Wine Blast with Susie and Peter
About Wine Blast with Susie and Peter
Wine Blast is a wine podcast with a difference. Susie and Peter are married Masters of Wine and experienced broadcasters who bring wine to life with a smile via interviews with amazing people, provocative chat, food, tips, your questions, gentle bickering and a certain amount of over-sharing. (And yes, they're aware they really need to get out more...) This award-winning, chart-topping pod has been widely featured in international press including The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sun, Evening Standard, Radio Times, Decanter, Wine Folly and beyond. Reviews of Wine Blast say: 'Love these guys (almost as much as wine): educational, invigorating and damn funny too' - 'Relatable, entertaining, light-hearted' (Drinks Business) - 'Best wine podcast out there' - 'A complete tonic for the heart, mind and soul' (Drinks Network). Cheers!
Languedoc is a wine region on the move. Sure, it's a huge region with plenty of history, some of it troubled. But there are things happening in Languedoc wine now that are innovative, surprising, intriguing and...well, delicious. In short, it's well worthy of our attention. In this episode, sponsored by AOP Languedoc, we chat to writers Rupert Millar and Rosemary George MW, and we also hear from wine growers Benoît Bertrand (Domaine de Malavieille) and Jenia Vermillard (Domaine Ampelhus). We hear of ambitious attempts to revive long lost grape varieties from the verge of extinction, and ingenious solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. We explore the region's renown for good value in its wines, consider its historic ups and downs, and look to what the future might hold. Along the way we somehow feature feather boas, Lithuania, a stray dog, the Romans, shrinking pains, finishing school, architecture, Assyrtiko, violins, agroforestry and ratatouille. Oh, and a love story. And of course it wouldn't be a normal episode of Wine Blast if we didn't taste and recommend some brilliant wines. These beauties are all AOP Languedoc wines: Chateau de Lascaux Garrigue Blanc 2021 Paul Mas Jardin de Roses Traviata 2022 Bergerie du Capucin Les 100 Pas du Berger Rouge 2020 Domaine de Roquemale Les Grés 2020 Domaine Ampelhus Languedoc Grés de Montpellier 2022 Clos des Nines L’Orée 2020 Domaine Les Aurelles Solen 2000 We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S5 E7: The New Face of Languedoc Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - and cheers to you!
We're going full-on Moses mode in this episode, nailing down the ten wines you should always have at home. Of course, personal taste plays a part. You want to have wines to hand you're going to reach for - which means your favourite styles. But beyond that, it helps to have some expert insight into the bigger picture in order to always have delicious, affordable and useful wines when you need them. Our primary objective is joyous everyday drinking. But also: what works best with food, versatile wines to serve guests, give as gifts, wines that get better over time if you buy a few, ideal wines for those impromptu celebrations, wines for both summer and winter...we even introduce the notion of, 'emergency wine'. So we define our top 10 'go-to' wine staples. We're aware this is potentially controversial territory. But we also hope it's helpful too. Helping us out in this challenging task are the fine people at Waitrose, who are sponsoring this episode. Waitrose do a fine line in wine and, as we focus on these indispensable wine categories, we've chosen individual wines from their range to illustrate our decisions. When we originally ran this episode, Waitrose had a special offer on: 25% off when you buy 6 or more bottles from £6-100. For the sake of clarity, that offer has now expired (though they do tend to repeat these offers periodically). But even at the non-discount prices, these wines still represent great quality and value. So what are the ten wines never to be without? Tune in to find out... The wines featured in this episode are: Hattingley Classic Reserve Brut NV, England Saint Clair Wairau Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2022, New Zealand Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay 2021, South Africa Leitz Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Kabinett 2022, Germany Muga Rioja Rosé 2022, Spain Joseph Drouhin Chorey-Les-Beaune 2020, France Baron de Ley Club Privado Rioja Reserva 2018, Spain Terre di Faiano Puglia Primitivo 2021, Italy Chateau Oumsiyat Mijana 2019, Lebanon Crociani Vin Santo di Montepulciano 2017, Italy Florent Rouve Arbois Chardonnay 2020, France Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino 2016, Italy We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S5 E6: The Ten Wines Never to be Without Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - and cheers to you!
English sparkling wine. We all know it's good. But how well does it age? And could this be the secret to unlocking even greater quality from what are already exciting wines? We do our best to answer these questions and more with the help of several large glasses of very fine mature English fizz - and top winemakers Cherie Spriggs and Brad Greatrix (Nyetimber) and Corinne Seely (Exton Park). We also hear the views of Clément Pierlot, cellar master at Champagne Pommery and its English offshoot, Louis Pommery England. We explore what makes an ageworthy sparkling wine (busting a few common myths along the way). And talk about how best to get ahead of the game... We recommend some of the finest examples of mature English fizz we can get our hands on - from the likes of Nyetimber, Sugrue South Downs, Hattingley Valley, Breaky Bottom, Wiston, Exton Park, Chapel Down and The Grange. Along the way we discuss magnums, lees ageing, dosage, vintage, variety, yields, storage, balance - and the value of patience. What's more, Peter gets called 'Mr Humper Dumper' by Susie and shares one of his more insightful tasting notes, which simply reads: 'GIVE ME THE MAGS!' We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S5 E5: Ageing English Fizz - How, Why and What Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - and cheers to you!
It's a wine region variously described as, 'dynamic', whose wines are undergoing a quality 'revolution', and memorably compared to South Africa's uber-cool Swartland. It's also got a big old mountain on its picture postcard. Not to mention truffles galore. This is Ventoux. And we want to take you on a journey of discovery, to meet the people, explore the places, get a feel for the wines...and generally understand why Ventoux is worth your time and attention. The mountain, it turns out, is important. It makes this one of the coolest appellations in the southern Rhône, giving the wines freshness and vitality. Peter slogs (metaphorically) up to the peak to prove the point. It also helps in the ongoing efforts to adapt to climate change. As for the wines...we dive in, exploring the region's unique whites, rosés and reds, the latter constituting the majority of production. And we explore ways in which the wines are changing and evolving with the future in mind. We ask why so many outsiders have gravitated to Ventoux, experimenting and collaborating along the way. And we explore the region's value-for-money credentials. The discussion also touches on lycra, beetroot, Cinsault, wine as theatre, joy and butterflies. Oh, and did we mention truffles? This episode is sponsored by AOC Ventoux. The following producers are featured: Domaine du Tix Domaine Aymard Marrenon Chateau Unang Domaine de Fondrèche Chêne Bleu Chateau Pesquié Clos du Trias We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S5 E4: Ventoux - Next Century Wines Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
What are the wine books every wine lover should own? We thought about it. We argued. We drank some wine. Argued some more... And then we decided: let's go for it. No messing around: choose just the six BEST books every wine lover needs, whether enthusiastic newbie or jaded expert. It wasn't easy. But this is the DEFINITIVE listing. A lot of thought and research went into this. Even some reading. Along the way we came across some bits that stopped us in our tracks. Like Hitler's secret wine cellar, 'freak' wines, the link between a dentist's drill and the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, fish finger sandwiches, some cheeky poetry, the 'one-night-stand' of wines... And of course the quote about the salad and the sex toy 😳 And that's from one of the most reputable voices in wine... In this episode, we heroically save you from the drivel and point you firmly towards the stuff of dreams. We choose the all-time six best wine books - plus six runners up (to make a full case of 12). With a few honourable mentions along the way. We also reveal our pet hates about wine books - and question whether books have a future at all. Perhaps, in your cheerful opinion, you believe we've got this list wrong. Maybe missed off the most life-changing publication EVER. Or you just fancy wading into the debate... Either way: do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S5 E3: The Six Best Wine Books Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you! Wines tasted in this episode Champagne G.H. Mumm Brut Millésimé 2015 Côte-Rôtie 2011, Domaine Burgaud P&J Teulier Le Cros Marcillac Lo Sang del Païs 2021
This is a tale of deception, daring, disaster...and deliverance. It also features skinny sheep and wine robots. It's the story of Marlborough, the iconic New Zealand wine region which is celebrating its 50th wine birthday, after vines were planted by Frank Yukich in August 1973. Yukich had risked personal financial ruin getting to this point. 'Wines from here will become world famous!' he declared. Shortly after which most of the vines died from drought. But no adventure story is without its supreme setbacks. And this story features everything from the Queen to gut-rot via shiny tractors. On the wine front, it's sobering to think just how far Marlborough has come in 50 harvests, from a shaky start to sensational Sauvignon Blanc and much more besides. It's a region helping set the global agenda for the wine of the future - and a tribute to the imaginative, resilient Kiwi spirit. This is a sponsored episode in collaboration with New Zealand Winegrowers. We taste and recommend the following wines from Marlborough: Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Hans Herzog Zweigelt 2017 Hans Herzog Spirit of Marlborough 2016 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2021 Lawson's Dry Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2021 Blank Canvas Reed Chardonnay 2022 Villa Maria Seddon Pinot Gris 2020 Wairau River Pinot Noir 2021 We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S5 E2: Marlborough at 50 Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
This bonus episode may be the last in the current season (4) but it's also a first - the first time we've ever recorded the pod in front of a live audience! A lovely bunch of people came together in our home town of Winchester to drink a glass or two of fine Hampshire fizz and bombard us with searching questions, from which wines we'd recommend for a large and varied dinner party crowd to the implications of climate change for wine. They even asked us what were the most pretentious wine descriptions we'd ever used. I mean, the cheek of it... We also touched on issues ranging from 'sulfite-free' wine to no/low alcohol, our favourite Chardonnay and rosé, which are the best wine regions to visit, the rise of English wine, multi-vintage versus vintage sparkling wine - and what wines you should ALWAYS have at home. In our introduction we also feature some recent listener feedback from a Napa wine grower questioning how he should explain terroir to visitors to a professor on how microbes (yeasts) can influence a wine's mouthfeel. We also feature a plug for our sensational value charity sparkling wine - please click here if you'd like to buy a bottle or two of Hope & Glory to help us raise funds for the brilliant Marine Conservation Society. As for the live Q&A format, we could get used to it. You have been warned. Wine Blast on Tour may be coming to a speakeasy near you soon... All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E25: LIVE Q&A (Winchester). Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
This episode opens by linking Oppenheimer, Covid-19 and wine - and proceeds to go big by focusing on the small stuff. Microbes. The invisible world of yeasts, bacteria and beyond. We're just starting to understand how important microbes are in terms of defining wine style and quality. Sure, yeasts ferment grape sugars into alcohol. But they also do a whole lot more, as fascinating new research is revealing. Previously, many definitions of 'terroir' (what might be defined as a wine's 'sense of place' or perhaps 'distinctiveness') were limited to the role of soil and climate. If you were lucky, human influence garnered a passing mention. Now it's becoming clear that biology - and in particular microbiology - has more of a say in how a wine turns out than what was previously thought. Time for the textbooks to be re-written... In this episode, we talk to world-leading researchers Professor Matthew Goddard and Ignacio Belda, to get to the heart of the latest thinking and science. Turns out there is such a thing as, 'the microbial face of terroir' - even single vineyards have unique microbial signatures, and there's a proven percentage we can put to how much a wine's chemistry is influenced by that microbiome from the vineyard to the fermentation and beyond. In short, wine is the product of invisible bugs as much as it is the product of human hand or climatic and geographical phenomena. The implications are profound. Not just regarding how we define terroir. But also in terms of how winegrowers should farm to protect their unique vineyard microbiomes, how winemakers should best manage their fermentations, even how we wine drinkers should appreciate our wines (while protecting our own human microbiomes - the two can work together!) There's even talk of synthetic yeast being developed that can not only craft specific flavours in wine but also inform a winemaker when a fermentation needs to be checked... This is a fascinating field of research, one currently reaching fever pitch right now, so we report on and discuss the latest findings, which will be sure to make you think about wine in a new light. We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E24: The Microbial Face of Terroir. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
Did you know that Germany is the third largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world? Or that one in three Riesling vines in the world grow in German vineyards - and much of these are making dry, increasingly terroir-driven wines these days? There's much that's surprising, or perhaps unexpected about German wine right now. For long the sector under-performed - but a series of changes since the late 1980s (a process that's still ongoing, accelerated by climate change) has re-invigorated German wine, redefining its possibilities and forging a bright new future. There's even talk of the wines being, 'sexy' and of, 'pulling power'... All of which, plus the fact we're just back from Germany (and have had an intriguing listener question in), is the perfect excuse to explore German wine. We hear from Master of Wine and German specialist Alison Flemming plus Stefan Doktor, MD of the world-famous Schloss Johannisberg. Along the way we talk terroir, global warming, food matching, GG and the rise of dry Riesling, why 'succulent' is such a good tasting term, PIWIs, and why a swimming pool was important for a 1964 Auslese... Our thanks to Wines of Germany for sponsoring this episode and helping source some fantastic bottles for us to try and recommend. They are: Frey Pinot Blanc 2021, Rheinhessen Maximin Grunhaus Maximin Pinot Blanc 2021, Mosel Klein Riesling S Trocken 2021, Pfalz Robert Weil Kiedrich Turmberg Riesling Trocken 2021, Rheingau Pauly Lieser Niederberg Helden Kabinett 2021, Mosel Shelter Winery Spätburgunder 2020, Baden We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E23: Germany's Pulling Power. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
It's a wine word almost everyone uses - but no one really knows what it means, what causes it, or where it's come from. It makes some people angry, it leaves others mystified - but some adore the term and can't get enough of it. Is this yet another example in wine of (as one listener calls it), 'superstition, witchcraft and myth' that is nothing more than, 'absolute b*llocks'?! Welcome to the big 'minerality' mystery. In this episode, we dare to dive headlong into the snakepit of confusion, ambiguity and downright mystery that is the notion of 'minerality' in wine. But we're not alone. We've recruited the likes of sensory scientist Dr Heber Rodrigues and writer Meg Maker to enlighten us with the latest research and thinking on this intriguing topic. We ask questions like: what makes a wine mineral? What do people mean by the term? Which wines in particular tend to show mineral characteristics? Is it a good or a bad thing? Is it a vineyard or winemaking phenomenon? Ultimately - should we get rid of it, or cherish it? We taste two wines in order to put our own language under the microscope. There's an element of mud-slinging and mutual recrimination before we manage (more or less) to define what we mean by minerality. We also give a final judgement on whether, in our view, minerality should be part of the wine lexicon or not. The result...may surprise you. Wines tasted in this episode UVC Chablis Premier Cru 2010, Esprit de Chablis, 12.5% Anhydrous Afoura Santorini Assyrtiko 2021, 14% We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E22: The Mystery of Minerality. This episode is dedicated to Dr Wendy Parr, a leading light in the world of sensory perception and wine. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
We all know port. But there’s a whole universe of fine Portuguese table wine out just waiting to be explored. It’s far less known but certainly no less exciting…so we dive in. Peter’s fired up after a recent trip to host a masterclass in Porto, where he tasted wines back to 1978 and recorded with a selection of Portugal’s top wine talent, from Dirk and Daniel Niepoort to Sandra Tavares, Luis Pato, Susana Esteban and Tomas Roquette. Once back, he made sure to call in some special wines to taste and share on air, including the legendary Barca Velha, Portugal’s most famous red – a wine that launched a thousand bottles… It’s not a wine you get to see very often, let alone taste, so this is a privileged insight. Let’s not beat around the bush: this is a tasting featuring a healthy amount of disagreement. These are undoubtedly fine, characterful, often intriguing wines – but they can (clearly) polarise opinion. We explore the reasons why. Also featured in this episode are (sometimes anguished) listener feedback about our Santorini mini-series, the ‘Porta 6 effect’, Maserati, roof-hoping, Javier Bardem, field blends, ozone, and a €1,000 magnum. Peter gets a blind-wine challenge live on air – and we also touch on how to lose €10m with one word… Wines tasted in this episode Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Branco 2022, Bairrada, 13% Susana Esteban Procura Branco 2020, Alentejano, 13% Niepoort Redoma Branco 2021, Douro, 11.5% Meandro do Vale Meão 2020, Douro, 14% Mouchão Tonel 3-4 2013, Alentejo, 14.5% Barca Velha 2011, Douro, 14.5% We love to hear from you so please do get in touch! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website (link below). All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E21: Portugal's Fine Wines - Here Be Treasures. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
‘From virtually any soil a high-quality wine can be made. The use of geology to promote the quality of a wine is thus merely a marketing tool.’ This is an episode that may ruffle a few feathers. We speak to two wine-loving geologists, Professor Alex Maltman and Dr Geert-Jan Vis (the latter responsible for the quote above). Both of them raise serious questions about the line the wine world often endorses about how geology (think: limestone, schist, granite) influences wine. Vis calls the notion that geology and soil influence wine style, ‘romantic b*llocks’. Maltman says it’s, ‘over-hyped’ and writes, ‘simply saying a wine comes from a particular rock doesn’t convey anything about what I might expect from a wine.’ And yet we regularly see wine literature talking about limestone or granite, Kimmeridgian or Jurassic (and so on) and linking this explicitly to wine quality and style. And this isn’t even to get started on the topic of ‘minerality’ in wine… So what gives? What’s really going on here? To what extent can geology and soil be seen to impact the vine and wine? Or, to flip it round, to what extent do experts think that the role of geology and soil is over-rated and misunderstood when it comes to wine? It’s important to say we’re not being deliberately controversial or trying to undermine the concept of terroir (the notion that specific places produce wines with specific characteristics). What we’re doing is asking questions and challenging a set of prevalent assumptions which we feel is…well…questionable. We’re aware this episode might provoke debate so please feel free to get in touch. Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E20: No Schist Sherlock - How Wine Gets Rocks Wrong. This is the first in a loosely-connected series of programmes in which we’ll tackle tricky or controversial issues in wine, from minerality to microbiology and yeasts. All with the aim of provoking informed debate, challenging questionable opinions and seeking clarity above all. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you! Ps and if you don’t know what petrichor is – we’ve got the answer…
Santorini's future is in jeopardy. This ancient, famous island vineyard risks being lost beneath the tourism industry's bulldozers. So how can its wine community fight back? By making exceptional, characterful, inimitable wines and selling them to the world, that's how. In this episode (our 100th Wine Blast programme, appropriately enough!) we dive into what makes Santorini's wines as distinctive and unique as they undoubtedly are. From the steely, majestic dry Santorini Assyrtiko to the sumptuous vinsantos and all the curios in between, this is a vibrant wine scene that's only getting more diverse and quality-focused. Taking in views form the younger generation as well as more experienced hands, we discuss eye-opening topics from how the minerality of Santorini wines is exacerbated by the salt blown in off the sea to why Burgundy might be growing Assyrtiko soon. Along the way we touch on orange wine, flor, tasting an 1847 Santorini Assyrtiko, amphorae, alcohol, the future - and Peter somehow signs up for hard manual labour. This episode is the second and final installment in a sponsored mini-series in collaboration with Wines of PDO Santorini. All details from this episode are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E19 - Santorini: Wines to Save an Island. Please do keep your comments and questions coming! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
Let's go on an adventure to a place variously described as, 'Like being shot to the moon with a glass of fine wine in your hand' and where, 'you basically have the personality of an active volcano in your glass.' Santorini is arguably the ultimate wine destination - a windswept, arid, infertile outcrop of an island in the glittering Aegean Sea. Stunning - but bleak, and where the memory of one of the most violet volcanic eruptions in human history can not only be seen but also tasted in your glass. Wine is one of the few crops to thrive here, albeit at the cost of back-breaking labour and marginal profitability due to tiny yields and regular setbacks. The island's historic sweet vinsantos have most likely been enjoyed for thousands of years - the dry whites made from the majestic, fierce Assyrtiko grape are astonishing symphonies of bracing acidity, steely structure and salty minerality. These are true jewels in the wine world's crown. One producer speculates, with good reason, that Santorini, 'is the oldest vineyard on the planet.' Phylloxera-free, you see... Hence the Jurassic Park reference. For Peter, Santorini Assyrtiko is the ultimate food wine, able to pair with everything from delicate oysters to rich lamb and beyond. No wonder one wine grower describes this place as, 'the Mecca of wine'. But all is not well in wine paradise. Climate change batters the vineyard in the form of heatwaves and hail. Mass tourism threatens not only to overwhelm the island's infrastructure and drain the workforce but, more critically, erase vineyards permanently as land is sold to developers. The result is that Santorini's vineyard has declined by a third between 2005 and 2022. 'Sometimes in Santorini it feels like we're forgotten by God' commented one local wine producer. Now, though, the island's wine community is fighting back. In this first episode of a two-part mini-series in collaboration with Wines of PDO Santorini, we set the scene - taking in the island's intriguing history, exploring the bizarre vineyards, talking to key wine producers, and not shying away from the challenges the island's wine community faces. As for how the wine producers are fighting to ensure wine's survival, we discover plans to declare the entire island's production organic - which would be the first ever entire PDO appellation to do such. There's also a UNESCO application in the pipeline - and plans to raise prices in order to ensure the survival of the vineyard. Don't miss the next and final episode in this mini-series, where we explore Santorini's fierce, remarkable grapes, wine and food - and look to the future, both in terms of challenges but also reasons to be hopeful. All details from this episode (including photos of these unique kouloura basket vines) are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E18 - Santorini: Wine's Jurassic Park. Please do keep your comments and questions coming! Send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
What wine news is worthy of your attention? How should you warm up your (fine) wines in an emergency? What wines are really worth paying silly money for? And which wines should we have loved...but didn't? These are just some of the questions we dive into in this Listener Q&A episode, where we respond to your brilliant comments, feedback and questions. And we field one other question too: are we even married to each other?! No spoilers here... Suffice it to say that along this particularly fun ride we touch on subjects as diverse as Japanese wine anime Drops of God, wildfires in Chile, Michel Roux Jr, marriage counselling, Cahors, Malcolm Gladwell, alternatives to Grange, our infamous 20-20 wine rule, re-writing wine's ancient history, Leonardo di Caprio - and 'pan-gate'. We also ask that most critical of questions: are you a wine cuddler...or a wine microwaver? All details from this episode (including the juicy photos and tweets we refer to in this episode) are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E17 - News & Views 1. Given this episode is all about your comments and questions, please do keep them coming! We'd love to hear your views on our subscription plans too. Do send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
Chardonnay polarises people. But times change and this is a grape that's moved on - arguably nowhere more so than in New Zealand, which in recent years has started to deliver quality, diversity and great value in spades. It's timely, too, given the supply shortages and booming prices of the wines from Chardonnay's motherland in Burgundy. We're Chardonnay superfans and we've been licking our lips at how far and fast New Zealand Chardonnay has evolved lately. So it's exciting to hook up with New Zealand Winegrowers for this sponsored episode charting that dramatic evolution and exploring why there's more to the land of the long white cloud than Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. New Zealand wine superstars Michael Brajkovich MW (Kumeu River) and Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas give us the inside track, full of eye-opening insights and informed opinion. Including the following quote: 'I'm just gonna come out and say it: New Zealand Chardonnay can outclass Burgundy.' There's a bit of geeking out about Chardonnay winemaking - from oak barrels to malolactic fermentation - all with the aim of better understanding this most shape-shifting of grape varieties, and why New Zealand is doing such a good job with it (clue: a cool climate is key). We also dive into the fascinating topic of that much sought-after (and also misunderstood) character in Chardonnay sometimes referred to as, 'reductive', 'struck match', 'toasty' or 'flinty'. We wrestle with the vexed issue of how to refer to it and come up with an absurd but catchy alternative... Along the way we touch on how the devastating Cyclone Gabrielle has impacted the country as well as vintage 2023. You can support by donating to the Cyclone Gabrielle wine relief funds or buying and drinking wines from the most affected areas like Hawke's Bay and Gisborne - which ties neatly into our theme given Chardonnay is the leading variety in both those regions. Finally, we taste and recommend some favourite New Zealand Chardonnays including: Wairau Cove Chardonnay 2021, Gisborne Esk Valley Seabed Chardonnay 2019, Hawke's Bay Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2021, Auckland Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay 2021, Auckland Neudorf Tiritiri Chardonnay 2019, Nelson Blank Canvas Reed Vineyard Chardonnay 2021, Marlborough Greywacke Chardonnay 2019, Marlborough All details from this episode (including further wine and producer recommendations) are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E16 - Ahead of the Curve with New Zealand Chardonnay. We'd love to hear from your views on this or any other wine issues - do send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
Could it be true?! No more hangovers is a tantalising notion, a Holy Grail for many drinkers. But how could this happen, and what would it mean for the world of booze and wine? Join us as we dive headlong into the enthralling world of hangover hacks (including at least one credible ‘remedy’) and explore the new breed of so-called functional drinks, which promise to deliver the buzz of booze without the bad effects. But do these functional drinks and hangover hacks actually work? We put our bodies on the line in the name of research – and deliver our verdict. Illuminating the subject is Professor David Nutt, an expert of global renown on the effects of alcohol on the brain who’s developing a novel synthetic alternative to alcohol (Alcarelle) as well as a range of functional botanical drinks (Sentia). That said, he freely admits to enjoying a glass or two of full-bodied red at the weekend…and boldly identifies, ‘the best way to minimise a hangover’. Gold dust! ‘Alcohol is the ultimate social drug,’ comments Nutt. ‘But we can improve on alcohol…’ During the course of this intriguing discussion, we consider the role and effects of adaptogens as well as the vital but largely unknown GABA neurotransmitter and how the GABA system might be crucial to the new wave of functional drinks. Somehow we also manage to touch on horse-riding, space ships, drunken rats, expensive spas, the Nobel Prize, protozoa, hyper-glutamatergic state, the microbiome and whipping yourself with a birch branch in a sauna. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic – be it hangover remedies or your experiences with functional drinks. Give us a shout! Here are the functional cocktails we taste in this episode: Edi Spirited and tonic Sentia Sun Livener Bellini Sentia Spice All details from this episode (including further wine and producer recommendations) are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E15 - The End of the Hangover? We'd love to hear from your views on this or any other wine issues - do send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
Every wine lover craves great Pinot Noir. Burgundy is ever pricier and scarcer. So where to look? Australia might not seem the obvious destination for Pinot Noir. It’s better known for hefty reds (think: Shiraz, Cabernet), historic styles like Hunter Semillon or its heroic ‘stickies’ (sweet and fortified like Rutherglen). And if there’s a Burgundian variety closely associated with Oz, it’s Chardonnay. And yet…over the last few years, Ozzie Pinot Noir has come on leaps and bounds to capture the zeitgeist and become the grape everyone’s talking about. From Tasmania to Yarra, Mornington, Adelaide Hills and beyond, this is a grape helping re-define modern Australian wine and offering wine drinkers a glimpse of wine nirvana. In this sponsored episode with Wine Australia, we talk to writer Matthew Jukes, grower Mac Forbes and sommelier Jane Lopes to tell the story of how and why Australian Pinot Noir has gone from zero to hero, and what the future holds. We talk terroir, regionality, climate change, sustainability, winemaking – and tackle the elephant in the room, value for money. (There’s also mention of tomato throwing, UV, the Holy Grail, stomping, the God complex, DNA – plus Susie admits she loves a wine more than Peter...) As ever, we taste and recommend some favourites which capture the impressive diversity and sheer thrill of Ozzie Pinot Noir, including: Heirloom Vineyards Pinot Noir 2021, Adelaide Hills, 13.5% Ben Haines 'Colour Block' Pinot Noir 2021, Yarra Valley, 11.5% JC’s Own Morialta Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020, Adelaide Hills, 14.5% Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021, Yarra Valley, 13.5% Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021, Coal River Valley, Tasmania, 13.5% This episode contains the memorable quote: 'Why fart around with Burgundy when you can buy this?!' All details from this episode (including further wine and producer recommendations) are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E14 - Australian Pinot Noir Comes of Age. We'd love to hear from your views on this or any other wine issues - do send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
This podcast is GOOD FOR YOU! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise... In this mind-blowing episode we have an exclusive interview with the world-famous Professor Tim Spector, expert in the human microbiome - this population of friendly microbes that lives inside all of us and which acts almost like an extra organ, boosting our immune system, fighting disease and even influencing our mental health. According to Spector, these microbes are so numerous and influential that we're all effectively, 'half human, half bug.' Spector has studied how what we eat and drink influences our gut microbiome and thus our health - and the good news is that red wine drunk daily in moderation can definitely boost our microbiome in beneficial ways. Hallelujah! So, it's a case of: Eat, Drink Red and Be Merry. But not too merry... This is an episode not to miss! Other questions we explore include: Why red wine is better for our health than white wine or other forms of booze How much is too much when it comes to wine and health Why we may need to re-think the concept of 'hazy' wine or decanting (to take wine off the sediment) given it's thought that even dead yeast cells can be good for us How fermentation is key to health benefits because it increases the complexity of polyphenols Why wine could be the source of the ultimate health drink Why drinking as many different red grape varieties as possible is a good idea because each will nourish different microbes, and diversity is key for health Why we need to take official government health advice (and those peddling supplements) with a pinch of salt How people playing around with precision fermentation, microbes and other modern techniques will revolutionise wine and beer in the next few years Along the way we talk natural wine, polyphenols, wild ferments, sweet spots, long lunches, hangovers and Big Ben. As ever, we find time to enjoy and recommend a few bottles of wine (and benefit our microbiome while doing so). In this episode we have: Clos Basté Madiran 2019, France Château Montus Madiran 2016, France Plaimont L'Empreinte de Saint Mont rouge 2018, France Catena High Mountain Vines Malbec 2017, Argentina All details from this episode (including links we mentioned) are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E13: Wine and Your Microbiome - A Recipe for Health? We'd love to hear from your views on this or any other wine issues - do send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can get in touch via our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!
Stuff is going down in Beaujolais. Natural wine is a hot trend. Beaujolais Nouveau is re-inventing itself. The top sites have never made better wine. A new generation is revitalising the scene. Geological research has revealed eye-opening results. And growers aren't afraid to throw caution to the wind (Côte Rôtie barrels and Sciacarello anyone?!) Phew. It's also newsworthy: the region is submitting its first ever application for the top sites to be designated Premier Cru, the highly-prized status afforded only to some of the finest vineyards in Burgundy. We get the low-down on all of this courtesy of dogged investigative work (yes...we do include drinking wine under that heading...) as well as interviews with leading growers Grégoire Hoppenot and Xavier Thivolle plus Caroline Santoyo of Inter Beaujolais and David Roberts MW of Goedhuis & Co. We also throw in some factoids. For example, did you know that until World War II, a bottle of good Moulin-à-Vent Beaujolais cost the same as a bottle of Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru?! Or that Beaujolais is considered to be one of the original heartlands of natural wine, home to a 'viticultural prophet'? This is a sponsored episode with Inter Beaujolais - it's a topic we've been longing to cover for a while so fantastic to have an opportunity to catch up with the latest from what is a dynamic and multi-faceted region. Topics under discussion include Gamay, gobelet, Beaujolais as an alternative to ever-pricier Côte d'Or Burgundy, lieux-dits, The Last of Us, pink granite, the ten famous Beaujolais 'crus' and carbonic maceration. And after all that we're in need of refreshment so taste and recommend a selection of truly outstanding Beaujolais wines (details in full show notes), including: Les 3 Madones Beaujolais-Villages 2021, Cave du Château des Loges GAM Beaujolais-Villages 2021, Domaine Lathuilière-Gravallon Fleurie Roche Guillon 2019, Domaine de Fa Morgon Côte du Py 2020, Jean-Marc Burgaud Fleurie 2021, Julien Sunier Morgon Eponym 2021, Jean Foillard All details from this episode (including links we mentioned) are on our website: Show notes for Wine Blast S4 E12 - The New Beaujolais. We'd love to hear from your views on this or any other wine issues - do send us a voice message via Speakpipe or you can find more details to get in touch on our website. Thanks for tuning in. Here's to the joy of wine - cheers to you!