Grape Minds

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Episode 98: Ending the tour of Italy by Popping Some Bubbles


Our month-long summer in Italy is coming to an end but not before we pop some corks on Italian bubbly.  From Franciacorta (we try an Extra Brut from Le Marchesine) through Prosecco to little regional sparklers, there is no shortage of frizzante in the boot.  Let's look at the whole country's most famous and fabulous sparkling wines.

Also, don't forget to check out this episode in which we talk with Matteo Lunelli from one of our all-time favorite Italian sparklers, Ferrari Trentodoc.

And check out this delicious rosé from Corvezzo. (newly allowed DOC from our people in Prosecco)


Episode 97: A Broad Swipe at Overwhelming Wine Greatness in North Italy


Guys, there is just too much goodness in all of Italy and in this episode we're trying to hit the highlights of the great northern zones of the boot.  From Amarone to Barolo, we're discussing the reds while sipping on the oft-overlooked (yet DELICIOUS) white wines.  It is summer after all, and this is a summer in Italy series. We discuss a prior interview with Karoline Walch you can find here if you're interested in more detail about Trentino Alto Adige. 


Episode 96: Working our Way up the Boot Into Central Italy


Moving up the boot, we wander into the vineyards of Central Italy, which contains Tuscany, which is world famous  for its delicious Sangiovese; Chianti, Brunelo di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and lets not forget those rogues, the super- Tuscans. With the judicial addition of select international grape varieties we get the big dogs like Sassicaia, In this episode we check out some lesser- known wines from Montecucco.

The we slide over to Abruzzo ( next door) for a little sip of everyone's favorite, affordable, pizza wine; Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Not to be confused with the Vino Nobile mentioned above.  Don't worry.  We sort it all out. 


Episode 95: Our Summer in Italy Takes Us off the Beaten Path to the South


The farthest south most tourists get past Rome is Naples, but there are some cool things to see in the foot of the boot.  Calabria's rustic cuisine and hot peppers will leave a mark on any traveler's memory. Basilicata's stunning Matera is a sight to behold, and the sheer abundance of Puglia's fresh produce makes one thirst for wine as straight-forward as the people in this part of the country. In this whirlwind tour of the south, we talk about and try several of the wines and pine for our next trip overseas.


Episode 94: Summer in Italy Begins in Sicily


This week we are hitting the road again- journeying via our wine glass to Italy for the summer.  We're starting in Sicily, the Island right off the boot's toe, where the idyllic village of Taormina sits in the hills between the strait of Messina and Mount Etna (which has apparently been pretty active this year).  It's a must-stop destination for people traveling by car once you've gotten off the ferry. In this episode we try some deliciously affordable wines and talk about what, exactly makes a grape "indigenous."


Episode 93.5 Bringing Back the Drive By Tasting With David Oquendo


An addendum to your podcast on father's day wines!  Reviving the practice we began before the pandemic sent up all home to work remotely: the drive-by wine tasting, in which we gran someone walking down our halls to pop into the studio and try a wine or two.  This time, we roped in local father and innocent bystander, David Oquendo to select his favorite from our lineup of dad wines.

Episode 93: Memorial Day, Dad’s Day and Grill-Appropriate Wines for the Summer


Today (May 25) is National Wine Day! Tis the season to break out the flip flops, don a visor, and fire up the grill.  Memorial Day, Father's Day, and the beginning of summer has us thinking grilled anything. We're cracking open a can of Rosé and testing out some of grilled meat and veggies' best pairings.  We also check out a few big daddy wines like this elegant Zinfandel from Baletto.


Bonus Episode: Oregon Wine Month


It is Oregon Wine Month and in case you're thirsty for some Gina and Julie in between episodes, here's a sip of some of the Oregon winemakers we've had the honor and pleasure of hosting in our studio.

One of the earliest Oregonians we talked with was the sweet Jesse Lange of Lange Estate:

And we talked with the super-cool Maria Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards:

Plus we loved hearing about that a-ha moment that led Gary Horner to become obsessed with learning everything he could about Pinot Noir:

Episode 92: Kyle Janzen Stops by the Studio


As in-person interviews become part of life once again we are a little overly-excited to welcome Kyle Janzen, of Janzen Estate. We get to taste and compare Cabernet Sauvignon from the Baccio Divino line, from the ToKalon Vineyard and the Missouri Hopper Vineyard. We also try the Pazzo, blend which is described as "unpretentious" on their web site. Just like us!


Episode 91: This Mother’s Day She Deserves the Big Wines


This mother's day we give mom the kind of wine that reflects the strength, stamina and poise she (hopefully) displayed over the past pain-in-the- butt year.  The dishes, the cooking, the working from home, the distance learning. Ladies, time to raise a glass of some big, bold wines as strong (read: high alcohol content) as you.  We also offer a tip of the hat to Cabernet Sauvignon's mom, Sauvignon Blanc- who is having her day this beautiful Wine Wednesday.

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