loader from loading.io

Ep 330: Journalistic Integrity in Wine with Don Kavanagh of Wine-Searcher

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 06/15/2020

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.

info_outline
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!

info_outline
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.

info_outline
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!).

info_outline
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.

info_outline
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.

info_outline
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.

info_outline
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.

info_outline
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

info_outline
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.

info_outline
 
More Episodes

The question comes up again and again in wine: who can we read that is trustworthy and who reports on the truth? We know it isn't the glossy magazines and many industry wonks are all in the pocket of high end producers and beholden to them so they can stay in the "club" and continue to drink expensive wine in their elite circles. 

 

There is one guy, however, that you can trust. And that is Don Kavanagh the editor of Wine-Searcher's journalistic arm. He has spent the past 25 years either working in the wine trade or writing about it, in his native Ireland, the UK, and New Zealand. He is far from an insider and his dedication to telling things as they are -- as a true observer of situations rather than a judge, jury, or partisan -- is clear in all that he writes and publishes. 

Don is a truly normal person. Unlike people who were graced with expensive bottles at his parents' dinner table, he worked his way through the wine trade, working in the UK and learning about wine (while also laying bricks, doing construction and being a bouncer), setting up his own shop in New Zealand, and then attending journalism school before launching a successful career at newspapers, wine trade publications, and now Wine-Searcher. I really relate to his story, having grown up in a home without luxuries myself and having to work many jobs to pay the bills.

 

Don's commitment to honest representation of facts led him to doggedly pursue the 2018 scandal in the Court of Master Sommeliers in which a board member gave away the answers to portions of the exam. This led to all candidates being de-certified and was a big enough story to hit the international news.

Wine-Searcher Data Feed - Zoey Commerce

While the Court turned to its friends in the wine trade to quickly sweep the scandal and all of the implications it had under the rug, Don kept asking hard questions. He was the single voice in the wine trade that wouldn't let it go. To date, the Court of Master Sommeliers has still never answered his questions nor have they discussed the changes they would make to the exam that would fix some of the problems Don's stories highlighted. 

 

We discuss the issues with the wine industry at large, the certification culture that has emerged, the elitism, and how advertiser dollars drive what gets published and what stays quiet (we mention this disturbing yet honest article by Richard Hemming, Master of Wine  “Why Wine Writers Don't Hold The Trade To Account”?). 

 

We discuss how the industry can be fixed, and come to a few conclusions.


If you ever wanted to hear about the underbelly of the wine industry and how wine writing works when advertisers in the industry are involved, as well as the power structure that prevents more honesty in wine, this is the podcast for you. Sign up for the Wine-Searcher newsletter to keep up with him. 

 

Don is one of the best guests I've ever had and I personally love this show! 

 

_______________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

To sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

And get your copy Wine For Normal People Book today! 

 

Wine Access 

Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! 

Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range). Check out their awesome wine club, which is the REAL DEAL!