I can’t remember exactly when I started listening to wine podcasts, but I know it’s been a couple of years – and I know that I have Hubs to thank for it. For some time, he’d been falling asleep listening to one of his podcasts on sports or movies or music or whathaveyou and when I’d come to bed a couple hours later, I’d remove his headphones (because he’d once again fallen asleep with them on) and wonder what on earth fascinated him so much about these guys talking that he’d listen to them every night without fail.
When I finally asked him about his podcast fascination he said that there were podcasts about everything – and certainly some were out there about wine. Wait….what?!?!? We immediately set me up with a few – some of which are now defunct (where did you go Great Northwest Wine and Disgorged ?) – but many continue on. So, in no particular order, here are 5 wine podcasts that I listen to regularly and, if you’re interested in wine, are definitely worth checking out:
This is one of the longer running wine podcasts out there (it’s been going since 2012 – which is essentially the Paleozoic era by podcasting standards) and is hosted by Levi Dalton – a former sommelier (pronounced Levee like in the Led Zeppelin song – not Levi like in Strauss). I’ll Drink to That claims to “get behind the scenes of the beverage business” – and it absolutely does so. Levi talks to major players from all over the world in every facet of the wine industry – from authors to winemakers to restauranteurs.
My favorite podcast to-date is probably episode #315 in which he interviews Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible – and one of my wine heroes. 🙂 Even though I’d previously heard several other podcasters interview Karen, through Levi’s discussion with her I learned that she basically self-taught herself to where she is today. He really is amazing at getting new information from his guests.
Levi’s right-hand lady, Erin Scala, contributes interesting “warm-up” segments that often relate to the interviewee, but are sometimes just fascinating tidbits about wine – like why a typical wine bottle is 750ml (episode #325 for those of you who are curious!)
I’ll Drink to That is very good at getting the story behind the wine and humanizing the industry. Levi asks his guests pertinent questions and is adept at drawing them out (I swear he must have a background in journalism). And while it’s not as academic as some of the other podcasts, I always learn something listening to it.
With edge-of-your-seat topics like “Wine Chemistry” and “All About Yeast”, this podcast is likely to appeal more to true corkdorks such as myself (I mean, I publish a blog on wine outlines for Christ’s sake). Even when dealing with nitty gritty subjects like these, host Geoff Kruth manages to direct the discussion at an understandable, and often entertaining level.
As a Master Sommelier, Geoff knows more than 99.99% of the audience, yet he has a terrific knack for getting his guests to essentially start with the basics for the benefit of any wine newbies who might be listening. Like in the “Three Elements of White Wine Making” podcast, Geoff begins the interview with winemaker John Raytek by asking him: “if you were going to explain white winemaking to somebody that wasn’t a winemaker, contrasting it to the way red wine is made – how would you explain the basic process of how white wine is made?” For those looking for something a little lighter than a discussion on sur lie aging – the blind tasting and year in review GuildSomm podcasts are more on the amusing side.
Geoff has been the primary host since the podcast began, but lately Chris Tanghe has been taking over some of the hosting duties. Chris is based in the Seattle area – so I’m hoping his presence means more focus on wines from my beloved Pacific Northwest!
This was one of the very first podcasts I stumbled upon and it remains a favorite. Hosted by Elizabeth Schneider and her mysterious husband MC Ice (“just a wine loving normal person”) the WFNP podcast is conversational, entertaining and educational. Their banter is genuine and adorable – even when she talks over him (which I totally can relate to – just ask Hubs!)
WFNP covers a wide range of wine-related topics – regions, grapes, and news like how Brexit could effect the UK wine industry (episode #209) or the 2017 California wildfires (episode #203). Elizabeth also regularly interviews people in the industry, and while the interviewees aren’t usually “heavy hitters” like in some of the other podcasts, they all have incredibly interesting stories and I’ve found myself seeking out their wines on many occasions after finishing a WFNP podcast.
When I was studying for my WSET Level 3, I listened to WFNP religiously. I’d download an episode on whichever wine region I was currently focused on and listen while I was in the car. As the host, Elizabeth does a wonderful job of laying out the big picture in an easily understandable manner before then drilling down into the specifics. And she even warns you when she’s about to “dork out” on something – which is usually when I turn the volume up, but if you’re less of a wine geek, this might be when you take a break to refill your glass. 😉
I just recently started listening to this one. It’s another husband and wife team – Tony and Betty Notto and they’ve been podcasting for just over two years. Their style is generally a little more informative rather than conversational, and they cover various wine regions, grapes, and some of their wine travels. They also usually have wine recommendations that relate to their weekly topic – and often these bottles are incredibly budget friendly.
If the Weekly Wine Show were a wine, I’d describe it as a bit more rustic than elegant. This podcast isn’t as polished as some of the others I listen to and occasionally it sounds as if they’re reading straight from a script. However, when they go “off script” (which seems to be more frequently recently – especially with their monthly “Wine in the News” episodes) I love it. Their enthusiasm and excitement for wine is just so freaking genuine. There’s something truly endearing about them. Plus, Betty’s voice reminds me of Winona Ryder. 🙂
I admire their commitment and dedication: they have done this podcast weekly since its inception (other podcasts are published monthly or quarterly – if a podcast is “published”). Not an easy feat as (I believe) they both have full-time jobs and Betty recently pursued and received her WSET 2 Level certification. I’m looking forward to seeing where these two go with their podcast in the future – and hopefully meeting them at the upcoming Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla.
This podcast bounces around from wine to beer to spirits and beyond. Various editors of the Wine Enthusiast magazine take turns with hosting duties and transcripts are posted on their website – which is helpful for Tracy Flick personas like me who want to double check that I’ve gotten all the information correctly.
I’m not sure how exactly to describe the “personality” of this podcast since it’s all over the board. For example – their episodes have included: Connections between Wine and Cannabis, The Trials and Triumphs of Wine Education, and “Goddesses of the Grape” featuring women in the wine industry. The Wine Enthusiast Podcast is like an eclectic blend made up of dozens of varieties where each sip is new and different. There’s not really a common thread to it – other than wine.
I think I like this podcast because it reminds me of my blog . . . sort of all over the place. But when you’re a true wine enthusiast – I think you’re enthusiastic about a lot of things related to wine. It’s hard to limit yourself to just one or two aspects when you have so many paths to choose from and learn about.
If you have a wine podcast that you love – please let me know in the comments! And be sure to subscribe to Outwines by clicking the button right over there ———————–>