Episode #541 – Wes Hagen on Enjoying Wine

Join David and winemaker/wine historian Wes Hagen talking about the science and experience of tasting wine… when wine hits your tongue, all five flavor components – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umomi/savory – one of the few beverages that delivers all of them. Trends in food and wine pairing take all these into account, and why wine is the perfect accompaniment to food.

In this episode, David and Wes, who is renowned in the wine business and also the winemaker for J. Wilkes in the Santa Ynez Valley of California’s Central Coast, address some of the major trends taking hold in the wine industry. Chances are, you’ll welcome the trends that are transforming the industry.

This is an eye-opening episode that you won’t want to miss. One of the trends that David and Wes address include the shattering of rules related to wine pairing. Even some of the world’s most renowned Somms are questioning conventional wisdom.

Also, there’s a growing affection toward Riesling that is really taking hold. When was the last time that you had one? Another major trend is the migration of wine drinkers toward rosé wines. If you think they’re strictly sweet wines, you’ve been hanging around White Zinfandel too long. Other topics include Orange Wine, Cabernet Franc and much more! This edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine and More.

Episode #539 – Perfect Turkey? Don’t Mess Up the Wine!

We can spend an eternity making sure everything on the table is picture perfect and absolutely delicious. But way too often, families across this great land of ours overlook one of the most important details… the wine! You just spent hundreds of dollars collectively putting an awesome once-a-year meal together, but then cheap Uncle Carl who was charged with bringing the wine stopped at a 24-hour convenience store a few block away to pick up anything even remotely resembling wine. Don’t worry, he asked for advise from the fellow with the safety pin in his nose that was looking after the gas pumps and vast assortment of chips and candy bars. By the way, Carl doesn’t even drink wine so who assigned this task to him anyway?

Okay, that might be a bit of an over exaggeration, but it isn’t far from the truth in many households. If there was ever a meal that deserved a decent bottle of wine or two on the table, it’s Thanksgiving. And, by the way, decent doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. It means, “thoughtfully selected to best compliment Grandma Flossie’s world-famous stuffing.”

Episode #538 – The Intersection of Wine, Art and Music

The last time David had Spencer on Grape Encounters, the conversation was largely about a new project he is overseeing as COO of Wines That Rock, a very unique New York based company that creates very special wines that pay tribute to music, film and pop culture. The company’s latest project includes Star Trek themed wines that are being released in conjunction to the latest Star Trek installment that centers around Captain Picard in the days after his retirement from Star Fleet. But as interesting as that story is, Spencer career also includes sculpture, music production and performance as a world-class pianist.

Episode #537 – The Good News and Bad News From Wine Country This Fall

Whenever Host David Wilson wants information about absolutely anything having to do with wine, the wine industry or wine country, there are about four or five people he turns to. One of his absolute favorites is the Sommelier to the Stars, Christopher Sawyer. Almost every conversation with Christopher is a riot. There are some exceptions, including the first part of this discussion which centers on the horrifying fire that recently tore it’s way through Sonoma County… the place that Christopher calls home.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s the fact that, despite this fire’s enormous footprint, there was no loss of life and far fewer structural losses than the massive number of homes and buildings leveled by the haunting fire that devastated the same region just two years ago. There is additional good news with regard to crops damaged by smoke taint.