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Ep 222: Meeker Wine of Sonoma, CA with Lucas Meeker, the Next Gen of CA Wine

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 03/04/2018

Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country show art Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country

Wine for Normal People

The Basque Country in northeastern Spain lies on the Bay of Biscay and abuts the Pyrenees Mountains, a mere 18 mi/30 km from the French border. Until about a decade ago, this area was relatively unknown as a wine region. But with the rise of Basque cuisine, an increased interest from wine buyers in native varietals, and a thirst for lighter wines, Txakolina (chock-o-LEEN-ah), a white, high acid, spritz wine started to gain ground. In this show, we discuss this historic region and its wine traditions.

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Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW show art Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW

Wine for Normal People

Roman Horvath, a Master of Wine, is the Winery Director of Domaine Wachau, a leading Austrian wine producer. The Domaine is actually a cooperative, meaning it is run by & owned by individual growers. But whereas most co-ops in Europe produce seas of mediocre wines, Domaine Wachau is known for its wines of origin & pure flavor. Roman tells us about the Domaine's range of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling that reflect terroir & show that under the right management, the co-op system can make unbelievable wines!

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Ep 382: Don Kavanagh on Wine's Next Wave and The End of the Cult of the Somm show art Ep 382: Don Kavanagh on Wine's Next Wave and The End of the Cult of the Somm

Wine for Normal People

Don Kavanagh, editor of Wine-Searcher's news division, returns to talk about wine's next wave and Wine-Searcher's article: "Farewell to the 'Cult of the Somm.'" We discuss how the wine world is shaping up in a post-pandemic world where a shift towards stay-at-home drinking and more casual dining will likely be lasting trends. We discuss how sommelier "influencer" culture is dead, and what may be next. Don is infinitely entertaining; this podcast is bound to delight (unless you're a snobby sommelier!).

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Ep 381: Wines for a Barbecue show art Ep 381: Wines for a Barbecue

Wine for Normal People

Barbecues are fun, but having wine at them…not so much! The food at barbecues ranges but the theme is that even though they generally occur in the dead of summer, the food is very heavy and served warm so the wines we needed for pairing aren’t necessarily the same ones we’d have for sipping on the porch. In this show, we go over the main foods we have at BBQs and break down some of their constituent components so we can find the best wines for them. 

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Ep 380: Wine Moves North to Brittany & Beyond with Barnaby Eales show art Ep 380: Wine Moves North to Brittany & Beyond with Barnaby Eales

Wine for Normal People

As the climate has changed, winegrowers have been seeking terroir where natural acidity and lightness can shine in the bottle. In this show, really about the future of cool climate wine, you'll get an idea of what is coming next and where we'll find food friendly, balanced wines in decades to come. I give a short intro about the wines of Scandinavia (another cool climate choice), then journalist Barnaby Eales joins to discuss his latest article about the new wine regions in the NW area of Brittany, France.

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Ep 379: The Main Alternatives to Oak --All About Concrete Eggs and Amphoras show art Ep 379: The Main Alternatives to Oak --All About Concrete Eggs and Amphoras

Wine for Normal People

Oak stabilizes color and smooths tannins, some think of it as a seasoning ingredient. But what about the other vessels that are increasingly popular for fermentation and aging? What do they do? We discuss the main alternatives to oak -- concrete eggs and amphoras --and the benefits of each. The show is a hybrid of discussion and interview, as I welcome Steve Rosenblatt of Sonoma Cast Stone, who manufactures concrete eggs and tanks, and Debbie Passin of VinEthos.com who sells next generation amphoras.

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Ep 378: Prosecco -- The wine, the region, and how to get the best bottles show art Ep 378: Prosecco -- The wine, the region, and how to get the best bottles

Wine for Normal People

In this show we go over the details of the Prosecco region, the winemaking techniques, and I share the most important thing about the wine and how to get the best: the DOCGs that make way better wine than the cheap and cheerful stuff at the supermarket. By the end of the show you’ll understand why Prosecco shouldn't be compared to Champagne (spoiler alert – it’s not made the same and that’s on purpose!) and how to get better versions of what you may already be sipping!

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Ep 377: The Wines of Beaujolais and its Ten Divine Cru show art Ep 377: The Wines of Beaujolais and its Ten Divine Cru

Wine for Normal People

Beaujolais is a unique, standalone wine region in central eastern France. Crafted from the Gamay grape, Beaujolais wines and terroir are like no other on earth. The challenge as wine lovers: we must know what we’re looking for -- the 10 cru emphasize their individual cru on the label and Beaujolais is in small print. But if you can remember (or bookmark!) these names, you are in for some of the most interesting, best value reds available. These are wines to discover. Once you do, you’ll drink them forev

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Ep 376: The 1976 Judgment of Paris -- the Tasting That Made California Wine Famous show art Ep 376: The 1976 Judgment of Paris -- the Tasting That Made California Wine Famous

Wine for Normal People

It is the 45th Anniversary of the Judgment of Paris: a 1976 tasting of California and French wines, organized but the late Steve Spurrier, that opened the door for wines from the US and all over the New World to be recognized for their excellence. We should raise a glass to him, his business partner Patricia Gallagher, and to journalist George Taber, all of whom made this event so very significant and helped elevate California and New World wines to "World Class" status!

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Ep 375: Phil Long of Longevity Wines -- Bringing Heart to CA's Livermore Valley show art Ep 375: Phil Long of Longevity Wines -- Bringing Heart to CA's Livermore Valley

Wine for Normal People

Phil Long of Longevity Wines is a true Garagiste – he began his making wine in the garage with his late wife Debra and by 2008, the couple quit their full-time jobs and opened their winery in the Livermore Valley, a sub-AVA of the Central Coast with hot days and cool nights. Phil is known for his balanced wines of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. He is also the President of the Association of African American Vintners and has been a key player in discussions around the lack of diversity in the wine industry.

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This week, Lucas Meeker of Meeker Wine -- a Millennial winemaker who has taken the helm of winemaking and operations at this Sonoma favorite. In his philosophical, intellectual way, Lucas recounts stories of the winery's early days and then discusses everything from additives in wine, to how wine is like vocal range. 

Lucas graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University with High Honors in English in 2007, but he returned home to the family winery with plans to eventually head to graduate school. But once he started doing marketing, label design, and cellar rat work, he caught the wine "bug."  He made wines under his own label, Lucas J. Cellars, for four vintages (2007-2010) and honed the craft of winemaking through hands on experience and a passion for reading and learning from his Dad, other winemakers, books, UC Davis, the internet, and his own mistakes. Eventually, he abandoned his plans for graduate school and further dedicated himself to the craft of winemaking. Lucas took over daily operation of the winery in 2010, and after four years as Co-Winemaker with Charlie, officially became Head Winemaker in 2014.

Here are the show notes:

  • We chat about the storied history of Meeker, including Charlie's stories from MGM, how he bought the vineyard and how he uprooted Lucas from his Hollywood life to Sonoma
  • We discuss various aspects of the wine industry -- what Custom Crush is and why it's important to wineries like Meeker, the importance of label reading and why some wineries are a sham
  • We wax poetic on the virtue of Merlot and Lucas gives thoughts on wine traditions and their importance
  • Lucas talks about the "magnitude" of wine  and how he parses wine descriptions
  • We talk about Zinfandel and changes in the wine industry in the last 10 years -- including how wine can be altered or honest
  • We have a great conversation about the Meeker philosophy and Lucas's "end zone"
  • We end on a positive note: Lucas's optimism for the next gen of winemakers

 

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