Archive for March, 2010

Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Ask the Wine Maker

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Welcome to our video podcast: Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Ask the Wine Maker – Video Show #82.

The HdR is a two-day event featuring wine seminars, library and Grand tastings, and a unique opportunity to meet and talk with people who are at the forefront of the increasingly popular Rhône varietal movement throughout the world. From its modest beginnings as The Viognier Guild, vintners Mat Garretson and John Alban debuted the event in 1993, envisioning it as a quasi-conference for winemakers and vintners who were passionate about wine varieties originating from the France’s Rhône Valley. Today, the 17th annual event is largely the work of local vintners John Alban and Vicki Carroll, who have invited international winemakers and producers to come and celebrate Rhône wines with other enthusiasts.

For our coverage of the 2009 Hospice du Rhône, we bring you the sights, sounds (and smells) of the event. Plus, came up with more of our burning questions to ask winemakers and producers. No debate, no discussion (okay, maybe a little) – we just wanted to know what they thought about several issues, such as: Has technology helped you make better wines? What the heck is going on with American Syrah? Do good scores from wine critics help you sell wine? And finally, If you could put a cute critter on your label, what would it be?

Sponsor: Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org

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Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Syrah Shootout

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Welcome to our video podcast: Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Syrah Shootout – Video Show #81.

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Prior to the main HdR events of Friday and Saturday, the winemakers and producers conduct a Syrah Shootout, a blind tasting of 45-50 wines to determine by vote the best three Syrahs in the lineup. The prize? How about: bragging rights until next year’s event, plus a pseudo-trophy of a small wooden barrel and plaque, and finally an ever-so-gauche plaid sportcoat – suitably named “the Coat du Rhône.”
Submitted wines (Syrahs/Shiraz), are all bagged and numbered. Winemakers and producers are asked to taste through the wines, pick their top three and turn in their scoring to HdR personnel. This can be an interesting proposition, and the winners are quite often a big surprise to everyone. This year’s winners were: 1st – Four Vines, Santa Barbara County; 2nd- Caliza – Russell, Vnyd, Paso Robles; and 3rd -Graves – Ohana Vnyd, Paso Robles.

Sponsor: Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org

The Champagne Warrior

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Mention Champagne to people, and their eyes just light up. Thoughts of New Year’s Eve, wedding toasts, and other celebratory events jump immediately to mind. But, Champagne is a wine, first and foremost, and shouldn’t be relegated to some once-in-awhile beverage. So, how does one find out more about its versatility? Well, fortunately, we’ve invited a guest to educate us on some of the nuances of Champagne.

Although Michigan resident Brad Baker grew up drinking Australian Shiraz and California sparklers, it was a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee that really rocked his world, and made him want to dedicate himself to learning and discovering as much as possible about the people, land, culture, and wines of Champagne – as well as other sparkling wine regions around the world. Of course, discovery and knowledge often leads to something further. In Brad’s case, all of this knowledge led quite naturally to developing “The Champagne Warrior”, his newsletter to inform subscribers all about great Champagne and sparkling wine.

Join us as we talk with Brad about his passion and enthusiasm for Champagne. We’ll also learn a few geeky things about this bubbly beverage that will have you saying, “no more flutes.”

For more info on The Champagne Warrior: www.champagnewarrior.com

Sponsor: The Independent Champagne and Sparkling Wine Invitational: www.icswi2010.com

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Show #263
(1:01:38min 44MB)

Riedel – What’s in Your Cabinet?

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Each year, Hospice du Rhône produces an exciting three-day wine event that is regarded as the single most educational and enjoyable gathering of international Rhône wine producers and enthusiasts. Attendees are treated to four in-depth wine seminars, a well as wine tastings and some great meals. But, arguably the most valuable aspect of this fabulous event is the opportunity for attendees to rub elbows with the very producers and winemakers whose enthusiasm for Syrah, Grenache and twenty other varieties of Rhône Valley grapes has inspired the passion in all of us.

We return to the 2009 HdR with our coverage of a somewhat unusual Riedel seminar. Normal Riedel seminars cover how different shapes of stemware affect the aroma and taste of different grape varieties. However, this seminar was devised to illustrate the differences of three syrah-based wines (2005 E. Guigal – St. Joseph, 2005 Elderton Shiraz – Barossa, 2007 Miner/Villard “La Diligence” Stagecoach Vnyd, Napa) when sampled from 4 different stems. Even more interesting, 3 of the 4 glasses were designed specifically for Syrah-based wines.

The “science” behind the shape of the wine glass seems to always cause conversation. Most non-science/engineering types of people are unable to explain the phenomena. Riedel explains it this way: the shape of the glass dictates the emission of aroma, somewhat based on how a person positions their head while drinking, which ultimately alters the way the wine flows into the mouth. By narrowing the rim of the glass, this focuses the drinker to tilt his head back, delivering the wine to potentially different zones of the tongue, which results in the brain perceiving different flavors. The volume of the glass, the diameter of its rim, the thickness of the crystal, and the finish also all play a role in the roll of the wine onto the tongue.

The Stemware used for this event were: Riedel Restaurant = Oregon Pinot glass #0447/07; Sommeliers = Hermitage 0400/30; Vinum Extreme = Syrah 4444/30; and Flow = Syrah 0407/30. that seeks to find the differences Based on the tried – and arguably true – impression that wines taste and smell different when consumed from different stemware.

For more info on Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org

For more info on Riedel, Wine Glass Company: www.riedel.com

Sponsor: VinAssure, Wine Preservation System: www.vinassure.com

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Show #262
(1:16:36min 55MB)


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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

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