Winecast 5: Patty Held and regional wine

Patty Held Patty Held was working in regional wine long before most people noticed that wine existed outside of California and Europe. Her work as a winemaker (she graduated from Cal State-Fresno ?s wine program when very few women even enrolled) and as a marketer has helped Missouri become one of the country ?s top regional producers.

We talked about why regional wine doesn ?t get any respect (and what can be done to change that), the norton grape and the fine wine it makes, and specific ways that wineries and regions can work on improving their reputation. She even explains why so many regional wineries make so much sweet wine. To stream or download the podcast, click here. It ?s about 10 minutes and 9 megabyes. The quality is more or less professional, save for an odd Elvis-style reverb.

Winecast 4: James Tidwell, master sommelier

image James Tidwell, the sommelier at the Four Seasons in suburban Dallas, has become a master sommelier ? one of just 96 in North America and 167 worldwide. The honor is probably the highest that a wine person can achieve, and is incredibly difficult to do. It took James, who knows way more than I ever will, eight years of on and off work to earn the honor. And he had to start over once.

We talked this week about how difficult it is to become a master sommelier and why James did it, and he added some pointers about finding good value wines (whether in a store or in a restaurant). Click here to download or stream the podcast. It ?s about 12 minutes and 11 megabytes. This is probably the best sound quality I ?ve done yet, with very little hiss.

Wine Curmudgeon winecast 3: Winemaker Eric Cinnamon

image Eric Cinnamon, the winemaker for Gallo ?s Rancho Zabaco, was in town last week to attend the Savor Dallas food and wine festival. We talked about  what a winemaker does, what he likes (and dislikes) about the job, and how you can learn more about wine. He also managed to get in some plugs for his wine, which was neatly done.

To download or stream the podcast, go here. It ?s about 7.4 megs and 8 minutes. The recording is mostly solid, though there may be something that sounds like tape hiss (which was a nifty trick for a digital recording).

Wine Curmudgeon winecast 2: John Griffin

John Griffin is the dining editor and the wine columnist for the Express-News newspaper in San Antonio. We talked about Texas wine, pairing wine and food, and judging the San Antonio wine competition. To download or stream the podcast, click here. It ?s about 6 minutes and 5 1/2 MB.

I ?ve worked out many of the technical kinks. The podcast is even in stereo, more or less, though the ending is a little rough. As always, comments and pointers are welcome.

Wine Curmudgeon podcast: John Bratcher

image Here it is, as promised: The first in what will be a regular series of podcasts with wine people ? winemakers, wine writers and the like — sharing their knowledge, tips, and advice about the business and cheap wine. John Bratcher, of course, is my cohort in Two Wine Guys and a pioneer in the Texas wine business.

But we don ?t talk about Texas wine. It ?s mostly John ?s insight on finding cheap wine when you don ?t know how to start the process. It ?s about 10 minutes and less than 10 megs, but we cover a fair amount of ground. To download or stream the podcast, please click here.

Turned out pretty well, if I say so myself. There are a couple of technical things I need to improve, but the sound is clean and adequate. All in all, not bad for the Wine Curmudgeon, who hasn ?t played with a tape recorder since they were actually tape recorders.

A couple of notes: As always, comments are much appreciated. If you have a suggestion for the podcast, or someone for me to interview, let me know. And if anyone can offer any technical pointers, they ?d be much appreciated.