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Winephabet Street; X is for Xinomavro

On today’s episode, we are returning to Winephabet Street. Today’s letter of the day is X is it stands for Xinomavro (KSEE NO MAVRO). Xinomavro itself is a conjunction of the Greek words for acid and black, although this is often translated as black and sour. I was able to find a bottle at a local wine shop for $14.99 and I have to honestly say it would be case worthy. But since this there was only one bottle left, that does not seem to be in my future. It was not an easy bottle for Debbie...


Are Wine Gadgets Worth Your Money? Wine Writers' Wrap Up

It’s time to grab a glass and join my write writing friends as we delve into the world of wine! It’s the best world, isn’t it? Today, we are chatting about wine gadgets. By definition a gadget is an often small mechanical or electronic device with a practical use but often thought of as a novelty. Joining me are Michael Kelly, Debbie Gioquindo, Rick Dean, Maria Ferrora and Nick Berube. We discuss some of the top purchased wine gadgets in 2019 and give our opinions on whether they are worth...


Hudson Valley Cab Franc Coalition

Today’s podcast is all about Cab Franc Baby! If you are listening to this podcast, you know that Cab Franc is my passion. I created Cab Franc Day back in 2015. That first year, I hosted a twitter chat and could not believe my eyes when I saw it trending on Twitter. Just behind cookie day. It’s tough to beat a cookie! Since then my holiday has made it international. It is celebrated across the globe and I have no idea how it happened, but sometimes you don’t need to know the why, you just...


Rioja Railway Wine Master Class

Today I have a special treat for you. It is another Master Class. Once again led by the wonderful Pedro Ballesteros Torres. This class was held at Milk in NYC and was run in conjunction with the Rioja Railway Wine Experience. The grand tasting took place on a section of the High Line. All of the wineries that participated are from a specific region within Rioja that became more viable thanks to the railway coming through their region. During the Master Class, we were privileged to taste...


Winephabet Street; W is for Weissburgunder

Ah, its time to return to Winephabet Street! Today’s letter of the day is W! Weissburgunder is the German name for Pinot Blanc. It is a white berried mutation of Pinot Noir, which is part of the larger family of Burgundian vines. We had to do a little thinking outside the box again for this episode, since neither Debbie nor I could find an actual Weissburgunder, so Pinot Blanc was in our glass. Just as an FYI, we had some technical difficulty with this one, midstream. But the professionals...


Discussing Paso Robles with Lauren Lekai

Welcome to episode 105! This is the first episode in which I am introducing you to our new brand; Exploring the Wine Glass. If you are a subscriber, I have been told there is nothing you will need to do - the change will be seamless, and the new name will be coming soon! I will never tell you what to drink.. but I will always share what's in my glass. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Today I am talking all things Paso Robles with my friend Lauren Lekai. Lauren is the owner of...


Wine Tasting Tips; Wine Writers' Wrap Up

Welcome to Episode 106! Today I am back with my wine writing friends and we are discussing our top tips for wine tasting. We aren’t talking about the do’s and don’ts while at a winery, we are sharing our ideas on how to become more comfortable describing the wine we drink! The systematic approach we use to recording tasting notes, different schools of thought on analysis. The three levels of a wines aromatic profile and what we consider a good, bad or indifferent wine. Of course, we end with...


Curator of 45,000 bottles: Susanne Wagner, Crystal Springs Restaurant Latour

Last month, I was a guest of the New Jersey Wine and Food Festival held at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ. I had the opportunity to sit down with Susanne Wagner, the wine director for Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs. Susanne studied at the International Wine Cellar in Manhattan and has completed advanced certifications. She has been in the wine industry for more than 30 years. Susanne gave me a personal tour of their magnificent wine celler before sitting down for a little...


A Sparkling New World Brasil Master Class

Welcome to Dracaena Wines Podcast! Hope you all have had a great week! Today I am sharing another Master Class. This time, it is about the Sparkling wines of Brazil. I know Brazil isn’t at the tip of our tongue when it comes to discussing Sparkling, but after tasting several examples, I am excited to say they truly are worth seeking out. The class was run by Susannah Gold, a wine and spirits WSET diploma graduate, one of only a handful of Americans in the Associazione Italiana Sommelier...


Winephabet Street; V is for Valdiguie

Welcome to Winephabet Street on Dracaena Wines Podcast! Today the letter of the day is V and it stands for Valdiguie! This was the first time I had ever heard of this grape variety – these are the episodes I love the most, when I get to dive into a new to me grape! Valdiguie (VAL-D-GAY) was originally known as Gros Auxerois ( GROW AWX-CER-WAH) in the 19th century. It was preferred by growers because it was resistance to powdery mildew and had high productivity. So go ahead, uncork, unscrew...


New Zealand Wines Master Class

While attending VinExpo earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend Decanter’s Wines of New Zealand Master Class. I was happy to get in, since this event that was actually the last tasting on the final day of the exhibit sold out quickly. It was hosted by Elin McCoy, the wine award-winning journalist and author. She is a wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg News, and is a columnist for Decanter magazine. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was the wine that started the New Zealand Sauv...


Wine Pairing Fairy Tales; Wine Writer Wrap Up

Welcome to episode 101 of Dracaena Wines Podcast. Today I am joined by my wine writer friends as we discuss Wine Pairing Fairy Tales. There are the textbook pairings, but do we really need to follow them? What if your palate doesn’t agree with what they recommend? Well, we are here to provide you with some options. We discuss some of our favorite pairings as well as some of our biggest mistakes! Those pairings that will go down in history as the worse thing we tried to do- but we survived...


My 100th Celebration with We Like Drinking

Holy Crap! 100!!! I can’t believe that I have reached this milestone. It feels like yesterday I was just learning what a podcast was and what that dang purple apple app was. When I decided to give podcasting a try, I reached out to my friends Jeff & Jeff. We met in real life at the Wine Bloggers Conference a couple of years ago and we had a blast. I don’t think I laughed as hard ever as when I was with them and they are a top reason why I got into podcasting. If you aren’t familiar with...


Winephabet Street; U is for United Kingdom

Today, we traveled across the pond to the United Kingdom. We had a tough time securing the wine for the episode, but the challenge was well worth it! Listen in as we discuss United Kingdom Sparkling Wine! As we found out, only 4% of the wine is exported; giving a good reason why it was so difficult to find a bottle. As of 2014, the UK ranks 6th in the world for overall wine consumption rather than producing it. So it isn’t odd that most people don’t think about England as producing top...


Brazilian Wine Sparkles

Welcome to episode 98 of Dracaena Wines Podcast! I am still in New York City at the VinExpo, but today I am talking Bubbles! when you hear the words “amazing sparkling wine,” where do you think of? France? Probably. The U.S., Spain, or Italy? Absolutely, BUT I am here to share with you a new region for you to explore exceptional Sparkling – Brazil! Today I am interviewing representatives of a few wineries that produce Sparkling wine in Brazil. The winery size varies from boutique wines to...


Beaujolais Spirit of Sharing

Welcome to episode 97 of Dracaena Wines Podcast! It is wine season in New York, and I am all in! While at VinExpo, I attended a class on Beaujolais with Advanced Sommelier Arthur Hon. Beaujolais is a wine region located just north of Lyon in eastern France. The 12 appellations have mostly granite soil and produce exceptional wines from the Gamay grape. 98% of the wine production is red. I was excited to attend this Master Class because I first fell in love with Beaujolais when Debbie...


Garnacha Unveiled; From Carinena to the World

Welcome to episode 96 of Dracaena Wines Podcast! Today I have another Master Class for you. I attended VinExpo in New York City in early March and registered for the Garnacha Enveiled; From Carinena to the World hosted by Master of Wine Pedro Ballesteros. It was an interesting class in that instead of focusing on a single region, it truly focused on the grape variety itself. Where and how it grows, the soils it likes and provided us with the opportunity to taste different Garnachas from...


Wine Making Techinques; Should They Be Considered Cheating?

Welcome to episode 95 of Dracaena Wines Podcast! I can’t believe I have doing this for 95 weeks and that my 100 episode is just around the corner! Time sure flies when you are talking wine! In today’s episode, I sat down with three of my wine writer friends and we discussed Wine making strategies and whether they should be considered cheating. I think cheating might not have been the best term, but I was trying to ask the question if wine should be made without any human interaction. We...


Winephabet Street; T is for Tannat

Welcome to another episode of Winephabet Street! Today, the letter of the day is T and it stands for Tannat. A grape variety that may not be as well known as many others, but is definitely on an upward trend. Tannat is a red-wine grape whose origins lie in the Basque country, on the border between France and Spain. Here, in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains, the terrain is rough and rugged, so it is only fitting that Tannat should create wines which are equally deep, dark, dry and...


Stu Smith of Smith-Madrone Part 2

Today’s episode is a continuation of last week’s podcast. If you haven’t listened to that one, it won’t be an issue to listen to this one first, but I know you are going to want to go back and give episode 92 a listen! My guest Stu Smith is, what I call, a maverick in the wine industry. Purchasing his land on Spring Mountain in 1971, he is a staple in the Napa Wine Industry and someone that I look up to as a winemaker. Join us for part two of our conversation! In this episode, we totally get...