Wine for Normal People

Wine for Normal People

A podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it. We talk about wine in a fun, straightforward, normal way to get you excited about it and help you drink better, more interesting stuff. The Wine For Normal People book is available on Amazon! Back catalog available at


November 29, 2023 58 mins

Professor Thomas Collins (yes, his name is Tom Collins) is a foremost authority in the US on smoke in the vineyards. After a long career in research and enology at large wineries in New York and California, and a Ph.D. at UC-Davis, Dr. Collins became an assistant professor of grape and wine chemistry in the Viticulture and Enology Program at Washington State University in 2015.


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This is a special update and recap of Episode 327 with Barnaby Eales on Wine ingredient & nutrition labeling. I refreshed and edited that (very short) episode and then MC Ice and I added the details of the new law.

We did the original episode in 2020 and at that time it was unclear whether or ...

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Thanksgiving is a hard meal to pair wine with but we've got you covered. After a little bit of wine advice about glassware, serving temps, and my annual "Aunt Gertrude" warning, we get into the pairings for traditional (and some variations on traditional) Thanksgiving fare. 


We begin with suggestions for wines to welcome your guests, and then move on to:

  • Wine and food pairings for Thanksgiving appetizers/ hors-d'œuvre
  • Wine a...
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This week we cover the unsung red of Central European wine – Blaufränkisch. This Central European red grape was planted widely in throughout the Habsburg Empire, and today the biggest plantings aren’t too far from its birthplace – right on the Austria-Hungary border.

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Sherry is a complex wine with lots of terroir, tradition, and winemaking possibilities. In episode 495, we go over the stats on the region, the history, the terroir, and details on winemaking, including the solera system. We then describe the biologically aged wines – Fino and Manzanilla. 


This show is a continuation of episode 495 but after listening to the show I did with MC Ice, I realized it was too meandering, so I recorded ...

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It's been 11 years since we discussed Sherry, so it's time to do a refreshed show. This time, Sherry is much more mainstream and we're revisiting this fascinating wine that has so much history, and has experienced a renaissance in recent times.


We discuss:

  • Where Sherry is and its defining terroir, including the terroir of the bodegas
  • The grapes of Sherry
  • The 3000 year history of the region
  • Winemaking and the complex system o...
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October 16, 2023 42 mins

After a very, very hot summer where we live, the weather has broken and we are ready for wines that can warm us up and pair with the smells of crisp fall air and falling leaves, as well as heartier food. In this show, we talk about wines for fall from around the world and why they are going on our wine shopping list this season.


We break it down country by country (an...

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I first spoke to Marina Marcarino of Punset in 2017 and I was fascinated by her story and loved her wines. We became friends and I’ve visited her over the years and keep in touch with her for a pulse on what is happening in the vineyards and wineries of Barbaresco, where Punset is located.

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This week, my close friend, web guru, and the best digital marketer in the wine biz -- Polly Hammond of 5Forests -- discusses some fascinating topics in wine. We have a great conversation about the state of wine marketing, it's disconnection with normal people (and reasons for it), and how there is more to some trends than clickbait would have you believe! 

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Pinot Noir is a challenging grape. It’s hard to grow, hard to work with in the cellar, and the style varies drastically based on where it’s made, who is making it, and when it was grown (vintage).


We haven’t covered Pinot in a decade, so we decided to do a reboot on the grape mini-series and add all the new information and insights I’ve gathered over the last 10+ year...

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September 19, 2023 36 mins

This week we cover Australia’s coolest and most southerly region, Tasmania. This island, which is 240 km/150 off the mainland has had some starts and stops in wine, but the recent past has seen it on an upward trajectory for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, sparkling made of those grapes, plus Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah, and Pinot Gris, among others. We give an overview of this very distinct Australian region, dis...

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As suggested by patron Keith S, this week we take a detailed look at Madeira, the Portuguese island that makes a unique and delicious fortified wine! We discuss the very important history (it’s why the wine is made the way it is, so even if you hate history, don’t skip that part!), t...

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In this show, we share our best tips for traveling to wine regions. We cover planning and research, the best time of year to visit, and important factors once you’re on the ground. From getting a shipper so your wine is ready to check or ship, to stocking up on gas and provisions, to traveling with kids, we’ve got you covered.

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August 28, 2023 56 mins

How can it be that we have never done an overview on New Zealand? We decided to remedy that this week. This is a sweeping look at the two-island nation that has a huge wine reputation, even though it only accounts for 1% of the wine made in the world.

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In this show, I welcome my friend and wine industry guru Daniel Posner, the owner of the prestigious New York retailer, Grapes, The Wine Company.

August 14, 2023 39 mins

This time we dive into one of the three main grapes of the Northern Rhône: Marsanne. Related to Roussanne, the grape with which it is almost always blended, this grape reaches its heights in the wines of Hermitage in northern Rhône and does exceptional things around the world from Victoria and South Australia, to the US, to New Zealand and South Africa.

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After reviewing some of the basics about Riesling (possibly my favorite white grape!), we talk about some other wines that may be interesting to try.

Photo: ...

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This show is a recap of the wine experiences that we had while spending three weeks in Portugal and tasting through as much of the wines from that country as we could!


Our itinerary included:


The Algarve in the southern part of the country – a beautiful, dramatic seaside area with sandstone and limestone cliffs, which drop i...

While I was in Irpinia, Campania (southern Italy) earlier this year, I got to spend an afternoon and dinner with Antonio Capaldo, Chairman and mastermind behind Feudi di San Gregorio, the largest and one of the highest quality producers in the region. This episode recaps a lot of the really interesting conversations we had about the steady traction the region has gained in terms of reputation, the culture of art and how it connects...

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Eva Martinelli is a young, innovative, and experienced winemaker from Tuscany. She has a degree in oenology, a deep understanding of terroir of Chianti Classico, and an unrivaled passion for the region. She has worked harvests in New and Old World countries, after which she returned home to follow her dream of being a winemaker in the region she loves most. 

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