Category Archives: Podcasts

Winecast 15: Anna Katharine Mansfield, Cornell University

One of the most exciting things going on in regional wine is the research and development of new grape species, and especially the work being done with cold hardy grapes. Vitis vinifera, the European wine grape species that includes chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, doesn't like cold weather.

Hence the effort to propagate cold hardy grapes that can be made into quality wine. Anna Katharine Mansfield, a Cornell University enologist, has been a key researcher in the development of several of these grapes. One of them is frontenac, which produces a fruity red wine that has been successfully grown in regions as far north as Minnesota.

In the podcast, we talk about developing new grape varieties, how and why it's done, and why it's so important. This is not my best recording — we were in a large building where we judged the International Eastern Wine Competition. There were a lot of echoes, and you'll need to keep the sound turned up. The podcast is 7.4 megabytes and lasts about 8 minutes. You can download or stream it here.

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Winecast 14: John Concannon, Concannon Vineyards

John Concannon is the fourth generation of his family to work for the family business, which is saying something in California. And though Concannon is today owned by The Wine Group (which also controls Big House and Glen Ellen, among many others), John and his father, Jim, are still involved in the day-to-day operations of the 127-year-old winery.

Concannon is known for several things, not the least of which is petite sirah. It pioneered the grape in California, and still makes some of the most interesting petite sirahs in the U.S. John and I talked about the state of the wine business, what consumers are looking for in terms of value, and the history of petite sirah at Concannon.

To download or stream the podcast, click here. It's about 9.9 megabytes and 11 minutes long.

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Robin Goldstein and The Wine Trials 2010, part II

Robin Goldstein knows even more about cheap wine than the Wine Curmudgeon, which is saying something. But what else would one expect from the co-author and guiding force of The Wine Trials 2010 (Fearless Media, $14.95), perhaps the best guide to wine that costs less than $15 a bottle?

The second edition has just been published, and it's another fine
effort. I chatted with Goldstein via Skype (the unofficial Internet phone service of the Wine Curmudgeon) but technical glitches on my part prevented running it as a podcast. Instead, it's a transcript of our interview. In part II today, Goldstein talks about some of the wines that made the book, as well as wine labels and wine names. In part I, which ran Thursday, we talked about the trends in cheap wine and why there is more good, cheap wine than ever before.

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