The Wines of Champagne – with Maison Veuve Clicquot

18veuve1main.jpg Founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron. Philippe’s son, François Clicquot, married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798 and died in 1805, leaving his widow (veuve in French) in control of a company involved in banking, wool trading, and Champagne production. She became the first woman to take over a Champagne house. The 1811 comet vintage of Veuve Clicquot is theorized to have been the first truly “modern” Champagne due to the advancements in the méthode champenoise which Veuve Clicquot pioneered through the technique of remuage (undergoing secondary fermentation within the bottle). Veuve Clicquot is also credited with being the first Champagne House to make a rosé Champagne. Dominique Demarville has been Cellar Master of Veuve Clicquot since 2009. He found his calling in 1985 during his first summer job, harvesting in Champagne. He subsequently earned a technical degree in oenology and viticulture at Lycée Viticole de la Champagne in Avize and a ...

Rhône Valley Update

18rhone1main.jpg Everyone seems to remember when wines like Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône could be had for a song. It was a time when Bordeaux and Burgundy were stealing the limelight and getting all the attention. But, that all changed in the 1990s, especially with the 1998 vintage, when the quality began to climb and pricing along with it. But, there are still some amazing Rhône Valley wines, many of which are still at very reasonable prices. Join us as we sit down with Kyle Meyer from Wine Exchange to talk about the last few vintages coming from the Rhône Valley. For more info: Wine Exchange: Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: Click Below to Play the Show: Show #427
(52:14 min 51.2 MB)
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Pairing Wine with Cheese – Myth or Reality?

17twins1main.jpg Apparently, ‘all roads lead to cheese,’ at least it did so for identical twins, Michael and Charlie Kalish. Michael Kalish began his food career in commercial beekeeping in Santa Barbara County and got his first taste of wine and cheese while working for a cheese shop and joining a wine crush in Healdsburg, California. He was the first American to receive formal training in dairy and meat processing in the Piedmont, Italy, at l’istituto lattiero caseario e delle tecnologie agroalimentari. He has since worked for, and trained under, some of Europe’s finest artisan cheese makers and affineurs (professional cheese agers), including Mons, Fromager et Affineur (FR) and Luigi Guffanti (IT). In the USA, Michael managed operations for Artisanal Premium Cheese in NYC and has taught affinage and cheesemaking workshops United State and Australia. He is a winner of Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race (Series 7) and a Chopped finalist ...

Wineries of the Sonoma Coast – Chamboulé

17chamboule1main.jpg Almost inexplicably, wine people will try to compare the qualities of California pinot noir with that of Burgundy. It seems innocent enough to refer to a pinot from the New World as “Burgundian,” however the two regions are literally world’s apart, and comparisons are always wanting. And yet, there are innumerable winemakers, nee vignerons, attempting to turn out the best pinot noir that California can deliver, all in a dutiful effort to pay homage to the grape’s original source. Nevertheless, we do admire the intent, as well as applaud those making the effort to achieve a seemingly unreachable goal. Chamboulé is the meeting of two minds from completely different origins (Canada vs. Sonoma County), yet with strikingly similar, indeed Burgundian, backgrounds. Meet François Morissette and Matt Taylor, both with stints in Burgundy, and both with their collective eyes on making the best pinot that the California Sonoma Coast can deliver. ...

The Renaissance of Spirits – Absinthe

17absinthe1main.jpg Getting back to our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at absinthe, an anise-flavored spirit derived from botanicals, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green color and is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the green fairy). Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It became quite popular as an alcoholic drink in the late 1800s and early 1900s in France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Owing in part to its association with bohemian culture, the consumption of absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Often portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen, due to the chemical compound thujone, there is only a trace amount in the spirit. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much ...

The Wines of Oregon – with Vincent Wine Company

17vincent1main.jpg After years of apprenticing in wineries in Oregon and California, owner/winemaker Vincent Fritzsche launched Vincent Wine Company in 2009 to make Pinot Noir in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, adding Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc soon thereafter. Vincent intends to be all about low-input wine making, working with several sustainably-farmed vineyards around the Willamette Valley to produce small amounts of AVA-labelled and Single Vineyard designated wines. Join us as we talk with Vincent about how and why he got into wine, or as we sometimes hear it – “OMG, what have I just done?” For more info: Vincent Wine Company: Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: Click Below to Play the Show: Show #423
(1:04:02 min 61.5 MB)

2016 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – The Wines of Maison Joseph Drouhin

16wopndrouhin1main.jpg Founded in Beaune in 1880, Joseph Drouhin was an enterprising young man who came from the Chablis region at the age of 22, and settled in Beaune. His son Maurice succeeded him and began to establish a vineyard domaine for the House, purchasing land in some outstanding appellations such as Clos des Mouches and Clos de Vougeot. Robert Drouhin succeeded Maurice in 1957, and gave the domaine its present size, acquiring many vineyards, especially in Chablis where he was able to recognize the true potential. He was one of the first in Burgundy to introduce “culture raisonnée” (doing away with pesticides and other chemicals) and to build a laboratory of enology run by Laurence Jobard, the very first woman enologist in Burgundy. Philippe, Véronique, Laurent and Frédéric are Robert and Françoise Drouhin’s four children, and all work in the family business. Join us as we listen to Frédéric explain the ...

The Wines of Chile – with Viña Ventisquero

17vina1main.jpg Ventisquero began making wine in 2000. With estate-owned vineyards in Chile’s major wine producing areas: Coastal Maipo, Casablanca, Leyda and Colchagua, along with extensive research into Chile’s terroir, Viña Ventisquero seeks to produce high quality wines and consistently made wines. The winery is led by a young, creative team of entrepreneurs who are creating distinctive, high quality wines. Under the guidance of head winemaker Felipe Tosso, the winery was built in the Coastal Maipo Valley, where grapes for our first wines were produced. Three years later, they ventured into the Casablanca Valley and the prestigious Apalta Valley, the source today for Viña Ventisquero’s premium wines. Join us as we talk with Felipe Tosso, Chief Winemaker for Viña Ventisquero, about the differences in Chilean terroir and Felipe’s approach to winemaking. For more info: Viña Ventisquero: Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: Click ...

2016 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Côte de Beaune vs. Côte de Nuits – Part 2

16wopncotedor2main.jpg Part 2 of a seminar from the 2016 World of Pinot Noir that takes us through Burgundy’s famed Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits regions. In a “March Madness” motif, moderator Don Kinnan has attendees taste the wines blind, one region against the other. So, join us as we listen to Don Kinnan give us a wealth of information about the wines from Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune vs. Côte de Nuits. For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: Click Below to Play the Show: Show #420
(58:30 min 56.2 MB)

2016 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Côte de Beaune vs. Côte de Nuits

16wopncotedor1main.jpg In this seminar from the 2016 World of Pinot Noir, Don Kinnan takes us on a taste test through Burgundy’s famed Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits regions. Which region will be the seminar’s favorites? Who cares. It’s ALL Burgundy! So, join us as we listen to Don Kinnan give us a closer look at the wines from Burgundy’s Côte Chalonnaise. For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: Click Below to Play the Show: Show #419
(1:21:23 min 78.1 MB)

Chêne Bleu – with Nicole Rolet

17chene1main.jpg Straddling the corners of four appellations in the Vaucluse area of southeastern France, Chêne Blue made a bold decision deciding to step outside of the AOC system in order to achieve their goal of producing high quality wines. With a southern latitude, in line with Gigondas, and high altitude (more northern and similar to Condrieu), Chêne Bleu almost literally has “one foot in the southern Rhône and one foot in the northern Rhône.” Being outside of the AOC system means the wines are often given broader geographic boundaries, such as Vin de Pays, Vaucluse or AOC Ventoux. The Chêne Bleu project has utmost respect for the history, heritage and tradition of the land (they are in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve). Here, forest intermingles with vineyards, giving the wines a true sense of place. Join us as we talk with Nicole Rolet about the challenges and Chêne Bleu’s efforts to ...

Riesling Update

16riesling1main.jpg There has been a lot of hype about how the 2015 vintage has been stupendous for the Riesling grape. Never before have the stars aligned so perfectly as in 2015. Yes, yes, we’ve heard all of this hoopla before. But, all kidding aside, the word on the street, the boulevard, and the highway is that THIS is the vintage to back up the truck and go deep in Rieslings! Join us as we sit down with the guys, Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon to talk about some of the past vintages, along with what we can expect from the 2015 Rieslings from Germany, Alsace, and Austria. BTW, we’d like to give a shout-out and thank you to Richard Thomas in Texas whose request was an inspiration for this show. For more info: Wine Exchange: Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: Click Below to Play the ...

Where’s the Beef? – with Bryan Flannery

16flannery1main.jpg Whether it’s steaks, ribs or burgers, in the world of fine cuts of meat, the name Flannery has been a leader in the field. Bryan Flannery Sr., established Bryans Quality Meats within an independent grocery store on California Street in San Francisco in 1963. Still in operation and run by sons Peter and Terry, Bryans Quality Meats has become known as the best butcher in the west. Meanwhile, Bryan Flannery Jr., separated from the family business and launched Flannery Beef. So, how’s your beef quotient? Join us as we talk with Bryan Flannery Jr. about the recent history of raising and grading beef, its various cuts, and Flannery Beef’s philosophy in the ever-changing meat purveyor business. For more info: Flannery Beef: Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: Click Below to Play the Show: Show #416
(1:07:01 min 64.4 MB)

The Wines of Puglia – with Castello Monaci

16monaci1main.jpg Castello Monaci is located in Puglia’s Salento region, on the “heel of the boot” that is Italy. In this emerging region, Castello Monaci is a benchmark producer crafting wines with the unique characters of Southern Italy’s indigenous grapes Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. The region of Puglia is drenched in the most intense sunlight in all of Italy tempered only by nearby Mediterranean Sea that provides constant, cooling maritime winds. The Castello Monaci estate is housed in a 16th century castle with medieval foundations once run by Basiliani monks who maintained a long winemaking tradition. Lina Memmo, whose family has owned the estate since the 19th century, and husband Vitantonio Seracca, currently own the property. The cellars are surrounded by over 350 acres of vineyards with additional acreage planted to experimental plantings of white varietals near Brindisi on the Adriatic Sea. Each vineyard parcel is cultivated, harvested and vinified separately ...

Siduri Wines – with Adam Lee

16siduri1main.jpg Adam Lee and Dianna Novy left their native Texas and moved to the Sonoma County wine country. They spent years working at small, family-owned wineries and using any and all free time learning everything they could about growing grapes and making wine. They made their first Siduri Pinot Noir—named for the Babylonian Goddess of wine—in borrowed facilities, sleeping on cots to monitor the wine around the clock. With the boldness that comes from being new and eager, Adam delivered a bottle of their 1994 Rose Vineyard Pinot Noir to a local hotel after hearing that wine critic Robert Parker was staying there. Parker loved the wine, gave it a great review, and Siduri was off. Please join us as we talk with Adam about how he got started in the wine business, the founding of Siduri, how he handles fruit from as many as 23 different locations, and of course ...

The Wines of Montalcino – with Le Chiuse Estate

16lechiuse1main.jpg Located in the north of Montalcino, the Le Chiuse estate lies on the north-east hillside of Montosoli, at about 300 meters elevation, and includes a total of 7ha of vineyards all planted to Sangiovese Grosso. Le Chiuse played a key role in the vineyard holdings of the legendary Biondi-Santi family since the late 18th Century when they used these vineyards for their Riserva bottling. Handed down, generation to generation the current owner, Simonetta Valiani is the great granddaughter of Ferruccio Biondi-Santi. Simonetta regained full ownership of the property in 1993 when she decided to produce her own wine under the label “Brunello Le Chiuse” with her husband, Nicolò Magnelli and their son, Lorenzo. Until then, the vineyards were rented to her uncle, Franco Biondi-Santi, still used for their Riserva bottling. Join us as we talk with Lorenzo Magnelli about Montalcino, the Le Chiuse estate, and of course the Brunellos. For ...

2016 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Southern Charm: the Pinots of New Zealand

16wopnNZ1main.jpg This seminar from the 2016 World of Pinot Noir features the winemakers from five New Zealand estates discussing the topography, geography, and growing conditions in some of the different regions of New Zealand – Waipara Valley, Central Otago, North Canterbury, and Marlborough. Join us as we listen to Sara Schneider of Sunset Magazine monitor this fascinating seminar, featuring the Pinots of Greystone (known as Grey’s Peak in the U.S.), Maori Point, Mt. Beautiful, Mt. Difficulty, and Villa Maria. For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: Click Below to Play the Show: Show #412
(01:10:16 min 67.5 MB)

Bordeaux Update

16bdxupdate1main.jpg Each year, about this time, the Bordelais begin releasing the prices for the latest or current vintage, thus offering the wine for sale as “futures.” This is usually the optimum time to buy the wine at its lowest price – with some caveats of course. First, the wine won’t be released or delivered for another 18-24 months, so your money is tied up while awaiting your product. OTOH, you’re probably not going to drink it right away anyway, so where’s the harm. Also, if the wine critics don’t score the wine well, there is a chance the original futures price may actually be higher than when the wine is released. So, doing your homework about the specific appellations within Bordeaux is an absolute necessity – that is, if you want to make successful purchases. OTOH, you can usually get expert advice from your trusted wine store. So, join us ...

Wineries of Sonoma County – with Kosta Browne

16kostabrowne1main.jpg “It was just two of us, we didn’t know what we were getting into.” So begins the “Stories” section on the Kosta Browne website – and, probably the most understated of all winery start-up declarations. Today, as any competent pinophile knows, Kosta Browne is one of the most envied AND revered pinot producers in California. But, how’d they get that way? Well, therein lies our story. Join us as we talk with Dan Kosta about Kosta Browne’s history and the future of one of the most successful starts in the wine business. For more info: Kosta Browne: Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: Click Below to Play the Show: Show #410
(55:16 min 53.1 MB)

Wineries of the California Central Coast – with Concannon Vineyard

16concannon1main.jpg In 1883, with no prior knowledge of wine, much less wine growing, Irish immigrant James Concannon decided to plant a vineyard in the Livermore Valley, south of San Francisco. Importing Cabernet vines from Bordeaux’s Château Margaux, plans called for making sacramental wines, something that would see the family operation through the lean years of prohibition. Years later, in 1965, his grandson Jim collaborated with UC Davis in selecting cuttings from one of those vines for heat treatment. These dynamic, virus-resistant vines later became known as Concannon Cabernet Clones 7, 8 and 11 and played a major role in helping California Cabernet achieve international recognition. Today, it is estimated that 80% of California’s Cabernet Sauvignon is planted with the Concannon Clones. Join us as we talk with John Concannon about the history of Concannon Vineyard, the Livermore region, and how they’ve managed to become the longest family-run winery in California. For ...