Thursday, September 14, 2017

IDTT Wine 429: Bill Easton Ignored the 90s Monster Wines


Bill Easton is the proprietor and winemaker at both Easton Wines and Domaine de la Terre Rouge in Amador County, California.

Bill describes an era of post-Prohibition California winemaking that has largely disappeared, and explains why he decided to pioneer Rhone grape varieties in a corner of the state that was little known. Bill also is frank about his stylistic choices, and his decision not to embrace the fashionable 1990s style of big wines.


A New Episode of I'll Drink to That!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

IDTT Wine 428: Swedish Sommelier Totte Steneby on Restaurant Success and Disaster


Totte Steneby is the Beverage Manager of Portal Restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. He is also an importer of Burgundy wine into Sweden, and a European brand ambassador for both the Sandhi and Domaine de la Cote wineries of California.

A former child actor, Totte Steneby discusses his sommelier career, having worked at a number of top restaurants in Sweden. He shares some of the hard moments he has experienced during restaurant work as well, including one hard opening gone wrong. Totte also describes the Swedish wine market, and how it has dramatically changed over time.


A New Episode of I'll Drink to That!

Monday, August 28, 2017

IDTT Wine 427: Gianluca Garofoli On One Hundred Years of Verdicchio


Gianluca Garofoli works with his family at the Garofoli winery, in the Marche region of Italy.

Gianluca Garofoli discusses in-depth the wine history of the Marche, as well as the native grape varieties Verdicchio and Montepulciano. This conversation is an insider's guide to the Castelli di Jesi sub-zone of the Marche, and Gianluca provides rich detail about the winemaking there.  Vineyard characteristics, vine training, weather conditions, soil types, vintages, and winemaking styles are all covered, as well as the changes in the wines of region over time.


A New Episode of I'll Drink to That!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

IDTT Wine 426: Giampaolo Venica Remembers a Different Friuli


Giampaolo Venica works with his family at the Venica winery, in the Friuli region of Italy.

Giampaolo Venica describes the Friuli as a region that has changed significantly in recent decades, and which is still in flux today. He notes the many changes in grape plantings and wine styles within the Collio, and questions what types of wines from the Friuli may find resonance with consumers in the future.


A New Episode of I'll Drink to That!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

IDTT Wine 425: Cherasco Barolo Survives Today Solely Because of Marchese Umberto Fracassi Ratti Mentone


Marchese Umberto Fracassi Ratti Mentone is the sole producer of a Barolo from the Cherasco sub-zone of Italy's Piemonte region. His family has owned vineyard land in the Cherasco area for centuries, and the Marchese, who is now over 80 years old, tends to the family parcel at the edge of the Barolo zone.

This is a rare encounter with the Marchese, who rarely grants interviews. The conversation ranges across decades and even centuries of history in the Piemonte, covering the Roman period, the reign of the Savoy Dukes, World War II, and the great growth of Barolo production in the last few decades.


A New Episode of I'll Drink to That!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

IDTT Wine 424: The Complete Stephen Brook


Stephen Brook is a prolific author of anthologies, travel books, and a wide range of wine books over the last thirty years, including "The Complete Bordeaux," "The Wines of Germany," "The Wines of California," "Wine People," "The Wines of Austria," and "Bordeaux: People, Power, and Politics."  Stephen has also been a Contributing Editor to Decanter Magazine since 1996.

Stephen revisits his wine writing career in this interview, recounting his adventures and undertakings in several different wine producing countries, and recognizing how those places and the people he has met have changed over time. He also takes a look at the generation he has been a part of within British wine writing, and considers what happens next in his own career and for wine writing generally.


A New Episode of I'll Drink to That!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

IDTT Wine 423: Elena Pantaleoni Remembers When Making Natural Wine Felt Lonely


Elena Pantaleoni is the proprietor of the La Stoppa winery in Italy's Emilia.

Elena Pantaleoni was pulling out international grape varieties from her vineyard in the mid-1990s, just when the acclaim for such wines was highest. And she embraced a Natural wine approach long before it became fashionable in the market. Why did she make those moves? Elena discusses in this interview the decision making that has set her apart from the pack in the Emilia and in Italy. In the end, she says, she didn't want to copy someone else from someplace else.


A New Episode of I'll Drink to That!