Grape Minds

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Episode 42: Translating the Vuitton Reputation for Quality from Fashion to Wine


The name Francois Louis Vuitton joins the names of some of the greatest Chateaux in Bordeaux in a collaboration for a collection of private cuvée wines available in the U.S. since late last year. His great-grandfather Louis Vuitton founded what is arguably one of France's most well-known fashion brands back in the mid 1800's, after learning the craft of box-making as a young man.  Box making and packing was a kind of fashion of it's own at that time. He'd likely be impressed with the stunning packaging of his progeny's wines. It's one of the things that comes up in studio as Gina and Julie talk with Francois Louis Vuitton in this week's episode. 


Episode 41: Portugal is More than Port- Gina Debriefs Her Recent Trip


A land of 250 varietals awaits beyond Portugal's most famous export; the fortified wine known simply as "Port." On a recent trip exploring Portuguese wine, Gina found still, sparkling, vinification in clay pots, and even (gasp) rosé port!

This week we chat with co-host Gina about Portuguese wine country, which is pretty much the whole country.

Episode 40: Unraveling the Riddle of Veuve Cliquot with Biographer and Scholar Tilar Mazzeo


The Name Veuve Cliquot is synonymous with Champagne, and the legend of the widow who continued the fledgling business after her husband passed away is almost as well known. But no one knows the real story like Tilar Mazzeo who literally wrote the book on the woman who, in her own lifetime, became known as the "Grande Dame." In this episode, Gina and Julie talk with Mazzeo whose book, "The Widow Cliquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled it," should be on the shelf of every oenophile.  


Episode 39: A Family Defining Abruzzo for Many Americans - Masciarelli Winery


This week, Gina and Julie get to talk with Miriam Masciarelli, whose parents started Masciarelli Winery in Abruzzo in the early 1980's. We talk family, taste some wine, and sort out that confusing Montepulciano thing.  Is it a town? A grape? A wine? Yes to all three, but they're not the same. 

Episode 38: Rosé day this Saturday- Plus a Drive-by Tasting with Muriel


Rose day is this weekend so we need to get our palates in shape for the most easy-drinking wine for summer. In this episode we talk about how pink wine is made, we try one of Gina's favorites and one of Julie's favorites, and we also try a sample wine in our first installment of "Drive-by Tasting" in which we feature an innocent passer-by here at the station trying a random wine.  This week: Muriel tries "Muriel," a white wine from Rioja, Spain. 

Episode 37: Wine Spectator Grand Tasting in Miami


One cannot possibly try 250 wines rated 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator in 180 minutes- but that is precisely what Julie and Gina tried to do earlier this month at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour Miami. Did they fail? Yes....spectacularly. But, they did discover some great wines and talk to incredible people at this beautiful event. This week they share the tale of two Italian bubbles: Franciacorta and TrentoDOC by talking with the founder of Ca' del Bosco and the "ambassador" for Ferrari Trento, respectively. They also talked with Harry Sexton about his family's Yarra Valley winery called Giant Steps in Australia, and learned about a grape that nearly went extinct before being revived in Greece; Malagousia from Ktima Gerovassiliou

Episode 36: Happy Oregon Wine Month! Maria Ponzi is in the Studio


Maria Ponzi stopped by the studio recently to talk about her family's pioneering adventure into Oregon wine, which is celebrated through the month of May. Among the first to grow wine grapes in Willamette Valley, the Ponzi Vineyard has been at the forefront of clone experimentation and perfecting the varietals that are best suited to the AVA. 

Episode 35: Wine Spectator’s Alison Napjus Talks Ratings, Rankings, and Tasting Techniques


This week Gina and Julie get to talk with Wine Spectator's Senior Editor and Tasting Director, Alison Napjus who is kind enough to give the ladies a preview of the tasting they'll attend next week in Miami. Wine Spectator's "Grand Tour" makes stops in only three American cities: Las Vegas, Chicago and Miami and Grape Minds will be there! In this aperitif episode Gina and Julie talk with the iconic magazine's specialist in Champagne, most of Italy, Alsace, and Beaujolais. Alison talks about how ratings are determined, how wines are selected for rating, and how she makes sure her tasting abilities are on point.

Episode 34: Celebrating Earth Day with Gérard Bertrand



Lucky Gina got to go to the South Beach Food and Wine Festival in Miami where she attended a master class on biodynamics with winemaker Gérard Bertrand of the eponymous winery in Southern France. In this episode we hear Gina's interview with the legendary prophet of biodynamics, and chat about finding the earth-friendliest wines at local retailers. We also discuss the app that lets you know, according to lunar phases, what is the best day to taste wine (EVERY day- duh).

Episode 33: Grapes of the Zodiac, Aries and Gamay


Aries is usually the first sign of the Zodiac, so it's probably where we should have started. So, we'd like to apologize to the impatient rams among us. You had to wait to learn your grape pairing till the very end of our series "Grapes of the Zodiac." But, Julie says we saved the best for last because the Gamay grape and the Cru Beaujolais made from it are "her jam." In this episode Gina and Julie try four of the ten crus: a Fleurie from Anne Sophie Dubois, A Brouilly and a Morgon from Georges Descombes, And a cleverly named Chenas (Big Trouble in Little Chenas- a riff on a Kurt Russell classic) from Julien Guillot whose Beaulolais project is hard to find in the way of a web site- however if you'd like to learn more about his loftier Burgundian domaine, Vignes Du Maynes, click here