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WTF is Pinotage? (And WTF is Coffee Pinotage? South Africa’s signature wine)
February 25, 2024x
111
00:44:5930.98 MB

WTF is Pinotage? (And WTF is Coffee Pinotage? South Africa’s signature wine)

Ok, let’s be honest. Pinotage is a TRIP. It is like no other wine we have ever had before, and is flat out an experience that you have to try. You may not love it, or even like it, but you have to try it. Especially the Coffee Pinotage which in and of itself is an adventure (and is really a thing)! Pinotage is a wine that was invented in South Africa about 100 years ago, and is considered its signature wine. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, it has a smell and taste that is unique, interesting, and hard to pin down. Take from that what you will. In this episode, we discuss the wine industry in South Africa, which is bigger than you may think, and give some history about the wine. But mostly we taste and review Pinotage, and, to be transparent, we do not hol...

Costco Kirkland Signature Pinot Noir Challenge! (The pros and cons of Costco’s wine selection, why few experts review Costco wines, Kirkland Signature Russian River Pinot Noir review)
February 18, 2024x
110
00:44:5930.97 MB

Costco Kirkland Signature Pinot Noir Challenge! (The pros and cons of Costco’s wine selection, why few experts review Costco wines, Kirkland Signature Russian River Pinot Noir review)

Costco sells a TON of wine, but finding expert reviews of their Kirkland Signature wines can be very tricky. We are happy to help fill that void! Find out why few wine reviewers bother to review Costco Kirkland Signature wines, and where you can find some pretty reliable reviews for those wines. But, most importantly, find out what we think of the Costco Kirkland Signature Russian River Pinot Noir, and how we think it stacks up against some other similarly priced Pinot Noirs that are also easy to find. You might be surprised to hear what we think! We also talk about why we think Costco is great, and not so great, for wine drinkers and wine culture in the US. Wines reviewed in this episode: 2018 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir, 2019 Conscious by Samuel ...

Josh Wines Are . . . Meh. (The truth behind the hype. BTW, we did not give this episode a title until after we tasted the wines in our recording!)
February 11, 2024x
109
00:45:5931.63 MB

Josh Wines Are . . . Meh. (The truth behind the hype. BTW, we did not give this episode a title until after we tasted the wines in our recording!)

Josh Cellars wine has been all over social media recently, but the real question is - is it worthy of the hype?!? We gave Josh Cellars an honest-to-goodness opportunity to impress us. We tasted and reviewed three different Josh Cellar wines just to make sure that we were getting a proper sense of the breadth of their products, and the results were . . . meh. Not good, not bad, just sort of meh. Listen to this episode to get our tasting notes - the flavors and scents that we got from the wine, and how ours compare to what other professional raters think - and to get our truthful, no-holds-barred ratings of these wines. Hear why we think Josh Cellar wines are the perfect example of an average grocery store, mass-market, California style wine. Wines reviewed in this ...

Sweet Dessert Wines for Your Sweetheart! (Wines for Valentine’s Day, Savoring a meal and time with family and friends, WTF is fortified wine)
February 04, 2024x
108
00:49:5134.3 MB

Sweet Dessert Wines for Your Sweetheart! (Wines for Valentine’s Day, Savoring a meal and time with family and friends, WTF is fortified wine)

If you think you are not a fan of dessert wines, we believe we can change your mind - because we changed our own minds in this episode! Dessert wines are perfect for romantic evenings, but also a great excuse to slow down and extend a meal with family, friends, and loved ones. If you are looking for something special to do this Valentine’s Day, serving a sweet wine to your sweetheart to complement the sweets you bought them is a perfect end to a wonderful evening. And who knows, maybe the evening might last a little longer after you serve them a dessert wine if you know what we mean! In this episode we taste and review three different dessert wines, and we think there is a great choice for you no matter what you are planning to serve or what your particular taste ...

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #7: Drew Perry! (They make wine in Michigan! Head Winemaker for Simpson Family Estates: Good Harbor Vineyards and Aurora Cellars)
January 28, 202400:47:1832.52 MB

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #7: Drew Perry! (They make wine in Michigan! Head Winemaker for Simpson Family Estates: Good Harbor Vineyards and Aurora Cellars)

Did you know they make wine in Michigan. Yes, yes it’s true! And not only that, they make REALLY GOOD wine in Michigan. Don’t believe us? Then you need to listen to our interview with Drew Perry from Simpson Family Estates, home of Good Harbor Vineyards and Aurora Cellars and we’ll set you straight! We had the great honor of interviewing Drew who, like a lot of the winemakers we have talked to, did not start out thinking he was going to make wine for a living. And, like many of the winemakers we have talked to, it was a love of both science and art that attracted them to winemaking. Drew’s story is really interesting, and here’s a little tidbit from our interview. Drew was studying viticulture and enology at Michigan State University where his father was the head ...

They Make Wine in Michigan?!? (The Riesling Belt, Leelanau Peninsula, and a bunch of other stuff we bet you didn’t know!)
January 21, 2024x
106
00:48:1633.2 MB

They Make Wine in Michigan?!? (The Riesling Belt, Leelanau Peninsula, and a bunch of other stuff we bet you didn’t know!)

Look, we were skeptical too, but it’s true. Not only do they make wine in Michigan, they are making great wine! If you are like us, you didn’t realize that there is a burgeoning wine industry in Michigan, and that some highly rated wines are coming out of their 5 AVAs. And, in this episode we’ll taste some of these well rated wines and tell you what we think! What is wonderful about Michigan wine is that this is a place where the winemakers know their terroir and are making wines that are well suited to the climate. So, you’ll find lots of great Rieslings and Gewürztraminers, and also some fantastic Pinot Noirs, Cabernet Franc, and great but lesser known wines like Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch that are great fits for the region. If you thought that California, Orego...

Italian Wine Adventure #10: Fiano! (A nearly extinct ancient grape makes a comeback, bigger bodied white wine, famous foods from the Campania area of Italy, Chardonnay alternative)
January 14, 2024x
105
00:50:3434.8 MB

Italian Wine Adventure #10: Fiano! (A nearly extinct ancient grape makes a comeback, bigger bodied white wine, famous foods from the Campania area of Italy, Chardonnay alternative)

The Campania region of Italy, famous for the city of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and Mount Vesuvius, is also home to many of the most beloved Italian foods - like pizza! - but did you know it is also home to many of the best Italian wines?!? In this Italian wine adventure, we introduce you to a white wine called Fiano that you probably have not heard of but definitely deserves your attention! This is not one of those fly-away Italian Pinot Grigios. No! This is a bigger bodied, rich, and complex white wine that can hold up to many of the wonderful foods that hail from Campania. Do you love fried calamari? Wood fired pizza? Spaghetti con Vongole? Eggplant Parmigiana? Yes?!? Well then you need to pair those awesome foods with Fiano. The great thing about Fiano is that ...

Minisode #11: Does the Shape of a Wine Bottle Matter?
January 07, 202400:12:268.63 MB

Minisode #11: Does the Shape of a Wine Bottle Matter?

In the last minisode we settled the question of whether or not size matters, and so in this minisode we are tackling the other big question - does shape matter when it comes to the wine bottle? The answer may surprise you! Wine bottles come in many different shapes, although there is one shape that sort of dominates them all, and the most common shapes are associated with certain regions or certain varietals of wine. Want to look like the coolest person in the room at your next party? Wow your friends and family with your almost magical powers of deduction as you guess what kind of wine they are serving just by looking at the shape of the bottle. Oooh. You’ll be a hit! Contact The Wine Pair Podcast - we’d love to hear from you! Visit our website, leave a review, a...

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #6: Duncan Shouler! (Giesen Wines Chief Winemaker, how to make great zero-alcohol wine, what is the Spinning Cone method for de alcholizing wine?)
December 31, 2023x
104
00:43:0229.59 MB

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #6: Duncan Shouler! (Giesen Wines Chief Winemaker, how to make great zero-alcohol wine, what is the Spinning Cone method for de alcholizing wine?)

What do you do if dry January - or some other dry month - is on your list, but you don’t want to give up wine? First, you need to listen to this podcast! We had the great pleasure of interviewing Duncan Shouler from Giesen Wines, and spoke to him in-depth about their zero-alcohol wines. Like many of the winemakers we talk to, Duncan did not start out to be a winemaker. In fact, he started out in marine biology and was surfing before finally listening to his calling. Duncan spent most of his career making “regular” wine, which is probably why his non-alcohol wines taste so good. In this episode, we talk to Duncan about how zero-alcohol wines are made, what the Spinning Cone process is to remove alcohol (sounds intimidating, but it’s not!), and why zero-alcohol is a...

The Best and Worst Rated Wines of 2023! (Over 115 wines rated this year, why you should trust our ratings)
December 24, 2023x
103
00:40:0527.59 MB

The Best and Worst Rated Wines of 2023! (Over 115 wines rated this year, why you should trust our ratings)

Welcome to our end of the year retrospective, review, and wrap for The Wine Pair Podcast! In this episode we review our highest and lowest rated wines of the year. Believe it or not, in 2023 we tasted and reviewed about 120 wines, and out of all of those wines, just a handful got ratings of 9 or 10, or got ratings of 4 or under. If you are looking for a list of great wines to buy, or bad wines to avoid, this is the perfect episode for you! Some fun things we found as we reviewed these wines. First, Joe tends to grade a bit harder on the lower end of wines than Carmela does. Not a surprise there since Carmela is the nice one! Second, Carmela tends to rate white wines just a bit higher than Joe, and Joe tends to rate red wines just a bit higher than Carmela. Third, ...

Wines for the Feast of the Seven Fishes: 2023! (Italian-American traditions, The Bear, celebrations with family by blood and family by friendship, great seafood wines)
December 17, 2023x
102
00:50:1234.54 MB

Wines for the Feast of the Seven Fishes: 2023! (Italian-American traditions, The Bear, celebrations with family by blood and family by friendship, great seafood wines)

Buon Natale! The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American tradition that got an interesting send-up in Season 2 of The Bear. How accurate is the “Fishes” episode of The Bear to our family Christmas Eve seafood feast? Well, let’s just say there are a few similarities and some really important differences. For starters, our family doesn’t throw nearly as many forks as they do in The Bear - but you gotta listen in to learn more! We are revisiting this amazing meal again this year because, although last year we found some great wines to serve, there are lots of different wines that are great pairings with seafood and the Holidays. Of course, all of the wines we selected are Italian, but one of them is a sparkling red wine, and the other is an Italian white win...

Holiday Sparkling Wines #3: Brut Prosecco! (The most popular sparkling wine in the world, why brut rather than dry this Holiday season, where the name Prosecco came from)
December 10, 2023x
101
00:44:5630.93 MB

Holiday Sparkling Wines #3: Brut Prosecco! (The most popular sparkling wine in the world, why brut rather than dry this Holiday season, where the name Prosecco came from)

Think you know Prosecco?!? Not so fast! We bet you didn’t know that most of the Prosecco you are drinking is on the sweet side. Who cares, you say? We love it no matter what, you say? In this episode we are going to tell you why you should care, and why you should be seeking out the BRUT Prosecco! You dig?!? We all know that the Holidays are made for celebrations, and celebrations are the perfect opportunity to pop open a bottle or two (or three or four) of Prosecco. But this year we are begging you, beseeching you, to take the extra minute to find the brut Prosecco, rather than the dry or extra dry. Why, pray tell, does it matter? Well, the sweeter Proseccos, while fun and tasty, often mask a lesser wine. The brut Proseccos don’t have as much sugar to mask the so...

Costco Kirkland Signature Syrah Challenge! (100th Episode, Spicy red wine, Is Syrah the same as Shiraz?)
December 03, 2023x
100
00:40:5028.07 MB

Costco Kirkland Signature Syrah Challenge! (100th Episode, Spicy red wine, Is Syrah the same as Shiraz?)

Who doesn’t love buying wine at Costco? But have you ever wondered if the Costco Kirkland Signature wines are worth their low cost? Wel, that’s what this series of episodes is all about! On our last Costco “date” (and you need to listen in to understand what we mean by that) we picked up one of their Kirkland Signature K Vine Syrahs, and then we bought two other reasonably priced and well reviewed Syrahs to see how it compares. Did it win the challenge? You have to tune in to find out! We also talk about the difference between Syrah and Shiraz (they are the same wine and grape, but there can be some nuanced differences between the two), and the pros and cons of shopping for wine at Costco. And, a little incentive to listen in - Joe actually had some challenges whi...

Minisode #10: Does Wine Bottle Size Matter? (What are those big-@$% bottles of wine called? And why are they so expensive?)
November 26, 202300:15:1710.54 MB

Minisode #10: Does Wine Bottle Size Matter? (What are those big-@$% bottles of wine called? And why are they so expensive?)

Some people say that size matters, others say shape matters more. We are staying out of that discussion altogether. But, regardless of how you feel about the subject, there are more sizes of wine bottles than you may think, and in this minisode we demystify why there are so different sizes of bottles, why they almost always cost more than standard bottle sizes, and what these different bottles are called. The names are pretty nutty! If you have ever wondered what a split is, or how big a Balthazar is, this is the episode for you! Then, the next time you are at a party with a bunch of wine nerds, you can show off your massive wine vocabulary! Contact The Wine Pair Podcast - we’d love to hear from you! Visit our website, leave a review, and reach out to us: https://...

Italian Wine Adventure #9: Verdicchio (A great wine for Chardonnay lovers, the King of White Wines, a fantastic winter white wine)
November 19, 2023x
99
00:47:4832.89 MB

Italian Wine Adventure #9: Verdicchio (A great wine for Chardonnay lovers, the King of White Wines, a fantastic winter white wine)

Some critics have called Verdicchio the best Italian white wine, but we are betting many of you have never tasted it or even heard of it! Let’s just say, if you love Chardonnay, then Verdicchio is a wine you must try. Hailing from the Marche region of Italy, which we are also betting is a region you have never been to and maybe never even heard of, Verdicchio is not to be confused with the white wines you may associate with Italy like a light Pinot Grigio. On the contrary, Verdicchio is a rich, complex, exciting wine that some have called a red wine disguised as a white wine. Sometimes oaked like a Chardonnay, Verdicchio is a great wine for fall and winter, a great Holiday wine, and a white wine that can age for decades. After tasting and reviewing it, we can unde...

Thanksgiving Wine: Bonkers for Beaujolais! (The perfect Thanksgiving wine, a 10/10 point wine! high QPR wines, avoid Beaujolais Nouveau)
November 12, 2023x
98
00:51:4535.6 MB

Thanksgiving Wine: Bonkers for Beaujolais! (The perfect Thanksgiving wine, a 10/10 point wine! high QPR wines, avoid Beaujolais Nouveau)

Why are we Bonkers for Beaujolais this Thanksgiving? Because Turkey Day was made for Beaujolais. Hey, that even rhymes! Beaujolais is considered the ultimate Thanksgiving wine, but why? Well, we’ll tell you if you listen to this episode, but as a little amuse bouche, here’s something to chew on. First, the fruity flavors of the wine pair perfectly with the many different flavors - both savory and sweet - that often land on the Thanksgiving table, complementing but not overpowering the meal. Second, Beaujolais is a wine that is very easy drinking! Made from the Gamay grape, Beaujolais it is a wine that is hard to not like - a crowd pleaser whether you love red wine or not. In fact, it can be a crowd pleaser even for those who usually don’t like to drink wine. So, t...

Wine to Pair with Thai Food! (Wine is the 5th food group, WTF is Pineau d'Aunis, why spicy food is hard to pair with wine)
November 05, 2023x
97
00:48:0533.1 MB

Wine to Pair with Thai Food! (Wine is the 5th food group, WTF is Pineau d'Aunis, why spicy food is hard to pair with wine)

Thai food is one of the world’s best cuisines, but pairing wine with it is difficult for many reasons - primarily its spiciness. In this episode, we break down how you can make finding a wine to drink with Thai food easy, and we review several different types of wines that make great pairings. We also talk about why some people bristle at the concept that there are even such things as “appropriate” wine and food pairings. And while we firmly believe there is an art to pairing wine and food, we also believe there are many choices you can make, not just one perfect choice. And, in this episode, we try a wine from a grape that we have never had before - Pineau d'Aunis - which comes from the Loire Valley and is a hidden gem. If you love Thai food and other spicy ...

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #5: Alex Gambal! (An American in Burgundy, Author of Climbing the Vines in Burgundy, A Story of Perseverance and Positivity, What Makes Burgundian Wines Different)
October 29, 2023x
96
00:48:5033.61 MB

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #5: Alex Gambal! (An American in Burgundy, Author of Climbing the Vines in Burgundy, A Story of Perseverance and Positivity, What Makes Burgundian Wines Different)

Want to buy a vineyard and become a winemaker in Burgundy as an American with no experience in winemaking? Impossible! Or is it? Despite the longest of odds, Alex Gambal did it, and did it successfully. And now he has written a book about it called Climbing the Vines in Burgundy . It’s a story of hard work, perseverance, and positivity - pushing through when the odds are stacked against you - that is truly engaging and somewhat unbelievable, and we discuss it with him. It’s not often that you run into someone with such optimism and we think you’ll find his story and his approach to life to be as amazing as we did!  Contact The Wine Pair Podcast - we’d love to hear from you! Visit our website, leave a review, and reach out to us: https://thewinepairpodcast.com/ Fol...

WTF is Gewürztraminer? (Wines for Fall, Bigger Bodied White Wines, Spicy White Wine, Sweet Wine, Total Wine sucks)
October 22, 2023x
95
00:50:1534.57 MB

WTF is Gewürztraminer? (Wines for Fall, Bigger Bodied White Wines, Spicy White Wine, Sweet Wine, Total Wine sucks)

Looking for something to spice up your wine life a little bit? We’ve got just the thing! Gewürztraminer is a different kind of white wine. This ain’t your typical light bodied, low alcohol summer sipper. This is a big bodied, high alcohol Fall juggernaut that is not made for the faint of heart. Gewürztraminer is a difficult grape to grow, but it makes big, sweet, spicy wines with flavors of apple pie filling and canned peach cocktail. If you like spicy food, this spicy wine is a perfect pairing. We uncover where Gewürztraminer got its name, where it is often grown, and why it is so different from your typical white wine. And if you are getting ready for some upcoming Holiday get-togethers, you just may want to have one of these sweet and spicy babies on your table...

Wines for Halloween 2023! (Vine to Bar Chocolate, Wines to Pair with Halloween Party foods, Spooky wine labels)
October 15, 2023x
94
00:50:4134.86 MB

Wines for Halloween 2023! (Vine to Bar Chocolate, Wines to Pair with Halloween Party foods, Spooky wine labels)

Not sure if it was the wine or the candy or the fact that we recorded it on Friday the 13th, but we lost our minds in this episode! Halloween is the perfect time for wine (and, heck, what time isn’t perfect for wine?!?!), but not just any wine - spooky wine! Now, we don’t mean that it tastes haunted, what we mean is that it has the perfect combination of a creepy name, a spooky label, and a crowd-pleasing taste. And we think we have found three really good choices! Going to a Halloween party and want to bring a gift of wine? We got you covered! Throwing a Halloween party of your own and trying to figure out what wine to serve? Listen in for great ideas that won’t break the bank! In this episode, we also talk about Vine to Bar chocolate - a delicious chocolate that...

High QPR Pinot Noir #3! (American Pinot Noir vs. Burgundy Pinot Noir, wine price inflation, our first corked wine?!? Highly extracted wines)
October 08, 2023x
93
00:46:5432.27 MB

High QPR Pinot Noir #3! (American Pinot Noir vs. Burgundy Pinot Noir, wine price inflation, our first corked wine?!? Highly extracted wines)

Maybe we’re just crazy, but we have to believe that you can find a high quality Pinot Noir for a reasonable price. Believe us when we say - it’s not easy! In our third foray into trying to find high QPR Pinot Noirs, we try once again to help you find a wine you’ll like that won’t bust your wallet. We also talk about how Pinot Noirs from Burgundy are different from those found in the United States and other New World, warmer climate regions. Let’s face it - the American palate is just tuned to prefer bigger, bolder, jammier, higher alcohol wines. Is that what you prefer? It’s ok - you can be honest. We won’t judge . . . maybe. Anyway, we also ran into our first corked wine in this episode! We are actually surprised it didn’t happen sooner - but one of these wines t...

WTF is Pét-Nat? (Fun, Funky, Natural Sparkling Wine)
October 01, 2023x
92
00:48:5933.69 MB

WTF is Pét-Nat? (Fun, Funky, Natural Sparkling Wine)

If you have been wondering if you should try Pét-Nat, we are here to tell you unequivocally - YES! Pét-Nat wines are natural sparkling wines that are like your friendly weird cousin - different, entertaining, sometimes exciting, and just fun to be around. Considered to be the oldest form of sparkling wine, Pét-Nats are low-intervention sparklers that are fizzy and funky - but also delicious and festive. Whether you are into sparkling wines, natural wines, vegan wines, orange wines, artisanal wines, or unique wines, Pét-Nats have tons to offer. It is hard to pin down exactly what a Pét-Nat will taste like, and that is part of the fun! They are often experimental, and winemakers love them because they offer them a chance to explore winemaking in an unrestrained way....

They Make Wine in New York?!? (Great Wines for Fall, Finger Lakes Wines, Riesling, Exotic Tastes, Good With Indian and Thai Food)
September 24, 2023x
91
00:45:3231.32 MB

They Make Wine in New York?!? (Great Wines for Fall, Finger Lakes Wines, Riesling, Exotic Tastes, Good With Indian and Thai Food)

We know what you’re thinking - but it’s true! They make wine in New York - and some really good wines, too! In fact, New York state is the third largest producer of wine in the US - bet you didn’t know that, either! In this episode, we focus on the Finger Lakes region and specifically dry Rieslings, which are fantastic wines for Autumn. We found the style of the wines we tried to be really intriguing, even exotic in some cases, and definitely worth seeking out. Riesling is a bit of an underrated white wine in our opinion, and if you are a fan of Indian or Thai food, a spicy dry Riesling is an amazing pairing. In our tasting section of the podcast, we share the very different and unique flavors and smells from these wines, and some of them may surprise you - ginger...

Rosé of Pinot Noir is a Serious Wine! (Different ways Rosé is made, Direct Press or Maceration Method, Pairing Pinot Noir Rosé with food)
September 17, 2023x
90
00:47:2332.58 MB

Rosé of Pinot Noir is a Serious Wine! (Different ways Rosé is made, Direct Press or Maceration Method, Pairing Pinot Noir Rosé with food)

Don’t get us wrong - wine doesn’t have to be serious, but we do think that Rosé can sometimes be treated as an unserious wine, and that’s just not fair. Over the course of our podcast, we have come to truly appreciate Rosé wines, and one of our very favorite types of Rosés is Rosé made from Pinot Noir. Rosé has gotten a bad rap in part because sometimes it is not made in an intentional way - what we mean by that is that there are methods of making Rosé where the wine is an afterthought rather than a wine that is intentionally and purposely made. In this episode, we talk about the different methods of making Rosé and why we believe one of the methods creates a more serious wine. And we talk about why Pinot Noir Rosé in particular is a wine that deserves some respec...

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #4: Karl Weichold of Stoller Wines! (Oregon wines, the art and science of winemaking, juice vs. grapes, Texas wine country, mentors, cocktail wines vs. food wines)
September 10, 2023x
89
00:40:1827.73 MB

Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers #4: Karl Weichold of Stoller Wines! (Oregon wines, the art and science of winemaking, juice vs. grapes, Texas wine country, mentors, cocktail wines vs. food wines)

We had the pleasure of spending time with Karl Weichold, the estate winemaker at Stoller Family Estate, located in the famous Dundee Hills in Oregon. Karl shares his story of how he became a renowned winemaker, starting with a degree in Biochemistry and Genetics from Texas A&M, to working at an Italian restaurant where he first fell in love with wine, to Texas wine country, and then to Oregon where he worked at 12th and Maple and Erath before landing at Stoller. In our conversation we talk about his thoughts on the art and science of wine making, what makes a “haunting” wine, and how the changing climate affects the choices they have to make every year - including during the very warm summer of 2023 in the Pacific Northwest. As the estate winemaker, Karl also ...