Wine for Normal People

by elizabeth@winefornormalpeople.com

46m

average length

386

episodes

2

followers

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.

Best Wine for Normal People episodes upvoted by the community

Last updated on September 22, 2020, 11:12 pm

#3

Ep 308: The Reality of the Australian Fires with Paracombe Wines of Adelaide Hills

January 13, 2020 • 40m

There may be no better representative to speak to us about the devastation of the 2019-2020 bushfires in Australia than Kathy Drogemuller of Paracombe Wines in Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Started in 1983, Paracombe Wines started after the Ash Wednesday bushfires when Kathy and her husband Paul bought an old dairy farm and began making wine. Today it is truly a family business, making handcrafted wines. Kathy tells us her story, what is special about the high-altitude vineyards of Adelaide Hills and the diversity of grapes that can grow there and then she gives us great perspective on the large-scale fires that destroyed much of her beautiful region.  She shares what has happened with the fires, why it has happened, and gives us a perspective on how a region copes with fire  we discuss a bit about animal life, and the importance of knowing that there are still people who are open for business. The show is a great opportunity to discover a quality Australian region and to get an idea of what is really going on in Australian wine regions regarding the most destructive wildfires in Australian history.   Kathy gives us the true, somewhat sad picture but gives us great hope with her optimism, her assurance that the wine community is pulling together, and her genuine belief that something good will come from this tragic situation. The easiest way to help is to request wines from Adelaide Hills,  Australia from your local wine shop or restaurant. You can also donate to the following causes: Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fund The Australian Red Cross   Special thanks to Leighton Walker in the UK for helping connect me with Kathy!    Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!! _______________________________ 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!   

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#7

Ep 332: Tahiirah Habibbi from the Hue Society Is On a Mission to Diversify Wine

June 30, 2020 • 51m

Tahiirah Habibi grew up in north Philadelphia, graduated from Penn State University and began working in hospitality, while taking wine classes at night to begin her journey of becoming a sommelier and pioneer.  In 2012 Tahiirah opened the St.Regis, Bal Harbour. She later moved on to leadership positions at Michael’s Genuine and Baoli. Frustrated with the lack of diversity in the industry she believed her skills could bridge the intersection of wine and culture.     In 2017, she launched The Hue Society as a safe space for the community to learn, commune and find resources in one place. Tahiirah has been featured in Ocean Drive as one of the top 5 female sommeliers, VinePair, Upscale Magazine, David Banner Podcast, and Imbibe Magazine to name a few. With a decade as a sommelier in some of the top end restaurants in Miami, Tahiirah is an accomplished wine professional yet she has struggled every step of the way to gain recognition, and to cope with the overt and covert racism that exists in the industry. She discusses her difficult experiences, including the incident that prompted her viral video describing how the Court of Master Sommeliers requires all candidates to call them “Master” and what that means to her and other black and brown people who take the exam.  Watch Tahiirah's video from Instagram about her experience with the Court of Master Sommeliers here.   After we discuss the issues, Tahiirah uses her never-ending positivity and her penchant for action and problem solving to explain why she founded the Hue Society, which aims to provide a safe space for black wine lovers to come together, learn about wine, and enjoy the process without feeling the need to assimilate. She discusses the Roots Fund, founded this year with Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, to help fund people of color on their journeys into wine professions and how we can support her mission and vision by being more proactive about forming more multi-racial communities of wine lovers. Discussing these issues and hearing this perspective is an essential step in changing wine so it reflects more of what the world looks like, not just what wine has traditionally represented. If you listen with an open mind, there are many important ideas Tahiirah shares in this show.     To learn more about The Hue Society and the Roots Fund, please click here. Tahiirah's article in Wine Folly is here.    _______________________________________________________ Thanks to our sponsors this week:   Wine Access  Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more!  Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range). Check out their awesome wine site with fantastic, hard to find wines -- you won't regret it!    Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople And get your copy Wine For Normal People Book today! 

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#8

Audio blog 12: Bandol -- RED Wine from Provence

December 14, 2016

Sometimes I need a hearty, fruit filled, bone-warming wine to sip on. And when the weather is cool, that’s often all I’ll grab. But after I’ve downed big reds from warm places around the (mostly NEW) world with higher alcohol that will make me feel warm, I’m left wanting a little something with more complexity. Something that’s less fruity. A wine that seems hearty but has an element of surprise – maybe that hit of terroir or something that keeps on giving me something new with each sip. And that’s when I grab a Bandol (BAHN-dol), a Mourvèdre based red wine from Provence in Southern France.   Amidst the lavender, olives, soaps, and beautifully patterned fabrics oh, and rosé, there’s this small, high quality region.   If you know anything about wine in Provence than you probably associate it with rosé. And rightfully so: 80% of wine produced here is pink. The market demands it and Provence delivers, in spades. But there’s more than just those lovely salmon colored beauties here: 15% of the wine from Provence is red and it isn’t the refreshing, light partner of rosé. This is big, balls-out stuff mainly from three red wine areas: Cassis, Bellet, and Bandol, with the latter being the only one I’ve been able to find often in a wine shop in the US.   Bandol’s wines are mainly made from the very powerful, luscious Mourvèdre (moo-VED-rrr) grape. It’s a plummy, herbal, licorice-flavored, woodsy grape that’s rarely bottled alone because it is so powerful. Mourvèdre is so strong that it can’t be without oak aging to tame its tannins and in the bottle, wines made of it can age for 15 years and may still not be ready!   Growing in tight little bushes that can stand up to the heavy, ferocious gusts of cold wind that come from northern continental Europe (the Mistral) this tough, muscly grape produces a small amount of potent wine. And because of its power, the grape is mainly used in blends to add a kick to wines that otherwise may lack tannins and brawn (Mourvèdre is a big component in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for example, and many Côtes du Rhône).   But when it’s the star of the show, it needs to be tempered so in Bandol, where wines contain a minimum of 50% Mourvèdre, but can be up to 100%, the grape is usually blended with Grenache and Cinsault, which soften up the bold, tannic, and kind of meaty flavors of the lead grape. Syrah can be used to add depth of flavor (black pepper and other types of herbal notes) and Carignan adds fruit and juiciness and softens the toughness of the Mourvèdre, which in addition to its strong flavor can be tannic and unforgiving. As an aside, if it’s listed, the percentage of Mourvèdre can be a tip off as to how long to hold it before you drink it – more Mourvèdre = more aging.   History But let’s get off the grapes and onto the region, which I think needs a dork out moment of its own, since we HAVE TO give props to one of the oldest winemaking regions in France.   Winemaking started here about 2,600 years ago, most likely when the Phoenicians sailed from modern-day Lebanon and took over the area we now know as Provence. They saw great potential for one of their cash crops here (wine) and likely brought Monastrell from Spain (which is Mourvedre’s name in the Iberian Peninsula), where their Phoenician brethren had already been making wine for several centuries in a similar climate.    When they arrived in the Gulf of Bandol, we can only guess that they were thrilled. They found the ideal place for vineyards: an area with a natural amphitheater created by mountains on three sides and easy access from the vineyards right out to the Gulf. Cha-ching! They could easily export their wine to far flung places and make cash without much transportation overhead (inland locales like Champagne or Burgundy required a trip down a river or over land— why waste the time when Bordeaux and Bandol were basically on the ocean?)   The Romans agreed with the Phoenician’s assessment of the wine quality and worked on painstakingly building stone terraces into the mountainside (which are called restanques and are still used today) and they further built the reputation of this small enclave.   Things trucked along for Bandol, with Louis XV being a famous fan, until the late 1800s when phylloxera hit and nearly all of the vineyards were destroyed.   But growers in this region weren’t giving up after that vine murderer came to town. The winegrowing areas were too good for that. They’d been extolled for millennia, not just for their warm coastal climates, elevation, and sun exposure but for the outstanding, diverse soils that yielded flavorful, bold but still nuanced wines. They used the phylloxera epidemic as a chance to reshape the vineyards and when they applied for their appellation in 1941, Bandol included an elite set of 8 communes that lie exclusively on hillsides and have limestone rich, low fertility, well-drained soils, creating the best wines. In addition, they went back to basics and replanted with a lot of Mourvedre – the grape that had fared best here, probably since the time of the Phoenicians.   Although you’ll find differences in the wines – depending on the exact terroir, the blend used, and the vintage, one thing is true of Bandol – I’ve never had a stinker. The wines always seem to be earthy, herbal, spicy, rich, and tannic and have a sense of place. They frequently taste like tobacco, licorice, and black fruit and some can verge on rustic, with a dusty note. Regardless or nuance, the producers have a dedication to quality in this small area and take the responsibility seriously.   Bandol is a little pricey – you won’t find one for much less than $25 US. But you get what you pay so if you have a few extra bucks, grab a bottle of Bandol and give it a go. Have food with it – something hearty and rich. You’ll find a new favorite rich red wine that’s unlike anything else you’ve tried.   And don’t forget to report back on this blog post and let me know what you think: winefornormalpeople.com/blog.

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#13

Ep 137: Winemaking Apprentice Ian Renwick Gives the Inside View on French Winemaking

July 30, 2015

This week we have a complementary podcast to the one we did with Ryan Schmaltz, who did a giant pivot in his career to pursue his winemaking dream. This time we talk to Ian Renwick of Domaine de la Citadelle in the Luberon region of the Rhône Valley. I have "known" Ian virtually for years and have watched his career changes through interactions over email and social media as he moved into wine. Finally, he gives us the whole, fascinating story and then we get into SERIOUS dorkery -- discussing everything from rosé making to the politics of Bordeaux to whether or not ratings matter. Here's a quick outline: First we discuss Ian's life as a corporate HR dude and how he happened upon the WSET and Master of Wine program. Then we talk about Ian's foray into wine importing in Hong Kong We take a side trip to discuss Bordeaux, Southwest France, and the politics of the Bordeaux classification system and the AOP system at large. Ian tells me about how he wound up in Luberon and what he's doing there. The darker commences with tons of info on what Ian learned from his first harvest at the Domaine -- the good, the bad, and the ugly We talk about the Mistral, and what it really feels like We discuss Luberon, Provence, the grapes of the Rhône and the benefits of blending versus using single varieties in wine Then it's all about the business of wine: the balance between commercial success and individuality, our views on whether or not ratings really matter, how wine PR really works and winemaking versus drink making. We also throw in info on rosé winemaking, the characteristics to look for in a great Rhône wine and Ian's work on how rosé could be improved and made better. A fascinating podcast full of great dork moments and industry stuff, you'll get a lot out of this. 

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#17

Ep 286: The Extreme Altitude Vineyards of Salta, Argentina

July 22, 2019 • 41m

Salta, Argentina contains the highest altitude vineyards in the world and some of the most unique wines. At these heights, UV radiation changes the grapes so in this tiny, remote area, the wines contain flavors and character you won't find from anywhere else! Here are the show notes: ______ Overview: Salta is at 24˚-26˚S latitude in the northwest of the country, 1500 km/930 miles northwest of Buenos Aires Extreme altitude, extreme sunlight makes powerful, structured wines with a savory minerality The area has been most famed for Torrontés, which is widely planted across wine regions, beautiful aromatics History: Jesuit missionaries first planted grape seeds from Peru in the 1550’s, failed with an earlier attempt near Buenos Aires – first vineyards in Argentina. Today many vineyards over 100 years old, mostly in Calchaquí Valleys in the Andes Mountains Location Salta's home of the wine trade is Cafayate The region crosses a bunch of valleys called the Calchaquí Valleys (they span other provinces --  Jujuy, Tucumán, Catamarca) Salta is tiny compared to other Argentina wine regions: The region makes 1% of Argentina’s wines from its 5,200 acres (2,000 ha.) of vineyards Climate: Harsh daytime heat warm days, cool nights with 45˚ F/7.2˚C temperature swings during the long growing season in the Calchaquí Valleys More than 300 days of sunlight a year, wind and ultraviolet radiation – causes mutation inducing properties that magnify color and flavor Sub areas of Salta Cafayate:4 hours south of Salta with alluvial, porous, deep, sandy soils and clay base is similar to the profile of Mendoza.  Molinos department: More than 100 miles from both Salta and Cafayate 8,000ft/ 2440 M to over 10K feet/3000M Wine: Both whites and reds are fruity with pure flavors, and alcohol is high with excellent acidity and balance REDS: Malbec, Tannat, Merlot, Syrah, Cab, Cabernet Franc – all marked by extreme sun – color, flavor Tannat is one to watch -- hard to sell internationally but it is a local specialty Colomé produces a 100% Tannat under its Lote Especial label from its Finca La Brava vineyards, 1,700m above sea level in Colomé, Salta. WHITES: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc,Torrontés Torrontés has powerful acidity, floral aromatics – a big, strong white   Wineries Mentioned: Bodega El Esteco:Altimvs and Chañar Punco are top wines from the Bodega   San Pedro de Yacochuya: Founded in 1988 by Arnaldo Etchart and Michel Rolland. Made an international reputation for the area   Porvenir de Cafayate:Oenologist Mariano Quiroga, with the American consultant Paul Hobbs (we had the Amauta Malbec while we were recording the show!)   José Luis Mounier, Finca Las Nubes: a high-altitude terroir expert, Torrontés, Cabernet Sauvignon   Colomé and Tacuil wineries in Los Molinos: Both growing vines at 2,500 meters/8,200 above sea level. Colomé’s Altura Maxima is at 10,000 feet/3,111 meters   ______________________________________  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!     M.M. LaFleur        If you’ve wondered about these clothes, as I have, I’m here to tell you PULL THE TRIGGER! They are beautiful!! The M.M.LaFleur collection is designed by co-founder Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen. M.M.LaFleur offers personal styling to help you find the best pieces for your body and lifestyle. You can try the collection at home with a stylist-curated Bento Box.   Right now, new customers can enjoy $25 towards their first purchase or Bento Box with the code WINE. Visit mmlafleur.com/wine for more details and to redeem this gift.   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. 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#20

Ep 287: The Grape Miniseries -- Chenin Blanc

July 30, 2019 • 59m

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!   Halpern Financial   Imagine a path to wealth that just works. A team of experts at your beck and call, technology to keep tabs on your money 24/7, financial education and the personal touch that makes organizing your financial life feel achievable, rather than daunting.Halpern Financial is a fiduciary, fee-only, independent advisor that offers a combination of online tools and personal connection to help clients systematically achieve their goals. 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.  

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