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


January 31, 2023 50 min

Jean Pierre Foubet is the managing director of and chief communicator for Château Chasse-Spleen, the best estate in Moulis appellation of the Médoc. His wife, Celine Villars-Foubet is the owner of the estate, and together they have brought this château to new heights in quality and prestige. 

Photo: Jean Pierre Foubet. Credit: ROLAND COIFFE & ASSOCIÉS


According to Jane Anson, in her book “Inside Bordeaux”:

“One of the star e...

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Matt Walls is a freelance wine expert and an award-winning wine writer and consultant. He is a contributing editor to Decanter, and writes regularly for and Club Oenologique. He is also the author of "Drink Me!" Which won the Fortnum & Mason ‘Best Newcomer’ Award, among others, and he wrote an opus on the Rhône Valley, “Wines of the Rhône,”** which is a brilliant book that has everything you want to know ab...

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January 17, 2023 49 min

Tucked into the middle of the Italian peninsula is the verdant, hilly land of Umbria. This small province is overshadowed by its neighbor, Tuscany, for many things, but Umbria has history, culture, and wine all its own. In this show, we explore the long history of Umbrian wine, what makes the province unique in its grapes and wine styles, and why Umbrian wine is too often unfairly forgotten in the pantheon of great wines of Italy. ...

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This podcast is a refresher on Merlot (it’s been 12 years, so it’s time!). It’s one of the titans of the wine grapes, and yet it’s not often that we encounter it as a varietal wine. Because it is frequently blended, Merlot can often be forgotten or not given its due.

Photo: Merlot. Getty Images via Canva

But Merlot will not be forgotten! It is the second-most planted grape in the world, the most widely grown grape in Bordeaux, and...

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Much has changed since our original 2017 episode (199) on Cava and Spanish sparkling wine. It's time for a refresh and an update!

Photo: Cava cork. Credit:

In this episode we fill you in on the roller coaster the DO has been on since 2017 and where it stands today. The story shows how Spain has moved from just being ON the radar of international wine buyers to moving to a level of sophistication that demands its regi...

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December 13, 2022 48 min

In this show, we cover Aglianico - the best red grape you may have never heard of. Widely considered one of Italy’s top three red grapes with Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, many consider the wines of Aglianico some of the world’s top bottles too. That said, because Aglianico is a grape of the more obscure regions in southern Italy (Campania and Basilicata, mainly), the wine hasn’t gotten its due. It is much less expensive than top Barolo...

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I welcome back Jim Morris, industry veteran, hospitality pro, and hiring manager for major wineries to help me answer the question I get frequently:


“I love wine, how do I get into the industry?”


We address the three main verticals for entry into the biz: the executive/business side, the production side, and the sales/hospitality side. Then we talk briefly about wine education and wine media. Jim’s first tip is a really essent...

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November 29, 2022 42 min

This week’s show is about one of the most famous white wines in Italy, the region's/wine's 1000 year history, and its recent comeback in quality and stature. The region? Soave (SWAH-vay) in Veneto, Italy.

Map: Consorzio Tutela Vini Soave

Located just east of the famed city of Verona (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?), in the foothills of the Lessini Mountains, Soave is a tiny region that packs a punch in reputation and in flavor....

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November 22, 2022 40 min

Happy Thanksgiving/Harvest Meal 2022. For this episode, we’re discussing wines that will give you great bang for your buck, pair perfectly with the meal, and impress your guests.

Photo: Pumpkins & Pais! (c) Wine For Normal People

These pairings are really for any traditional western meal – Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any sort of food that celebrates autumn flavors. 


Here’s the list for 2022...

The Welcome Wine

  • Sparkling optio...
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    For decades, Aldo Vacca has been the Managing Director of the Produttori del Barbaresco, the best and most successful wine co-op in Europe. Through his leadership and guidance, the Produttori has taken its wines, and with it, the wines of Barbaresco beyond Piedmont in northeastern Italy, to world renown. Aldo’s job at the Produttori is not just an occupation, it is his family legacy and a professional choice he made that has benefi...

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    This week's show is about the essential art of cooperage, or barrel making. Aussie winemaker and current US National Sales Manager for Tonnellerie Radoux, Craig Holme, takes us through how barrels are made, from forest to cellar. We discuss sustainability (Hint: the issue isn't the barrels or the trees, it's the fact that they come on container ships fully assembled, as winemakers order. Hello, carbon footprint!), how d...

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    Dr. Kevin Pogue, PhD, professor, geologist, and terroir expert educates us on terroir. This podcast is like taking a terroir class: it debunks so many things that people spout in reference books, at wineries, and in mainstream press about the topic! He explains things brilliantly and he is one of the first people I've ever met who actually has answers to my really dorky questions about terroir. 

    Photo: Kevin Pogue. From Vinterr...

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    In this show we welcome back Édouard Miailhe, proprietor of Château Siran in the Margaux appellation of the Médoc (he was on Episode 391, as part of our Médoc series, discussing his role as the president of the Margaux appellation and a small bit about the Château). He joins to talk about many things that we didn’t cover in the first show, and the exciting things happening now, including the fact that Château Siran’s 2018 vintage w...

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    This week’s show covers the southern part of the Côte de Beaune, south of Meursault. In this part of the Côte de Beaune you will find some of the most famed, stunning Chardonnay on earth. We start with a recap of episode 455 to tie these two shows together. Then we work our way through the southern half of the Côte de Beaune and the most famed Chardonnays in the world from the Montrachet family of vineyards. Like the first show, th...

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    We don't need much in the notes besides this wonderful map from the Vins de Bourgogne site, but I'll throw a few things down here just for recap.


    This week’s show covers the Côte de Beaune: the southern part of Côte d’Or, the famed ‘golden slope’ of Burgundy. The Côte de Beaune lies between the villages of Ladoix-Serrigny in the north and the Maranges in the south. In the north, there is delicious Pinot Noir but, in th...

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    This week’s show is short but extremely valuable! We tell you about one of the best value regions in the wine world: Lisboa, the area around Lisbon in Portugal.


    Although it has extensive hills and regional variation in climate, the real action is less in the smaller DOCs (Denominacão de Origem Controlada) and more within the larger Lisboa IPR (Indicação de Proveniência Regulamentada or Protected Designation of Origin). Using the ...

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    There are many parts of European and American cultures that have intermingled, some quite successfully, but the jury is still out on whether the vitis vinifera and the American vitis species have created something truly special and lasting. In this show, we break down European-American grapevine hybrids – what they are, why they are more important to the conversation today, their history, how they are made and what some of the mor...

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    In Italy’s arsenal of great wines of the world, Brunello di Montalcino may be the most coveted of all. Its small production and terroir-driven style represents the pinnacle of Sangiovese, widely considered Italy’s most famed grape. Made in the small and historic Tuscan hilltop village of Montalcino, just south of Siena, the grapes thrive in the climate and soils of this rugged area. Although the youngest of all the Italian greats, ...

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    Lumen is farming this vineyard gone wild and it's making the best Pinot Noir there is...

    Photo: The Wild King Vineyard, Courtesy of Lumen

    Be forewarned! This is a pretty dorky and technical show. Some of you say you would like to hear what wine people talk about when we’re together: here it is!


    Will Henry, co-proprietor at Lumen Wines in the cool climate AVAs of Santa Barbara, returns to the show (he was on Ep 259) to tell ...

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    Jason Haas is a Partner and the General Manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard. His late father, Robert Haas was a renowned importer who partnered with Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to scout a perfect site to grow Rhône varieties in California. They found it in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles and built one of the best wineries in California.

    Jason Haas of Tablas Creek. Photo from Tablas Creek


    Jason doesn’t just over...

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