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Wine Enthusiast Podcast

The Wine Enthusiast Podcast takes you on a tantalizing trip into the world of wine, beer and spirits. Drink up engaging, behind-the-scenes stories reported and recorded by Wine Enthusiast’s editors. In each episode, we explore emerging trends, provide educational tidbits, and introduce you to the passionate people who craft, shake, ferment, and pour their beverage of choice. Inside every bottle is a story.
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Now displaying: Page 2
Feb 2, 2022

While winter across America might be unwelcome for those who prefer sunshine and warmth, for others, the frosty conditions present a unique world of opportunity.

For our three guests this week—Dave Breeden from Sheldrake Point Winery, Karlton Graham from KC Bier Co., and Eleanor Leger from Eden Specialty Ciders—the polar temperatures mean the perfect conditions for creating ice beverages like ice wine, cider and beer.

With the help and expertise of our guests, Contributing Editor John Holl leads a curious exploration into this frost-loving category, including talking about the process, history, innovation and flavors.

So grab a glass of your favorite cold-weather pour and listen up to learn more about the magic of ice drinks of all types.

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Jan 19, 2022

If you or someone you know isn't drinking alcohol for any reason at all, you have options. The non-alcoholic drinks space is evolving. Bars dedicated to booze-free hospitality offer creative menus, and there are scores of spirit-free bottles of booze, beer and wine at specialty shops and digital retailers.

In this episode, Associate Managing Editor Emily Saladino explores non-alcoholic drinks culture with John deBary, a semi-retired bartender who is also an author, creator and CEO of Proteau, and cofounder and board president of Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation. They're joined by Dylan Garret, another semi-retired bartender and senior editor at Wine Enthusiast

They discuss how the cocktail lounges of the early aughts and 2010s precipitated the rise of non-alcoholic drinks, and how those of us who do and don't drink alcohol can't raise glasses to a more inclusive scene moving forward. 

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Jan 5, 2022

With the new year here, so are resolutions to make the most of the 12 months ahead. Sure, there are many classic goals to try and achieve a better version of you, but today, we’re talking resolutions for what you pour, sip and enjoy in your glass.

There are countless ways to try and drink more adventurously in the year to come, including popping open precious bottles now; exploring new drink categories or emerging regions, varieties and styles; or learning more about the products you love and the people who make them.

In this episode, we take a fresh look at what lies ahead, specifically for our glasses.

Managing Editor Lauren Buzzeo talks with Tasting Director Alexander Peartree and Beer Editor John Holl about how we plan to drink better and broader in the year to come. Wine, beer, cider, spirit, seltzer or just about anything else—we have a lot of ideas about how we can make the year ahead more delicious than the last.

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Dec 22, 2021

As the end of another year rapidly approaches, one seasonal drink seems to be top of everyone’s mind: Sparkling wine.

But with so many types of bubbles to choose from, how do you know where to turn? From different production techniques and variety compositions to questions of food pairings and glassware, the possibilities seem near endless.

In this episode, Associate Managing Editor Layla Schlack talks with Assistant Tasting Director Fiona Adams and Assistant Digital Editor J’nai Gaither about all things sparkling, including their fave picks and tips for bubbly bliss.

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Dec 8, 2021

People love to talk about wine and food pairings, pairing complementary foods and invoking the tried-and-true mantra of “what grows together, goes together.”

But maybe it’s time to take a fresh approach to pairings.

When Napa Valley-based wine consultant Jean Hoefliger is asked how to pair wine and food, he responds by saying, “I don’t pair wine and food. I pair wine and mood. For me, it’s about the moment and the company. Nobody drinks a bottle of wine looking at their watch. You stop time and focus on the moment and the people you are in conversation with.”

Sounds so fantastically obvious and brilliantly genius, right?

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone taps Hoefliger for the best tips to pair wine and mood with a variety of personalities and occasions around the holiday season.

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Nov 24, 2021

What makes a drink festive? What makes it unique, or holiday-worthy? Is it the ingredients? The history? The people you enjoy it with?

Maybe it’s a little bit of everything.

In this episode, we take a look at festive drinks for the holiday season.

Spirits Editor Kara Newman speaks with beverage pros Jackie Summers, founder of Jack from Brooklyn and creator of Sorel Liqueur, and Joanna Carpenter, a bartender, beverage consultant and equity, diversity and inclusion educator. They discuss what makes a drink festive, including the traditions behind it, the people who make it, and how and with whom to best enjoy it.

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Nov 10, 2021

Producers being known for just one thing is rapidly becoming a dated concept. “Beverage companies” is the new “it” term. While breweries diversifying their drink portfolios have become quite common, wine production is also finding a place in this new mixed-up world of wonder.

In this episode, we venture down the path of blending beverage worlds. Beer Editor John Holl speaks with three winemakers who are beer-space adjacent to get the latest info on this exciting crossover space: Jennifer Currier, head winemaker for Vīdl Wines in North Carolina; Mitch Ermatinger, owner of Native Species Winery in Michigan; and Travis Green, winemaker at the Odell Wine Project in Colorado. 

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Oct 27, 2021

In this episode, we explore the world of aromatic white wines from California's Central Coast.

Contributing Editor Matt Kettmann speaks with John Niven, Owner/Winemaker at Cadre Wines, about these delicious and exciting selections. 

From super racy and stony Rieslings to strong examples of Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner and Albariño, there's a bevy of beautiful, ethereal pours from the expansive region to behold, all deserving of your attention.

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Oct 13, 2021

In honor of making it to our 100th episode, we have something special in store: We turned to some of our most opinionated staff editors to collect 100 recommendations for wines we love.

Whether it’s a special occasion, an achievement earned, a milestone reached or just plain-old making it through a Monday, we talk about some of our favorite pours to pop and enjoy right now to make every moment, no matter how big or small, deliciously count.

From Baja Garnacha and Special Club Champagne to Riesling from all around the globe and, stellar South African pours of all types and styles, it’s such an exciting time to be a wine lover, with so many wonderful bottles to try and stories behind them. Here are some of our faves.

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Sep 29, 2021

While we all love getting out and about, the past year has forced us to rethink the communal status quo and consider how we can connect without being in the same physical space. Enter the internet and all of the possibility it holds to create virtual gathering spaces for a variety of needs, including sharing a glass and building your wine community online. In this episode, we speak to two of this year's 40 Under 40 Tastemakers—Laura Brown, Cofounder of Uncorked Access and Wine Educator at Vin Social; and Alex Schrecengost, founder and CEO of Virtual With Us and Culture With Us—about our redefined expectations on what it means to wine together while remaining apart.

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Sep 15, 2021

Above all other established styles, all of the trends, all of the brewer wishes, the India pale ale remains the best-selling style in the craft beer space. Why is it so popular and why is it seemingly unstoppable?

In this episode, the second in our three-part series highlighting some of this year’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers, we dive into everyone’s favorite love-it-or-hate-it beer style: IPA.

Beer Editor John Holl speaks with three people from this year’s 40 Under 40 list—Lisa Allen of Heater Allen Brewing in McMinnville, OR; Bill Shufelt of Athletic Brewing in Stratford, CT; and Doug Veliky of Revolution Brewing in Chicago, IL—about the good, the bad and the in between on all things IPA.

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Sep 1, 2021

In this episode, Associate Managing Editor Emily Saladino speaks with 40 Under 40 honorees Shanika Hillocks and Isis Daniel about the role of social media in wine business and culture. What makes for compelling social content in the wine world, and how can wine companies, professionals and casual drinkers better harness the power of Instagram, TikTok and beyond? Hillocks and Daniel share tips from their work as social media experts and discuss where they see social wine communities headed.

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Aug 18, 2021

Over the past few years, hard seltzer has taken over the drinks world. Has the bubble burst? Or, is it about to take a different shape?

Say hello to wine-based seltzers. While most hard seltzers are made from fermented sugars, specifically malt, these drinks use wine as a boozy base. And more winemakers are getting into the seltzer game.

To explore this space, Managing Editor Lauren Buzzeo speaks with Andrew Nelson, Managing Partner and President at War Room Cellars, a company that produces the wine seltzer Bubble Butt, among others.

 

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Aug 4, 2021

A lot has happened in the South African wine industry over the past year-plus. Since the start of the global pandemic, it has faced numerous obstacles.

The first Covid-19-related restrictions came in March 2020. Since then, there have been multiple starts and stops to alcohol sale, transport and export. Figures have estimated billions of dollars of revenue lost, as well as hundreds of thousands of drinks-industry jobs.

But simultaneously, the country has maintained international relationships, improved global standing and further honed-in on its own brand and messaging, leading to improved quality overall.

Managing Editor Lauren Buzzeo catches up on the current state of affairs for South African wine with Jim Clarke, Marketing Manager for trade group Wines of South Africa USA as well as author of the book The Wines of South Africa.

There’s clearly been a lot of recent change in the South African wine industry. Some good, some bad, some still to be fully determined. But at the end of the day, the takeaway remains—there’s truly never been a better time to drink South African wine.

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Jul 21, 2021

With summer in full swing and many eager to return to in-person gatherings, we take a look at how to make summer entertaining extra special this year. In this episode, Associate Managing Editor of Print Layla Schlack talks to two sommeliers about crowd-pleasing bottles that go with anything you might be serving at your barbecue or picnic, as well as what to bust out to make any summer gathering feel like a party.

Joining Layla is Cory Holt, a sommelier with Union Square Hospitality Group and founder of Bridges Wine Culture consulting, and Tahiirah Habibi, founder of Hue Society and a previous 40 Under 40 honoree. They’re both serving up bubbles, magnums and more this summer, so grab your glass and get ready for all the pro tips to making this summer wine sensational.

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Jul 7, 2021

Though largely associated with big, international brewing companies, lagers are having a craft moment.

To tap into the trend, Beer Editor John Holl speaks with Todd DiMatteo, owner and brewer of Good Word Brewing & Public House in Georgia, and Khristopher Johnson, founding brewer and co-owner of Green Bench Brewery in Florida, about the current state of American craft lagers, and where to turn for your next delicious sip.

From familiar styles with new-age hops to collaborations that revive forgotten substyles, there sure is a lot of love for lagers these days. So grab a pint of your favorite cold one and enjoy the lager lowdown.

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Jun 23, 2021

Winemakers across Italy produce a wide range of sparkling wines. From assorted appellations and using different grape varieties and techniques, a beautiful array of offerings can be found from the country.

But with so much variety, it can be a little tricky to know exactly what kind of final wine you should expect in any given glass.

To help break it down, Tasting Director Alexander Peartree talks with Giuseppe LoCascio, Chief Everything Officer of Vntners and Lucidity Wine Merchants, about four of the country’s prominent sparkling wine selections: Prosecco, Franciacorta, Trentodoc and Lambrusco.

They cover what sets each of these sparkling wines apart, and why they are great go-tos for any occasion.

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Jun 9, 2021

In this episode, Associate Managing Editor of Digital, Emily Saladino, speaks with sommelier and natural wine consultant Margot Mazur and The Lotus and the Vines founder Larissa Dubose. The three discuss how climate change and last year’s wildfires played a vital role in how winemakers pivoted from full-bodied reds to rosés with minimal skin contact. They also explore the style’s recent history, popularity and where might the great pink wave be off to next. Dubose also highlights the importance of exploring food inclusivity by pairing rosé with dishes from different cultures and locales, like the Caribbean and Philippines.

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May 26, 2021

Australia has a long history of wine production, dating back around 200 years. In that time, the country has built a reputation for quality offerings that can compete globally.

But broad understanding of Australia’s winemaking origins, especially the influence of Aboriginal culture, is sparse, and the contributions of the First Nations People of Australia are often overlooked or undervalued.

To understand more about the country’s drinks history and its impact on Australia’s wine world today, Contributing Editor Christina Pickard speaks to drinks industry veterans Curly Haslam-Coates and Gary Green.

Their conversations demonstrate how programs and producers are advancing modern dialogues.

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May 12, 2021

In this episode, we go a little deep and talk about a somewhat philosophical question. Is wine art? Wine drinkers often romanticize the art and poetry of winemaking, but it’s impossible to ignore the science behind wine production. At the end of the day, perhaps wine is just a product, a commodity, based in science and with a clear method for optimal production?

Care to fall down this rabbit hole with us?

Managing Editor Lauren Buzzeo speaks to Winemaker/Vineyard Manager Rachel Rose of Bryn Mawr Vineyards in Salem, Oregon, to discuss the reality of making wine, and if what’s in the bottle can truly be considered art.

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Apr 28, 2021

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Apr 14, 2021

Natural wine often falls into a love it or hate it conversation, but why? In search of answers, we talk to Meri Lugo of Domestique Wine shop, a retailer from the natty side, and Charles Springfield, a somm who deals in more traditional bottles, to find out what it is about this category that inspires such heated debate. We discuss some of the perceptions and misunderstandings among natural and conventional wine lovers, as well as how one can get over the hump to expand your palate.

 

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Mar 31, 2021

The second in our two-part series to honor Women’s History Month, this episode of the Wine Enthusiast Podcast features some of the leading ladies of the California wine scene who are driving the industry forward today. 

To kick things off, Contributing Editor Virginie Boone speaks with Amanda Wittstrom Higgins, president and founder of Dream Big Darling, cofounder of Wine Speak Paso Robles and VP of operations at Ancient Peaks Winery, about the importance of finding your tribe and building your support network, as well as mentoring and amplifying others’ voices.

We also speak with Ana Keller of Keller Estate, who centers her conversation around respecting the land and the community around you, and how organizations can champion change. Innovative and inspiring, Keller advocates attention to farming for the future and applying best and sustainable practices for the greater good of generations to come.

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Mar 17, 2021

The first in a two-part series to honor Women’s History Month, this episode of the Wine Enthusiast Podcast features some of the leading ladies of the California wine scene who are driving the industry forward today. Carolyn and Aly Wente of Wente Vineyards talk about how they maintain their family business. Also in this episode is Remi Cohen, the second CEO of iconic California brand Domaine Carneros, who shares how her decades of experience have helped shape her role and perspectives today.

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Mar 3, 2021

Chardonnay may be the world's most popular white wine grape, but consumers tend to gravitate to two iconic areas when shopping for the stuff: Burgundy and California. It's time to think about the bridge that brings those two worlds, Old and New, together in one delicious sip: South Africa.

Graham Weerts, winemaker for Capensis Wines in South Africa as well as winemaker at Stonestreet Estate in California’s Alexander Valley and Senior Vice President of Vineyard Operations for Jackson Family Wines, helps us explore why the country should be in your regular rotation for exemplary Chards of brilliance and balance.

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