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2014 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – The Insider Wines of The Côte d’Or, Part 1

April 18, 2014 - 6:30am

One of the biggest thrills in wine, is finding bottles that perform above their price level. And, while Burgundy is not particularly know for bargains, there are still some excellent quality-to-price values to be found from several, shall we say “less travelled” appellations and villages.

In a return engagement from his outstanding seminar at the 2013 WOPN, Don Kinnan, CSS, CWE, and the lead instructor for the French Wine Society’s new Master Burgundy Certificate program, leads us through a few of these “insider” appellations, including Marsannay, Fixin, Pernand-Vergelesses, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, Chassagne-Montrachet (a red!), and Santenay. Of course, the seminar also includes a short history of the viticulture and principal vineyards and producers in each of the villages we visit.

Fortunately for us, 12 wines were selected to represent the best terroirs from these villages. The session also includes a detailed discussion of the mountain of Corton, location of the Cote d’Or’s greatest expanse of Grand Cru vineyard acreage, and included a tasting of Corton and Corton-Charlemagne as well. These “insider wines” are often sought out by knowledgeable Burgundy enthusiasts who enjoy their value and pleasure, while saving their more expensive, high profile bottles for special occasions.

So, join us as we listen to Don Kinnan give us insight into the lesser know “insider wines” of Burgundy, all in Part 1 of: Insider Wines of the Côte d’Or.

For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com/

Slide Presentation at WOPN: Don Kinnan Burgundy Seminar

Sponsor: Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #360
(1:38:50 min 94.9 MB)

2013 Wine & Fire Seminar: Digging Deep – Clone 115

April 7, 2014 - 6:30am

The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. Rita Hills appellation. People mingled from late afternoon through dusk and into dark, sampling the various wines. Saturday morning, it was seminar time. We began with a seminar on Chardonnay, followed by a rousing discussion of Pinot Clone 115. The evening featured a grand tasting on the grounds of the La Purisima Mission.

Join us as we listen to the last of two seminars – this one on Clone (aka Cultivar) 115. Six producers from six different Pinot Noir vineyards located throughout the Sta. Rita Hills AVA share their insights as to why this clone is a precious resource in their cellar. The panel includes discussion of: Cargassachi Vineyard, represented by Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette Cellars; Rancho La Viña Vineyard, represented by Kris Curran of D’Alfonso Curran; Rancho La Rinconada Vineyard, represented by Steve Fennell of Sanford Winery; Rio Vista Vineyard, represented by Norm Yost of Flying Goat Cellars; La Montagne Kessler-Haak Vineyard, represented by Kimberly Smith of La Montagne; Clos Pepe Vineyard, represented by Adam Lee of Siduri Wines; and Sebastiano Vineyard, represented by Bill Wathen of Foxen Winery, with Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar doing the moderating.

For more info:

Sta. Rita Hills Wine Region: http://www.staritahills.com/
2014 Wine & Fire Event: www.staritahills.com/wine-fire/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #356
(49:28 min 47.5 MB)

Australia – What’s New?

March 27, 2014 - 6:35am

Wines from Australia are no stranger to most of us, roaring into the U.S. market with high demand back in the mid-to-late ‘90s. At least part of this seemingly sudden demand was driven by the interest in wines with high scores tendered by the Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator publications. Add in the fascination for New World wines from non-domestic sources, an affection for the name Shiraz, and wine labels featuring lots of “critters,” and you had a recipe for success.

Fast forward about 10 years or so, and it became evident that the landscape had changed. Not only were there fewer Australian wines on the shelves, but the more exclusive (and higher priced) wines seemed absent from the marketplace. There were also fewer in-store tastings of Australian wines, and in general, demand seemed to have declined. So, what happened, and where is Australian wine now?

Join us as we talk with Angela Slade, Director of Wine Australia, North America. We’ll cover the last couple of decades in Australian wine, as well as the current market shifts the folks from Oz are making.

For more info:

Wine Australia: www.wineaustralia.com/

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #358
(44:01 min 42.3MB)

Seldom Seen – Wines That Don’t Get Enough Face Time

March 17, 2014 - 6:30am

The world has been witnessing a lot of geo-political turmoil over the last several years. The “Arab Spring,” the “Orange Revolution,” people taking to the streets. Curiously, the wine world has also seen its share of turmoil. We’ve heard about the “natural wine” movement, the “In Pursuit of Balance” organization, and Robert Parker stepping down as head of The Wine Advocate. There’s also been some ‘Balkanization’ of wine appellations, with splinter groups forming right and left, ostensibly to better tell their AVA’s story.

But, with chaos comes opportunity. And, in the midst of all this wine upheaval, many vintners have taken the opportunity to explore other grape varieties – those either outside the norm or otherwise not getting any love from the current wine critics. In a recent diatribe, Robert Parker dismissed many of these varieties as “rarely palatable” and “godforsaken.” Paying no heed to this admonition, vintners are continuing to expand their horizons by making wines from seldom seen old world varieties – varieties that do quite well in their native or even transplanted countries.

So, with a blend of acceptance and gratitude, we’ve decided to take a closer look at some wines made from seldom seen or unrecognized grapes. Join us as we sit down with the bestwinesonline.com guys, Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon to taste and talk about some of these wines. We think you’ll find that some assumptions are best put to bed.

For more info:

Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #357
(1:00:17 min 57.9 MB)

2013 Wine & Fire Seminar – There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills

March 7, 2014 - 6:30am

The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. Rita Hills appellation. People mingled from late afternoon through dusk and into dark, sampling the various wines. Saturday morning, it was seminar time. We began with a seminar on Chardonnay, followed by a rousing discussion of Pinot Clone 115. The evening featured a grand tasting on the grounds of the La Purisima Mission.

Join us as we listen to the first of two seminars – this one on the future of Chardonnay in the Sta. Rita Hills. Could it be that this is actually better terroir for Chardonnay, rather than Pinot Noir? Panelists include: Steve Clifton (Brewer-Clifton), Ken Brown (Ken Brown Wines), Richard Sanford (Alma Rosa), Christine Bruce (Hilliard Bruce), Leslie Mead Renaud (Foley Estate Vineyards), and Antonio Moretti (Moretti Wines), with Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar doing the moderating.

For more info:

Sta. Rita Hills Wine Region: http://www.staritahills.com/
2014 Wine & Fire Event: www.staritahills.com/wine-fire/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #356
(1:05:29 min 62.9 MB)

The Renaissance of Spirits – Gin

February 19, 2014 - 6:30am

Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at gin, a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). With origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved from an herbal medicine to point of major of commerce in the spirits industry. While the Dutch get credit for the invention of gin, it was Britain where it became a staple in both the military and with its citizenry – unfortunately, leading to a period of time in the early 1700s referred to as the Gin Craze.

Today’s gins now have various origins, styles, and flavor profiles, each revolving around juniper as the common ingredient, yet many also include myriad other botanicals as well. The list of classic cocktails that are made with gin is legion, including the: martini, gibson, gimlet, tom collins, south side, last word, and of course the ubiquitous gin & tonic.

Join us as we talk with Brady Caverly, owner of the Flintridge Proper (with over 220 gins) in La Cañada-Flintridge, and John Peet, bar tender at the Proper, about the origins and historical significance of gin. With Mr. Peet in the studio, we were quite fortunate to have our own personal bartender making many of the timeless cocktails for us to sip during our conversation about this classic spirit. If you thought you already knew everything about gin, get ready to be surprised! We’ve included some delicious cocktail photos as well.

For more info:

The Flintridge Proper: theproper.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #355
(1:03:77 min 60.6 MB)


Tom Collins ^


Martini ^


Improved Holland Cocktail ^


Frank Flint ^

The Wines of Chablis – with Séguinot-Bordet

February 7, 2014 - 6:30am

Located in northeast France, the Chablis region was annexed by the Dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century. While it is considered the northernmost extension of the Burgundy wine region, it is separated from the Côte d’Or by the Morvan hills. In fact, the town of Beaune located is more than 62 miles away. This makes the region of Chablis relatively isolated from other winemaking regions. Ironically, the southern vineyards of the Champagne in the Aube department is actually its closest winemaking neighbor.

Historically Chablis was once considered part of the Champagne province, and the two regions share many climatic similarities. Chablis’ far northern location puts it at the extreme edge of sustainable viticulture – too much rain and a lower temperature produces wines quite high in acidity; too much heat produces wines that are flabby with too little acids. But, when the weather is right, the wines are stellar!

Join us as we speak with Jean-François Bordet about the Chablis region and his family’s thirteen generations in Chablis.

For more info:

Chablis Wine Region: www.chablis-wines.com
Domaine Séguinot-Botdet: www.seguinot-bordet.com/en/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #354
(31:13 min 30 MB)

The Wines of Verona – with Bertani Amarone

January 29, 2014 - 6:30am

One of the famous wine growing areas of Italy, the Verona region lies in the north of the country, half-way between Venice and Milan. There has always been a long wine-producing tradition here, which today boasts the largest number of DOC wines in the country, producing wines such as Valpolicella, Soave and Amarone.

Founded in 1857, the Cav. G.B. Bertani winery is still owned by family members. Join us as we talk with Bertani’s technical director Andrea Lonardi, about the history of Bertani and the wines of Verona – especially Amarone.

For more info:

Bertani Amarone: Bertani.net

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #353
(48:32 min 46.6 MB)

The Renaissance of Spirits – Rum

January 17, 2014 - 6:30am

Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at rum. Arguably the oldest of distilled spirits, rum is a bit unique in that it is made from a byproduct of other salable products (sugar cane and molasses), and actually may have more variety in its styles than other distilled spirits.

Rum appears to have its geographical origins in Southeast Asia, where the indigenous populations seemingly stumbled upon the conversion of sugar cane by-products to alcohol. Unlike other spirits where grain or berries may be involved, rum requires a specific climate type for its sugar cane “starter” – humidity! Which, in part, accounts for the abundance of rums emanating from the Caribbean.

Join us as we talk with Matt Robold, blogger, bar tender, educator and self-taught know-it-all about all things rum. Matt can be found behind the bar at 320 Main in Seal Beach, or heading the monthly meetings of Rum Society at Caña Rum Bar in Downtown Los Angeles or the Bartender’s Cabinet in Orange County, California. If you thought you already knew everything about rum, get ready to be schooled!

For more info:

The Rum Dood: rumdood.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #352
(1:03:77 min 60.6 MB)

2013 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Minerality

January 7, 2014 - 6:30am

Over the past several years, wine tasters have been using the term “minerality” to describe specific vinous attributes that include: wet stone, crushed stone, chalk, flint, racy acidity, salinity and the actual taste or smell of minerals. Since science has now debunked the original assumption that these aromas and flavors were translated directly from the earth to the wine via the vine, how do we now account for “minerality” in a wine? More importantly, what exactly is minerality – how do we define it? Seems like a simple question, right? Well, maybe not so much.

Join us as we sit in on a 2013 WOPN seminar on the subject of minerality, to hear the impressions and opinions on the matter from winemakers: Mike Waller (Calera), Jason Jardin (Flowers), Fintan DuFresne (Chamisal), and James Cahill (Soter), with author and writer Karen MacNeil (The Wine Bible) moderating.

For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com/

Calera Wine: www.calerawine.com
Flowers Vineyards & Winery: flowerswinery.com
Chamisal Vineyards: www.chamisalvineyards.com
Soter Vineyards: www.sotervineyards.com
Karen MacNeil: www.karenmacneil.com/the-wine-bible/

Sponsor: Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #351
(1:11:13 min 68.4 MB)