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Ep 338: Glassware and Gadgets Revisited

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 08/11/2020

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Ep 348: The Mâconnais of Burgundy show art Ep 348: The Mâconnais of Burgundy

Wine for Normal People

The Mâconnais is the southernmost area of Burgundy, known for excellent Chardonnay. Although it's often overshadowed by the other parts of Burgundy and only given credit for Pouilly-Fuissé, this picturesque and historic Chardonnay-dominated region has some of exciting appellations you should seek out to see what Mâcon is capable of (hint: a lot, at great prices to boot!)

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Ep 347: The Grape Miniseries -- Viognier show art Ep 347: The Grape Miniseries -- Viognier

Wine for Normal People

Saved from the brink of extinction just 50 years ago, Viognier (pronounced vee-ohn-yay), is a white grape that's native to the Northern Rhône in France. The grape produces effusive wines with a strong aromatic character -- peaches, apricots, flowers, herbs, and ginger are common -- and when made well it has a medium body with a touch of acidity and a pleasant bitterness. This week we continue the grape mini-series by exploring this comeback kid and the pleasure it can bring when in the right hands. 

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Ep 346: Port Wine show art Ep 346: Port Wine

Wine for Normal People

Port is an historical, complex, and sometimes confusing wine, but it is more than worth your time to learn about. M.C. Ice go over everything from the vineyards of the Douro, to the history of this wine (with geopolitical implications), to how it's made, and the array of styles. There's something for everyone in the world of Port and after this show, you should be able to figure out which is for you!

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Ep 345: CVNE -- A Rioja Legend with CEO Victor Urrutia show art Ep 345: CVNE -- A Rioja Legend with CEO Victor Urrutia

Wine for Normal People

I welcome Victor Urrutia, the CEO of the Compañia Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) one of the most famed bodegas in Rioja, which has been around since 1879. Victor is part of the 5th generation of a family that has run CVNE (said coo-NAY) for 141 years. We discuss the storied history of this classic, traditional, high quality bodega, and probe into a dozen other Rioja-related topics.

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Ep 344: Wines for Transitional Weather (Spring and Fall) show art Ep 344: Wines for Transitional Weather (Spring and Fall)

Wine for Normal People

During transitions to cooler or warmer weather, what should you drink? I am a firm believer that we should drink wines appropriate for the seasons: crisp, acidic wines for warm weather & fuller, more alcoholic ones for cool temps. This show covers both!

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More Episodes

We haven't done a show on this topic for a long time, so here's the 2020 update. We cover what to look for in glassware, decanters, wine fridges, wine openers, preservation systems and more. This is the skinny on what you need and what you don't (and why!).

 

Our picks are all on the Wine For Normal People store (where I make a tiny bit through affiliate money), but here's the list with some buying tips:

  • Glassware picks, well, I'll make you read this article from epicurious.com ( I wrote it so I believe in it!)

  • Decanters: they are good for removing sediment, aerating a full bottle, and heating up a too-cold wine. Make sure you get one that is easy to wash (forgot to mention that in the show)

  • Aerators: still a no-go for me. If you don't have the time to wait for a wine to unfold, drink something else.

  • Wine openers: the WFNP one, the electric one

 

  • Wine ice cubes: We like the thin plastic ones because we are the weight and color of stainless steel or rock can mess with the glass (break it) and the wine (discolor it)


  • Wine fridges: The fewer bells and whistles, the better. Make sure you think about how much wine you WILL consume in the future, as opposed to what you drink now. If your wine habit is growing, buy a slightly bigger fridge.

  • The Corksicle: This also serves as an aerator, but you would ignore that function if you take our advice. The main purpose of the device is to chill down the wine quickly. You put it in the freezer and the plastic icicle reaches down through the bottle to chill the wine. I'm not sold on it, but this is the only one that at least ONE of us thinks has promise. 

  • Yeti Wine tumbler: the only stemless that gets my ok, this keeps the wine at a perfect temperature every time. GREAT for the beach or any outdoor drinking!


  • Vacu-vin or other vacuum sealer: It will give you a day or three more with fresh wine, so it's a yes! 



  • Press-n-Seal for sparkling wine -- seriously.

  • Coravin: If you live alone or like drinking different things from your partner, or different things every night, this is worth the $200 - $400 plus the $50 refill cost a few times a year. The money you'll save in wine down the drain is well worth it! Make sure you always remove the foil and you don't use it on synthetic cork. Also, let the bottle stand upright for a few hours so it doesn't leak -- the cork will "heal" but it doesn't do so right away and that can leave a mess in your fridge.




  • Funnel and filter combo: Perfect for getting rid of floating cork, sediment, tartrate crystals -- the filter is a must. I know this may not happen to you, but occasionally you want to go to bed and you didn't finish all the wine in your glass. That's a good time to use the funnel!

Are there other gadgets that are fine? Absolutely, but this is our best of the best -- the ones that we find useful and necessary!

Let us know if you have additions.

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Thanks to our sponsors this week:

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 site with fantastic, hard to find wines -- you won't regret it! 

 

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