Wine for Normal People podcast

Ep 396: Halloween Candy and Wine Pairings Revisited

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45:37
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We scoured the internet to find commonly recommended pairings, so we could actually try them and tell you if any of these things actually work. Much like our prior episode, the news isn’t great, but we did find a few diamonds in the rough, including an extremely surprising combo that I thought could be lethal! Patrons Kelsey and Colby Eliades guest host with me to power through this episode and sum up the things we learned about candy pairings – what works, what doesn’t, and why!

 

Here are the combos we tested…

  • Pop rocks with Prosecco

 

  • Candy corn with Prosecco and Moscato d’Asti


  • Gummy worms with Rosé

 

  • Sour Patch Kids with off-dry Riesling

 

  • Starburst and Moscato d’Asti

 

  • Twizzlers, and Swedish Fish with Beaujolais

 

  • Kit Kat with Pinot Noir

 

  • Peppermint Patties with Syrah

 

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Reese’s Pieces with Lambrusco  


  • Hershey's bars and Whoppers with Zinfandel


  • Port-style Zinfandel with M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, Heath bar

 

And, so concludes my attempt at pairing wine with Halloween candy. We did the encore, I am so thankful for Kelsey and Colby for participating, and now I'm never doing this again 😂😂😂!

 

____________________________________________________________

Registration for the FREE Wines of the Médoc Class is here: 

Session 1, October 21 at 8 PM Eastern

Session 2, October 28, at 8 PM Eastern

 

Thanks for our sponsors this week:

Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal

To become a member of Patreon go to www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes

Altri episodi di "Wine for Normal People"

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Cranberry Mimosa: A variation on a theme, this time you want to use a little less cranberry juice and more sparkling wine to ensure the blend doesn’t taste too tart or bitter. Again, the key to a delicious drink is going to be the sugar-rimmed glass. Recipe: https://stressbaking.com/wprm_print/6796   3. Kir/Kir Royale: A classic wine cocktail from Burgundy, this couldn’t be easier to make. No recipe needed – 2 parts Aligoté, Chablis, or an unoaked, fairly neutral wine with excellent acidity, to 1 part Crème de Cassis (dark red liqueur from blackcurrants) and you’re in business. If you want to go nuts, go for the Kir Royale and use Champagne or sparkling wine instead of dry white!  Photo: Kir Royale from Pixabay   4. The New York Sour: According to Liquor.com, this drink has been around for at least 140 years (and they claim that despite the name, it originated in Chicago!). It’s a spin on a Whiskey Sour – the classic with rye or bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and, for a touch of salmonella, a raw egg white. This drink is the same ingredients, but after the Whiskey Sour is shaken and poured, you very slowly pour red wine on top and you get a pretty looking red wine float, which also adds some great fruitiness and acidity to the drink. Here are details: https://www.liquor.com/recipes/new-york-sour/ Photo: Unsplash 5. Hot Spiced Wine: I love this recipe because it include kirsch/cherry brandy. The base of the drink is red wine and kirsch but the get and go is all about the spices you add – peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and various citrus zest make this wine cocktail really sing. A perfect wine for a cold, fall day. And you can make a huge vat of it ahead of time and reheat it for guests! Check out the recipe here: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/hot-spiced-wine     6. Murderer’s Row: I know I should have introduced this one for Halloween, but the fact that this cocktail includes Port, and I really love the idea of serving Port with dessert (but I understand you may not want a lot left over!), makes it an MVP for a big holiday meal. Crush up blackberries, then grab some Port, bourbon, lemon juice, pear juice, and simple syrup, shake it up and you will be the hero of the night…and feel free to rename the cocktail to (YOUR NAME HERE) Row! Recipe:  https://wine365.com/fall-cocktails/ Photo: Unsplash 7. The Paysan from the now closed restaurant, Poste in Washington, D.C.: As I say in the show, Chambord with anything pretty much wins the day for me. This wine cocktail is like a dream come true – fruity red, cranberry juice, orange juice and Chambord with zests of various citrus fruits and BAM! A delicious wine cocktail is born. Here is the link to the recipe: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/paysan   8. The Francophile: I have no idea why the recipe here calls for Rioja when it’s called the Francophile so I’ve changed it to incorporate Bordeaux (Merlot-based, basic Bordeaux is perfect. It should have some tannin and acidity to offset the brandy). This is another variation of mulled wine, this time with Calvados, the apple-brandy that is an AOC and is required to be aged in oak before it’s released. You can go high rent or get another apple brandy, but either way, the combo of Calvados, Bordeaux, cinnamon simple syrup ,and lemon juice heated up will make you the hostess with the mostess/host with the most. Here is the recipe: https://www.liquor.com/recipes/francophile/ Photo: Unsplash   Happy Thanksgiving or happy fall – either way, we are grateful to you for listening and for your support!!   ________________________________________________ Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal If you think our podcast is worth the price of a bottle or two of wine a year, please become a member of Patreon... you'll get even more great content, live interactions and classes!  www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes
  • Wine for Normal People podcast

    Ep 400: 10 Things That Have Changed in Wine in the 10 Years of WFNP

    41:10

    Thank you for 10+ years and 400 episodes. We couldn’t do it without you! A VERY special thanks to our Patrons who have kept the show alive since 2018.  In this show we discuss 10 things we've learned over the 400 episodes we've produced over the last 10+ years. Here's a quick summary... 1. Climate change is no longer a BS term. People are taking it seriously and being more positive about what to do about it 2. Change in the New World – confidence, maturity, and even better wine 3. Change in the Old World – a more wine-lover centric attitude 4. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater…wine styles have diversified, so make sure you try many examples before you say you dislike a grape or a region 5. The decline of the wine score…we still use them, but they carry a lot less weight and there are many of us who know they are highly biased and don’t give a lot of information to us 6. Balance is more important in wine than any one component 7. Consistency for WFNP (and for wine) is never going away…but changing your mind with new facts is ok! 8. Everything in wine changes, everything in wine stays the same… 9. You can get a great bottle for $9, if you know what to look for 10. A riff on #4 – sometimes wines that are bad sippers are great with food. It’s sometimes imbalance in a sipper that makes it perfect with food (yes, it contradicts #6 but this is a special circumstance – food changes a lot of things with wine. And that’s wine…full of consistency, full of contradiction!)   Cheers to another 400 episodes -- we'll make them as long as you keep listening!  __________________________ Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal If you think our podcast is worth the price of a bottle or two of wine a year, please become a member of Patreon... you'll get even more great content, live interactions and classes!  www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes
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    Ep 399: Basilicata, Italy and the Wines of Aglianico del Vulture

    48:02

    Basilicata is a tiny region that represents the arch of the Italy’s boot -the small area that borders Calabria in the west, Puglia in the east, Campania in the north and the Gulf of Taranto in the south. In this, Italy’s 3rd least populous region, wine has been made for thousands of years but today, what remains is just 2,006 ha/5,000 acres of vineyards, which is 0.15% of Italy’s total wine production. Of the 2% that is DOC wine, there is a shining star – a wine that can rival the best of the best in all of Italy – Aglianico del Vulture (ahl-LYAh-nee-koh del VOOL-too-ray). In this show we discuss the background of this southern Italian region and discuss the jewel in its crown.     Here are the show notes… We first discuss the location and land of Basilicata In the southern Apennines, Basilicata is the most mountainous region in the south of Italy. 47% is covered by mountains, 45% is hilly, and only 8% is plains. The west is the hillier area, the east runs into flatter land into Puglia. There is a small stretch of coastline between Campania and Calabria and a longer one along the Gulf of Taranto, between Puglia and Calabria. Photo: Getty Images We do a good look at the history of Basilicata, but the highlights are: People (or really ancestors of modern people) have inhabited the area since Paleolithic times. Matera is considered one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world. Its Sassi district, which has now become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has caves on a rocky hillside that were inhabited by people as far back as the Paleolithic times. Greeks settled in Basilicata from at least the 8th c BCE and likely brought Aglianico with them. Basilicata has been conquered by nearly everyone who paraded through southern Italy over the centuries. In the 1970s and 80s there was a renaissance in wine in Basilicata but it didn’t last. Today, there is renewed hope and investments, as a new generation of winemakers takes over their family domaines, establishes new properties and combines traditional and modern winemaking to make excellent wines.   We mention several DOCs of Basilicata: Photo of Matera: Getty Images Matera DOC was granted in 2005 It is 50 ha / 124 acres, and produces about 11,200 cases per year REDS: Matera Primitivo (90%+ Primitivo/Zinfandel grape), Matera Rosso (at least 60% Sangiovese and 30% Primitivo), and Matera Moro, (a minimum of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Primitivo and 10% Merlot). There are basic and Riserva levels Whites: Matera Greco (85%+ Greco), Matera Bianco (minimum of 85% Malvasia Bianca di Basilicata) There is also spumante (sparkling) made in the Champagne method   Grottino di Roccanova DOC was granted in 2009 8 ha / 20 acres, and producers about 3,000 cases per year White/Bianco (Minimum of 80% Malvasia Bianca di Basilicata) Red/Rosso: Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignino, Malvasia Nera di Basilicata, Montepulciano   Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri DOC was granted in 2003. At 11 ha / 27 acres, the area makes a mere 3,840 cases a year. Vineyards can be no higher than 800 m/ 2,625 ft Red/Rosato: Rosso (Minimum 50% Merlot; minimum 30% Cabernet Sauvignon; maximum 20% other red grapes). Riserva and regular versions Photo: Getty Images, Val d’Agri   We spend the rest of the show discussing  Aglianico del Vulture DOC/DOCG, which is 25% of Basilicata’s total production Vulture’s land… Vulture is an extinct volcano that was last active about 130,000 years ago. It is 56 km/35 miles north of Potenza at an altitude of 1,326m/4,350 ft, close to borders with Puglia and Campania. Woods surround the area and the top of the slope has more volcanic soils and lower lying vineyards have more mixed, colluvial, and clay soils. The elevations are specified by the DOC – too low or too high and you won’t get great flavor development or quality wine, so the range is 200-700 m/660 -2300 ft. The variety of soils, elevations and exposures mean that there are different styles of Aglianico del Vulture. Photo: Getty Images Vulture’s climate… Vulture is continental in climate and it has lower average daily temperatures than Sicily or Tuscany. There are cool breezes that sweep in from the Adriatic, cooling the area and preventing humidity. Elevation also keeps things cooler, especially at night, which means the grapes experience a long growing season, building flavor in the hot sun during the day, and cooling at night to hoard acidity.  The rain shadow of Mount Vulture also keeps the weather cool and dry.  That said, in some years the drought is fierce, grapes can get sunburned, the tannins can be tough, and the wine can be overly alcoholic.     Characteristics of Aglianico del Vulture Aglianico is a thick-skinned grape that needs mineral-rich soils with clay and limestone (like what is on Vulture). It can be overcropped, so careful tending to the grapes leads to better results (this is kind of a dumb thing to say, since that’s the case with all grapes, but I’m putting it out there anyway!).   Flavors range in Aglianico del Vulture. Younger wines are high in tannins and acidity, with black cherry, chocolate, flowers, minerals, dark-fruit, and shrubby, forest notes. With a few years (5 or more), you may get nuances of Earl gray tea, black tea, licorice, earth, tar, spice, and violets. The tannins calm with age, but the acidity remains – with age (7-10 years) these wines are pretty impressive. We discuss the fact that there are some lighter styles and some savory, complex ones, but most are minerally with tannin in some form. Photo of Aglianico: Getty Images  Aglianico del Vulture was made a DOC in 1971 It is 520/1,284 acres, and it’s average production is 235,000 cases The wine is red or spumante – all is 100% Aglianico (the sparkling must be made in the Champagne method). Reds are required to be aged for 9-10 months in a vessel of the producer’s choice before release (oak isn’t required). Spumante must rest for 9 months on the lees. Photo: Monte Vulture, Getty Images Aglianico del Vulture Superiore DOCG/ Riserva Superiore DOCG was created in 2010. It is within the Aglianico del Vulture DOC but is only 89 ha/220 acres Production is much smaller, at 6,670 cases. The wine is 100% Aglianico. Superiore is required to spend 12 months in oak, 12 months in a bottle, cannot be sold until at least three years after harvest. Superiore Riserva spends 24 months in oak, 12 in bottle, and cannot be released until at least 5 years after harvest. Both categories must reach a minimum of 13.5% ABV (basically a guarantee that the grapes are ripe!)     In the show we discuss the food of Basilicata and mention a few specialties: M.C. Ice was surprised that in this area, bread crumbs were a cheese substitute, sprinkled over pasta, meat, and vegetables. Horseradish is common here, along with Italian hot peppers, beans, pork sausage, and the famed bread of Matera, which is a Protected Georgraphical Indication and uses wheat grown locally and a yeast infused with fruit.     Producers are vital to getting a quality wine. This is my list… D’Angelo (Split into D’Angelo and Donato D’Angelo recently, and each is good) Paternoster (recently sold to Veneto’s Tommasi family) Cantine del Notaio Elena Fucci Terre degli Svevi /Re Manfredi Grifalco Eubea and Basilisco (both small-production bottlings) Bisceglia (we were drinking the 2018 Terre di Vulcano, which was about $18) DOC wines are around US$20/GBP£15, DOCG wines are more like US$45/GBP£43.   __________________________ Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal   If you think our podcast is worth the price of a bottle or two of wine a year, please become a member of Patreon... you'll get even more great content, live interactions and classes!  www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes _____________________________ Some interesting sources I used for this show: Italian Wine Central (Great for data on DOCs/DOCGs) "The Wines of Basilicata Paradise Lost and Found" 4/17, Vinous, by Ian d’Agata  NY Times Article on Aglianico
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    Ep 397: The World of Online Wine Auctions with WineBid CEO Russ Mann

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    WineBid is the largest online auction site for wine and it's been around for 25 years. Founded in 1996 by a wine collector in Chicago, WineBid has grown over the years to develop the technology, logistics, and customer service to acquire over 100,000 registered bidders.   Russ Mann, CEO WineBid   In this show, Russ Mann, CEO of WineBid, breaks down the entire wine auction market – from live -scratching-your-nose-to-bid events, to charity auctions, to online auctions. I can’t tell you how much I learned from this show and how excited I am to start bidding and buying wine from WineBid. I was hesitant before but I think I can do this -- you should listen and you'll feel the same!    ___________________________________ Registration for the FREE Wines of the Médoc Class is here:    Session 2, October 28, at 8 PM Eastern   Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal To become a member of Patreon go to www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes
  • Wine for Normal People podcast

    Ep 396: Halloween Candy and Wine Pairings Revisited

    45:37

    We scoured the internet to find commonly recommended pairings, so we could actually try them and tell you if any of these things actually work. Much like our prior episode, the news isn’t great, but we did find a few diamonds in the rough, including an extremely surprising combo that I thought could be lethal! Patrons Kelsey and Colby Eliades guest host with me to power through this episode and sum up the things we learned about candy pairings – what works, what doesn’t, and why!   Here are the combos we tested… Pop rocks with Prosecco   Candy corn with Prosecco and Moscato d’Asti Gummy worms with Rosé   Sour Patch Kids with off-dry Riesling   Starburst and Moscato d’Asti   Twizzlers, and Swedish Fish with Beaujolais   Kit Kat with Pinot Noir   Peppermint Patties with Syrah   Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Reese’s Pieces with Lambrusco   Hershey's bars and Whoppers with Zinfandel Port-style Zinfandel with M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, Heath bar   And, so concludes my attempt at pairing wine with Halloween candy. We did the encore, I am so thankful for Kelsey and Colby for participating, and now I'm never doing this again 😂😂😂!   ____________________________________________________________ Registration for the FREE Wines of the Médoc Class is here:  Session 1, October 21 at 8 PM Eastern Session 2, October 28, at 8 PM Eastern   Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal To become a member of Patreon go to www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes
  • Wine for Normal People podcast

    Ep 395: Walla Walla, Washington's Caprio Cellars and Its Estate Wines

    43:12

    Caprio Cellars makes wines from estate vineyards in the Walla Walla viticultural area of eastern Washington. Owner and winemaker, Dennis Murphy crafts wines mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from his three Walla Walla vineyards, one of which is named after his Italian grandmother Eleanor Caprio, and another for his great grandmother Sanitella Caprio. In the show, Dennis shares some good information about Walla Walla and its climate, soils, and the region’s unique position in the wine world. The bulk of the show is dedicated to my conversation with him, and he gives us a different perspective from others we’ve talked to in Walla Walla, like Sleight of Hand Cellars (who doesn’t love Jerry Solomon and Episode 295) and Amavi/ Pepperbridge (Eric McKibben rocks out Episode 294). But a lot of Dennis's references are to seminal figures in the Walla Walla wine industry.   Photo: Dennis Murphy, Caprio Cellars Given that, in the first part of the show, I spend a few minutes telling you about the founding figures in the Walla Walla wine industry.  Not only does this help in explaining the references, it sets you up to understand all of Walla Walla -- if you ever talk to anyone about the region or go visit, these names will come up over and over again. They are...   Norm McKibben. A founding father of Walla Walla’s wine industry, and he founded Pepper Bridge Cellars and Amavi. His mentorship, forward thinking attitude (he was an early proponent of sustainability), and openness are a big part of the success of Walla Walla. Jean-Francois Pellet is the Director of Winemaking and a partner at Pepper Bridge and Amavi. He was born and raised in Switzerland, and is a third-generation wine grower. After working in vineyards around Europe and for Heitz Cellars in the Napa Valley, he was recruited by Norm to Pepper Bridge  and also helped start Amavi. He is an active partner in the businessl and an important force in the Walla Walla wine scene. Marty Clubb is Managing Winemaker and co-owner of L’Ecole N° 41 with his wife, Megan, and their children, Riley and Rebecca.  Megan’s parents, Jean and Baker Ferguson, founded L’Ecole in 1983. In 1989, Marty and Megan moved to Walla Walla and Marty became manager and winemaker of L’Ecole.  Marty, along with Norm McKibben and Gary Figgins (see below) were the three most important figures in starting viticulture in the Walla Walla Valley.  Marty is one of the most revered figures in Walla Walla.   Gary Figgins is the founder of Leonetti Cellar, which was Walla Walla’s first commercial winery. The Figgins family has been in Walla Walla for over a century and Gary learned viticulture from his uncles, who were farmers. He is self-taught and has done miraculous things for Walla Walla – Leonetti’s wines were among the first to gain high scores and national recognition for the valley. Gary and his wife Nancy passed on the winery to their kids, Chris and Amy, but Gary is a major figure in the development of Walla Walla and is still active in vineyard consulting.   Christophe Baron is a native of Champagne and came to Walla Walla in 1993 while doing an internship at a vineyard in Oregon. He saw the famed “rocks” of the Milton-Freewater district that looked like the puddingstone in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and decided to buy 10 acres for his Cayuse Vineyards. The waitlist for the winery is many years deep, so Cayuse’s wines are only available to us on the secondary market (auctions and stuff – there is a podcast to come on auctions that will make that secondary market easy to understand!). He's essential to helping make Walla Walla wine a coveted, hard to get luxury!   Dennis Murphy mentions other important wineries: Gramercy Cellars, Va Piano, and Hanatoro, to name a few!    Finally, we discuss a few vineyards: Seven Hills and Sevein: These are top vineyards of Walla Walla. They have unique soils and are managed by the founding fathers of Walla Walla – Norm McKibben, Marty, Clubb, Gary Figgins, and a few others, with many top wineries sourcing from this land. Photo: Seven Hills Vineyard After the intro, Dennis and I discuss Caprio, and its vineyards and its wines, which are quite tasty. Dennis discusses winemaking techniques, viticulture and sustainability, and his unique, very welcoming hospitality model. He has recently purchased a stake in Pepper Bridge and Amavi, so we discuss that briefly as well.   If you haven't been to Walla Walla, put it on the list. In many ways it represents the. best of the American wine industry -- collegial, entrepreneurial, with a focus on hard work and quality. Who could ask for more?   Photo: Caprio Cellars _________________________________________________________________ Registration for the FREE Wines of the Médoc Class is here:  Session 1, October 21 at 8 PM Eastern Session 2, October 28, at 8 PM Eastern   Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal To become a member of Patreon go to www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes
  • Wine for Normal People podcast

    Ep 394: Germany Overview

    56:34

    After 10.5 years of doing the podcast I realized that we have never done an overview of Germany! Details, yes, but never the whole deal. Well, now we have. Photo credit: Pexels We discuss an overview of the most important things to know about Germany so you can buy and try the wines more easily. We begin with an overview of the German wine industry, and a reassurance that most of the stuff for export is pretty darn good. Then we tackle the climate and land, both which are completely unlikely places for great viticulture, but for a few dedicated people and a few quirks in geography.   We talk about the major grapes (spoiler alert: Riesling is huge here) and then we discuss various wine styles before giving an overview of the very rich history here, which is meant to give you context for how long Germany has been in the winemaking game and how significant the country has been in wine.   The second half of the show is an overview of the major regions in Germany and then we wrap with a quick discussion of the classification system, which hopefully makes much more sense once you hear about the history, climate, and terroir of Germany.   I love German wine. I think you could too, if you don’t already. I hope that this show (and the Germany section in the WFNP book, which gives a lot of great detail) can convince you to put it in the rotation more often!   Here are the show notes: German wine regions are mainly in the southern and southwestern part of Germany, and are quite northerly, many at around 50-51˚N latitude There are 103,000ha/252,00 acres of vineyards 2/3 of the wine is white, with Germany’s wine reputation pinned to Riesling Most people who make wine in Germany are small producers by New World standards. 25,000 cases/300,000 bottles is considered a huge winery, whereas in the US that’s on the small side of medium! Photo of Riesling: Canva/Getty Climate and land Germany is a cool climate country, grapes can only grow and ripen because of the Gulf stream from western Europe and the warmer air the comes in from Eastern Europe Rainfall in Germany’s wine regions occurs DURING the growing season, not during harvest. There is significant disease pressure on the vineyards but irrigation is not an issue and the long, dry fall enables easier harvesting and allows for late harvest wines to flourish The very steep slopes face south, southeast, or southwest. The slopes experience intense solar radiation, helping ripen the grapes Photo (C)Wine For Normal People: Slate in the Mosel Slate is a preferred soil in Germany because it retains heat and imparts spicy, minerally notes to the wine Grapes of Germany Riesling is about 23% of production Müller-Thurgau is about 12% Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) is 11.5% Dornfelder (a red) is about 7.6% Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) is 6% Weisburgunder (Pinot Blanc) is 5% Silvaner is 4.8% And many other grapes are grown in small percentages all over the country   Wine regions: We review all 13 Anbaugebiete... Map from the Wine For Normal People Book Ahr is the northernmost region. It is small and grows a majority of red wine, mainly spätburgunder Baden is Germany’s southernmost region and accordingly it is the warmest, sunniest region. It is close to France, and grows a lot of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc as a result Franken is known for its flagon – a flat, round-shaped bottle called a bocksbeutel. The regions specializes in earthy, white Silvaner from the limestone shores of the Main River Hessische Bergstrasse is a teeny region with Riesling as the lead. You don’t see these wines outside of Germany Mittelrhein is in the middle of the Rhine (fitting name, huh!?). It is dominated by Riesling, which grows on steep slate slopes Mosel is the most famed region in Germany and makes what many consider to be the best Riesling in the world. The first winegrowing in Germany was in Mosel and it contains the steepest vineyard: at 65˚ grade, Bremmer Calmont has this distinction. Slate soils are dominant and the wines are known for low alcohol levels, high acidity, pure fruit and floral (jasmine, gardenia) notes, along with strong minerality. They are generally off-dry to sweet, to offset the very powerful acidity the terroir imparts to Riesling. Photo (C)Wine For Normal People Nahe is located around the river Nahe, the volcanic soils create wines with fuller, richer textures than in other parts of Germany. It is a medium-sized area and not all vineyards or wineries are created equal – there are excellent producers and less good ones too! Pfalz is the second largest area after Rheinhessen. It is consumed heavily in the domestic market and can make rich, fuller stules of dry Riesling because the climate is slightly warmer. Red wines are growing here as well, given the warm conditions and the ability to fully ripen red grapes. Rheingau is the home of Riesling, the creator of Spätlese and Auslese, and highest percentage of Riesling (nearly 80%) and the home of Geisenheim University, one of the best viticulture and oenology schools in the world. The wines range in sweetness and in stule but they are subtler than Mosel wines and tend to develop intricate flavors of petrol, flowers, chamomile tea, and herbs with a few years in the bottle. Photo (C) Wine For Normal People Rheinhessen is the largest production area in Germany. It has the dubious distinction of being nicknamed “Liebfraumilch land” from its mass production of the sweet plonk that kind of tanked Germany’s reputation. Rheinhessen has tried to shirk that image and focus on quality wine made from Riesling. The areas of Nackenheim, Nierstein, and Oppenheim can produce excellent quality wine. Wurttemberg specializes in red wines that aren’t grown in other parts of Germany – Trollinger, Lemberger (Blaufränkisch), and Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier) are all big here. Saale-Unstrut and Sachsen are in the former East Germnay. Both specialize in dry wine and are at 51˚N latitude. The wines are improving with the help of climate changes and better viticultural practices.   Finally we tackle the levels of German Classification: Deutscher Tafelwein: German Table Wine, consumed domestically Deutscher Landwein: German Country wine like Vins d’Pays in France or IGP in Italy, consumed domestically QbA (actually stands for Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete): Wines from a defined region. It can be blended from a few regions but generally it’s from one of the Anbaugebiete, so you’ll see Mosel, Pfalz, Rheingau, etc on the bottle Prädikatswein is made from grapes with higher ripeness levels. The levels are: Kabinett: Ripe grapes. Can be dry or sweet Spätelese: Late Harvest wines. Can be dry or sweet Auslese: Select Harvest wines. Can be dry or sweet, very flavorful wines Beerenauslese: Berries of the Select Harvest. Always sweet, generally have experienced the effects of botrytis so the wines are honeyed, waxy, and apricot like. Berries are selected off the vines for the best of the bunch Trockenbeerenauslese: Dried Berries of Select Harvest. Always sweet, very rare. Grapes are very ripe must have been affected by botrytis. The grapes are raisined with very high concentration of sugar. Very expensive and rare wines Eiswein: Grapes are harvested after the first frost. The water in the grapes freezes, the winemakers squeeze out the frozen water and then press the sugar that remains. These wines should not be affected by botrytis   We wrap up with other terms that are good to know: Trocken means the wine is dry Halbtrocken wines are off-dry and can seem very sweet Feinherb wines are sweeter or as sweet as halbtrocken wines The VDP: A private marketing organization of about 200 producers around Germany, with its own standards of quality that it expects its members to live up to. Not all great producers are VDP members but it is a safe bet if you know nothing about the wine VDP Logo Weingut is a winegrowing and wine-producing estate Gutsabfüllung refers to a grower/producer wine that is estate bottled   Much of the data for the podcast was sourced from the Wines of Germany ________________________________________ Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal To become a member of Patreon go to www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes
  • Wine for Normal People podcast

    Ep 393: A Trip to Vinho Verde and a Fresh Outlook on these Wines

    53:56

    I need to thank the Commission of Vinho Verde for hosting this trip to the region and setting up such wonderful experiences that really gave a 360˚ view of this region. Photo: ©Wine For Normal People, Vineyards of Aveleda After talking about a wonderful tasting at Graham’s Port Lodge in Vila Nova di Gaia (across the Douro from Porto) and Quinta do Noval, we discuss some important things about Vinho Verde that augment Episode 291 from my time there. This show is not about the base tier wines – fizzy, cheap and cheerful versions, but about the premium wines that are single grape varieties and made in interesting ways. It’s a look into the diversity that Vinho Verde has to offer, beyond what you may know!   We discuss some key points on Vinho Verde: There are nine subregions (see below for more detail). Depending on whether they are in the north or the south, closer to the Atlantic or inland, styles and grapes vary enormously.   We talk about the thing that wowed me the most: how very different the aromas and flavors of wines of this region are based on the soil they grow on – granite v. schist   We discuss the main grapes and their general flavor profiles: Loureiro: A grape with herbal bitterness, that’s floral, and creamy. It’s the top grape of coastal areas. Arinto: The MVP that adds acidity and minerality to blends, this is the base of most Vinho Verde sparkling wine. Trajadura: Although very light in flavor with low acidity, it adds body to blends. I found it tastes like stems – woody but not oaky. It’s great with Loureiro and Alvarinho. Alvarinho: The same grape as Albariño from Rias Baixas on the western coast of Spain. Here the grape seems more tropical, but more acidic because unlike the Spanish, the producers in Vinho Verde do not put the wine through malo-lactic fermentation so the acidity is a bit sharper. The grape is from this region and interesting versions show rosemary and other savory herbal notes with salinity. We discuss the various permutations of the grape – there is experimentation with oak, amphora, eggs (stainless steel and concrete), and extended skin contact and what those versions are like. Avesso: An unusual grape, it represents only 2-3% of production because it is so tricky to grow. When it is good it is like pears, red apple, flowers and the texture is creamy, even though it doesn’t undergo malolactic fermentation. It’s a grape/wine worth seeking out. Azal: A rare grape grown only in some of the subregions, it is like citrus and herbs. It is usually marked for blending but the varietal wines are high in minerality and acidity and not short on fruit flavor. Photo: ©Wine For Normal People, Arinto Grape in Sousa And the reds: Vinhão: In its best form smells good – like incense, violets and lilies, but I found it can also smell like goat poop, band-aid, and dirt. It is lower in alcohol and very acidic (some versions are tannic). An inky, light style red with lots of flavor, this is really a local wine, made in a very local style, not for broader consumption. It is used in rosé but often blended with Touriga Nacional, the famed grape of the Douro/Port. Espadeiro: Another hard to grow grape, it is late ripening and tastes of strawberry and cherry. It is used for rosé. As well. Touriga Nacional: A lighter version of Portugal’s star grape from just over the mountains in the Douro.     Regions and their main grapes: Lima: Herbal, fresh and grassy Loureiro is their wine. The wines are lovely.     Ave: Both single variety wines and blends of Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Alvarinho. The Alvarinho + Trajadura blend is common and produces green herb, tangerine notes. Producer: Sao Giao     Cavado: Similar to Lima, with fresh Loureiro and some Arinto for very acidic sparkling wine, Alvarinho that is peachy, floral and acidic.     Sousa specializes in floral, talc-like and acidic Loureiro , Arinto for sparkling and for blending to add body to Loureiro, Alvarinho as the more serious wine that has lime and flint notes, and Trajadura, which is light and rounds out blends. Producers: Quinta da Lixa, Quinta das Arcas (Arca Nova) Photo: ©Wine For Normal People, Quinta das Arcas in Sousa  Amarante is in the southeast. It makes a lot of different grapes but we focused on the Avesso grape, which is floral, like pears and red apples, bready (from lees contact) and creamy, as is the nature of the grape.  I love this grape, it belongs in the full whites category with Rhone whites, Priorat whites, Verdejo, and Fiano. Producers: A&B Valley Wines, Curvos     Basto is in the southeast as well, with Douro on the other side of the mountains. Avesso, Arinto, Azal, and Alvarinho are the main grapes. Azal is a rare grape that is acidic with green apple, citrus, herbal, lemon, grass, mineral notes and and acidic yet savory quality. (I mention that only about 10 -15 pure Azals made in the world, Quinta da Razas in one of them). Producer: Quinta da Razas   Photo: ©Wine For Normal People, Harvest team at Quinta da Raza in Basto Monçao e Melgaço  is the home of Alvarinho! There is traditional Alvarinho and then there is so much experimentation with the grape that flaovrs range enormously. The standard bearers show tropical fruit, lime, and floral notes with characteristic strong acidity because the wines don’t go through malolactic fermentation. Granite v schist soils make a difference and any number of styles from sparkling to oak aged, to amphora aged to skin contact wines are being made. Producers: Soalheiro, Adega de Monçao, Quinta da Santiago.   I did not visit the subregions of Paiva and Baiao so we don’t discuss them in the show, but they are in the south and specialize in Arinto, Avesso, Azal, with some Loureiro.   All in all it was a lovely trip! The producers are open to the public, so it’s an easy and fun few days to plan if you love white wines and want to learn something new!   _____________________________ Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal   To become a member of Patreon go to www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople     To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes
  • Wine for Normal People podcast

    Ep 392: The Greats -- Chablis

    42:56

    One of the greatest Chardonnays (and actually white wines) in the world comes from Chablis in the northern part of Burgundy. In this show we discuss this historic region and why it is capable of making the most distinctive, minerally, terroir-driven white wines made.    Here are the show notes:  Map: https://www.chablis-wines.com Location: At nearly 48˚N latitude in the northern part of the Bourgogne region in the Yonne department between Paris and Beaune, around the village of Chablis, Serein River runs through it, with vineyards on either bank Area under vine in 2020: 5,771 hectares/14,260 acres 18% of the total volume of wine produced in the Bourgogne region Also contains: St-Bris, which makes mineral driven Sauvignon Blanc   Terroir: Terroir expressed more clearly in Chablis than almost anywhere else Valleys branch from the Serein river – left and right, hills are basis of the vineyards Right-bank: softer, bigger wines Left-bank: more acidic, less ripe, more like citrus, green apple Soils: Subsoil is Kimmeridgean limestone with layers of Marl –limestone and clay turned into rock sometimes with fossils of Exogyra virgula, a small, comma-shaped oyster. Different vineyards have different proportions of limestone, marl, clay, loam, Portlandian limestone – younger, harder, no fossils. Sites with this used only forvPetit Chablis 47 Defined Climats (can be mentioned on the label) 40 are Premier Cru, 7 are Grand Cru Photo: Chablis wines Climate: Maritime and continental Maritime influence but kind of a modified oceanic climate with continental influences from Eastern Europe Less rainfall and the winters are harsher and summer hotter than maritime   Winemaking Fermented in stainless or oak, low temperature, slow fermentation followed by malolactic fermentation Neutral oak (already been used) is used in Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. Very few producers use new oak barrels since the goal is to preserve terroir     Classification: Petit Chablis (19%): 729 hectares (1750 acres) ALL of Chablis wine-growing district (catchall) – AOC 1944, least prestigious – lesser rated vineyards Soil is Portlandian limestone – harder, younger soil on a plateau at the top of slopes, above premier and grand crus Flavors: citrus, flowers, less minerally, light, acidic, saline, to be consumed within 2 years Pairings (goes for Chablis and many Premier Cru too): Oysters, seafood in citrus, salads and acidic vegetables, spicy food, vegetarian pasta   Chablis (66%): 3656 hectares (9,034 acres) of vines In the department of Yonne, on the Serein River On Kimmeridgean limestone and marl, very large - quality varies Flavors: Mineral with flint, green apple, lemon, underbrush, citrus, mint, fresh-cut hay Best within 2-3 years Photo: Chablis wines Chablis Premier Cru: (14%) - Almost 809 ha/2,000 acres over 40 sites (climat) Both sides of the river Serein, with 24 on the left bank and 16 on the right bank Mostly on slopes of the Serein, southeast or southwest facing, on Kimmeridgian chalk Can just use the phrase "Chablis Premier Cru" if blended across Premier Cru sites Right bank: Softer, fuller wines--Mont de Milieu, Montée de Tonnerre, Fourchaume, Vaucoupin Left bank: Flinty, acidic. Côté de Léchet, Vaillons, Montmains, Vosgros, Vau de Vey Can age 5-10 years   Grand Cru Chablis (1%) - 101 hectares/250 acres Contiguous site on the right bank of the Serein, south facing on Kimmeridgian limestone, with fossilized oysters, marl Seven vineyards are Grand Cru, which are each part of just one appellation, Grand Cru Chablis. The difference in these wines: Better sites, lower yields, higher alcohol, higher planting density, matured until at least March 15 of the year following harvest Grand Crus: north to south Bougros: Fresh and mineral Les Preuses:: elegant, minerally with a long finish Vaudésir: Stronger, richer wine – more body Grenouilles: Fruity with strong acidity, a fuller body Valmur: VERY fruity, balanced with strong minerality Les Clos: The most famous site: elegance, minerality, fruit, acidity Blanchot: Soft and more like white flowers La Moutonne is an unofficial 8th Grand Cru Best with 10-15 years of age Pairings: Lobster, mushrooms, shrimp, cream sauces We love this wine. If you haven't had it, definitely get one and discover what makes it a "great!"  Photo: Chablis wines _____________________________________________________ Thanks for our sponsors this week: Wine Access: Access to the best wines for the best prices! For 15% off your next order, go to www.wineaccess.com/normal   To become a member of Patreon go to www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople       To register for an AWESOME, LIVE WFNP class with Elizabeth go to: www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes

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