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Category Archives: Podcasts

Wine Curmudgeon on Winemaker’s Academy podcast

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winemaker's academyIn which Winemaker Academy’s Matt Williams interviews me about how to make better wine, and the discussion is not technical at all. Because that’s not what I do.

Rather, I offer perspective from the consumer side. This is crucial, I think, because winemakers, faced with the difficulties inherent in winemaking, sometimes don’t have time or the the motivation to understand there is another perspective. If they like oak, the wine gets oak. even if the wine doesn’t need it. If they like Bordeaux-style wines, they make Bordeaux-style wines, even if the grapes aren’t suited for it. The term for this is tasting room palate, and it’s to be avoided at all costs.

My thanks to Matt for letting me share this with his winemaking community, because I don’t think it’s something they hear very often.

Winecast 22: Jerry Lockspeiser, wine guru

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Jerry LockspeiserJerry Lockspeiser has done many things during his wine career in the United Kingdom — producer, negociant, consultant, salesman, and writer. Through much of it, his focus on been on cheap wine and what Lockspeiser calls the normal wine drinker; those of us who want to buy a bottle to have with dinner and who don’t want to mess with any of wine’s foolishness.

The biggest lesson in wine over the past decade? That consumers discovered “they didn’t need to pay a lot of money for a good drink,” he said. That’s preaching the gospel, no?

Lockspeiser and I talked about:

• The improved quality of cheap wine, and that the improvement was led by the Australians and Californians.

• Why the wine business insists on selling expensive wine and trading up perfectly happy wine drinkers. Hint: It’s about money.

• How winespeak is one of the biggest problems facing consumers, and why the wine business doesn’t understand the problem.

• Some of the best advice I’ve seen for negotiating the Great Wall of Wine at the grocery store (yes, they have it in Britain, too), including tips on pricing.

Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 16 minutes long and takes up almost 8 megabytes. The sound quality is very good, with only a couple of squeaks and hisses even though Lockspeiser was in London. Skype — the unofficial VoIP provider for the blog — was in exceptionally fine form.

Winecast 21: Dave Falchek, Empty Bottles blog

Dave FalchekIf wine had more writers like Dave Falchek, more people would drink wine. He wants to make wine easier for consumers and he doesn’t suffer foolish wines or their producers – and he does this writing in Pennsylvania, which has some of most restrictive liquor laws in the country and where availability is often a joke.

Dave’s advice for wine drinkers: First, if you don’t like a wine, it doesn’t mean your taste buds are broken. Second, you’re not supposed to like a wine just because someone else does.

We talked about those things, as well as Dave’s work with the American Wine Society, which aims to make wine drinking easier; the state of regional wine, which Dave has supported since he started writing about wine; and whether Pennsylvania will eventually reform its antiquated liquor laws. Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 11 minutes long and takes up 10.8 megabytes

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