Uncork Your Mind
Debbie Gioquindo, CSW, WLS the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess takes the intimidation out of wine. This podcast you will find interviews with winemakers, interesting people and my show Winephabet Street.
info_outline Out at the Wineries March 2021 03/17/2021
Out at the Wineries March 2021 This past weekend I ventured out to some area wineries and took advantage of the nice weather. Wine tasting is a lot different today. Appointments are needed and you need to think out your route and stops. Gone are the tastings where you belly up to the bar and tasted 5-8 1 ounce pours and dump or spit in the dump bucket. But you know what, I like it this way. It is actually more enjoyable. What I did miss is the interaction with the employees over the wine. You know, where they talk to you about the wine, answer your questions and you can see their face light up with enthusiasm when talking about one of their favorite wines. I know the wineries are doing their best and they have had to adapt and change many times. This is no way meant to criticize but to show you how tastings have changed and every winery is different. Know the rules set forth at each of your stops. One winery we went to had no time limit, while the other winery had a time limit of an hour and a half. An hour and a half is plenty of time to taste. If you want to camp and picnic make sure the winery allows that. When making reservations, it’s like making reservations to go to dinner. Make sure you show up or cancel with plenty of notice so the winery can sell that reservation time to someone else. Don’t be surprised if there is a cancellation fee the closer to the time of your reservation. Trust me, coming from owning a restaurant, decisions are made based on reservations. If you cancel an hour before your reservation, that time slot could have went to someone else who was disappointed they couldn’t get in, and they can’t rely on walk in business. OK - I’ll get off my high horse on that subject. White Horse Winery Located in Hammonton, New Jersey our reservation was for 1pm. This winery handles reservations by phone and we reserved a fire pit and there was no time limit. When we arrived we were greeted by their friendly staff who showed us the tasting menu by the glass. I ordered a glass of the Chambourcin and Jenn ordered a glass of Cabernet Franc. While we ordered another staff member went out and lit our firepit #2 and brought a pitcher of water to the area. All tables and firepits are labeled with a wine bottle with a number on it. I could have sat out there all day, it was so delightful. A second round was ordered, another Cab Franc for Jenn and a 2017 Merlot Reserve for me. At the end of our time here, I went in to purchase a bottle of the Merlot and noticed people ordering flights. I so wish we were told they had flights, because we would have ordered them. All good, we enjoyed our time here. Bellview Winery This winery was a 20 minute drive from White Horse and located in Landisville, New Jersey. We made our reservations right off their sight on OpenTable. Beautiful spacious grounds and when making our reservation we had the choice of inside or out. When we got there we notice there were firepits. Upon checking in there was no check from a reservation system or list. The person behind the counter showed us a menu and said we can do a wine by the glass, bottle or get a red or white flight and she would bring it out to us. I did ask some questions about the grapes that were in the rose and the blends, but unfortunately she didn’t know the answer. We got to pick any picnic table outside and we chose a picnic table just outside the tasting room. After 15 minutes I went back inside looking for our flights. I got the deer in headlights look. They found our flights sitting on the back bar, the server forgot to take it out to us. I get it, things happen. This is the first time I’ve been out tasting since Covid. The biggest thing I missed was the conversation about the wines, learning about the blends, the grapes, the process and who is behind the winery. I know every experience is different at every winery. I feel Covid has limited that personal information transfer between employee and customer, perhaps for fear of catching the illness.
info_outline Winephabet Street O is for Orange Wine with Craig Camp 02/08/2021
Winephabet Street O is for Orange Wine with Craig Camp Debbie and Lori host Winephabet Street which is a monthly webinar series exploring wine through the alphabet. This month Craig Camp from Troon Vineyard is their guest and they will be exploring Orange Wine. What is behind it and the winemaking process.
info_outline South Africa Wines Need Us 02/04/2021
South Africa Wines Need Us The first time I had a South African wine I didn’t know what to expect. I remember it clearly, it was a Sauvignon Blanc from the Stellenbosch region. I liked it so much I went and ordered a case. That was years ago and frankly, I don’t think I’ve tasted many since. I am very eager to learn more about this wine-producing country. I got invited to a South African Wine Zoom on Saturday from Red Wolf Imports and set out to find some South African Wines to taste during the seminar. Just so happens that I received a wine club shipment from Somm Select Tuesday and there was a bottle of David & Nadia Wines “Aristargos White Blend 2015 from Swartland, South Africa. That bottle went right into the fridge. Off I went to the liquor store. I was shocked at the small shelf space for wines from South Africa. I’m talking choice of 6 bottles. No Sauvignon Blanc, No Chenin Blanc, No Pinotage, and none of the producers that Alyssa suggested I purchase. I did come home with a bottle of Wolftrap and Indaba Mosaic Red Blend. While we are here in our bubble, we really don’t have any idea of what is going on in other countries. In South Africa they have had a very challenging time. The government has shut down wine sales in the country three times. The first time they banned exports and domestic alcohol sales for 6 weeks in the spring when the pandemic began. Then a month after they allowed the sales, they shut down domestic sales again. After the holidays, again, they shut down domestic sales with the date expiring February 2. Now the only potential for revenue for wineries is through exports to the international markets. The landscape is very different in South Africa. You don’t see the huge estates like you do in Napa or France. Many are small wineries and family-owned farms. It’s these small family-owned farms that the wineries source their fruit. Businesses care about their people. To give you an idea Dave & Nadia Wines employ a permanent staff that are four local homeless people. Their philosophy is “to try to employ people instead, to give hope to them.” At Indaba, every case purchase $.50 is donated to the Indaba Foundation, which was founded by their parent company Cape Classics. The foundation brings skilled and resourced educators to communities to help children during their informative years to develop and learn. The price points for South Africa wines are anywhere from $6.98 to $30+. The wines I purchased covered the scope of the price range. David & Nadia Wines “Aristargos” White Blend, Swartland, South Africa 2015 SRP $35 This was a wine club purchase. They say drink now until 2025. I think now is a good time. It is a great winter white. A nice full-bodied wine that is a blend of 35% Chenin Blanc, 23% Roussanne, 15% Clairette, 19% Viognier and 8% Semillon. The Chenin Blanc vines are 35 - 50 years old and the Semillon vines are 61years old. You can taste the maturity in the wine. Beautifully balanced with stone fruit, apple and a citrus zing on the finish. Boekenhoutskloof “The Wolftrap” Red Blend 2018 SRP $6.98 - Established in 1776, Boekenhoutsklof is located in the furthest corner of the Franschhoek valley. Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree and the farm's name means “ravine of the Boekenhout.” They pride themselves on being Syrah specialists. The Wolftrap is a Rhone-style blend inspired by the pioneering spirit of the early settlers. A blend of 85% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier you will find lots of dark fruit, black spice and smoky oak with a medium body on the palate. Indaba Mosaic Red Blend 2017 SRP $7.99 - A blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. This wine was very jammy with notes of raspberry, cherry, blackcurrant, soft tannins and hints of black spice.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 14- N is for Nebbiolo 01/11/2021
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 14- N is for Nebbiolo In this episode Debbie and Lori explore the Nebbiolo grape.
info_outline Winephabet Street M is for Monastrell with Nicholas Hammeken 12/10/2020
Winephabet Street M is for Monastrell with Nicholas Hammeken Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions one letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 12 L is for Lugana with Special Guest Susannah Gold, Lugana East Coast Brand Manager and Founder, Vigneto Communications 10/01/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 12 L is for Lugana with Special Guest Susannah Gold, Lugana East Coast Brand Manager and Founder, Vigneto Communications Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 12 - L is for Lugana. Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions one letter at a time.
info_outline Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest Seminar: Pairing Wine with Take-Out 09/04/2020
Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest Seminar: Pairing Wine with Take-Out Join Debbie as she discusses wine pairings with take-out food. She goes over the types of food to pair with wine and why. She concludes with and interview with Chef Gus Zimmerman on takeout. He talks about what to order, what travels well and how to reheat your take-out
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 11 K is for Kabar with Special Guest Edit Bai, Winemaker at Chateau Dereszla 09/03/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 11 K is for Kabar with Special Guest Edit Bai, Winemaker at Chateau Dereszla Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 11 - K is for Kabar. Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions one letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 9 I is for Indigenous Yeast with Special Guest Guy Pacurar from Fathers + Daughters Cellars 06/19/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 9 I is for Indigenous Yeast with Special Guest Guy Pacurar from Fathers + Daughters Cellars In this episode of Winephabet Street Debbie & Lori speak with Guy Parcurar of Fathers + Daughters Cellars all about Indigenous Yeast .
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 8 - H is for Hunter Valley 06/01/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 8 - H is for Hunter Valley Grab a glass and join Lori and Debbie as they take you through the world of wine one letter at a time. Each episode will be a new letter and a new wine. In this episode, we discuss the Hunter Valley region of Australia. So uncork, unscrew or saber that bottle and connect with us as we chat, laugh and drink wine all in a laid back atmosphere.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 7 - G is for Glera 05/20/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 7 - G is for Glera Join Debbie & Lori as they talk about the Glera grape. The grape of Prosecco
info_outline Happy Hour with Rias Baixas Albarino 04/02/2020
Happy Hour with Rias Baixas Albarino Join Debbie as she takes you on a journey through Rias Baixas with Gegory + Vine, and Spanish Wine Educators Rick Fisher and Kat Thomas. Learn all about Rias Baixas and the wonderful Albarino it produces.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 6 - F is for Fume Blanc 04/02/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 6 - F is for Fume Blanc Grab a glass and join Lori and Debbie as they take you through the world of wine one letter at a time. Each episode will be a new letter and a new wine. In this episode, we discuss Fume Blanc. So uncork, unscrew or saber that bottle and connect with us as we chat, laugh and drink wine all in a laid back atmosphere.
info_outline Sparkling Wines of the World Webinar 03/27/2020
Sparkling Wines of the World Webinar Last Monday I held a Sparkling Wines of the World seminar over Zoom. It seems to be the thing these days for get-togethers. I wasn’t sure how many people, if any would even show up. When I go in front of people, I tend to get a little nervous. Nervous I am going to leave something out, but if you run into me on the street, I’ll vomit at the mouth with information. I guess the more I do these the more I won’t get nervous. Here are the video and audio of the seminar. It is an introductory seminar discussing many of the different sparkling wines around the world and how they are made. We touch on Champagne, Cremant, Prosecco, Asti, Franciacorta, Cava, Espumante and Sekt. I also explain the different methods used to produce sparkling wine so that you have a better understanding of what is in the bottle. I might do some more of these in the future. I have a big list of subjects. So stay tuned. I hope you enjoy!
info_outline Interview with Emanuela Gianfrede of Antica Masseria Jorche 03/17/2020
Interview with Emanuela Gianfrede of Antica Masseria Jorche Interview with Emanuela Gianfrede of Antica Masseria Jorche winery in Italy.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 5 - E is for Egri Bikaver 03/11/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 5 - E is for Egri Bikaver This month of February on Winephabet Street Lori and I explored Egri Bikaver, better known as Bulls Blood. Egri Bikaver is from Hungary and better known as Bulls Blood. It is not a grape but a blend of 50% Kekfrankos (which we know as Blaufrankish or Lemberger) and the rest can be Kadarka, Syrah, Merlot, Portugieser, Minoir, Blauburger, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt or Turan.
info_outline Food & Wine Pairing - A Lesson How Wine and Food Interact 03/05/2020
Food & Wine Pairing - A Lesson How Wine and Food Interact Join Debbie as she attends a wine and food pairing seminar. The main goal is to understand how certain elements in food (salt, acid and sweet) interact with wine. See what Debbie learns about her palate.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 4 - D is for Dornfelder 02/10/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 4 - D is for Dornfelder Join Debbie and Lori as they explore the Dornfelder grape
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 3 - C is for Chenin Blanc 01/06/2020
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 3 - C is for Chenin Blanc Join Debbie & Lori in this episode of Winephabet Street where they explore the Chenin Blanc grape.
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 2: B is for Barbera 12/03/2019
Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 2: B is for Barbera Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 2 B is for Barbera Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions one letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us. This month we visit Italy and the Barbera grape. The Barbara Grape is grown in the Piedmont region of Italy. The hills of Monferrato are considered its native home. It is said that the best Barbera comes from Barbera d’Asti - DOCG and Barbera d’Alba. Barbera is a late-ripening grape and retains acidity even when fully ripe. The high acidity is the hallmark of this grape. It’s light-bodied with low tannins. Flavors you can get from Barbera are: Strawberry, raspberry, red and black cherry, blackberry tartness, plum, toast, vanilla, sour cherry, spice. Interesting that winemakers began introducing Barbera to oak in the 1980’s and it tames the acidity. It also brings some vanilla, spice and oak to the wine. The oak makes the wine rounder, softer, a bit more complex and makes it age-worthy. Join us in this episode as Lori and I both have wines from two different regions. See how we compare and learn a little about Barbera. Terre del Barollo - 2017 Barbera d’ Alba For this episode I visited Viscount Liquor in Fishkill, NY and purchased a bottle of 2017 Terre del Barollo Barbera d’ Alba. Cantina Terre del Barolo was founded in 1958 when Arnaldo Rivera who was Castiglione Falletto’s mayor decided to set up a cooperative with 21 local growers. Today they represents all 11 villages that make up the appellation with more than 300 members and 650 hectares. This Barbera is grown in the Langhe area in calcareous clay. It was hand picked and the maximum yield is 10 tons hectare.No oak - it spent 3-4 months in stainless steel before bottling. Tasting notes: Raspberry, blackberry with minerality on the palate. The wine is light in body with light acidity. Learn more about the Barbera and the wines we reviewed by listening to the podcast For more episodes of Winephabet Street visit
info_outline Winephabet Street Season 2 - A is for Assyrtiko 11/05/2019
Winephabet Street Season 2 - A is for Assyrtiko Grab a glass and join Lori and Debbie as they take you through the world of wine one letter at a time. Each episode will be a new letter and a new wine. In this episode we travel to Greece and explore the Assyrtiko grape. So uncork, unscrew or saber that bottle and connect with us as we chat, laugh and drink wine all in a laid back atmosphere.
info_outline Intro to Cava with Patrícia Correia Directora de Comunicació Consell Regulador de la DOP Cava 10/16/2019
Intro to Cava with Patrícia Correia Directora de Comunicació Consell Regulador de la DOP Cava I recently went to a Wines of Spain tasting in New York City called “Spain’s Great Match” where I met Patricia Correia who is Directora de Comunicació Consell Regulador de la DOP Cava. I asked to her talk to me a little about Cava. She was a little nervous because she is new to the job but not the region. I assured her she would be great and she was. So, pour yourself a glass and listen to Patricia talk all things Cava.