Episode #542 – (Wine) Cocktails Anyone? Cool Concoctions From the Wine Institute!

This is a time when we are all absolutely immersed in the holiday season. We have a little bit of it behind us and a whole lot more in front of us. This is probably the biggest time when it comes to wine and wine sales because everybody’s out buying wine for gifts. They’re buying wine for parties and family celebrations, but sometimes you just want to mix it up a little bit and when we say mix it up, that even includes mixing our fruit of the vine with something else. So, speaking of something else, one of David’s favorite guests who comes on from time to time, not nearly enough, is Nancy Light. She’s the VP at the Wine Institute, which is an incredibly powerful and effective organization–really an advocacy group–for the California wine industry, but they do so much good for wine all over the world. On this episode of Grape Encounters, Nancy joins us to lighten up things with wine cocktails. When David saw a new publication from the Wine Institute, he says he freaked out! “The minute I saw this, like I just freaked out. I was so crazy because it is so up my alley and anybody that’s been listening to Grape Encounters for any length of time knows that I love to tinker with wine. And there are a lot of people that think wine is sacred and you can’t mess with it and you just gotta drink it the way the winemaker made it and that’s it. But you guys come along with a wine cocktail ebook for the holidays.”

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.