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Ep 316: Women of Bordeaux with Caroline Perromat of Ch Cerons and Sylvie Courselle of Ch Thieuley

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 03/09/2020

Ep 358: Mendocino, California show art Ep 358: Mendocino, California

Wine for Normal People

Mendocino is a large county north of Sonoma that spans one California’s largest, most diverse, and northernmost wine growing regions. Mendo producers make everything from sophisticated, earthy, cool climate Pinot Noir and Alsace varietals, to elegant sparkling wine to full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. There is a myriad of climates, soils and especially elevations in Mendocino, and learning more will make you question why the wine isn't more available and known.

Ep 357: The Role of Alcohol in Wine show art Ep 357: The Role of Alcohol in Wine

Wine for Normal People

It’s the first show of our 10th year! WOW! This time we discuss the role alcohol plays in a glass of wine. As one of the four most important structural components of wine, alcohol can help make or break what is in your glass. We super dork out in this show, discussing everything from irrigation to yeast to reverse osmosis and taxes. A very nerdy way to start out 2021!

Ep 356: The Historic Champagne Lanson with Hervé Dantan, Cellarmaster show art Ep 356: The Historic Champagne Lanson with Hervé Dantan, Cellarmaster

Wine for Normal People

Founded in 1760 as the 4th Champagne house, Lanson is known for its fresh, acidic style (no malolactic fermentation). In this show, Hervé Dantan, cellarmaster and Champagne native, gives us a unique perspective. Rather than marketing and image, Hervé tells us how Champagne is truly made. He focuses a lot on the land and the vineyard. As the son of wine growers, his perspective is so very different from many in the region, who choose instead to focus on the process in the winery.

Ep 355: The 8 Holiday Wine Gifts for Wine Lovers (plus 5 wine gag gifts to make you laugh) show art Ep 355: The 8 Holiday Wine Gifts for Wine Lovers (plus 5 wine gag gifts to make you laugh)

Wine for Normal People

It's the end of the year and there's still time to get interesting and USEFUL gifts for the wine lovers in your life. We covered basics of glassware and gadgets in Ep 338, but this pod covers some cool gift ideas that aren't essentials but, rather, nice to haves (or just damn funny to know about in the case of the 5 gag gifts!).

Ep 354: A New Look At Bordeaux's Médoc -- with Château  La Cardonne's Magali Guyon  show art Ep 354: A New Look At Bordeaux's Médoc -- with Château La Cardonne's Magali Guyon

Wine for Normal People

Magali Guyon has been the technical director/ winemaker of Château La Cardonne, the prestigious Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, for more than 20 years.  We take a different look at the Médoc (the prestigious Left Bank of Bordeaux) and approach it as a proposition of growing and terroir – not of pretty chateaux and expensive wines. Magali helps us reframe the discussion of Bordeaux teaching us that Bordeaux is about the vineyard and the land, not the glitz and glamour that is too often emphasized.

Ep 353: Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny show art Ep 353: Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny

Wine for Normal People

After mulling over the various scandals in wine lately, and thinking about my position in the wine world, I have a perspective to add beyond just a social media post to call out the behavior of those in the wine business, those who have minimized the situation, and the hollow calls for change that likely won’t happen. I discuss my experiences as a woman in wine, and how the solutions to solving issues that underpin the entire industry are sadly inadequate.

Ep 352: The 2020 Thanksgiving Episode -- American Wine Edition show art Ep 352: The 2020 Thanksgiving Episode -- American Wine Edition

Wine for Normal People

2020 has been unlike any other, so we are recommending some different things for this year’s annual Thanksgiving show. This year has been tough for everyone, but small, family-owned wineries have been hit pretty hard. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, so for this year, especially, we’re recommending that we show support for great American, family-owned wineries and their wines that pair perfectly with any kind of Thanksgiving food you decide to eat.

Ep 351: Severine Schlumberger of Domaine Schlumberger and the very French side of Alsace show art Ep 351: Severine Schlumberger of Domaine Schlumberger and the very French side of Alsace

Wine for Normal People

Séverine Schlumberger joins us for the third installment of our mini-tour of Alsace (first installment was Ep 343). To provide a counterpoint to Phillippe Blanck of Domaine Paul Blanck (Ep 250), the Schlumberger family is more devoutly French in attitude and Séverine tells us a different story of her family’s heritage, attitudes, and how Domaine Schlumberger developed and grew to become one of the largest family-owned domaines in Alsace.

Ep 350: Alsace's Famed Domaine Paul Blanck with Phillippe Blanck show art Ep 350: Alsace's Famed Domaine Paul Blanck with Phillippe Blanck

Wine for Normal People

Building off Episode 343 on Alsace and the Alsace class I taught (available on YouTube), Phillippe Blanck of the famed Domaine Paul Blanck joins to talk about his family’s 420-year history in wine, the uniqueness of Alsace and its sites, and how we need to reorient wine to tasting and sensation versus elitist words. You will learn volumes about Alsace, terroir, history, and taste from this wise, very tuned-in, wonderful man

Ep 349: Mas Martinet - A Founding Domaine of Priorat with Sara Perez, Owner show art Ep 349: Mas Martinet - A Founding Domaine of Priorat with Sara Perez, Owner

Wine for Normal People

There are five founding estates of the Priorat region of Spain. Mas Martinet was the first and in this show, brilliant, philosophical owner Sara Perez discusses its history, philosophy, and how she sees the land and wines of this magical, mystical region.

More Episodes

From Eleanor of Acquitane who married Henry Plantagenet of England in 1152, uniting Britain with Bordeaux and kicking off a lifelong relationship between the two nations, to Caroline de Villeneuve, owner of Château Cantemerle who fought tooth and nail to be included in the 1855 Classification, to Madame Labat whose vision and marketing genius gave us Petrus to Baroness Philippine de Rothschild of  Château Mouton-Rothschild and Corinne Mentzelopoulos of Château Margaux women have played a role in Bordeaux for centuries. And in this show we have two women of the current generation. They are here to celebrate women in wine.


On this show I talk with Sylvie Coursell of Château Thieuley, whose estate is in the Entre deux Mers and has been in her family since it was acquired in 1950 and who runs the estate with her sister, making lovely red, white, and sparkling wine. And also Caroline Perromat of the historic Graves estate of Château de Cerons. The property has been around since the 18th century, has groundings in the aristocracy of Bordeaux, and is well known for beautiful reds, whites, and especially botrytis affected sweet wines, which rival those of Barsac and Sauternes.

Caroline tells us about the transformation of Bordeaux culture in three generations. Château de Cerons has kept its aristocratic beginnings  but with Caroline and her husband Xavier at the helm, changes have been made. What are three ways this historic property has changed?

  1. Caroline and Xavier have hired people of diverse backgrounds -- women and men from the arts and other industries apart from wine to give the Château a wider, global perspective. 

  2. They work sustainably in their vineyards, so they can maintain the beautiful freshness (acidity, medium body/lower alcohol, mineral character) in the reds, whites and sweet wines. 

  3. They are working to marry tradition with new practices and a new sense of openness to tourists and to wine lovers around the globe to make Bordeaux a more welcoming, warm place where people can have fun. 

Cool fact Caroline shares: The famous more tangerine flavored Cerons sweet wines from Château de Cerons is actually grown side by side with the grapes for the fresh whites. The difference between the grapes: picking times only!


Sylvie Courselle of Château Thieuley runs the estate with her sister in Entre-Deux-Mers, the home of excellent, fresh white wines and bright, fruity reds. What are Sylvie's 3 points:

1. There used to be far more white than red in Bordeaux, now there is a mere 9% of whites here. 

2. The new grapes that have been introduced for climate reasons (Marselan, Touriga Nacional, Castets, and Arinarnoa for reds and Alvarinho, Petit Manseng and Liliorila for whites) will give winemakers flexibility that they crave -- she and her sister feel inhibited by the AOC system, so much that they planted Chardonnay and Syrah so they could make wine from them (they are label Vin de France, the general appellation for French wine).  Experimetation in anticipation of climate change has been happening for years, so these grapes are the best options based on research.

3. Sylvie believes that in the next generation, the conversation around women and wine will be a non-issue. She feels the playing field has equalized and that we won't be talking about this in 10 years (I gotta disagree with her, but I love the optimism!).


Cool fact from Sylvie: Château Thieuley is named for its soil types of clay "tiles" that surround the estate. Sylvie tells us that many of the Bordeaux chateaux are named in a similar fashion, if they aren't named for the people who founded them.

A great show to salute two fantastic women in wine, this women's history month! 



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