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Wine for Normal People


A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at

A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at


United States


A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at




Ep 370: Six (or Twelve) Unorthodox Wines for Spring

For this show, we discuss a list of lovely reds and whites that you won't see on other lists for spring wines. Etna from Sicily? Check. Chignin Bergeron from Savoie in France? Yup. If you're looking for a change from the norm and a great spring list, here it is! As promised, here is the list...with some example labels to make shopping easy (see the for label examples) The bonus wine: Etna Bianco, made of the Carricante grape. Similar nature, but with a...


Ep 369: The Greats -Sauternes and Barsac

Of the greatest sweet wines of the world, those of Bordeaux – Sauternes and Barsac – may be the most famed. These small regions (covering just 2,217 ha/5,478 acres) and their 132 producers, make some of the world's most prestigious, long-lived and expensive sweet wines. Pascal MOULIN, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Located just 40 miles/65 km south of Bordeaux city, along the Garonne and Ciron Rivers, the AOC Sauternes includes the communes of Barsac, Sauternes, Bommes, Fargues, and...


Ep 368: Michael Dhillon of Bindi Wines, Icon of Australia's Boutique Wineries

Michael Dhillon of Bindi Wines is one of the most famous winemakers in Australia. Bindi is a 170 hectare farm of which 7 hectares are planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Michael Dhillon had gained renown through his beautiful wines which show balance and purity in the expression of Bindi's individual vineyard sites. Famous winemaker and writer James Halliday writes of Michael: “One of the icons of Macedon. The Chardonnay is top-shelf, the Pinot Noir as remarkable (albeit in a very...


Ep 367: Chardonnay -- The Grape Miniseries Refresh

In this show we take another look at the regal Chardonnay grape and talk about how it has changed over the years. This is a refresh of a previous show done years ago, so we cover everything we do in a normal grape mini-series. Once you get to know Chardonnay, you realize what a chameleon it really is and how important it is to understand place and producer to get the styles that you like. Here are some brief show notes (with special focus on writing out regions that you may not have...


Ep 366: Riccardo Sobrino of Cascina Delle Rose, The Toast of Barbaresco's Boutique Producers

Riccardo Sobrino, of Cascina delle Rose, runs a small estate in Barbaresco that produces elegant, perfumed and complex wines and has been in his family for more than 70 years. This 5 ha/12 acre vineyard is a family operation – he and his brother inherited the property from their parents, who are still involved in major decisions of the winery. Cascina delle Rose was started by Riccardo’s mother, Giovanna Rizzolio, in 1992 on this ideal site – steep vineyards with calcareous soils on the...


Ep 365: Vins Doux Naturels -- the Underrated, Elegant Wines of Southern France

Vins doux naturels (VDNs), translated to ‘naturally sweet wines’, are some of the most historic yet underestimated wines in France. These wines are made using the process of mutage – adding neutral grape spirit/alcohol – to fermenting wine in order to halt fermentation and leave sugar in the wine (they aren’t REALLY naturally sweet wine, although producers will say you are preserving the natural sweetness of the wine so that’s the counterpoint). Image of Rivesaltes:...


Ep 364: The High-End World of Rare Wines with Dave Parker of Benchmark Wines

In this episode I welcome David Parker, CEO and Founder of Benchmark Wine Group , which is the largest online seller of fine and rare wines for wine retailers, restaurants and collectors worldwide. Benchmark does auction, retail, wholesale and import. Dave is an unusual guest for us in that he specializes in a part of the market that most of us, as normal wine people, know nothing about -- fine and rare (and VERY expensive) wine! He is a great guest and openly shares everything from how...


Ep 363: The Personal Side of Loire with Serge Dore Importer

Serge Doré, importer of French wine (and American via Quebec…he’s a man of many identities and a worldliness we can only aspire to!) and popular podcast regular, joins us to talk about the Loire Valley. Serge has been visiting the Loire since 1985 and has seen its evolution over the decades. He joins to give us the world of Loire from his perspective, humanize it with stories of producers he imports and some he has just met, and tell us what we can expect from this sometime confusing but...


Ep 362: The Grape Miniseries -- Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio)

Of the many grapes that we have covered in this series, possibly the hardest to define is the one in this show -- Pinot Gris. It's so complex in part because it goes by many names and can taste neutral and boring to oily, powerful, and bold with notes of smoke, ginger, and spice. It can be bone dry to amazingly sweet and can be powderpuff or very serious in quality. Whatever the incarnation, wine drinkers lap it up! In the U.S., Pinot Grigio (the Italian style) is the second most-consumed...


Ep 361: Food and Wine Pairings that Inspire Love

In the tradition of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility, after which aphrodisiacs are named, we give you a list of 12+ foods that inspire love and passion, and the wines to match. Date night just got more exciting!! You can let us know if any of these actually work. William Blake Richmond, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Here's the list of the top 14 aphrodisiac foods and the wines to pair with them: 1. Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, an amino acid that helps improve...


Ep 360: Touraine and its Red and White Jewels of the Loire Valley

Touraine is in the Middle Loire Valley, and it has a myriad of pockets with famed and delicious wines. We give an overview of this region and discuss its most famous areas (Vouvray, Chinon, Bourgueil), which make some of the most distinctive, complex red and white wines in the world. Here are the show notes: "Thésée-la-Romaine (Loir-et-Cher)" by sybarite48 is licensed with CC BY 2.0. Click here to view a copy of this license, Grapes Crémant de Loire The rest of the show is spent on...


Ep 359: Barra of Mendocino on Mendocino Wine, Organic Farming, & the Business of a Family Wine Company

The Barra Family has been farming grapes since Charlie Barra began in 1945 when he was 19. He bought his own vineyards in 1955 and married Martha Barra in the 1980s. The couple made the business run in earnest, with Martha concentrating on business and Charlie focused on farming. In 1988, the Barras began farming their land organically and haven’t stopped since. They started their own brand, Barra of Mendocino in 1995, which today includes Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet...


Ep 358: Mendocino, California

Just over the county line from Sonoma is the fascinating region of Mendocino. Mendocino is a large county that spans one California’s largest, most diverse, and northernmost wine growing regions. This quiet area, full of farmers who are passionate about the land, has just over 17,000 acres under vine in 12 appellations. From, Anderson Valley, Mendocino As we dig into what is here, you will learn that this region is full of surprises. Not only is Mendocino termed the...


Ep 357: The Role of Alcohol in Wine

It’s the first show of our 10th year! WOW! And for our double digit birthday, this time we bring you a super dorky one that is so important to understand in wine. I have already professed it the dorkiest show of 2021, and I’m pretty sure I can’t top this so – Voilà! First we have some fun, and challenge you to follow the three wine resolutions/challenges I’ve set forth! They are so easy, even I can keep them: Here are the show notes on the role of alcohol in...


Ep 356: The Historic Champagne Lanson with Hervé Dantan, Cellarmaster

Founded in 1760 as the 4th Champagne house, Champagne Lanson is known for its fresh, acidic style (no malolactic fermentation!). Over its 260 years, it has stayed true to its principles and that original flavor profile. In this show, Hervé Dantan, cellarmaster and Champagne native, gives us a unique perspective. Hervé is the son of grape growers in Champagne, and after graduating from enology school, he did internships in Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Alsace, and in California to learn about...


Ep 355: The 8 Holiday Wine Gifts for Wine Lovers (plus 5 wine gag gifts to make you laugh)

It's the end of the year and there's still time to get interesting and USEFUL gifts for the wine lovers in your life. We covered basics of glassware and gadgets in Episode 338, but this pod covers some cool gift ideas that aren't essentials but, rather, nice to haves (or just damn funny to know about in the case of the 5 gag gifts!). Here's the run down of our recommendations (in no particular order so don't read into it!) Disclosure: Some of the products contain affiliate links so I may...


Ep 354: A New Look At Bordeaux's Médoc -- with Château La Cardonne's Magali Guyon

Magali Guyon has been the technical director/ winemaker of Château La Cardonne in the Médoc of Bordeaux for more than 20 years. Having worked in Bordeaux for some of the biggest names – she is the former winemaker at Château Lynch-Bages – she represents the best of the best in Bordeaux. Château La Cardonne was recently awarded the prestigious Cru Bourgeois Supérieur title as well. In this show, we take a different look at the Médoc (the prestigious Left Bank of Bordeaux) and approach it as...


Ep 353: Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny

This is a transcript of the first part of the podcast. The second part of the show discusses these points in more detail. Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny After mulling over the various scandals in wine lately, and thinking about my position in the wine world, I have a perspective to add beyond just a social media post to call out the behavior of those in the wine business, those who have minimized the situation, and the hollow calls for change that likely won’t...


Ep 352: The 2020 Thanksgiving Episode -- American Wine Edition

2020 has been unlike any other, so we are recommending some different things for this year’s annual Thanksgiving show. This year has been tough for everyone, but small, family-owned wineries have been hit pretty hard by fires, lack of tourism, and in some cases, rough harvest conditions. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, so for this year, especially, we’re recommending that we show support for great American, family-owned wineries and their wines that pair perfectly with...


Ep 351: Severine Schlumberger of Domaine Schlumberger and the very French side of Alsace

Séverine Schlumberger joins us for the third installment of our mini-tour of Alsace (first installment was Ep 343). To provide a counterpoint to Phillippe Blanck of Domaine Paul Blanck (Ep 250), the Schlumberger family is more devoutly French in attitude and Séverine tells us a different story of her family’s heritage, attitudes, and how Domaine Schlumberger developed and grew to become one of the largest family-owned domaines in Alsace. Founded by Nicolas Schlumberger in 1810, Domaine...