Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Flying off to other places

Well folks, I'll be travelling for a bit and you probably won't be hearing much from me for awhile. If I do catch that magical and unpredictable wi-fi connection abroad, I'll be sure to fill you in on whatever stories are in motion. Otherwise, I'll see you when I get back. Tune into the podcast if you miss me, or just wander back here in a couple of weeks.

Be well.

Bill Fitch didn't mean to become one of the most interesting Wine Directors in NYC, but that's just what happened anyway

Bill Fitch of Vinegar Hill House speaks out about the beauties of the unfinished, the unrefined, and the imperfect, today on the podcast. This is not the sort of wine talk that you will hear from anyone else. Listen in.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mike Chelini of Stony Hill is on I'll Drink to That!


"Really, there's very little technique. We consider ourselves farmers" said Mike Chelini during our recent talk on the podcast. Mike is a pretty cool guy in my estimation. And he knows what he is talking about, after 40 years of working at Stony Hill Vineyard. Check out what he had to say.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston


My thoughts are with everyone in Boston. This is terrible, what has happened. Friends, please be well.

Friday, April 12, 2013

John Sellar of Frederick Wildman is on I'll Drink to That!

This photograph of Mr. Sellar (and also Mr. Sellar) is blurry because I took it on the run. You see, John Sellar is a physically imposing, large scaled man, and at the time I shot this John was still a little mad at me over the now infamous "Rousseau Broom Closet Conversation." Frankly, I had heard about John's predilection for Kevlar vests and street rumbles, and I was trying to be careful. Or actually I hadn't heard about those yet, because I just found out about them while we recorded the latest podcast release, which you should definitely listen to, by the way. But just don't tell John that I said anything.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jim Clendenen has better Henri Jayer stories than anyone, and he shares a bit of that on I'll Drink to That! today

Human Marvel Jim Clendenen is on the podcast show and guess what? It's a terrific listen. If you care about California winemaking, or Burgundy, or the wine market, or just really if you care about wine, this is pretty much a can't miss conversation. So don't miss it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The hit teevee show Wine Girls

Imagine if Hannah Horvath and her twenty-something pals were living in Brooklyn, having lots of sex, and trying to break into the wine business. Or don't imagine it, because I've kind of gone ahead and done that for you already.

Hannah wants to be a Wine Director but no restaurant in Manhattan will hire her without NYC experience. She tries interning in a cellar for awhile, but she is hopeless at breaking down the wine boxes. Also, they won't pay her, ever, and the other intern is the only one who understands the Cellar Management software. Desperate, she takes a job at the Williamsburg coffee shop Ray manages, which has been trying for several months to secure a liquor license.

Marnie grew up drinking first growths with her family, but can't afford them on her own, especially after a midtown wine retailer downsizes and leaves her without a job. She takes up a hostess position in the hopes of meeting someone able to open up the back vintages of Chateau Margaux that she is lusting after.

Jessa drank Overnoy with Pierre in an Arbois cafe ages ago, and can't understand why everyone is so hung up on Manu's wines now. She has moved on from her relationship with the Jura anyhow, and refers to that period as her "red pastel wild silk phase."

Shoshanna was a wine virgin, having only drunk pink cosmos for several years. She was afraid to admit to the others that she had never even been to the Ten Bells, but she changes her relationship to wine after Ray introduces her to Sherry. Now she can't decide if she is totes into single vineyard, or if she prefers fractional blending at times.

Adam used to threaten to beat up wine guys and steal their Burgundy money. But he's been going to therapy for that. It turns out that he really likes Bressandes. But maybe a little too much.

Ray berates people who don't like the strong tannins in the coffee at Grumpy, telling them to Go try some F*in Mondeuse for once in their lives. He has a rule against relationships with girls who dated drummers or casually drank Yellowtail with them.

Charlie is deeply knowledgeable about German Riesling, but has trouble sharing his true feelings about sweetness. He later creates a successful iPhone app that helps people avoid reordering the wrong Pradikat levels.

Thomas-John is actually just like the Thomas-John from Girls

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dr. Katharina Prum is on I'll Drink to That!

Dr. Katharina Prum joins the podcast show today, and among the topics we don't cover is Why the need for so many the German doctors? Are people so often getting sick there, that they need all of these doctors? We definitely don't talk about that. Among the topics we do cover is Everything related to Joh. Jos. Prum, the iconic and storied German Riesling producer that Katharina tends to with her father. Do check out the interview.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

FTP Alert!


Awhile back Abe Schoener told me that several different hep California winemakers had been fighting over who would get the Pinot Grigio grapes from Tegan Passalacqua's vineyard in Lodi, and now I know why. I tasted the result, the "FTP", at the Scholium shindig yesterday and HELLO! Very nice to meet you! Big stars and circles around boxes on my tasting sheet. Definitely make some room in your glass should a bottle come your way.

One more reason to love the Vaira family!

Giuseppe Vaira: A Happy Papa. 

Sincere Congratulations to Giuseppe and Sophie Vaira, who have welcomed their Lucia into the world. I am delighted that on my next visit to the Piemonte there will be one more Vaira to spend time with, and that there is another person to toast when I pour a glass of Vajra back home. Salute!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bobby Stuckey does a boat race with I'll Drink to That!

Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food & Wine is on the podcast show today and there is some real talk about Italy, restaurants, California wine, and the make or break of being a sommelier. Bobby definitely knows of what he speaks. Listen in.