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Wine for Normal People

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A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. Our goal is to share our observations and make wine easy, accessible, and interesting to people who like it.

A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. Our goal is to share our observations and make wine easy, accessible, and interesting to people who like it.
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A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. Our goal is to share our observations and make wine easy, accessible, and interesting to people who like it.




Ep 229: The Grape Miniseries, Barbera

A grape that MUST be in your arsenal, especially if you like Italian food, Barbera is diverse, food friendly, and darn tasty. The trick to the grape is to figure out the style you like and the place it's made. In this podcast we cover it all! Overview: About the Grape The Wine Appellations Italy Other regions: California Other US:Australia:Argentina:Greece, Israel, Uruguay Thank you to our sponsors this week: YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us...


Ep 228: The Greats - Châteauneuf-du-Pape

We begin a new series on the great wines of the world. Every so often we will profile one of the greatest wines on earth, talking about the history, the terroir, and why these wines are so special. We begin with the Southern Rhône gem: Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here are some of the notes from the show: The Greats: Chateauneuf du Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Location History: “Pope’s new castle” is translation Grapes The Land: Variation – soils, mix of grapes, mesoclimates, differences...


Ep 226: Derek Van Dam, CNN Weatherman on Weather and Wine

Famous CNN weatherman and meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, comes on to school us about how weather and climate work and we discusstheir effects on vineyards and regions the world 'round. A fun, lively show with a great friend and smart guy! Follow Derek on Social Media!!! @VanDamCNNFacebookInstagram Here are some of the topics we discuss: 1. The difference between weather and climate 2. What is climate change? How many years of data do we use to predict or confirm it? What is climate...


Ep 226: Bucher Vineyards, true farmers in Russian River Valley of Sonoma, CA

In one of our final in the series spotlighting small Sonoma producers, we meet Diane and John Bucher of Bucher Vineyards and Bucher Farms. This is a podcast truly about terroir and farming, when you get down to it --John Bucher is a fourth generation farmer, and this show is unique because his perspective is so focused on the land and on farming. It's fantastic! Bucher Vineyards and Farms is not just a grape growing and winemaking concern. It's an organic dairy farm with over 400 cows AND...


Ep 225: Kathleen Inman, Pinot Noir Goddess of Inman Family Wines, Sonoma, CA

This week, we are honored to have Kathleen Inman – winegrower, winemaker, forklift driver, salesperson – of Inman Family Wines. She started Inman with the 2000 planting of a plot of land - Olivet Grange Vineyard (OGV), on the corner of Piner Road and Olivet Lane in the Russian River valley. A little over 10 acres, it’s mostly Pinot noir with some Pinot gris, but we’ll talk about 3 acres or so for vegetables and herbs, which seems so relevant and important to Kathleen’s story, and all the...


Ep 224: Ana Keller of Keller Estate in the brand new Petaluma Gap AVA of Sonoma, CA

Continuing the Women in Wine series for Women's History Month 2018, I speak with Ana Keller of Keller Estate. She helped establish the Petaluma Gap American Viticultural Area (AVA), which is Sonoma's newest cool climate appellation making excellent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Ana is one of the only women of Mexican heritage running a wine estate, and she is simply amazing. Here are some of the notes from our conversation: Please support our (delicious) sponsor, HelloFresh: A...


Ep 223: North Canterbury, New Zealand's Hidden Gem with Simone Madden-Grey

Fresh off an amazing trip to the North Canterbury region, just north of Christchurch on the South Island of her homeland, New Zealand, Simone Madden-Grey let's us in on a little known region that we all need to try (and visit): North Canterbury. Here are some quick notes from the show: Wineries and Vineyards of North Canterbury and Waipara Bell Hill Vineyard – Bellbird Spring – Black Estate –...


Ep 222: Meeker Wine of Sonoma, CA with Lucas Meeker, the Next Gen of CA Wine

This week, Lucas Meeker of Meeker Wine -- a Millennial winemaker who has taken the helm of winemaking and operations at this Sonoma favorite. In his philosophical, intellectual way, Lucas recounts stories of the winery's early days and then discusses everything from additives in wine, to how wine is like vocal range. Lucas graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University with High Honors in English in 2007, but he returned home to the family winery with plans to eventually head to...


Ep 221: Campana Ranch Winery -- An Historical Legacy of Napa, An Entrepreneur's Story in Sonoma

Steve and Sher Bell of Campana Ranch discuss Steve's storied past, which included working for the Mondavis during their family split, early days in Napa, and what brought him and Sher to craft the beautiful wines they make in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma today. Here are some more detailed notes: A fantastic show. I hope you find it as fascinating as I did!!! Thanks to this week's sponsor who makes the podcast possible! The Great Courses Plus -- who makes you smarter and...


Ep 220: Crux Winery -- Putting the Rhone into Russian River Valley of Sonoma, CA

Crux Winery owners Brian Callahan and Steven Gower (some of the nicest dudes you ever want to meet) craft small lots of Rhône varietals–Grenache, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache Blanc and Viognier–with some Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. Their wines capture the unique characteristics of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley and are rich, complex and balanced, without excessive alcohol levels or overripe fruit flavors. One amazing thing about these guys (there are a few): This is...


Ep 219: Winery-preneurs The Larsen Project and Camlow Cellars of Sonoma, CA

Two pretty new, exciting wineries join me to talk about their wines, experiences in starting up new wine empires, and the past, present, and future of the small guy in Sonoma: Robert Larsen runs The Larsen Projekt, which specializes in three main things -- public relations, marketing and branding, and making wine. We talk to him about how his long career in wine and what made him make the move from marketing and talking about it only, to actually making it. Robert makes stunning Grenache...


Ep 218: Zinmaster Nalle Winery of Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma CA

In this episode, I talk to the Zinmasters of the Dry Creek Valley, Andrew & April Nalle. Nalle has been making Zinfandel in a milder style than most other wineries -- with balance, acidity, & finesse for nearly 40 years. Andrew recently took over the winery from his dad, Zin legend Doug Nalle. The Nalle story -- it's past and future -- is a family story and one that represents the small producers of Sonoma well. A few things we discuss... Truly normal people, who make great wine!...


Ep 217: Peterson Winery of Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma, CA

I recorded this podcast at the Peterson Winery tasting room while I was visiting Sonoma in support of the Sonoma Underground event I co-founded ( This is a fascinating conversation with the force and Dry Creek Valley icon that is Fred Peterson, his son and Peterson's winemaker Jamie, and his daughter and head of sales and marketing, Emily. As Fred discusses, following time in the military, he studied viticulture and winemaking and graduated with honors from...


Ep 216: Jake Bilbro of Limerick Lane in Sonoma, CA

This week I talk to Jake Bilbro, award-winning winemaker and winegrower of Limerick Lane Cellars in the Russian River of Sonoma. We discuss his family's history in Sonoma, how he came to own Limerick Lane, and his winemaking philosophies. A fascinating look at a young, famed small producer who represents the heart and soul of Sonoma. Some show notes: He's also participating in the Sonoma Underground event of small producers that I've co-founded! *Note -- the podcast was recorded in...


Ep 215: The Grape Miniseries - Syrah

First off, we discuss Sonoma Underground, the event I'm co-producing on 24 February 2018 to showcase 15 amazing, "underground" producers in Sonoma that are hard to find, don't get the press they deserve, and make outstanding wines. Limited tickets available to you! Get yours: Then we talk Syrah! Syrah is one of tastiest grapes in the world but because it changes based on where it's grown, it can be a bit of a risk to buy. In this episode, we cover the...


Ep 214: Grower Champagne with Grower-Producer Gaylord Legras

Of the 20,000 growers in Champagne, only a few make their own wine. In this podcast, fifth generation grower-producer Gaylord Legras of Champagne Legras-Frapart et Fils gives us the lowdown on how the vineyards operate, what's unique about grower Champagne, and how the business of Champagne really works. Here are the show notes. We discuss: Champagne Legras-Frapart et Fils isn't available outside of France (unless you want to import it!) but you can see Gaylord and others if you head...


Ep 213: Easy, Inexpensive Wine Gifts

In this solo podcast, I give you a bunch of ideas to make gift giving and holiday pairing easy! Here are the show notes: 1. First I talk about potential all-purpose wines that will work for a lot of different holiday foods: The reds: The whites: Rhône producers I mentioned: E. Guigal, Chapoutier 2. Then I gift some questions to ask before buying wine as a gift for someone: 3. Finally I hit on gift ideas: Thank you to our sponsor: The Great Courses Plus -- who makes you smarter...


Ep 212: Central Otago, NZ with Simone Madden-Grey

Central Otago is known among wine dorks as a Pinot Noir mecca. We're lucky that regular podcast guest host Simone Madden-Grey is from this region! In this episode, she gives us the skinny on climate, soil, top wines, travel tips, and what's next for the wines of the region. Here are the show notes: Climate:Southern Alps: RipponQuartz ReefChard FarmGibbston ValleyFelton RoadMt Difficulty New Zealand Wine Growers Sommit Please follow...


Ep 211: The Grape Miniseries -- Sangiovese

This week, we revive the Grape Miniseries from podcasts of old to bring you: Sangiovese! The star of Central Italy that does amazing things when taken care of. Here are the notes: History of Sangiovese Grape origins Climate, land, soil galestroalbarese Winemaking Sangiovese Flavors Return of the Clones: Found in: The difference in Tuscan wines using Sangiovese: Thanks to our sponsors this week! For a free month of amazing video lectures from The Great Courses Plus, go...


Ep 210: The Biz of Wine v Weed with George Christie

Some in the U.S. wine industry say cannabis legalization will create a war between wine& weed for limited resources & consumer interest. But George Christie, from the Wine Industry Network (the leading business resource for the wine industry), thinks collaboration could lead to great things for both parties. After you hear his ideas, you may just agree. Here are the show notes: 1. We discuss how George acquired expertise on this topic, through a hugely successful "Wine and Weed...


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