Category:Podcasts

Winecast 20: Don Brady, Robert Hall Winery

don-bradyDon Brady, the winemaker at Paso Robles ? Robert Hall Winery, is something of a legend in Texas. He worked for three of the state ?s best-known producers before going to California, where he has become one of the best winemakers there.

Brady is also, for some reason, not as well known as he should be. His wines not only offer value ? the $10 rose, the $15 sauvignon blanc, and the $15 Rhone de Robles red blend are revelations in a world of over-priced, cute label plonk ? but they reflect the terroir of his part of Paso Robles without concern for scores or ratings.  Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay: I once voted to give his 14 1/2 percent, oaked viogner a gold medal, and regular visitors know how I feel about high alcohol, over-oaked wine.

We talked about Don ?s start in Texas, his approach to winemaking, and how he manages to make such wonderful wines. Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 19 minutes long and takes up 18 1/2 megabytes. One caveat: Skype didn ?t cooperate the way it usually does, and there is a hum in certain parts of the recording.

Winecast 19: Tim McNally, The Wine Show

TimMcNally2Tim McNally hosts a wine radio show, writes extensively about wine, and judges some of the most important wine competitions in the world. In other words, he knows more than most of us about the wine business — and is more than happy to share. Or, as Tim says about our tendency to drink specific wines because we're told they're good: "If wine doesn't give you great pleasure, then don't drink it."

Tim and I talked about wine intimidation and how to overcome it, the changes in the wine business and especially in the quality of cheap wine, and he even called me out once or twice. Can't get a better guest than that.

Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 14 1/2 minutes long and takes up 13 megabytes.

Winecast 18: DLW 2012: Colorado

DLW 2012: ColoradoWhat better way to get ready for DLW 2012: Colorado next week than with a podcast featuring Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post and the Wine Curmudgeon, DrinkLocalWine's co-founders?

We talk about the conference's history, what we'll be doing in Denver during the conference, including the seminars and Nomacorc-Colorado Twitter Taste-off, and discuss the respect that local wine has earned over the past four or five years. And we give ticket information; those of you who want to come should pay attention, since we're selling them faster than ever and headed for a sellout.

We also touch briefly on how old we are and the difficulty each of us has with drinking wine and tweeting at the same time. And Dave has to remind me to give the hash tags for the Twitter Taste-off. You can tell I'm firmly part of this social media thing.

We didn't mention the Amtrak ticket giveway, where you can win two roundtrip tickets between Denver and Grand Junction in the Colorado wine country, but it's not too late to enter. Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 17 minutes long and takes up 16 megabytes.

The Wine Curmudgeon on iWineRadio

Lynn Krielow Chamberlain of iWineRadio has long been an ardent supporter of regional wine, and it's always a pleasure to do an interview with her. This one talks about our upcoming DrinkLocalWine conference in Denver and the Colorado Blind Challenge.

The challenge is something new this year, and part of the Wine Curmudgeo's firm belief that wine should be a specator sport. We have lined up three wine experts, who will will taste similar California and Colorado wines blind and try to tell the difference — in front of a live audience.

Click here for the mp3 version of the interview.

Winecast 17: Peter Mondavi Jr., Charles Krug Winery

Yes, that would be that Mondavi family. Peter's father, Peter Sr., ran Charles Krug with his brother Robert, who left in 1966 to start the Robert Mondavi Winery (now owned by Constellation Brands). And yes, there was controversy.

Peter Jr. and his brother Marc run the family business today, and Peter Sr., who will be 97 in November, still keeps an eye on things. The winery, meanwhile, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

We talked about the state of the wine business today, about what consumers can do to find value in wine, and about the early days of the modern California wine business — when, says Peter with a laugh, a lot of the wine was not very good, and when many California producers weren't quite sure about what they were doing. (Note to my friends in the regional wine business as we prepare for DLW 2011: Missouri: Pay close attention to that part of the interview.)

Peter's best advice? It's OK not to like wine that other people say you should like. Really. Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 10 minutes long and takes up 10 megabytes.

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.

, , ,

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.

, , ,