Wine Face breaks down the ins and outs of wine: how it’s made, why it’s important, what you should drink, and why people often make it so elitist. Wine Face features thoughtful interviews with chefs, winemakers, celebs, and some exciting enthusiasts, as well as entertaining opportunities to help listeners learn a new fact or two for their next trip to the wine shop, or even to help plan their next dinner party. Helen Johannesen is a partner at Jon & Vinny’s in Los Angeles, and the owner of Helen’s Wines, the gem box retail wine shop in the back of Jon & Vinny's locations. Helen is the Beverage Director for all Jon & Vinny’s associated restaurants. She hosts wine classes, runs a curated wine club, and was named Best New Sommelier by Food & Wine in 2016.
35:08Not only is Tinx dubbed “Tiktok’s big sister,” she’s also dubbed “extremely lovely podcast guest” by me! It was honestly such a joy to talk with Tinx, she is incredibly smart, sensitive and aware-- all of which is super refreshing! I love when women know how they are and what they want! We talk all about the joys of casual dinner parties, the best martinis in the world, and why Tinx always keeps a steak in her freezer. Here are the champagnes I told Tinx to keep in her fridge: Ruppert-Leroy, Papillon, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Nature, Pinot Noir, 2019 Michel Gonet, Les 3 Terroirs, Extra Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Chardonnay, 2017 Featured Wines: Benjamin Leroux, Bourgogne, Pinot Noir, 2020 2021 Lorenza Picpoul Blanc Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.
The History of Champagne
29:47Champs for my real friends, baby! I am obsessed with Champagne. My whole team is! It's so good and worth the splurge, and so I am here to tell you on this episode that it's a New year, and maybe a new you, but there are still the same old delicious bottles of bubbly! Champagne is a part of the cultural zeitgeist but it hasn’t always been that way. So how did we go from friars transporting bottles of wine on horse-drawn carts to shaking up thousand-dollar bottles of champagne in nightclubs? Let’s talk about it before New Year's Eve so when you head to the store to grab your sparkling wine, you know exactly what to get! Grower-producer champagne recommendations: Grower-producer champagne refers to a person growing the grapes and then making the champagne from those grapes, a practice that used to be very uncommon in the region. Here are some of my favorite producers, some are linked to wines we carry! Any wines from these producers you can find will be amazing: George Laval Laherte Freres Savart Calzals Visit Helen’s Wines for more information. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.
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Wine + Christmas
25:17Every December my wine shop is poppin! And for good reason-- Holiday times are flush with gift giving, champagne celebrations and cozy moments drinking fabulous wine with people you love. I celebrate Christmas, so I wanted to talk about the history of wine during holiday times, the best varietals to please your in-laws, bottles to pair with tamales, and an updated take on an old Christmas-time classic: mulled wine. Head to the blog at Helen’s Wines for this week’s Cocktail Corner recipe: The Lighter Side of Mulled Wine. Wines that I am loving that I mentioned: Châteauneuf-du-Pape – My absolute favorite producer is Raya, but it's sold out. I love Chateau du Boursan as well, the balance of the fruit is magical. This Papi is so good and we have it at the shop right now! Chateau de la Font du Loup, Le Puy Rolland, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache, 2019 White Burgundy – There are literally way too many white burgundies that are my faves, but here are my top producers at the moment: Benjamin Leroux Domaine Roulot Athenais de Beru Alice & Olivier DeMoor Hubert Lamy Château La Fleur Garderose – Obsessed with these wines from Bordeaux, they are using minimal intervention and the wines are unfiltered magic. Also, they will definitely entice a classic Bordeaux drinker as well! Sadly, we are sold out of this wine at the shop, but you might be able to find some bottles online! Visit Helen’s Wines for more information. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.
I LOVE Micheladas because of Bricia Lopez
34:57Bricia Lopez and her family own one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles: Guelaguetza! Do you live in LA and haven't been? RUN THERE NOW. Bricia is on a mission to bring Oaxacan food and culture to the masses. Between her family’s delicious restaurant, her packaged mole business, and her michelada mix business — she took the time to sit down and school me on what it means to throw an asada, why mezcal is the bee's knees, whether ice in your beer is acceptable, and why she doesn’t know how to ride a bike. I really admire and love Bricia, she is one of the smartest and most passionate people I know! Featured Wine: Ashanta, Embryo II, Ashton Vineyards, Sonoma County, Syrah, 2021 Visit Helen’s Wines for more information. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen Produced by Dear Media.
Syrah SZN, baby!!!
22:53Syrah is a grape that is often misunderstood, or people haven't been exposed to the right ones. Once more widely planted than Cabernet Sauvignon, this gravel-rich, soil-loving grape hits so right when it's from specific areas of the world. We’ll talk about my favorite (and less favorite) Syrah regions, which wine glasses will make your bottle pop, and which tacos I think pair great with a bottle of Syrah. Shop Syrah on Helenswines.com For the Korean Duck/Syrah pairing of your dreams: Sun Ha Jang Visit Helen’s Wines for more information. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.
Top Gail! Best Day Ever with Gail Simmons
35:10National treasure Gail Simmons of Top Chef fame Zooms with me all the way from New York. She’s a fabulous chef, a judge on one of my favorite shows, and literally, pure joy exudes from her at every moment. Tune in while we taste some dope wine and dish on her life from Top Chef, to fashion, to recipe writing, to her favorite food cities around the world. Featured Wines: Phelan Farm, Cambria, Central Coast, California, Gamay, 2021 Visit Helen’s Wines for more information. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.
Wine + Thanksgiving
23:02Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Wine Face to you and yours. Before you start baking your bird, mashing your potatoes, and popping your bubbly, let’s look at all the different wine choices that will have your friends, family, and food singing. I’ll also share my favorite turkey recipe (shout-out Alison Roman!), my favorite way to use T-Day leftovers, and my wine pairing pro-moves, including an exotic bottle to go with your holiday pie. Head to the blog at Helen’s Wines for this week’s Cocktail Corner recipe: Helen's Sbagliato Featured wines: Hiyu Wine Farms Gamay Bugey Cerdon, demi-sec sparkling rosé Visit Helen’s Wines for more information. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen Produced by Dear Media.
Screw Cap Club with What’s Gaby Cooking
25:32Gaby Dalkin of What's Gaby Cooking is a literal wiz in the kitchen, has the best energy, and is one of the most real ones to chat with. In this episode of Wine Face, we talk about culinary school, rosé pasta, motherhood, and just loving all things food and wine. Featured Wines: Le Boncie, Cinque, Rosso di Toscana, Sangiovese/Colorino/Mammolo/Foglia Tonda/Ciliegiolo, 2020 Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.
How Wine is Made: The Good, the Bad, the “Natty”
25:17I support and love all kinds of wine, but I think it helps people to understand wine as an agricultural product if we start with what is and is not considered a “Natural” wine. Listen, I really don’t like labels, but we gotta break it down before we build it back up! Winemaking dates back thousands and thousands of years but it’s since been industrialized as technology and society-advanced. As an unregulated product, mass-produced wine can have some questionable additives, animal by-products, and absurd amounts of sugar without any indication or notification on the label. But not all wine is created equal. Let’s do a “Deep Dive” episode on what a natural or “natty” wine really is, what are the exceptions, and what are my rules and best practices on how to order and shop for wine. Head to the blog at Helen’s Wines for this week’s Cocktail Corner recipe: Apple Cider Spritz. Visit Helen’s Wines for more information. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.
The 411 on Your Host: Helen
24:57Sommelier. Business owner. Podcast host. My journey into the wine world wasn’t a straight line. With a few colleges and brief career stops along the way at a collections agency, a top chef’s restaurant, and the Court of Master Sommeliers, I carved out my own niche in the industry. Find out how I came to be a partner in six businesses, run a bustling wine club, and serve as a Sommelier to Hollywood’s biggest stars. Hosted by Helen Johannesen. Hosted and Executive Produced by Helen Johannesen. Produced by Dear Media.