their wines are worth the money. They keep some traditional ways of making the wine but are not afraid to use modern techniques as well.
  • The wine is consumed relatively young -5-6 years after bottling 

Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Location

  • In southeastern France/Southern Rhône about 2 miles/3 km east of Rhône river and 12 km/7.5 miles north of Avignon
  • Communes: Bedarrides, Courthezon, Orange, Sorgues

History: “Pope’s new castle” is translation

  • Pope Clement V Bertrand de Got, was elected pope in 1305. He transferred the papacy to Avignon in 1309.
  • Successor John XXII credited with developing papal vineyard in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, also developed Papal palace in Avignon
  • Following schism -- CndP and Avignon went back to countryside, wine was not important here until the 18th c (1700s)
  • Popes left, castle passed to the archbishop of Avignon, but it was too large and too expensive to maintain
  • La Nerthe or La Neste first in 1785 had an estate bottling
  • 1787 Thomas Jefferson was in the region and didn’t taste the wines – not relevant at that point
  • Phylloxera hit CndP right after it hit Gard in the Languedoc – devastating. Production not up to pre-phylloxera levels until the 1950s

Grapes

  • 90% is red wine, used to add white to add freshness to red
  • Today typical blend:
    • 50-70% Grenache
    • 10-30% Mourvedre
    • Up to 20% Syrah Cinsault Counoise and Vaccarese
    • Up to 10% Clairette, Picpoul, and Bourboulenc (whites)
  • Reds: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Counoise, Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picpoul noir, Terret noir
  • Whites: Roussanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picardin
  • Others: Clairette Rosé, white and pink Picpoul and Grenache)

The Land: Variation – soils, mix of grapes, mesoclimates, differences in vinification 

  • Soils: Some large pebbles – galets –in many vineyards. Retain heat, good for low, bush-trained vineyards (gobelet). Mainly varied soils –some calcareous, some rocky
    • Most own parcels in varied areas – blending
  • Climate: Hotter sites – tough when young, concentrated. South facing slopes can be too hot, especially with heat retaining pebbles. Blends from different subzones – work best, some single vineyards (can be too big)

Top producers:

  • Chateau Rayas
  • Chateau de Beaucastel (Hommage à Jacques Perrin, Roussanne Vieilles Vignes
  • Domaine Henri Bonneau (Réserve des Célestins and Cuvee Marie Beurrier)
  • Domaine de Marcoux – 2 sisters run it (Cuvée Vieilles Vignes), biodynamic
  • Clos de Papes
  • Domaine de Pegaü – classically styled wines (Cuvee Laurence)
  • Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe
  • Les Cailloux (Cuvee Centenaire)

Recent great vintages: 2005, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2016

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For $30 off your first week of HelloFresh, visit www.hellofresh.com and enter WINE30. You won't regret it! 

Apr 14 2018

51mins

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Rank #15: Ep 107: The Northern Rhône

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This week we cover a bit about the Rhône Valley and then discuss specifics of the 8 communes of the Northern Rhône and what they have to offer. 

From north to south, the communes are:

1. Côte Rotie

2. Condrieu

3. Château Grillet

4. St. Joseph

5. Crozes-Hermitage

6. Hermitage

7. Cornas

8. St-Peray

and we throw in Clairette de Die for good measure! Some of my favorite wines are from here, so I hope you like the podcast! 

Aug 18 2014

41mins

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Rank #16: Ep 272: The Greats -- Rioja, Spain

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Another in our series of the greatest wines in the world, this dorky, in-depth show goes over the intricate details of Rioja, Spain. The history is just fascinating(especially the ties to France), and the wines are a marvel. Rioja truly is a GREAT.

If the podcast is too weedy for you, skip to the end. MC Ice asks me a question about traditional practices in Europe and how I feel about it restricting creativity, and I give a staunch defense of the regulations in an answer he didn't expect! 

Thanks to our sponsors this week: 

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

Last Bottle

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

Here are the show notes:

Overview

  • Rio Oja – river oja
  • I discuss location: in the Ebro River Valley between Obarees Mountains, Sierra de Cantabria in the North, Sierra de la Demanda in the south
  • I mention the great wine houses of Haro: Roda, Muga, CVNE, Ramon Bilbao, López de Heredia to name a few.
  • I also mention Logroño, the capital city of the region with producers: Marques de Murrieta and Ontanon

History:

  • Yes, it's weedy, but I find it fascinating so I take you through Rioja's history from Phoenician settlers in 11thc BC to Ancient Romans, monks, the importance of El Camino (not the 1970s car, but the religious pilgrimage!), the Reconquista, colonial times to more modern ones.
  • We discuss the strong ties between Bordeaux, over the Pyrenees, and Rioja and how phylloxera actually served to cement that tie and help Rioja soar to new heights 

Geography:

  • We really get dorky here, discussing the River Ebro & its 7 tributaries that create valleys of Rioja
  • We talk about the climate, the microclimates and importantly, the sub regions:
    • Rioja Alta: Just under 50% of vineyards, premium wine
      • Sub valleys: Oja, Najerilla, Iregua 
    • Rioja Alavesa: 20% of wine, similar to Alta
    • Rioja Baja: further south in Ebro Valley, much drier, warmer climate, thanks to the Mediterranean influence 37% of production and growing (young producers)
      • Sub valleys: Cidacos (Bodegas Ontañon, one of my favorites is here), Leza, Jubera, Alhama

Grapes:

  • Reds: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo (Carignan), Maturana Tinta
  • Whites: Viura/Macabeo (the Cava grape), Malvasía de Rioja, Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Turruntés de Rioja 

Type of Wine:

  • Blends of grape varieties, vineyards and towns.
  • Control Board issues to those wines that meet quality and tipicity requirements:
  • Joven:Guarantees the origin and vintage of the wine. Fresh, fruity.
  • Crianza wines: Minimum of 1 year in casks/oak, 1 year in bottle. For white wines, the minimum cask ageing period is 6 mo
  • Reserva wines: Selected wines of the best vintages with an excellent potential. Aged a minimum of 3 years -- 1 in cask, at least 6 months in bottle. For whites, the minimum ageing period is 2 years, with at least 6 months in casks.
  • Gran Reserva wines: Selected wines from exceptional vintages. Aged a minimum of 60 months -- 2 years in cask, 2 in bottle. Whites: 4 years, with 1 year in cask

Viticulture:  

  • We end with a discussion of the restrictions around viticulture and winemaking and how restrictive it is. 
  • M.C. Ice gets me to wax poetic on whether I think we should restrict producers in this way, and I give an impassioned plea as to why I think it is essential. 

I heavily relied on the awesome site: https://us.riojawine.com/en/ for information in this pod! 

Also, I mentioned a Spanish language podcast I like. Here's the link to Coffee Break Spanish

Apr 13 2019

52mins

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Rank #17: Ep 163: Getting to Know White Wines

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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! 

Jul 14 2016

34mins

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Rank #18: Ep 245: What is Acidity?

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Acidity is one of the key components of wine, along with tannin, alcohol and sugar/dryness. This is a completely dorky look at acidity -- what it does, why it's important, and then dive into different types of acid and why it matters.

Here are the show notes: 

The Basics:

  1. It’s one of the four elements of a wine’s structure: acidity with tannin, alcohol, sugar/dryness
  2. It makes wine tart or sour 
  3. All wines are acidic (whites and reds, dry and sweet), but the degree varies from a real and perception perspective
  4. Acidity is in both grapes and in wine and it changes with winemaking
  5. Euphemisms: bright, crisp, racy, nervy

What acidity does 

  1. Influences wine color 
  2. Balances sweetness, tannin/bitter sensation, aromas, mouthfeel
  3. Low acid wines – no body, weak, flabby, brown in color
  4. Protects the wine from spoilage, helps it age – stabilizes because spoilage bacteria can’t grow in high acid environments
  5. Food and wine
    1. Great with acidic food – makes it smoother
    2. Contrasts/cuts the fat and lightens the dish up
    3. Sweet wine needs acidity

Climate/place

  1. Cooler climates have grapes with higher acidity. Slow ripening will preserve acidity
  2. Warmer climates need to add acid BACK through a winemaking technique – acidification
  3. Acidity is a HUGE harvest consideration

Dork Out Section

About Acid

  1. Types of Acid – in grapes: Tartaric (unique to grapes), Malic (fades fast), Citric (in small concentrations). In wine: Succinic, acetic (volatile acidity), lactic (milky acid)
  2. We discuss pH v Total Acidity and the relationship between them
  3. Malolactic fermentation: bacteria convert sugar and malic acid into lactic acid. Softer acidity than strong malic, wine is less acidic post MLF

Acidity Measurement

  1. pH – Strength of the acid – 0 – 14, water is 7. Wines are usually from 2.9 -4.0. pH scale is logarithmic, meaning a wine with a pH of 3.0 is 10 times more acidic than a wine with a pH of 4.0.
  1. Total Acidity/Titratable Acid – total of ALL Acids present, important to look at both

Acid is important -- pay attention and you'll see just how much!

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help!Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

Last Bottle

I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines:

  • Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices
  • Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines.
  • Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.

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Sep 08 2018

55mins

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Rank #19: Ep 072: Burgundy Overview

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We have a lot of regions and countries to cover in the future, but since the concept of terroir began with and is defined by Burgundy, we really needed to get on it!

Since this podcast is 100% based on the “A Primer on Burgundy: The 5 Things You Need To Know” I’m not going to do show notes…It’s all there.

The only thing I’ll add is that this episode is dedicated to the Sammarco family who suffered a great loss in Hurricane Sandy, and to whom we send our prayers, thoughts, and deepest sympathies.

Thanks to our sponsor, audible.com.
Get a FREE audiobook download at www.audibletrial.com/winefornormalpeople. There are more than 100,000 titles to choose from, including some great wine books, for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

And thanks for listening! We can’t wait to hear from you! If you’ve got a question you want us to answer, post it we& [...]

Mar 15 2013

44mins

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Rank #20: Ep 166: Our List of the Most Underrated Wines

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The list of wines that are underrated, overlooked, and great values! Some are mainstream, some less so but all fabulous. From Syrah to Chenin Blanc to Sherry and many in between, this should give you some great ideas of what to buy! 

And here's the list!

  1. Dessert wines of any type:
    • Vintage Port, Ruby or Tawny Port, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Banyuls (red), stickies from Australia, sweet Riesling from Germany, Tokaji from Hungary -- all enormous values!
  1. Chenin Blanc: Aromatic, complex, high in acid, great off dry or dry.
    • Vouvray, Saviennieres, and some South African Chenins are outstanding. Napa's Chappellet and Long Island's Paumaunok make great US versions.
  1. Blaüfrankisch (Austria)/Lemberger (Germany): Spicy with black pepper and cinnamon, it makes your mouth feel alive. Medium bodied, cherry-like, interesting, not the same old same old.
  1. GERMAN and ALSACE Riesling and all Alsace whites: Well priced versions for under $20 - $25. Thierry Thiese is always a winning importer in the US.
    • German Riesling: Range of wines for range of cuisines – off dry, dry, semi-sweet – great with spice, great with cheese, great with fish (fuller styles). Dimension, -- floral to citrusy, peachy to minerally, petrol (gasoline) to fruit-bowl like always balanced with acidity
    • ALSACE whites: No secret that I love them. Soft, full, flavorful, great with food. Riesling, Gewurz, Pinot Gris, Muscat – all have an unctuous quality.
  1. Portuguese reds
    • Reds from Douro or Dão: Touriga Nacional is the main grape, they contain the grapes of Port but are dry. Complex, dark and red fruit, earthy, range from medium to full. Versatile and usually CHEAP!
    • Bairrada (Baga):  is amazing when made well and becoming more available.

An honorable mention for the Mencía grape from Bierzo, which is amazing and usually underpriced

  1. White Bordeaux
    • Best are Semillon majority with Sauv Blanc and Muscadelle. Look for top wines from Graves or Pessac-Leognan.
  1. Loire Cabernet Franc
    1. Medium bodied, earthy, tea-like, with red and black fruit. Acidic. Lots of dimension and real depth – even though it’s lighter in style.
    2. Chinon, Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Touraine are top areas (not mentioned but also one to check out: Saumur-Champigny. It can be overpriced but good versions are pleasant)

Another honorable mention: Loire Muscadet, from a single vineyard or great producer is less than $20 and can be floral with a bready quality (when the bottle says sur lie) and when from a great producer.

  1. Syrah: Full, spicy, rich, peppery, perfumed, herbal, lavender, savory
    • Northern Rhône, South Africa, Central Coast, Washington State, Australia (Shiraz)
  1. Langhe Nebbiolo: Earthy, tar and roses, can be acidic and tannic, lots of gravitas in the right hands and great with food. 
    • No one knows WTF it is but it can be like a baby Barbaresco or Barolo. Its unpopular because people are unaware of it. Very well priced.
  1. Sherry: A perfect aperitif, underpriced for what it is. Another one to surprise guests with – the nutty factor of an Amontillado will win friends and influence people 
    1. The range is incredible (this is just a sample of the types available -- there are many more!)
      1. Fino: dry and like olives and almonds
      2. Manzanilla: Nutty and salty -- like a richer Fino
      3. Amontillado: Aged 8+ years, almond and walnut character. Rich, dry
      4. Oloroso: Oxidized, richer, complex, like alcohol infused walnuts, dry.
      5. PX/Pedro Ximenez: sweet, raisined, nutty, full, and amazing on top of vanilla ice cream.

What do you think? Do you like the list? Have you had any of these? Will you try any? Drop a comment and let us know!

Aug 15 2016

43mins

Play