Category:Podcasts

Winecast 16: Bill Nelson of Wine America

Bill Nelson is not just the former president of Wine America, the trade group that represents the United States ? wineries, but a long-time wine industry professional who was making wine in Oregon long before the state was known as a top producer.

As such, he probably knows as much as anyone about what ?s going on with the wine business, regional wine, and the increasing popularity of wine. We talked about those subjects, as well as direct shipping and the infamous HR 5034, the proposed legislation to limit the federal government ?s role in regulating wine distribution. Nelson ?s views on the latter are well worth listening to.

The podcast is about 15 minutes and 14 megabytes. Click here to download or stream the podcast.

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Winecast 15: Anna Katharine Mansfield, Cornell University

One of the most exciting things going on in regional wine is the research and development of new grape species, and especially the work being done with cold hardy grapes. Vitis vinifera, the European wine grape species that includes chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, doesn't like cold weather.

Hence the effort to propagate cold hardy grapes that can be made into quality wine. Anna Katharine Mansfield, a Cornell University enologist, has been a key researcher in the development of several of these grapes. One of them is frontenac, which produces a fruity red wine that has been successfully grown in regions as far north as Minnesota.

In the podcast, we talk about developing new grape varieties, how and why it's done, and why it's so important. This is not my best recording — we were in a large building where we judged the International Eastern Wine Competition. There were a lot of echoes, and you'll need to keep the sound turned up. The podcast is 7.4 megabytes and lasts about 8 minutes. You can download or stream it here.

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Winecast 14: John Concannon, Concannon Vineyards

John Concannon is the fourth generation of his family to work for the family business, which is saying something in California. And though Concannon is today owned by The Wine Group (which also controls Big House and Glen Ellen, among many others), John and his father, Jim, are still involved in the day-to-day operations of the 127-year-old winery.

Concannon is known for several things, not the least of which is petite sirah. It pioneered the grape in California, and still makes some of the most interesting petite sirahs in the U.S. John and I talked about the state of the wine business, what consumers are looking for in terms of value, and the history of petite sirah at Concannon.

To download or stream the podcast, click here. It's about 9.9 megabytes and 11 minutes long.

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Robin Goldstein and The Wine Trials 2010, part II

Robin Goldstein knows even more about cheap wine than the Wine Curmudgeon, which is saying something. But what else would one expect from the co-author and guiding force of The Wine Trials 2010 (Fearless Media, $14.95), perhaps the best guide to wine that costs less than $15 a bottle?

The second edition has just been published, and it's another fine
effort. I chatted with Goldstein via Skype (the unofficial Internet phone service of the Wine Curmudgeon) but technical glitches on my part prevented running it as a podcast. Instead, it's a transcript of our interview. In part II today, Goldstein talks about some of the wines that made the book, as well as wine labels and wine names. In part I, which ran Thursday, we talked about the trends in cheap wine and why there is more good, cheap wine than ever before.

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Robin Goldstein and The Wine Trials 2010, part I

Robin Goldstein knows even more about cheap wine than the Wine Curmudgeon, which is saying something. But what else would one expect from the co-author and guiding force of The Wine Trials 2010 (Fearless Media, $14.95), perhaps the best guide to wine that costs less than $15 a bottle?

The second edition has just been published, and it's another fine effort. I don't know that I agree with each of the 150 wines in the book (I've tasted all but 25 or so); many simple, fruity wines did better than they should have. But that's nit-picking, because Goldstein's concept is sound. Price is not the be all and end all the experts want us to think it is. Blind tasting, without the influence exerted by price and ratings, matters.

I chatted with Goldstein via Skype (the unofficial Internet phone service of the Wine Curmudgeon) and was going to run this as a podcast. But there were some technical glitches on my end, so it's a transcript of our interview. Part I looks at the trends in cheap wine and why there is more good, cheap wine than ever before. Part II, which posted Friday, looks at some of the wines that made the book, as well as wine labels and wine names.

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Winecast 13: Bruce Anderson, Sunset Winery

Bruce and Birgit Anderson of Sunset Winery are typical of the second wave of Texas winemakers, the group that came into the business over the last decade. For many in this group, running a winery was not their first career — Bruce was a sociology professor; Birgit was a tax preparer.

In addition, they are part of the group of the 60-plus wineries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which means they buy grapes from growers in west Texas. This adds another layer of complication to winemaking, especially if you're a former sociology professor. Bruce says he thought he  knew what he needed to know to be a winemaker, but learned quickly that that wasn't the case. "They were a lot of surprises," he says.

The podcast is about 6 1/2 minutes and 9 megabytes. Click here to listen to it.

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Winecast 12: Russ Kane, Vintage Texas

Russ Kane of Vintage TexasThe Wine Curmudgeon kicks off DrinkLocalWine.com's Regional Wine Week with a podcast with Russ Kane, who is perhaps the premier blogger about Texas wine. We discuses what's new in Texas, why Texas wines have improved so much, and what still needs to be done to make them even better.

The podcast is about 6 megabytes and 13 minutes long. To download or stream it, click here.

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