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Sip Sip Hooray! A Podcast From Mary Babbitt and Mary Orlin, Where Wine Is Always Fun, Tasty And Inspirational


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Sip Sip Hooray! A Podcast From Mary Babbitt and Mary Orlin, Where Wine Is Always Fun, Tasty And Inspirational



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Throwing Punches at the Traditional Wine World - Wine Culture with Miguel de Leon, Ep. 86

When you look at a restaurant's wine list, what do you see? Do you see equity, cultural and biodiversity, representation, affordability, fun? Our guest today believes all of that should be front and center on a wine list. Miguel de Leon has made a career and a celebrated name for himself as a wine professional of color in New York City, where he is currently the wine director at Pinch Chinese in Manhattan. When he's not running the wine program at Pinch, he's writing thought-provoking articles for the online magazine Punch that aren't afraid to throw a punch at the status quo of the wine world. He's brave and outspoken and just what the mostly white wine world needs today. Today, we'll explore where the wine industry and wine culture stands now in terms of progress, or lack thereof, on diversity, accessibility, equality and inclusiveness. Miguel has stirred up controversy with his writings for Punch, including "It's Time to Decolonize Wine," and "So Long to the Sommelier." Miguel has a point and is an important voice in what could be an inflection point in how we approach, talk and communicate about wine. Is it time for wine speak to die? Are somms fading away? You don't want to miss our lively discussion with Miguel.


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Our Top Tips For Visiting Napa Valley on a Budget, Ep. 85

The number one thing people always ask us is, can you do wine country on a budget? With the Napa Valley wine experience becoming more and more expensive, with wine tastings regularly costing upwards of $10, can you visit this incredible wine mecca without blowing a small fortune in the process? We, the Marys, say yes! You can be bougie on a budget in Napa Valley. We've got the inside scoop on the wine tastings for $50 or less, hotels in the $200 or less range, and restaurants that won't break the bank. We even got some freebies! Here's the list of all the places and experiences we mention. But you'll have to listen to the pod for all the great details and tips - you won't want to miss any of them!


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White Wine is In! The World Wine Guys Say So, Ep. 84

Is it time to turn to white wine? Wine drinkers are now choosing white wine more than red! Our guests, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, aka the World Wine Guys, are the perfect ambassadors for exploring the wide and delicious world of white wine. After all, their motto is, "We uncork your world." Mike and Jeff could have dedicated their new book, "White Wine, The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Essential Varieties and Styles" to us, the Marys, because we're such big wine white wine lovers. We'll get into all the tea on what it takes to author such an informative yet fun book. If you don't already have a white wine in your glass, this show will leave you craving a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or rich, aromatic Viognier. The World Wine Guys are prolific writers and travelers. Imagine a job where you get to travel around the world, visiting the most incredible wine regions, eating exotic and gourmet meals, and of course, savoring the world's best wines. A dream, right? Well, that pretty much sums up Mike and Jeff's lives. And today, we get to live vicariously through their wine-soaked adventures. You get the feeling that even their work isn't really work because it involves their absolute passion, wine.


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Laura Catena - Catena Zapata #1 Vineyard in the World, Malbec, WHO and More! Ep. 83

On the podcast today, a wine friend so busy we can't believe she's made time to visit us again. And she’s speaking to us from Mendoza, Argentina. Dr. Laura Catena is the managing director of one of the best known names in wine - Catena Zapata. Catena is admired around the world not only for incredible wines her family produces, but also for their stewardship of the land and efforts to make wine production more ecologically sustainable, as well as her tireless work to champion and preserve old vines and genetic diversity in wine. Laura is a fourth generation Argentine vintner whose winery was recently named the world's best vineyard to visit. It is such a pleasure to welcome Laura back to the podcast today - she was last on our pod in October 2020 - to talk about Malbec, the future of healthy wine consumption and what wineries can do to take care of people and the planet. So pour a glass of Malbec and welcome Laura back to Sip Sip Hooray!


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Cork's Comeback, Sustainability and Eliminating TCA Yay! With Amorim Cork, Ep. 82

We’ve become cork dorks! That’s right, while you may love the convenience and ease of screw caps, after today’s pod, you’ll never think about cork stoppers the same way. Sure, cork has been used for centuries to seal wine bottles, and, you may know it comes from the bark of cork oak trees. You may not know 60% of the world’s cork comes from Portugal. That’s one reason we’re excited to have Carlos de Jesus, Communications Director for Amorim Cork, the world’s largest cork producer, joining us on the pod from Amorim’s headquarters just outside of Porto. In August and September 2023, Mary Orlin visited Amorim’s two main factories and a cork oak farm while vacationing in Portugal. She met with several members of Amorim’s team, including Carlos, and was treated to an in-depth master class on cork. She was totally fascinated and wanted to share what she saw and learned with our podcast audience. Mary O says you may not think much about the cork stopper when you pull it from the bottle, but there’s a lot that goes into getting that cork there in the first place.Carlos will walk us through cork’s journey and also share how Amorim became the first cork manufacturer to identify and practically eliminate cork’s enemy, 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole, also known as TCA, cork taint or cork spoilage (which smells like musty basements or wet newspaper).Carlos is here today to talk about new progress in the world of wine corks.


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Wine Words Matter - Meg Maker and A New Language for Wine - Ep. 81

Does wine speak make your eyes roll or glaze over? One of the most intimidating things about wine isn't about what's in your glass - it's the words used to describe it. Do tasting notes that allude to a pasture in Southern France, stewed plums or brown spices (whatever those are!) turn you off from wine? You're not alone. The way we talk about and communicate sets wine apart from other alcoholic beverages. Maybe this is why younger consumers aren't big wine fans. Wine words matter. That's why today's guest, wine journalist, educator and Terroir founder Meg Maker says it's time for the languages of wine to change - and we the Marys, agree! Meg has been researching the lexicon - or language - of wine and shares some fascinating discoveries and perspectives. Lately she's been speaking and writing about a new approach to talking about wine. The goal - use words that are more welcoming, approachable and relatable, whether you're a wine pro or just love wine.


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Along the Northern Sonoma Wine Road with Podcasters Marcy Gordon and Beth Costa, Ep. 77

Want to know the inside tracks, the backroads and the best bets of the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley in northern Sonoma County? We got you! Our guests today co-host the popular, fun and informative award-winning podcast, The Wine Road. As they say, it's all about the wine when and where of Sonoma County. Marcy Gordon and Beth Costa are podcast pros! They've done 180+ episodes, extolling the delights of northern Sonoma County, from the redwood forests, the diverse growing regions, picturesque valleys and charming downtowns. Tune in and you'll learn about engaging wine personalities, incredible experiences and a diverse culinary culture. Recently Marcy and Beth hosted us, the Marys, on an episode of The Wine Road. ICYMI listen here. It's great to support other podcasters in the wine space and we sure had lots of laughs doing it. Join us for everything you wanted to know - and didn't know you needed to know - about northern Sonoma County along The Wine Road.


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Winemaker Aaron Lieberman's Secret for Making Wines Bloom at Willamette Valley's Iris Vineyards , Ep. 79

Meet winemaker Aaron Lieberman. All his life, Aaron's been volunteering and giving back, including a stint with the Peace Corp in Guatemala. Now he's tending vines and crafting fine wines at Iris Vineyards in the Willamette Valley, always with an eye towards improving every day. That's in line with the principle of areté. What has areté got to do with wine? Aaron Lieberman is happy to tell you - and he shares this secret to making wines bloom at Iris with the Marys on this episode of Sip Sip Hooray! Areté is an ancient Greek concept of striving to achieve full potential. It's a philosophy embraced by Iris Vineyards owners Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye. Aaron is also involved in the Willamette Valley Wineries Association's Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion (DEBI) Task Force. Over the years he has participated, supported and contributed to various LGBTQ and BIPOC events. So grab a glass, sit back and get to know Aaron and Iris Vineyards!


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Cheers to Our Sip Sip Hooray Top 12 Wine Holiday Gift Guide! Gifts for Every Budget and Last Minute Gifts.

We've made our list our list and we're checking it twice. Whether you're gifting the wine lovers in your life - or treating yourself, The Marys have got you covered! These are our top 12 picks - none of them sponsored so the list truly is all of our favorites. Sure it's easy to pick out some nice wines or bubbly, but our gift picks are sure to bring the holiday cheer to last much longer than an opened bottle of wine. Head to our show notes on Sip Sip Hooray Podcast for a complete list and links to every gift mentioned.


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A Family Wine Affair at Livermore Valley's Omega Road Winery, Ep. 76

Here at Sip Sip Hooray! we are all about making wine approachable, sharing peeks behind the label of some of your favorite wines and helping you discover some new wines. For this episode the Marys are in Livermore Valley at Omega Road Winery. This is a winery and story we want you to know. Today we've got a show about a daughter father duo who are making wine together as Omega Road Winery in California's Livermore Valley. And with the name like Omega, they may just wind up being the end all in wine. It's a family affair, as mom and the family dog are also involved! We are excited to introduce you to Alexandra Henkelman. She is Alex to her friends and we're sure she will feel like a friend by the end of this podcast. Alex is an active member in Livermore's wine community, supporting a growing cadre of women working in wine in the valley as a member of the Women's Wine Collective of Livermore Valley. Alex and her family just debuted their newly expanded tasting room, a beautiful and hip, cool place to hang out. It is exciting to see how the family has not only grown but thrived with the Omega Road label. We are thrilled to be here in the tasting room with Alex and her dog - and winery mascot - Millie.


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Rising out of the 2020 Wildfire Ashes - Big Basin Vineyards, Ep. 78

Three years have gone by since a devastating CZU Lightning Complex wildfire tore through California's Santa Cruz Mountains in August 2020, destroying the home of Big Basin Vineyards winemaker Bradley Brown. The fire damaged his vineyard, but spared his winery, even though it was very close to the flames. Since that time, Bradley and Big Basin have been coming back and in many ways, they are better than ever. In the immediate aftermath of the 2020, we hosted a podcast panel discussion with the winemakers impacted by the flames and smoke, and Bradley Brown was a participant. So today we are happy and grateful to welcome Bradley back to the podcast under happier circumstances, to talk about growth from the wildfire ashes, changes at Big Basin and in Bradley's life. Big Basin has a new tasting room and wine bar in Santa Cruz, CA, and the winery also brought back the popular Fireside Fridays at its Boulder Creek winery and vineyard. Mary O has a confession - she's been a Big Basin fan since at least 2010 and at one time, Big Basin wines were the #1 label in her collection, although she put a good dent in that during the pandemic.


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Napa Valley's Best Wine Tasting Experience! Gentleman Farmer Wines - Joey Wolosz and Jeff Durham, Ep 75

We love a winery with a manifesto, especially when one of the statements is "We are for wine with lunch on Mondays. To open the good stuff for no reason is the reason." It just makes life more fun right? You've never met vintners like Joey Wolosz and Jeff Durham of Napa's Gentleman Farmer Wines. This dynamic duo blows us away with their talent and all the things they do besides making wine. Joey is a fantastic chef, is working on a cookbook, plays the accordian, writes a monthly newsletter and publishes a quarterly magazine. Jeff is an avid farmer, plays the clarinet and provides comic relief. All this in addition to making amazing wine with one of our favorite winemakers, Jérôme Chéry! This doesn't even include their epic wine tastings, which are sit down full lunch affairs, all created from scratch by Joey. What's more, when you make an appointment to taste Gentleman Farmer Wines, you'll be sipping and breaking bread with Jeff and Joey, while nibbling on Joey's homemade dishes, crafted that morning. Mary O met Joey and Jeff when they were in Palm Springs for the first ever Equality Wine Fest in June 2022. We're thrilled to introduce you to these gentleman farmers, share their story and give you the inside scoop on their soon to open The Bungalow by Gentleman Farmer, A Studio for Gustatory Well-Being in downtown Napa.


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The Trending Thirst for Non-Alcoholic Wines with Studio Null Wines, Ep. 74

Welcome to #SoberOctober. If you're looking for good non-alcoholic wine, no matter the reason, this episode is your perfect pour. Call it sober curious, mindful or buzzless drinking, alcohol-free libations are growing in popularity and demand. Today's non-alcoholic wines are getting better and better, thanks to new technologies and creators redefining what low and no ABV (alcohol by volume) wines can be. It's only fitting now that #SoberOctober, an extension of Dry January and July, is here, that our guests are all in on everything fun about wine, minus the hangovers, and the calories. Catherine Diao and Dorothy Munholland founded Studio Null and immediately garnered rave reviews for their sparkling Rosé and red blends that all clock in at 25 calories/5 ounce glass. Null Wines recently released the first non-alcoholic Grüner Veltliner, called Grüner Weiss and the Marys are excited that we got to try it and we'll share our review with you. Also in this episode, Catherine and Dorothy explain what it takes to make Studio Null Wines, which start as full-blown wines, and then they remove the alcohol. It's a fascinating story best enjoyed with a non-alcoholic wine. We'll also hear the story of the artists behind Null Wines distinct labels.


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A love affair with Rhone varieties - Kim and Todd Engelhardt of Lion Ranch Vineyards Ep. 73

Sip Sip Hooray for Rhone wine varieties! Our guests today are a husband and wife winemaking team, working and living in California's Santa Clara Valley. This is a historic winemaking region, dating back to the 1798, but Kim and Todd Engelhardt are adding their own chapter to the story, buying property and planting vineyards on land that, in the late 1880s, was known as Lion Ranch. The Engelhardts went all in on Rhone wine varietals - and their honeymoon in the Rhone Valley sealed the deal. They visited Condrieu - where only Viognier is made - and fell in love with it. But they didn't just buy and drink Viognier - they built a wine business - Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery - around it. Now, with wines names like Lioness, Lion's Share and Alpha, this winery roars. Todd, an emergency room physician by night, handles organic farming, and the duo is moving into regenerative farming, along with incorporating Baby Doll sheep and bees into their ecosystem. Kim overseas the winery operations, sales and marketing and is the president of the winery association Wineries of Santa Clara Valley. Together they share winemaking duties. We're delighted that Kim and Todd are taking time to chat with us on the pod. We know you'll be smitten with them, their story, their approach to wine and, of course their wines.


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Wine and Wine Tank Photography - Livermore Valley's Rosa Fierro Cellars, Ep. 72

If you've ever dreamed of making a career switch to wine, our podcast today may just inspire you. Rosa Fierro went from legal assistant to winemaker and winery owner. It didn't happen overnight, and the journey wasn't without its twists and turns and stops and starts. But one of the reasons Rosie has made it work is because of the women who helped her out along the way. Today Livermore Valley's @Rosa Fierro Cellars is 100% female owned and operated. They are helping to change the narrative about what has been a male dominated wine world, and as Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox sing, sisters are doing it for themselves! The two Marys are at Rosie's winery and tasting room, in what we like to say is the vortex of winemaking in Northern California's Livermore Valley Wine Community, as she's surrounded by other wineries, a brewery and a distillery. Rosie has perhaps the most unique label art we've seen and it's very personal. Rosie also honors powerful, impactful women in a special way in her cellar. Grab a glass and join us for a great chat!


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Meet the New Ridge Vineyards Winemakers - Trester Goetting and Shauna Rosenblum, Ep. 71

We, the Marys, were honored to be invited to celebrate Ridge's 60th anniversary at a luncheon at the winery with legendary winemaker Paul Draper, his team, including head winemaker John Olney and Ridge's new winemakers Trester Goetting at Monte Bello and Shauna Rosenblum at Lytton Springs. They are both super talented, hard working, great people and both a lot of fun too, which is a good thing because they big shoes to fill. So how do you take on winemaking duties at a place so renowned for excellence as Ridge Vineyards? We find out today as we sit down with Trester and Shauna. Trester and Shauna are certainly artists in wine, but they're also artists in other aspects of their lives having to do with music, ceramics and sculpture. We are excited to introduce you to Trester and Shauna! They are dynamic, and bring amazing backgrounds in wine to Ridge. After listening to our super engaging chat, we think you'll agree that Ridge is in great hands for the next 60 plus years to come.


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History, Chemistry and the Best Wine Prices - Livermore Valley's Fenestra Winery, Ep. 70

From homemade cranberry wine to a dizzying array of more than 20 award winning wines, Fenestra Winery owner and founder Lanny Replogle is one of the best known and most respected vintners in California's Livermore Valley. Fenestra is known for crafting everything from Albariño to port and sharing the wines in a historic rustic property at affordable price points. Fenestra is Latin for window and we are excited that Lanny is joining us today to give us a window into his world. According to one local winemaker here in Livermore, Lanny is the historian of Livermore Valley Wine. This former chemistry teacher connects the technical to the artistic when it comes to winemaking and calls upon chemistry to name his art in a bottle: Conjugation, Infrared. Though Lanny retired back in 2018 that never really fully took. The Marys are thrilled that we could coax Lanny out of retirement to join us in person on the pod. He certainly charmed us, and we loved the variety of wines - such good sips at such great prices.


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A New Chapter for Carmel Valley's Joyce Wine Co. with Russell Joyce, Ep. 69

Russell Joyce's family landed in Monterey County, California, thanks to his father's love of car racing and the nearby Laguna Seca Raceway. Ever since, Russell's been in the driver's seat of his family's grape growing and winemaking endeavors at Joyce Wine Company, with a commitment to minimalist winemaking and working with organically grown grapes. Vineyards and wine have been a mainstay of his life, ever since he was a little boy, working with his father, who planted their first vineyard behind the family home. Today, Russell's enjoying sharing his passion with his young son. Russell's also helping preserve the past, recently acquiring a historic winery property in southern Monterey County, in the Arroyo Seco AVA. Russell and his wife Charlotte have been renovating the historic former Ventana Winery site, now home to Joyce Wine Co.'s winemaking facilities. You can visit and taste the Joyce wines here among the vines, and you can also experience the wines at the Carmel Road tasting room. The Marys chat with Russell about his road to wine and the newest chapter in his family's wine journey.


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MLB's 1st Master Sommelier - And Your Wine ?s Answered! Evan Goldstein, Ep. 68

Summer is here, and we're celebrating Americia's pastime, baseball! When you get to the ballpark, you're most likely eating hotdogs and drinking a cold beer. But our guest and friend of the pod, Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, wants you to change up your game and try swirling and sipping a glass of wine instead. He's Major League Baseball's first team Master Sommelier, and Evan's joined the roster of his beloved San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. The Marys are thrilled to welcome Evan to Sip Sip Hooray for a second time at bat. He's back by popular demand! He'll give us the scoop on the lineup of wines to pair with baseball and stadium food. Plus, he's answering wine questions that you, our listeners, have always wanted to ask a somm.


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Wine, art, music and cannabis at Darcie Kent Estate Winery with Darcie Kent, Ep. 67

There's a saying that wine is art in a glass. For 5th generation vintner Darcie Kent, that's always been true. Darcie has helped shape the modern Livermore Valley, California wine scene, first with her wine and her paintings, then with a live music venue. For one, she's championing Livermore Valley Grüner Veltliner. And, she's working to bring in new folks into wine, whether through art, music, or, yes, cannabis. We first met Darcie Kent, her husband David and daughters Kailyn and Amanda more than 20 years ago, filming a story with them about their new wine label, Darcie Kent Vineyards, for our NBC TV show In Wine Country. Back then, Darcie was "Almost Famous," thanks to her first wine release of a Livermore Valley Merlot. Her own grapevine painting adorned the label. Fast forward to 2023 and we are so happy to be back with Darcie at Darcie Kent Estate Winery in Livermore Valley. Her girls are grown -- they are 6th generation vintners! The family has a few new ventures in addition to wine! Darcie moved her winery's home base to a spot in the heart of Livermore Valley - famously owned by Bing Crosby - where she combines her wines, her art and a stand alone dispensary. She and her family also opened the Almost Famous Wine Company, a live music venue where wine pairs perfectly with local and national bands.