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Grape Encounters Wine Radio

Radio America

Join us for a completely different, irreverent and refreshing perspective on wine.

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Atascadero, CA

Networks:

Radio America

Description:

Join us for a completely different, irreverent and refreshing perspective on wine.

Language:

English

Contact:

213-716-1964


Episodes
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Episode #774 – This Welcoming Italian Hotelier and Restauranteur has a Multi-Million Dollar Secret!

5/18/2024
It’s hard to imagine any European city with more iconic food, wine, art, and cultural attractions per capita than Bologna, Italy. Home of the world’s first university, Bologna is a place of higher learning in almost any discipline you can imagine. Behind every door and around every corner, the old world is displayed in vibrant living colors. Present-day Bologna is as important culturally as it was hundreds of years ago. It is an incubator of fine art, architecture, culinary innovation, the performing arts, and so much more. On today’s show, you’ll meet a Bologna native, arguably one of the most engaged and insightful Renaissance men or women we have ever featured. He is Robert Condello, a restauranteur, hotelier, and fine art dealer of the world’s most iconic masters, from Botticelli to Picasso. He’s also remarkably humble, pouring as much passion into iconic Bolognese dishes as he does finding the most suitable collectors to provide unparalleled care for priceless canvases, Today’s show was recorded at the Porta San Mamolo Hotel, which Roberto has managed and owned in partnership with family members for many years. This hotel is the perfect kind of place to stay when visiting Bologna. It's what we love on Grape Encounter. The hotel is just on the edge of the city's most important areas--in a wonderfully tranquil residential area--but it is a stone's throw from anything you could ever need or want. And if you want to hear the birds chirping, you can spend your entire day at this little garden paradise. And if you're hungry for the best food in Bologna, you can walk across the street to Roberto's restaurant, Antica Osteria Le Mura. This place is where Roberto has combined his passion for great food, wine, and incredible artwork. best of all, you can enjoy everything at a very comfortable price. Once German Military HQ Roberto has managed the hotel for 23 years and details the hotel’s strange history in this interview. Originally a church, it became an important German military headquarters during the war. In the 1960s, it became a hostel for families with children in the nearby hospital. In 2000, Roberto and his family acquired the property, added several rooms, making it one of the most charming hotels in the heart of the city. Today, he and his brother-in-law own this remarkably tranquil oasis and continue to make improvements that set it apart from conventional hotels. As you will hear, Roberto Condello is quite a preservationist who does all he can to ensure that Bologna remains one of Europe’s most extraordinary destinations. David adds this footnote: "I spent nearly a week enveloped by the splendor of this lovely property. Every morning, I would head down to the Orangerie, where I would savor my breakfast on the beautiful garden patio. There is a lovely woman who has worked for the hotel for many years who would literally have the most thoughtfully prepared cappuccino ready for me before I could even get settled in. By the second day, she had memorized everything I love at breakfast time. I want to be clear: I came as a normal pacing customer... not a comp. Every guest received equally remarkable care. She and the entire staff are a rarity in these times and I will return to this place as often as possible, to enjoy the care and conversations that set it apart from 99% of the places I have stayed on my journeys."

Duration:00:44:45

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Episode #773 – From Morning Joe to Evening Glow: The Coffee and Wine Connection!

5/14/2024
This week on Grape Encounters, we delve into the delightful harmony between two of life's finest pleasures: wine and coffee. If your day starts with the essential cup of Joe and ends with Chardonnay or Merlot, this episode is brewed just for you! Discover why aficionados of one are often enthusiasts of the other, as we explore how both wine and coffee are similarly savored and scrutinized for their complex flavors and aromas. Join us as we venture into the intriguing world of pairing—not just wine with food, but wine with coffee. Imagine sipping on a robust espresso alongside a velvety Pinot. We’ll also whisk you away to Italy where you practically need an instruction manual when drinking café. We'll also turn you on to some revered Italian coffee concoctions that blend wine directly into the brew, showcasing the innovative spirit of Italian café culture. Italy is also the birthplace of the Moka pot, an Italian invention that revolutionized home coffee brewing since its creation in 1933. Adored across Italy and Europe for its ability to extract coffee with rich, full-bodied flavor, the Moka pot has become a symbol of Italian design and ingenuity in kitchens worldwide. In contrast, we’ll also explore the modern convenience of pod coffee makers which go far beyond the original Keurig pots, and now include some very nifty European devices that feature a variety of pod styles and sizes, such as Nespresso and Nescafé formats, which have transformed coffee consumption with their simplicity and variety, offering everything from classic espresso to intricate flavored blends at the touch of a button. Even coffee purists are loving these convenient gems! Joining Host David Wilson on this caffeine-spiked adventure is his delightful Italian assistant Marika, who helps him us to better understand why coffee may actually be more revered than wine in her native land. This episode is packed with laughter and lively stories, including the 21st birthday experience that triggered David's long love-affair with coffee in the south of France—a memory steeped in the unforgettable taste of local espresso and cappuccino, served by a genuine French maid in an otherwise forgettable hotel. It's a tale of how great coffee can make any moment memorable. Tune in to Grape Encounters for an episode that promises not just insight but a good dose of humor and heart. Whether you're a wine lover, coffee fanatic, or both, this is one gathering you won't want to miss! This episode of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine and More. Find what you love and love what you find and Total Wine and More!

Duration:00:31:57

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Episode #772 – Connecting the Dots: Wine E-Commerce Savant Jessica Kogan Poised to Amaze Us Again!

5/6/2024
Although most people might not give it a second thought, there can be no doubt that we are living in an era of human exceptionalism unparalleled in history. In nearly every field imaginable—science, technology, the arts, business, medicine, you name it—humans are achieving what was once thought inconceivable. Consider space exploration: Nearly every month, new spacecraft are launched on potentially decades-long missions with little or no fear of failure. Rocket launches have become so routine that they seldom make headlines. Yet, the satellites these rockets deploy are crucial to our global connectivity, enabling us to interact with the world in previously unimaginable ways. This connectivity means that when a political figure or celebrity posts a cryptic message at 8 PM, it can go viral by 8:05 PM and become the lead story on the 11 PM news. And this simply wouldn’t be possible without the determination of the people behind these projects. Determined people like Taylor Swift, a seemingly ordinary girl-next-door, who breaks down boundaries and sets new records practically every week. It’s not magic, but it is certainly the result of making a determined effort to understand the full potential of how new tools and technology might be used in ways that even their developers hadn’t fully considered. As a result, Taylor has been able to conceptualize and execute a concert tour that significantly boosts the economy of every city she visits. At barely 30 years old, Swift marries her song and dance talents with technology to generate billions in economic impact. Her ability to connect with audiences in more vastly intimate ways is surprisingly similar to what is occurring in the world of space exploration, where the celestially-curious can literally climb aboard any number of spacecrafts on deep space exploration missions and enjoy a front row experience that is nothing short of life changing. Of course, while we love discussing space exploration and Taylor Swift, this is, after all, a wine show. So, you might be wondering, "What does all this have to do with wine?" Well, you're about to see the connection, as we introduce someone we believe could be called "The Taylor Swift of Wine." She made an unforgettable impression on us as a guest last year. In fact, host David Wilson described it as one of the most enlightening and enjoyable episodes of all time. We've often discussed the disconnect among wine producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers on this show. Wine is incredibly complex, with an overwhelming array of flavors produced worldwide. Unlike the limited selections available to previous generations, there are now tens of thousands of wines in the US alone, which can be frustrating for consumers trying to navigate this abundance. Enter Jessica Kogan, one of the most acclaimed brand builders globally, known for her extraordinary ability to connect consumers with products. Jessica Kogan has been a formidable presence for decades, shaping major brands like Donna Karan, Hill+Knowlton, Razorfish, Elizabeth Arden, Urban Decay, and Giorgio Armani. In 2004, she co-founded Cameron Hughes Wine, which quickly gained critical acclaim. Following the acquisition of Cameron Hughes by Vintage Wine Estates in 2017, Cogan joined as Chief Digital Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, where she tripled direct-to-consumer sales from $30 million to over $90 million. Her innovative strategies have expanded the Vintage brand beyond traditional retail, embracing direct-to-consumer and e-grocery platforms, alongside initiating digital programs like refer-a-friend, shareholder passports, virtual wine tastings, and digitally enhanced estate tasting rooms. Not only a master of digital transformation, Jessica Kogan also leads the way for women in the traditionally male-dominated wine industry, earning nominations and accolades such as Innovator of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and a place on the prestigious 2021 Wine Business Industry ...

Duration:00:41:45

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Episode #771 – Green Medal Winners Unveiled! Join the Celebration of Green Innovation!

5/1/2024
In the enchanting world of wine, where the romance of tradition meets modern innovation, Grape Encounters Radio invites listeners to tune in to a very special installment of the show, Episode #772. This week, host David Wilson welcomes Allison Jordan, a long-time favorite guest. As is the case with any of her appearances on Grape Encounters, David never misses the opportunity to tease Allison about her super-sized job title, “Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and Vice President of Environmental Affairs for the California Wine Institute.” It’s a well-deserved title because Allison wears a lot of hats, doing the work of three or four mere mortals. Accordingly, it would not be an exaggeration to say that sustainability in the California wine industry is as far along as it is because Allison Jordan is who she is; a remarkable leader with vision and drive who has enabled California winemakers and grape growers to achieve a level of sustainability that most would’ve deemed unthinkable just a few years ago. Who better to unveil the winners of the Tenth Annual California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards? Allison is easily one of the most pleasant and entertaining wine experts in the country. But beyond that, she is also able to explain the subject of sustainability as it pertains to the gigantic California wine industry, in a fascinating and understandable way, without dumbing things down. This episode of Grape Encounters is 100% dedicated to the pioneers who blend heritage with foresight in the quest for sustainability. There are four different categories, and the stories behind each recipient are absolutely mesmerizing. Let’s take a brief look at each winner to whet your appetite, then you can hear the full story in Allison’s words. The Leader Award: LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards The prestigious Leader Award honors LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards for their exceptional dedication to sustainability that spans decades. Since the 1970s, LangeTwins has been the sustainability standard bearer with their eco-friendly practices, including habitat restoration, energy-efficient designs, and solar power advancements. Their community-oriented initiatives, like youth engagement and local collaborations to manage pests sustainably, demonstrate a profound commitment to the environment and the future of viticulture. The Environment Award: Gloria Ferrer Gloria Ferrer captured the Environment Award with its regenerative organic practices across 330 acres in Sonoma's Carneros region. By integrating technology like AI to optimize vineyard care, introducing biodiversity through cover crops, and fostering wildlife habitats, Gloria Ferrer not only enhances soil health but also ensures that its vineyards contribute positively to the surrounding ecosystem. Their dedication to minimizing environmental impact while maximizing wine quality sets a benchmark in sustainable wine growing. The Community Award: Cooper-Garrod Vineyards at Garrod Farms The Community Award is deservedly won by Cooper-Garrod Vineyards at Garrod Farms, located in the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains. This vineyard distinguishes itself not only through sustainable agriculture but also through its profound impact on the local community. Initiatives like the Firewise Community program and extensive community involvement in local causes exemplify their role as a pillar of societal support and environmental stewardship. The Business Award: Vino Farms, LLC Vino Farms, LLC, earned the Business Award for demonstrating that sustainability can go hand in hand with astute business practices. Located in Lodi, Vino Farms employs advanced technologies for water and soil management, utilizes renewable energy sources, and focuses on employee welfare. Their innovative practices ensure operational efficiencies, cost savings, and a sustainable future for both the environment and the local community.

Duration:00:31:10

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Episode #770 – Sous Vide Cooking Tops the List of Ways to Slash Meal Costs and Kitchen Drudgery

4/13/2024
In the latest episode of Grape Encounters Radio, host David Wilson takes listeners on a deep dive into a culinary revolution that's been quietly simmering for over fifty years. This isn't just another cooking show; it’s a journey into how embracing a particular kitchen technology—the sous vide cooker—can not only reclaim the joy of cooking but also drastically cut household expenses by as much as $10,000 per year. David begins by addressing a trend that has many Americans stepping away from traditional cooking—increasing reliance on meal kits and pre-prepared entrées from popular stores like Trader Joe's and Aldi's. He outlines the myriad reasons for this shift: the rising cost of ingredients, the time constraints of modern life, and the mess associated with cooking at home. But then, he presents a solution that could entice anyone back into the kitchen. The Unintended Journey of the Sous Vide Cooker: A Tale of Serendipity and Culinary Innovation The centerpiece of this week's episode is the sous vide cooker, a device about the size and weight of a hairdryer that has never seen the widespread adoption it deserves. David takes the audience through the fascinating history of this cooking method, marked by serendipity and innovation. Our story begins with two men, Georges Pralus and Bruno Goussault, who in the mid-20th century, each sought to solve a culinary problem unrelated to what sous vide would eventually become. Pralus, a French chef, aimed to cook foie gras without losing too much fat, while Goussault, a scientist, wanted to enhance the tenderness of beef and address storage and stability issues that frequently plague institutional food producers. Their separate quests converged as they realized the potential of their methods—cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath at a precisely controlled temperature. This technique, which they refined collaboratively, emerged not only as a method for preserving taste, texture, and nutritional value but also as a significant leap in culinary efficiency and convenience. The Happy Accident That Changed Cooking David eloquently describes sous vide as a happy accident—an innovation that neither inventor initially aimed to create but which has revolutionized cooking. The benefits are numerous: precision cooking ensures perfect results every time, sealed bags lock in flavor and moisture, and the process itself requires less energy and greatly reduces kitchen clean-up. However, despite these advantages, the sous vide cooker remains underutilized, often perceived as too complex or costly for home use. David dispels these myths, promoting the sous vide method as not only accessible but also a transformational tool that simplifies cooking, reduces costs, and enhances the culinary experience. A Call to Action: Embrace the Future of Cooking David concludes by urging listeners to open their kitchens and minds to the sous vide cooker. He emphasizes that this technology, once embraced, can save significant money, reduce cooking and cleaning time, and elevate the quality of meals—enabling anyone to achieve restaurant-quality results at home. This powerful episode of Grape Encounters Radio not only educates but also inspires, promising listeners that they can realize most of these benefits in just a single day—a potential game changer for any home cook. Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More! Find what you love, and love what you find, at TotalWine.com!

Duration:00:41:52

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Episode #769 – REIGNITED! Natalie MacLean’s “Wine Witch on Fire” is Most Requested Encore!

4/8/2024
It’s back! We don't run many repeats, but when we do, they have to be mighty special... and this hour-long kitchen table conversation with #1 best-selling author Natalie MacLean--arguably America's finest wine and food author--is just a click away. Natalie’s new release, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much, is our most downloaded episode of Grape Encounters this year. HOST DAVID WILSON SAYS: For many years, I have been telling you that Natalie epitomizes what a great food critic and author is. From her poignant and profoundly insightful wine reviews to her mesmerizing best-selling epistles, Natalie MacLean is essential reading for anyone who calls themselves a foodie or wine enthusiast. In all that she does, this beloved author is spot on... and once you start reading any one of her works, it's nearly impossible to set it down. But it's one thing to read her words and quite another thing to listen to her insights straight from her lips. That's why this deeply intimate conversation with Natalie was such a tremendous privilege and treat. The only thing that I can recall looking forward to as much was my first trip to Disneyland at age 6. Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much… is easily the summer’s number one read in the food and wine category, but don’t let the whimsical title lead you to believe this is a lighthearted tribute to your favorite drink. Quite the opposite. Natalie’s latest work is raw, daring, and deeply disturbing at times, as she shares experiences that most people in her shoes would keep tightly bottled up and stashed in the darkest corner of the cellar, where it is to remain unopened for an eternity. Sadly, there has long been a dark side to the wine business, and as one of the industry's most revered critics, she often had to face the full force of foes determined to dethrone her. Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much (Dundurn Press) is a powerful memoir of how one woman resurrects her life and career in the glamorous but sexist wine industry. The story begins with her husband of twenty years, a high-powered CEO, demanding a divorce. Then an online mob of rivals comes for her career. Wavering between depression and determination, she must fight for her son, rebuild her career, and salvage her self-worth using her superpowers: heart, humor, and an uncanny ability to pair wine and food. Natalie confronts her insider role in the slick marketing encouraging women to drink too much while she battles the veiled misogyny of the wine world. However, Natalie eventually prevails after all the misery that others put her through, and she joins us to tell her story with the warmth of a lick on the cheek from a Golden Retriever puppy! Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More! Find what you love, and love what you find, at TotalWine.com!

Duration:00:42:14

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Episode #768 – FERMENTATION LIBERATION: Shaking Up Wine’s Status Quo. Plus, Bonus Jancis Robinson Encore!

3/28/2024
This edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More. Find what you love and love what you find at Total Wine & More. Just over a month ago, a captivating debate bubbled up among the wine lovers of California's Central Coast and quickly spilled over into the digital vineyards of social media, engaging a broad audience in a conversation that was anything but pedestrian. Grape Encounters Radio was thoroughly delighted to fire the starting pistol as the discussion began to unfold. But it was very clear that a lot of people would weigh in on this conversation, so we reserved some airtime 30 days down the road, hoping to bring you some significant insights once more people had had a chance to put in their two cents worth. And did they ever! So, in this episode, we are checking back in with you to share in admittedly unscientific terms what we've observed, but do we ever have a special surprise to add to this week's conversation? More on that in the moment. One thing is absolutely certain, as you're about to hear: If you compare the attitudes of consumers and industry professionals today versus, say, a decade ago, priorities have definitely changed with an undeniable shift in the wine world's collective consciousness. What truly matters most? Is it science, technique, expertise, and terroir that deserve the standing ovation, or are the primal moans of pleasure the only true indicators of a job well done? Could the wisdom of years and the challenges of recent times be softening our resolve on rigid wine dogmas, inviting us to sip through a lens of newfound freedom and joy? This episode is steeped in the essence of rediscovery, prompted by the insatiable curiosity of winemaker Larry Schaeffer of Tercero Wines, who had a hunch that this might be a good time to revisit our priorities. Perhaps it would be a pointless undertaking, given the fact that for decades now, we've largely been content to agree to disagree. But even in the deeply polarized world of wine, there seems to be a fresh scent in the air... perhaps a willingness to embrace wine without the encumbrances of tradition In a world momentarily brought to a standstill by the global pandemic. As we navigate the complexities of climate change, political upheaval, and personal trials, this episode reflects our collective yearning for life's uncomplicated pleasures. It's a call to relive the joy of discovering a great film, the excitement of exploring new music, and the unadulterated pleasure of savoring a glass of wine that tastes 'darn good'—unburdened by the weight of connoisseurship. Central to this episode is a treasured interview that has spent the past four years under lock and key in the maximum security Grape Encounters archives. It's a heartwarming interview that David did just a few days before the Covid lockdown with Jancis Robinson, the preeminent wine journalist and educator whose insights have shaped the wine world. Conducted in the ephemeral tranquility before the world was commanded to shelter in place, this conversation stands as a testament to the episode's theme. Robinson's wisdom underscores the importance of embracing wine with levity and joy, focusing on the aspects of wine education that resonate on a personal level, rather than adhering strictly to conventional wisdom. The conversation clearly makes the point that, even before Covid caused us all to live every day like it could be our last, the world was already reassessing its all-work, no-play state of affairs. As we revisit this dialogue, Grape Encounters Radio Episode 768 invites you on a vinous voyage that celebrates the individuality of wine enjoyment. Featuring a diverse cast from casual enthusiasts to seasoned vintners, this episode is a tribute to the spirit of wine itself—ever-evolving, deeply personal, and universally binding. Tune in for an intimate exploration of wine's true essence, illuminated by the luminous perspective of Jancis Robinson and echo...

Duration:00:33:42

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Episode #766_2 – Cooking Catastrophe! Why Americans are Ditchin’ the Kitchen!

3/23/2024
This week, in the whimsical world of "Grape Encounters Radio," where the love of wine and food dances freely with the spirit of adventure, your host, David Wilson, takes a moment to don his chef's hat—figuratively speaking—and delve into a topic that's been simmering on the back burner of America's culinary consciousness. Yes, dear food fanatics, we're talking about the great kitchen exodus, the flight from flavor, the very unraveling of the apron strings that once tied us to the heart of the home. In this special episode, David, with his tongue planted firmly in cheek, stages an intervention, of sorts, on behalf of the American palate, one homemade bite at a time. Picture this: It's late at night, and David can't seem to catch the express train to dreamland. So, he resorts to the digital answer to melatonin… YouTube. YouTube food and cooking videos to be more precise, and within minutes, he’s deep down the rabbit hole, and there, in the glow of his screen, he encounters the culinary equivalent of a car crash that you can't look away from, even though you know you should. There’s something ironic about a cooking video being so painful to watch that it literally upsets your stomach, but this one really took the cake; or the lasagna as the case may be. There is no shortage of pointless, error-laden productions like this one on YouTube. The video features an elderly couple, armed with nothing but the ‘finest’ ingredients, including bargain basement pasta sauce in a jar, pre-shredded processed cheese, and lasagna noodles. If you’re wondering about other ingredients typically found in most lasagna recipes, like eggs, Parmesan cheese, various Italian seasonings, and so on, can you even imagine what Julia Child must be thinking? Accordingly, David has once again made it his mission; to rescue the art of cooking from the jaws of convenience. Armed with statistics that are as startling as finding a raisin in your toothpaste, David paints a picture of a nation at a culinary crossroads. Nearly half of Americans would rather walk over hot coals than think about what to cook for dinner. The microwave reigns supreme in the kingdom of kitchen appliances, while Mexican food, with its assembly line of jarred and canned shortcuts, sits atop the throne of America’s dinner choices. It's a gastronomic Groundhog Day, with 55% of people admitting to using meal kits to break the monotony, particularly on the dreaded day of culinary creativity: Friday. David's exploration doesn't stop at the borders of the present; he takes us on a journey through time, charting the course of cooking skills from the robust repertoire of the Baby Boomers to the minimalist menu of Gen Z. It's a generational game of culinary telephone, where the message gets more garbled with each pass. Yet fear not, dear listeners, for this episode is not all doom and gloom served on a bed of wilted lettuce. David, in his characteristic blend of humor and hope, shares his kitchen conquests, proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, or in this case, new recipes. With a few strategic swaps and a dash of daring, he shows us how to turn kitchen duty from a chore into a charm, making meals that are as easy on the clock as they are on the palate. This episode of Grape Encounters is Brought to you by Total Wine and More! Find what you love and love what you find at Total Wine and More!

Duration:00:42:53

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Episode #766 – Epicurean Extinction: The Erosion of Cooking in American Homes

3/20/2024
This week, in the whimsical world of "Grape Encounters Radio," where the love of wine and food dances freely with the spirit of adventure, your host, David Wilson, takes a moment to don his chef's hat—figuratively speaking—and delve into a topic that's been simmering on the back burner of America's culinary consciousness. Yes, dear food fanatics, we're talking about the great kitchen exodus, the flight from flavor, the very unraveling of the apron strings that once tied us to the heart of the home. In this special episode, David, with his tongue planted firmly in cheek, stages an intervention, of sorts, on behalf of the American palate, one homemade bite at a time. Picture this: It's late at night, and David can't seem to catch the express train to dreamland. So, he resorts to the digital answer to melatonin… YouTube. YouTube food and cooking videos to be more precise, and within minutes, he’s deep down the rabbit hole, and there, in the glow of his screen, he encounters the culinary equivalent of a car crash that you can't look away from, even though you know you should. There’s something ironic about a cooking video being so painful to watch that it literally upsets your stomach, but this one really took the cake; or the lasagna as the case may be. There is no shortage of pointless, error-laden productions like this one on YouTube. The video features an elderly couple, armed with nothing but the ‘finest’ ingredients, including bargain basement pasta sauce in a jar, pre-shredded processed cheese, and lasagna noodles. If you’re wondering about other ingredients typically found in most lasagna recipes, like eggs, Parmesan cheese, various Italian seasonings, and so on, can you even imagine what Julia Child must be thinking? Accordingly, David has once again made it his mission; to rescue the art of cooking from the jaws of convenience. Armed with statistics that are as startling as finding a raisin in your toothpaste, David paints a picture of a nation at a culinary crossroads. Nearly half of Americans would rather walk over hot coals than think about what to cook for dinner. The microwave reigns supreme in the kingdom of kitchen appliances, while Mexican food, with its assembly line of jarred and canned shortcuts, sits atop the throne of America’s dinner choices. It's a gastronomic Groundhog Day, with 55% of people admitting to using meal kits to break the monotony, particularly on the dreaded day of culinary creativity: Friday. David's exploration doesn't stop at the borders of the present; he takes us on a journey through time, charting the course of cooking skills from the robust repertoire of the Baby Boomers to the minimalist menu of Gen Z. It's a generational game of culinary telephone, where the message gets more garbled with each pass. Yet fear not, dear listeners, for this episode is not all doom and gloom served on a bed of wilted lettuce. David, in his characteristic blend of humor and hope, shares his kitchen conquests, proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, or in this case, new recipes. With a few strategic swaps and a dash of daring, he shows us how to turn kitchen duty from a chore into a charm, making meals that are as easy on the clock as they are on the palate. This episode of Grape Encounters is Brought to you by Total Wine and More! Find what you love and love what you find at Total Wine and More!

Duration:00:42:53

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Episode #765 – Daring Boutique Winemaker Asks, “Is it OK to Tone Down Tech Talk and Favor Flavor?”

3/17/2024
For more than 50 years, American wine enthusiasts and everyday drinkers have been divided into two opposing camps: those who use tech talk and wine industry jargon to describe what's in their glass vs those who prefer to describe their wine as "delicious." A few days ago, a very daring boutique winemaker in the Santa Ynez Valley, California, decided that he was going to pose this question to his social media friends and followers. His name is Larry Schaeffer, and he is the owner and winemaker of Tercero Wines. When Grape Encounters host David Wilson spotted Larry's post on Facebook, he wasted no time contacting this highly respected winemaker, a colleague, and a friend. David immediately picked up the phone and dialed Larry's California phone number from his home in Italy in the middle of the night. Why the urgency, you may ask? You can easily guess if you're a long-time listener of grape encounters. It's because Larry's is literally the foundation of the program. Nearly 16 years ago, David launched the show because he had grown tired of the overuse and misuse of jargon and sometimes ridiculous tasting notes. 24 hours later, Larry and David were on the line together, sharing thoughts that will undoubtedly make some wine geeks and pretentious types feel a bit uneasy—OK, more than a bit. but maybe, just maybe, we are living in different times. And perhaps attitudes are changing, as evidenced by the large number of industry folks who left comments on Larry's post that are surprisingly supportive of focusing on flavor and toning down the tech talk. If you're someone who's put off by the person at the tasting room bar who cares more about soil composition and the direction the vines are planted than just how good the wine goes down, this is definitely an episode that you don't want to miss! This edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine and More! Find what you love and love what you find at Total Wine. Total Wine and More is Grape Encounters' hands down, all-time favorite choice for all your wine, spirit, beer, and accessories!

Duration:00:38:41

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Episode #764 – SEIZE CONTROL: If the Taste Ain’t Great, MANIPULATE!

3/6/2024
Gather ‘round wine enthusiasts, adventurous gastronomes, and curious wanderers for this week's edition of Grape Encounters Radio. For 15 years, we've been your trusted companion on a never-ending journey off the beaten path into uncharted regions of the world of wine. As America’s leading nationally syndicated wine radio broadcast and podcast, our specialty of the house is serving up a truly unique blend of stories, insights, and adventures, all revolving around one unifying element - wine. At Grape Encounters, we dive into the backstory, the thrilling escapades, and the fascinating individuals whose narratives extend beyond mere winemaking. Every episode is an encounter, a rendezvous made possible by the remarkable power of wine to connect people and spark extraordinary experiences. In this week's edition, your host, David Wilson, invites you on an intriguing journey into the realm of taste. Have you ever wondered why one person can be utterly enamored with a particular wine or dish while another finds it utterly distasteful? The answer is much simpler than you might think, and by the end of this episode, you'll no longer feel guilty for relishing something that others may find less appealing, if not nauseating. But what if you could tweak what's on your plate or in your glass to significantly enhance the pleasure derived from both your food and your wine? Adjusting your palate, it turns out, is as straightforward as tweaking the settings on your television. In this thought-provoking episode, David shares some important revelations about the five components of taste and how they can be subtly manipulated to amplify your gastronomic experience. The magic lies not in some remote vineyard or exotic kitchen but right in front of you, perhaps even in your pantry. For optimal pleasure, all you need is a little unconventional reasoning from someone who's spent a lifetime challenging conventions. Episode #764 of Grape Encounters empowers you to explore and experiment; End food and wine frustration with taste manipulation. This edition of Grape Encounters has been brought to you by Total Wine & More. Absolutely nobody makes great wines, spirits, and beer from around the globe more accessible and affordable than Total Wine & More. Whether you're an expert, a sommelier in training, or just a wine-loving consumer that could do without all the jargon, Total Wine & More speaks your language. Find what you love. Love what you find at Total Wine & More, or visit Total Wine.com. And please, be 21!

Duration:00:42:53

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Episode #761 – Experiencing Bologna Like a True Native, Thanks to Renaissance Man Roberto Condello

3/6/2024
It’s hard to imagine any European city with more iconic food, wine, art, and cultural attractions per capita than Bologna, Italy. Home of the world’s first university, Bologna is a place of higher learning in almost any discipline you can imagine. Behind every door and around every corner, the old world is displayed in vibrant living colors. Present-day Bologna is as important culturally as it was hundreds of years ago. It is an incubator of fine art, architecture, culinary innovation, the performing arts, and so much more. On today’s show, you’ll meet a Bologna native, arguably one of the most engaged and insightful Renaissance men or women we have ever featured. He is Robert Condello, a restauranteur, hotelier, and fine art dealer of the world’s most iconic masters, from Botticelli to Picasso. He’s also remarkably humble, pouring as much passion into iconic Bolognese dishes as he does finding the most suitable collectors to provide unparalleled care for priceless canvases, Today’s show was recorded at the Porta San Mamolo Hotel, which Roberto has managed and owned in partnership with family members for many years. This hotel is the perfect kind of place to stay when visiting Bologna. It's what we love on Grape Encounter. The hotel is just on the edge of the city's most important areas--in a wonderfully tranquil residential area--but it is a stone's throw from anything you could ever need or want. And if you want to hear the birds chirping, you can spend your entire day at this little garden paradise. And if you're hungry for the best food in Bologna, you can walk across the street to Roberto's restaurant, Antica Osteria Le Mura. This place is where Roberto has combined his passion for great food, wine, and incredible artwork. best of all, you can enjoy everything at a very comfortable price. Once German Military HQ Roberto has managed the hotel for 23 years and details the hotel’s strange history in this interview. Originally a church, it became an important German military headquarters during the war. In the 1960s, it became a hostel for families with children in the nearby hospital. In 2000, Roberto and his family acquired the property, added several rooms, making it one of the most charming hotels in the heart of the city. Today, he and his brother-in-law own this remarkably tranquil oasis and continue to make improvements that set it apart from conventional hotels. As you will hear, Roberto Condello is quite a preservationist who does all he can to ensure that Bologna remains one of Europe’s most extraordinary destinations. David adds this footnote: "I spent nearly a week enveloped by the splendor of this lovely property. Every morning, I would head down to the Orangerie, where I would savor my breakfast on the beautiful garden patio. There is a lovely woman who has worked for the hotel for many years who would literally have the most thoughtfully prepared cappuccino ready for me before I could even get settled in. By the second day, she had memorized everything I love at breakfast time. I want to be clear: I came as a normal paying customer... not a comp. Every guest received equally remarkable care. She and the entire staff are a rarity in these times and I will return to this place as often as possible, to enjoy the care and conversations that set it apart from 99% of the places I have stayed on my journeys."

Duration:00:42:53

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Episode #763 – Yet Another Wine Tasting That Could Dramatically Impact America’s Future

2/28/2024
Is it conceivable that a seemingly innocuous wine tasting event could significantly alter the trajectory of America's future? While this proposition might initially appear far-fetched, the latest episode of Grape Encounters Radio presents compelling arguments that are likely to change your perspective. Wine aficionados are no strangers to wine tastings, but a recent event in Napa Valley has unexpectedly garnered significant attention due to its potential implications for the Georgia election interference trial. This wine tasting, attended by key individuals involved in the legal proceedings in Georgia, has thrust itself into the spotlight, raising questions about its impact on the trial. The details remain uncertain, but the event is poised to make historical headlines. Coinciding with these developments, the esteemed singer Billy Joel released his first single in three decades, titled "Turn the Lights Back On." The song nostalgically reflects on a yearning for simpler, less complex times, and has been met with overwhelming enthusiasm from fans. It has sparked widespread discussions about the ease with which we become estranged from the people and experiences that once brought us joy. This release prompted David Wilson, the host of Grape Encounters, to reminisce about another of Joel's hits, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," released in 1977—a time when the wine selection was scant, and the culture of wine appreciation as we know it today was non-existent. The song begins with our choices in those days, "A bottle of white, a bottle of red. Perhaps a bottle of rose instead?" This song's release followed closely on the heels of the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a landmark event that catapulted California wines from obscurity to global prominence, arguably setting the stage for California's future successes across various industries. The episode speculates on the potential outcomes had the Judgment of Paris spotlighted a different wine region, such as Argentina, New Zealand, or Chile, instead of California. It explores how different our world might be, especially for California, if its wine industry had not achieved such significance. The discussion underscores not to underestimate the impact of simple acts, such as sharing a glass of wine with friends, family, or acquaintances, on shaping our world. The recent news stories offer a rich tapestry of events that invite reflection. Enjoy the thought-provoking content in this edition of Grape Encounters Radio.

Duration:00:42:53

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EPISODE #762 – The Ultimate Renaissance Man: Roberto Condello Talks Food, Wine, Art and All Things Bologna

2/18/2024
It’s hard to imagine any European city with more iconic food, wine, art, and cultural attractions per capita than Bologna, Italy. Home of the world’s first university, Bologna is a place of higher learning in almost any discipline you can imagine. Behind every door and around every corner, the old world is displayed in vibrant living colors. Present-day Bologna is as important culturally as it was hundreds of years ago. It is an incubator of fine art, architecture, culinary innovation, the performing arts and so much more. On today’s show, you’ll meet a Bologna native who is arguably one of the most engaged and insightful Renaissance men or women we have ever featured. He is Robert Condello; a restauranteur, hotelier, and fine art dealer of the world’s most iconic masters from Botticelli to Picasso. He’s also remarkably humble, pouring as much passion into iconic Bolognese dishes as he does finding the most suitable collectors to provide unparalleled care for priceless canvases, Today’s show was recorded at the Porta San Mamolo Hotel, which Roberto has managed and owned in partnership with family members for many years. This hotel is the perfect kind of place to stay when visiting Bologna. It's what we love on Grape Encounter. The hotel is just on the edge of the city's most important areas--in a wonderfully tranquil residential area--but it is a stone's throw from anything you could ever need or want. And if you want to hear the birds chirping, you can spend your entire day at this little garden paradise. And if you're hungry for the best food in Bologna, you can walk across the street to Roberto's restaurant, Antica Osteria Le Mura. This place is where Roberto has combined his passion for great food, wine, and incredible artwork. best of all, you can enjoy everything at a very comfortable price. Once German Military HQ Roberto has managed the hotel for 23 years and details the hotel’s strange history in this interview. Originally a church, it became an important German military headquarters during the war. In the 1960s, it became a hostel for families with children in the nearby hospital. In 2000, Roberto and his family acquired the property, added several rooms, making it one of the most charming hotels in the heart of the city. Today, he and his brother-in-law own this remarkably tranquil oasis and continue to make improvements that set it apart from conventional hotels. As you will hear, Roberto Condello is quite a preservationist who does all he can to ensure that Bologna remains one of Europe’s most extraordinary destinations. David adds this footnote: "I spent nearly a week enveloped by the splendor of this lovely property. Every morning, I would head down to the Orangerie, where I would savor my breakfast on the beautiful garden patio. There is a lovely woman who has worked for the hotel for many years who would literally have the most thoughtfully prepared cappuccino ready for me before I could even get settled in. By the second day, she had memorized everything I love at breakfast time. I want to be clear: I came as a normal paying customer... not a comp. Every guest received equally remarkable care. She and the entire staff are a rarity in these times and I will return to this place as often as possible, to enjoy the care and conversations that set it apart from 99% of the places I have stayed on my journeys."

Duration:00:42:53

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Episode #760 – Our Farewell to Spain, Garnacha and New Friends, but First Two Rockstar Producers!

2/7/2024
Well, it been one heck of a month here at Grape Encounters Radio, where we came, we saw and we were conquered... by the magic of Garnacha, during our very special 4-part series devoted entirely to what is arguably the world's most beloved wine varietal. We say "most beloved" with some reservations, mostly because Garnacha is enjoyed under a number of different names and in some of the most delicious blends to every coat the tongue with pure ecstasy! Anyway, we've had the privilege to introduce you to some truly amazing people and places throughout Northern Spain, where Garnacha was born and continues to thrive relentlessly, but despite this being one of the few occasions in Grape Encounters history that we have devoted four straight weeks to a single subject, we can't help but conclude that we barely scratched the surface. Nonethelessless, our final installment this week concludes at two truly remarkable winemaking operations that can be called cutting edge for several good reasons. And Grape Encounters Host David Wilson wastes no time in explaining why Garnacha deserves such dedicated attention, highlighting its versatility and importance in the wine world, despite often flying under the radar as a standalone varietal. A key highlight of this exploration is the role of Spanish cooperatives in producing exceptional Garnacha wines at remarkably affordable prices. During this final series episode, David showcases the winemaking team and remarkable culinary program at Bodegas San Alejandro, then wraps things up at Bodegas San Valero in the Cariñena region, where excellence and innovation are literally being redefined under the leadership of Inácio Pastor. Pastor's determination to produce some of Spain's most exceptional wines at extraordinarily affordable prices is no doubt causing other producers to seriously rethink their business model. Bodegas San Alejandro is a renowned winery, located at what feels like a million miles from nowhere. But once you get there, you instantly know you've arrived at someplace truly special. From the warm hospitality to the dedication to winemaking excellence, David is captivated by the simplicity and tranquility of the winery's many intimate spaces, even the tank room, where millions of gallons of wine are meticulously crafted below ground. But it's not just about wine at Bodegas San Alejandro. David is equally impressed by the winery's commitment to education and community engagement, including a unique hospitality program for local high school students, led by a truly gifted chef and educator named Jesus, who along with his small army of rising culinary stars, treated David and his entourage to a meal that will never be forgotten. During this very special visit, David was given a true VIP tour of the facility by Virginia Perez and Jorge Temprado, who provided a deep dive into the intricacies of the winery's design and philosophy. David is captivated by the magical ambiance of the winery, likening it to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory (but for adults). Virginia Perez oversees the winery's commercial department and offered great insight into the commercial aspects of the company. On the flip side, Jorge Temprado is an extraordinary winemaker, enology professor, and pruning instructor, who was able to shares important insights into the facility's winemaking process and the importance of aesthetics in crafting exceptional wines. From Bodegas San Alejandro, we headed to our final destination; Bodegas San Valero in the Cariñena region, where David is greeted by Inácio Pastor, the charismatic and intellectually engaging manager of the winery. As they discuss the unique wine offerings and cooperative structure of Bodegas San Valero, a camaraderie rooted in mutual respect and admiration for winemaking shines through. In a tasting session led by Inácio, David is thoroughly impressed by the exceptional quality of the wines and attributes much of the success to Inácio's lea...

Duration:00:36:32

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Episode #759 – Spain’s Garnacha is Spellbinding! Could it be That Nearby Village of Witches?

1/28/2024
Welcome to the second week of an exhilarating journey through the captivating world of Garnacha wines in Northern Spain! This multi-week exploration has been meticulously crafted to delve deep into the heart of Garnacha, a wine varietal that remains unjustly overlooked despite consistently ranking among the world's top wine producers. How can something so prolific remain shrouded in mystery and underappreciated, you may wonder? The answer lies in Garnacha, or Grenache, as it is more globally recognized, being a key player in the art of wine blending, harmonizing effortlessly with varietals like Syrah and Mourvèdre, and conjuring magic with each partnership. For those acquainted with French wines, Châteauneuf-du-Pape springs to mind—a paragon of class and elegance in wine blends, primarily composed of Garnacha, along with a select assortment of grapes, including the aforementioned Syrah and Mourvèdre. Host David Wilson is given the key to the beloved underground wine museum. Meanwhile, in Spain, an exciting transformation is occurring within the wine realm. A new generation of winemakers has turned its spotlight on Garnacha as a solo act, garnering attention like never before. In Spain, massive co-operatives have evolved since the 1940s, with countless growers adhering to rigorous standards to cultivate some of the world's finest grapes. At the heart of these co-operatives, you'll find exceptional winemaking facilities producing an array of truly remarkable wines from this collective effort. This is the epitome of communal dedication. While Garnacha has a storied history spanning centuries, recent endeavors to raise awareness are finally bearing fruit, ushering in Garnacha's finest hour. An organization deeply committed to elevating Garnacha to its rightful prominence is Asociación Origen Garnacha. Under the leadership of Carolina de Funes, Grape Encounters embarked on an unforgettable journey to the heart of what is affectionately known as "Garnacha Land," providing a ringside seat and a bird's-eye view into the creation of one of Spain's most cherished wines. This expedition pushed the limits of Grape Encounters Radio, taking them on a challenging adventure. While the exact kilometers covered were not tallied, it's safe to say that the efficiency of Italian cars was a blessing! Their day commenced at Bodegas Aragonesas, where they were warmly received by remarkable individuals like David Jimeno and Ana Chueca, the export managers of the company. Bodegas Aragonesas proudly represents wines from two cooperatives. Remarkably, in a town with a population of merely 750, 400 residents are grape growers. The day kicked off with hands-on vine pruning, followed by an enlightening deep dive into the often misunderstood world of cooperative winemaking. Understanding this model reveals the secret behind enjoying some of the world's finest wines at a fraction of the cost of American and other international wines. And, where business meetings occur, you can bet on an extensive, delectable lunch that stretches into a leisurely 2-3 hour affair. Their journey then led them to the eerie and enchanting witches' village of Trasmoz. This stop was a peculiar one for David Wilson, as he harbors an aversion to all things spooky, from things that go bump in the night to witchcraft, monsters, and even Halloween trick-or-treaters. To add to the intrigue, Trasmoz is a town excommunicated by the Spanish government. However, fear not, for David had garlic tucked away in his pocket! Arriving in Trasmoz, the setting was nothing short of cinematic—dark, gloomy, and an ideal backdrop for a Stephen King novel or film. Their hosts, Oscar and Caroline, seemed straight out of central casting for a movie set in an excommunicated witch's village in the eerie Spanish hinterlands. Perched atop a hill, a genuine castle stands as a monument to the witches, attracting thousands of visitors each year, including witches, wizards,

Duration:00:42:27

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Episode #758 – We’ve Got Spain on the Brain as We Reveal the Magic Behind Today’s Garnachas!

1/25/2024
For the next 30 days, we’ve got Spain on the brain as we bring you the most comprehensive look at the regions and varietals responsible for some of the most beloved wines in the world today and for many centuries in the past. At the invitation of the Asociación Garnacha Spain, we took our microphones and unrelenting curiosity to the northeastern part of the country where Garnacha wines were not only born in a remote Priorat monastery but continue to thrive. It often comes as quite a surprise to wine enthusiasts to learn that Garnacha, aka Grenache, holds the distinction of being one of the most widely planted and revered varietals in the world. Long heralded as the ultimate blending grape, today, Garnacha has taken on a whole new identity as a single-variety wine that can hold its own against the most epic wines on the planet, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Around the globe, people are rediscovering Garnacha. Thanks in large part to the power and influence of Spanish wine co-ops that go to great lengths to assure exceptional quality fruit and provide a means for thousands of fiercely dedicated growers to see their grapes transformed into some of the most desirable wines on the planet, there’s no doubt that Garnacha is the wine to watch. For the next three weeks, you’ll meet some of the most influential individuals and organizations that are managing Garnacha’s swiftly growing rebirth and popularity. Now, to be clear, this is a grape that has always been wildly popular; however, thanks to organizations like Asociación Garnacha Spain, these exceptional wines are finding fantastic favor with audiences that are not overly familiar with the wine's historic roots and versatility, In the final analysis, Garnacha’s distinct and delicious characteristics make it the perfect choice for those seeking something different than their standby favorites. On today’s show, we will begin our journey by visiting Scala Dei, which was a fully functional monastery until 1835. For seven centuries, the monks there pioneered and taught farming techniques that were largely responsible for the fame earned by the wines of the Priorat. From the monastery, Grape Encounters Host David Wilson and his guide for the day, Victor Huguet, Export Area Manager for Cellers Unió, one of the region’s leading wine co-ops, will wind their way through the breathtaking, rocky landscape, to the producer’s discrete but formidable winemaking facility. That’s where the magic happens at the hands of winemaking Guru Jordi Puxeu, whose ruggedly dashing, mysterious demeanor and bottomless barrel of winemaking lore will ensure that you never see wine, especially Garnacha, the same way again. More importantly, you’ll most assuredly be seeing a lot more Garnacha on your table in the days to come! We’re packing a lot into the next three episodes of Grape Encounters because we believe with great confidence that once you discover today’s Garnacha, as well as some of the other remarkable varietals of northern Spain, you’ll want to join this exciting revolution in the world of wine. For millions of wine enthusiasts, today’s generation of Garnacha wines may seem like something new, but make no mistake; their historical roots run very deep indeed!

Duration:00:36:32

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Episode #757 – Previewing our 3-Week Mega-Series in Garnacha Land Spain, Plus, Worldwide Flights and Hotels NOW Under $25!

1/17/2024
Featuring Special Guest Carolina de Funes, Manager of Asociación Garnacha Spain We’re taking you to Spain’s Garnacha Land for three amazing weeks, AND we’ll also share how to get worldwide flights and accommodations for under $25! THIS IS NOT A TYPO! From insanely cheap off-season worldwide travel with airfares that are almost free and phenomenal equally inexpensive accommodations to a preview of our upcoming mega-series in Spain's Garnacha Land, this week's episode of Grape Encounters will have you shopping for new luggage almost immediately! There is no wine varietal that we love more than Garnacha or Grenache, and there is no place on earth that produces this varietal better than its native Garnacha Land, Spain, in the upper-eastern section of the country. There have only been a few times in the history of Grape Encounters radio that we've stretched a topic out more than two weeks, but we're going to be doing that beginning in the second half of January. Few people realize that the beloved Garnacha grape has enjoyed long stretches of history when it was more popular than even Cabernet Sauvignon… actually, more popular than anything else! And there's a reason; it's a taste that is universally beloved. Yet, despite its unparalleled appeal, wine enthusiasts sometimes forget about it. There are two explanations for its rather low profile. First, as a single-varietal wine, it is not as aggressively marketed as some of your other favorites. Second, Garnacha (or Grenache, as we call it in the US) tends to be more of a team player, frequently blended with other wildly complimentary varietals like Syrah and Mourvèdre. On this week's show, we're going to tell you all about our upcoming trip to Garnacha Land, Spain, in hopes that you'll keep Grape Encounters Radio top-of-mind in the coming weeks. Joining David on the show is a very special guest from Garnacha Land; the Manager of Asociación Garnacha Spain, Carolina de Funes. Carolina will be revealing what she and her colleagues have in store for David's truly ambitious trip, which she promises will include some pretty crazy places, including a village far off the beaten path that is not just the home of great wines but has a spine-tingling history of witchcraft that will have you eagerly anticipating storytelling time around the campfire. Be sure to bring your security blanket. But if you think that food and wine travel just isn't in your budget, we've got some crazy news for you! We're going to show you where you can find airfares all over the world for less than $25 per person. We're also going to tell you about hotels and resorts in wildly exotic places that will provide you with first-class accommodations for around $25 a night as well! At Grape Encounters Radio, we like to take mighty good care of our listeners, and we're going to point you to adventures of a lifetime and also take you along on our biggest adventure in years... and it won't cost you one red cent to join us! Best of all, when you get back home, you can relive those wine memories that you created on the road by stopping by your Total Wine & More store! Nobody offers a bigger selection of the wines you want most at the lowest prices than Total Wine & More! Find what you love, and love what you find at Total Wine & More! But drink responsibly, be 21!

Duration:00:36:43

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Episode #756 – Why You Really Must Keep a Bottle of Port-Style Wine on Hand for Emergencies

1/15/2024
In this episode of Grape Encounters, we invite you to step into a world where wine enthusiasts embark on a quest to elevate their wine experience… where big, bold reds that once fell short are transformed into vibrant, unforgettable delights. It's a story of courage and alchemy, where a mere teaspoon of our friend Jutta Turners's remarkable port-style wine became the catalyst for an explosion of flavor. In this episode, we'll unveil the secrets to why wine drinkers should never fear tinkering with their wine, why satisfaction is just a teaspoon away, and how a few drops of the right elixir can be a game changer for any wine lover in search of greater satisfaction. Join us as we explore the art of wine transformation, revealing how a little port-style magic can bring couples with different tastes together for an extraordinary wine journey. Our story begins in the picturesque wine country of Paso Robles, where vineyards sprawl beneath the California sun, and the Grape Encounters wine bar stands as a beacon of experimentation and creativity. It was about 12 years ago that a serendipitous discovery unfolded, changing the course of Show host and wine bar operator David Wilson's thinking about how to give wine enthusiasts greater satisfaction. One day, David found himself in the company of a customer named Gypsy, a colorful, choosy, and delightful lady, always dressed in red, whose palate longed for the bold flavors of wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, but they had to be fruit forward, or they would be deemed unacceptable. A challenge easier said than done. Her preferences posed a sometimes frustrating challenge for David, but he was determined to make her happy. And then, it happened – the happy accident that gave birth to a new approach to customer satisfaction. One challenging evening, while failing to please Gypsy, pour after pour, David's gaze fell upon a bottle of Two Horse port-style wine crafted by MM Organics in the heart of Paso Robles. In an act of pure inspiration and desperation, he added a splash of Two Horse to Gypsy's Cabernet, magically creating a symphony of flavors that instantly ignited her senses. Two Horse had worked its magic, and a customer who was previously tough to please had become a delighted wine enthusiast. It turns out that Two Horse was more than just a wine; it was an elixir of transformation. Even a teaspoon of Two Horse could turn an ordinary bottle into an extraordinary experience when blended with other wines. It was like witnessing a garden suddenly burst into bloom after a hearty dose of Miracle-Gro. The chemistry at play was nothing short of magic. Jutta Thoerner: Bringing Old World to Paso Robles The heart and soul behind MM Organics, Jutta Thoerner, played a pivotal role in this enchanting story. Hailing from Germany, Jutta may be small in stature, but her spirit and determination are boundless. She tends her land with two mighty workhorses, embodying a deep respect for the earth and an unwavering commitment to organic practices and sustainability. But Two Horse isn't the only treasure that Jutta nurtures. Beyond the vineyards, she is also the steward of a precious walnut orchard, originally planted by Paso Robles' winemaking pioneer, Dr. Stan Hoffman. This orchard, planted during the region's early days, had fallen into disrepair. Yet, with Jutta's unyielding dedication, it came back to life like a forgotten symphony resuming its sweet melodies. Today, MM Organics produces a symphony of walnut products, ranging from delectable walnut oils to rich, irresistible chocolate-covered walnuts, sprouted walnuts, and more. These products, alongside their wines, are available on their website, MMOrganics.com, inviting you to savor the fruits of Jutta's labor and the bounty of Paso Robles. Transforming Lives Beyond the Vineyards But Jutta Thoerner is more than the guardian of vineyards and orchards; she's a beacon of hope and transformation in her local commun...

Duration:00:44:17

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Episode #755 – Save Big on Wine at Restaurants and Bars by Knowing the Secret Pricing Formulas!

12/30/2023
Do you want to save big on wine at restaurants and wine bars? Of course, you do, and you can! All you need is an understanding of the secret pricing formulas which may shock you! This episode of Grape Encounters is going to be a lot like having somebody throwing stacks of 100 bills at you because we want to share sometimes shocking information with you that will help you to understand why you're paying what you're paying, and how you can avoid paying too much for what you really want. It's such really good information, and the reason that most wine enthusiasts are not familiar with what host David Wilson is going to share is that you practically need a Ph.D. to understand wine pricing formulas. For most wine enthusiasts, it's confusing, if not downright upsetting, and it doesn't need to be. And what might really surprise you is that, like it or not, for the most part, wine consumed on-premise is actually priced pretty fairly. The challenge is being able to use the same formulas the restaurants use to figure out where the deals are and where you're likely to get dinged. Once you understand these things, you can begin to save a bunch of money almost immediately. The fact is, there's not a lot of talking that goes on about wine pricing behind the scenes, especially where strategies in restaurants are concerned. But if you know how it's done and why it's done, then you have a very good opportunity to keep a lot more money in your pocket. In fact, you can probably save enough money to be able to buy yourself a really nice bottle of wine on a regular basis, month in and month out. That's how big you can save if you know how things are done. By the way, this is in no way an indictment of wine bars or restaurants. After all, David actually ran a successful wine bar for ten years. And even though he opened the wine bar with the intention of not using industry-wide pricing formulas, he quickly came to realize that there just wasn't an easy way to avoid using some of them! Today’s edition of Grape Encounters has been brought to you by my all-time personal fav… Total Wine & More. Absolutely nobody, and I mean nobody, makes great wines, spirits, and beer from around the globe more accessible and affordable than Total Wine & More. And let's not forget accessories and gifts, too! Whether you're an expert, a sommelier in training, or just a wine-loving consumer who could do without all the jargon, Total Wine & More speaks your language. I find new favorites every time I visit and always, always, always at the lowest prices. I’m confident you will, too. Find what you love. Love what you find. Only a Total Wine & More. And, by the way, I'd love to hear about any rock star discoveries that find their way into your wine glass… so write me. And please. Be 21!

Duration:00:44:19