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Grape Encounters Wine Radio

Radio America

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

Location:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode #754 – Taylor Swift and Wine: Why Her Eras Tour Should Remind Us of the 1976 Judgment of Paris

12/23/2023
At a recent family gathering, Grape Encounters host David Wilson realized that he couldn’t keep it inside any longer. He had a secret that he hadn’t shared with either of his older brothers. As a child, he used to borrow, without permission, their record albums, sometimes at the risk of torture or worse. With a shared love of classic rock, David wondered how they would react to his confession. He broke the news to the eldest brother, Bob, first. “Bob, there’s something that I want to confess to you, and I am not sure how you’re going to react. You might find this hard to believe,” he continued, “but I am a Swifty and proud of it!” Bob’s response was predictable. “A Swifty? What in the world is a Swifty?” With a healthy degree of trepidation, David answered the question. “A Swifty is a dedicated fan of Taylor Swift, but I doubt you even know who that is.” To David's surprise, Bob knew exactly who Taylor Swift was and responded quite unpredictably. “You know, doubt that I'm a Swifty, but from everything that I have heard and read about her, I'm pretty impressed. I can’t say I care for her music very much, but I sure do like what she's doing to spread positivity and bring people together.” It was a response that David wouldn’t have anticipated in a million years from a brother who generally hates anything to do with pop culture, modern music, and social media. Nonetheless, Brother Bob clearly recognizes what hundreds of millions of people around the world recognize: Taylor Swift is good for America and the world. And though there are many who might take grave exception to her political posture, she is seldom attacked on social media because what she brings to a sharply divided and volatile world is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. She is, quite literally, America's ambassador of goodwill, as evidenced by an impact on the American economy this year alone of more than $5 billion and a waiting list for concert tickets around the world that is sometimes in the millions. For at least the past year, Grape Encounters host David Wilson has been deeply intrigued by the Taylor Swift phenomenon, and what makes her an exceptional subject for Grape Encounters Radio is the massive amount of interest that people have in her taste in wine. It seems that everybody wants to know what is inside those wine glasses that she is often seen holding on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Given the massive influence she has on her audience, there can be little doubt that her taste in wine has the potential to significantly bolster vino sales. Every marketing executive and wine producer in the world ought to be paying close attention to that question. David recently found himself pondering a very interesting comparison between what is now the most successful concert tour in history and the most important event in American wine history: the 1976 Judgment of Paris. There is no chapter on American winemaking that had a greater positive impact on the world's impression of American, or more specifically, California wines. In this very intriguing episode of Grape Encounters Radio, David draws comparisons between these two events that, in their own ways, have generated more positivity where America is concerned than nearly any other single event that you might be able to think of. We are living in times where Americans feel hard-pressed to rally around anything as universally inspiring and joyful as the Taylor Swift happy machine or the Judgment of Paris back in 1976, which continues to be written about and dissected every single day. If you think that perhaps David is off his rocker or that this conversation is likely to be a bit of a stretch—make that a huge stretch—keep an open mind and give a listen. You might just come away with a very different point of view and some very decent and well-deserved reasons to be proud of being an American. What are you waiting for? Go ahead, download Episode 754 of Grape Encounters Radio,

Duration:00:39:30

Episode #753 – Mike Grgich Was, and Forever Will Be, Larger than Life

12/20/2023
Winemaking legend Mike Grgich not only catapulted California Wine from the shadows to the spotlight literally overnight, but he also mentored and inspired more generations of rising star winemakers than anyone else. It’s certainly a reasonable assumption, given that Mike remained engaged in his craft for the lion’s share of a century. It’s a living legacy without peer. And though we will no longer be able to delight in his physical presence, he will undoubtedly continue to inspire winemakers and enthusiasts for countless generations to come. There’s no easy way to say goodbye to someone as beloved as Mike Grgich, so let's not. Mike will continue to be at every table where American (and especially California) wines are served, and as we enjoy these wines, our memories of Mike will surely give us much to discuss. In today’s heartfelt tribute, Host David Wilson shares several personal anecdotes and memories of his encounters with Mike Grgich, beginning with a chance meeting in Hawaii decades before David got bit by the wine bug. Many years later, David would answer his phone, expecting an oven repairman to be on the other end of the line. Nope. Instead, it was a call from out of the blue from none other than Mike Grgich, and just a few hours later, they would meet in person a second time… at a bistro in the California desert town of La Quinta, where Mike enjoyed much of the winter. In today’s tribute to Mike Grgich, we’ll reflect on a fearless 10-year-old whose father sent him away to navigate post-WWI Yugoslavia, a country in political, social, and economic disarray. Against all odds, Mike would prevail, and his journey would eventually lead him to California, where, as a promising young winemaker, he would land a job making wine for Chateau Montelena in the Napa Valley. It was there that fate would transport his wine to an obscure blind-tasting competition in France and his monumental victory at the 1976 "Judgment of Paris," Literally overnight, Mike would find himself at the epicenter of a media frenzy… completely dumbfounded by all the fuss. It was a victory that coincided with America’s Bicentennial, which made the victory particularly poignant. Mike Grgich did not just put California wine on the map; he spent most of his 100 years on Earth keeping it on the map by making himself available to wine lovers from around the world. While most people would’ve probably retired decades ago, Mike Grgich literally dedicated his life to connecting with people, and it didn’t matter whether you were a wine expert, a wine geek, a casual wine drinker, or someone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t drink wine at all. David says, “I remember the first time I sat to interview Mike. I wanted to understand the Grgich Hills brand better and Mike’s role in the company at the age of nearly 90 years. There’s a vintage train that travels up and down the Napa Valley and stops right in front of the Grgich Hills winery. The first time I ever saw Mike in his native environment, he sat in a chair near where Travelers on the train disembarked. Within seconds of the train coming to a stop, his fans surrounded Mike, and he would sit in his chair posing for pictures and giving out autographs for as long as his admirers wanted. For many, if not most, it was a highlight of their life, and even the biggest crowbar wouldn’t have been enough to separate Mike from the people who loved him and his wines. He was a rockstar. It was quite a sight to see.” Today’s tribute extends beyond personal anecdotes as David shares details from his visit to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where Mike's belongings, including his iconic beret and the suitcase he carried at age 10, are displayed. The Smithsonian was unveiling a new exhibit featuring iconic snapshots of American culture between 1950 and 2000, and they thought David might like to pay special tribute to Mike being featured in the exhibit. David says, “That was a no-brainer.”

Duration:00:44:18

Episode #751 – VeroVino: One Woman’s Determination to Level the Playing Field for Exceptional, Tiny Imports

12/4/2023
Did you know that less than 1% of wines make it to US retailers' shelves? On this weeks edition of Grape Encounters you'll meet a wine importer, distributor and retailer who is determined to give hard-to-get imports an opportunity to show their stuff in the extraordinarily competitive American market. Vero, which means real in Italian, is all about opening up the category of small production, sustainably made, authentic wines, olive oils and foods from around the world. We curate them ourselves from farmer-artisans not yet present in the US market, and we sell them to business and consumers across the US. In doing so, we create a community of small producers, businesses, and wine and food lovers where passion is the common denominator. Sheila Donohue is the Founder and CEO of VeroVino. A native New Yorker now residing in the California coastal community of Ventura, Sheila lived in Bologna, Italy for 20 years. After becoming a sommelier and getting to know hundreds of smaller producers with great tasting authentic products, but mainly unknown around the US, she decided to start 'spreading the love' by bringing these hidden gems from anywhere in the world direct to people who want to explore and experience more out of wine, food and life. On this week's edition of Grape Encounters you'll hear Sheila reflect on her transition from a full time job in Fintech to following her entrepreneurial passion in food and wine as she founded a startup bringing farmer-artisans of small production wines and foods just a click away from US wine lovers and foodies. In the world of wine marketing, there couldn't be a tougher challenge, but challenges have never deterred Sheila Donohue, and her success bringing tiny producers to one of the world's toughest markets is a success story that host David Wilson is anxious to share with listeners. This week edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More. Total Wine is the absolute best place to find perfect holiday gifts and unparalleled wines for your holiday table. Find what you love, and love what you find at Total Wine and more! Please drink responsibly. Be 21.

Duration:00:43:22

Episode #750 – Why Olive Oil Turbocharges Your Wine Experiences

11/25/2023
If you're a wine enthusiast, chances are you're also an olive oil enthusiast—you just might not know it yet! In this week's episode of Grape Encounters Wine Radio, we're diving headfirst into the world of olive oil and its inseparable bond with wine. The more you integrate olive oil into your wine experience, the richer and more delightful your journey becomes. Join us as we explore the harmonious marriage of these two extraordinary liquids and prepare to elevate your wine adventures to new heights. Welcome to Grape Encounters Wine Radio, the show that has been captivating audiences for an incredible 15 years. We're not your typical wine podcast; we're your storytellers, your guides, and your companions on an extraordinary journey where wine is more than just a beverage—it's the spark that ignites tales of human connection, passion, and discovery. While other wine enthusiasts might meticulously analyze tasting notes and food pairings, we're here to take you on a different path—a road less traveled. Grape Encounters is about the encounters that have shaped the lives of individuals and communities, all thanks to wine's remarkable ability to bring people together. It's about unveiling the mysteries, sharing the adventures, and introducing you to the remarkable people whose lives have been forever changed by the world of wine. Inseparable Companions: Host David Wilson introduces us to the enchanting world of olive oil, highlighting its inseparable connection with wine. As we learn, where there's wine, there's always room for the liquid gold that is olive oil. I Found My Thrill, On Olive Hill: Our featured guest, Federico DiCarlo, takes us on a sensory journey through the olive groves of Atri, Italy. Federico, along with his father, is the heart and soul behind Olive Hill, a producer of some of the world's most exquisite olive oils. Syrup of the Gods: David can't help but gush about the divine quality of Federico's olive oil, comparing it to "the syrup of the gods." Prepare to be tempted by this liquid gold that David claims he can enjoy as much as wine. Global Olive Culture: Discover how olive oil and wine share more than just a connection; they share a global presence. Explore the diverse regions where olives and grapes thrive, from Italy to California and beyond. The Delicate Art of Olive Oil Production: Federico shares the secrets of olive oil production, including a surprising fact about the fragility of this precious liquid. Learn how just one drop of perfume can spoil 100 liters of oil, emphasizing the importance of meticulous care. Olive Oil in the Kitchen: David and Federico discuss the evolving use of olive oil in cooking, debunking the misconception that it makes everything taste like olives. Explore the myriad ways olive oil enhances flavors in various dishes, from salads to desserts. The Mediterranean Diet: Dive into the Mediterranean diet and its unique relationship with olive oil. Understand why it's a key ingredient for a healthy lifestyle and why you don't necessarily gain weight from enjoying these flavorful foods. So, whether you're a seasoned wine enthusiast or just beginning to explore the world of olives and wine, Episode #742 of Grape Encounters Wine Radio promises to be a delightful and informative journey that will deepen your appreciation for these extraordinary products. You won't want to miss it!

Duration:00:46:17

Episode #749 – Ancient Roman Wine Unveiled in Palm Springs Plus Tons of Turkey Day Fun!

11/22/2023
Welcome to Grape Encounters Radio, where host David Wilson is serving up a delightful Thanksgiving feast of stories, wine adventures, and holiday tips in Episode 749. This year's Thanksgiving holds special significance as David joyfully anticipates reuniting with his family after four years away. David takes us on a nostalgic journey to the last two Thanksgiving celebrations spent in Italy, where he introduced his Italian friends and adopted family to the quintessential American tradition of a Thanksgiving feast. Picture a grand turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberries becoming a curious culinary spectacle for his Italian guests who were more accustomed to different gastronomic delights. The cultural exchange and the shared joy of a bountiful Thanksgiving table create lasting memories and set the stage for this year's festivities. Transitioning from the personal to the professional, David shares his recent experience as a celebrity media host at the Palm Springs International Food and Wine Festival. The highlight of the festival? The grand introduction of the Vinum Hadrianum project, a fascinating endeavor that David has been consulting on for the past two years. The project's remarkable mission is the resurrection of the wines of ancient Rome, offering a unique and historical perspective on winemaking. The Vinum Hadrianum wines receive an overwhelmingly warm reception at the festival, prompting David to delve into the historical context of ancient Roman wine consumption. At the event, he drops a fascinating fact: 95 million citizens of the Roman Empire, 2,000 years ago, consumed an average of one liter of wine per day. That's twice the amount of wine produced in present-day America! Festival attendees were captivated by this lost piece of wine and human history, signaling a potential shift in consumer attitudes toward a deeper understanding of wine heritage. David contrasts this immersive experience with typical wine festivals, where attendees often rush to taste as many wines as possible without truly connecting with the stories behind them. In the case of Vinum Hadrianum, people engage in meaningful conversations, spending considerable time understanding and appreciating the unique project. The ancient techniques and tools used in the production of Vinum Hadrianum wines, such as fermentation and aging in terracotta amphoras made from the same clay the region's grapes are grown in, add a layer of purity and uniqueness to the wines that captivate the audience. David expresses hope that this newfound interest in the historical background of wines may lead to a broader appreciation for the origins and stories behind various wine varieties. As the festival experience unfolds, David manages multiple groups of enthusiastic attendees eager to learn about ancient Roman wines. The challenges of handling these engaging conversations highlight the genuine interest people show in exploring wine history and production. Transitioning to the upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations, David drops a surprise find at an Amazon grocery store: Premium turkeys for less than $7 for a whole 14 lb. bird. Even more astonishing is that providing Amazon Prime information at the register results in a 25 percent discount on the entire grocery bill. This unexpected deal adds a delightful twist to the Thanksgiving preparations and sets the stage for more surprises to come. The episode takes a delightful turn as David shares his expert wine recommendations for Thanksgiving. Bubbly takes center stage, deemed a versatile option that complements the entire meal. Zinfandel is suggested for its juiciness and fruitiness, a perfect match for classic cranberry sauce. David's wine suggestions span reds like Syrah and Grenache, whites like Sauvignon Blanc (especially from New Zealand), and even Beaujolais Nouveau, known for its freshness and youth. Encouraging listeners to explore various wines,

Duration:00:41:20

Episode #748 – The Utter Randomness of Wine Reviews!

11/13/2023
On this NO BS episode of Grape Encounters Radio, host David Wilson really turns up the heat on wine writers and reviewers, urging wine enthusiasts to hold them accountable. Witty, edgy, and engaging, David encourages listeners to think seriously about the motives behind the wine reviews they read (and listen to) and to be sure they are genuinely comfortable with the qualifications of the person dishing out advice. David also challenges writers to be accountable for their recommendations. After all, if someone is going to spend time, energy, and money taking a reviewer's advice, they should feel confident that it's well-researched and comes from a place of expertise. The episode also focuses on how to decide which pairings and reviews to trust, given that everyone has different tastes. It's important to follow writers with a palate similar to you when seeking out ideal wine and food pairing experiences. David challenges wine writers to be accountable when making recommendations. He said: "Are you willing to take responsibility for your recommendation? Let’s assume we take your advice and end up spending $75 on groceries, $60 on wine. We also spend two hours shopping and three hours in the kitchen. Do you realize that if you’re not spot on within reason, it’s going to be costly to those of us who trusted your words? I’m not asking for somebody to refund our expenses; I’m just saying, remember, it costs us money to take your recommendations". David shares his concern that far too many people are putting their opinion out there, which may send people down a very unpleasant rabbit hole. He says it's incredible how few people even think about the qualifications of the person whose article they're reading or whose podcast they're listening to. He says, “I’m happy to share my background with my listeners. If they don't feel comfortable with me, I need to do a better job. But one thing's for sure... I'm an open book, and all wine journalists should be.” David points out that someone doesn't have to be a wine expert, but if they had a fabulous experience, they should be able to successfully articulate their delight into words. He said: "You don't have to be a wine expert. In fact, this could be your very first wine pairing review for all I care. But what matters is that you had an objectively wonderful experience and can transfer your delight to us." The conversation also touches on how difficult it can be to trust someone else's opinion when it comes to food and wine pairings since everyone has different tastes. David stresses the importance of asking questions to decide which advice or recommendations should be taken seriously: What was the occasion the writer is sharing? Was it a blind tasting or did everybody know what they were drinking? He also suggested including as many details as possible such as vintage, region of origin, and price point, when giving recommendations. The latest installment of Grape Encounters Radio has something for everyone who loves wine. From insights on choosing pairings you can trust to practical advice on finding champion wine mentors, this show is full of wisdom and wit! Download now and tune in for a fun and informative experience! 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:00:43:20

Episode #747 – From Bad Company to Groovy Grapes: Celebrity Wine Reflections with Classic Rock Bassist Paul Cullen!

11/9/2023
In this special episode of Grape Encounters Radio, we've got a treat for you as we welcome one of the most beloved guests ever to grace the Grape Encounters microphones—Former Bad Company bassist Paul Cullen. This week, Paul is here to share his journey from the stage to the vineyard, offering a unique perspective on the intersection of rock and the world of wine. But before we dive into the fusion of music and wine, let’s share a little bit about Grape Encounters Radio with first-timers. At Grape Encounters, our mission is simple yet profound—to present engaging content that sheds light on the adventures, personalities, and revelations that make the world of wine interesting and fun. Join us weekly for off-the-wall, entertaining, enlightening conversations you won't find anywhere else. Grape Encounters is your go-to destination to learn, laugh, and unwind with fellow unpretentious wine enthusiasts. This week, David and Paul will take you on an intimate journey through the backstage tales of rock 'n' roll, sharing stories from the tour bus and beyond. As the conversation unfolds, we shift gears to explore the world of celebrities who have ventured into winemaking… or at least have slapped their name on a bottle for vanity's sake. Plus, Paul takes us on a closer look at his own venture in the world of wine, giving us some personal insight into the broader landscape of musicians turned vintners. Discover the multifaceted world Paul now inhabits, from private parties for the elite to cooking for renowned brand icons. Learn about his culinary exploits as Paul spills the beans on cooking for the rich and famous, from lobbyists in DC to his experiences with the Pernod Ricard group. Gain insights into the inspiration, challenges, and triumphs of being a musician turned chef, sommelier, wine importer, and guru. From private events to the mid-Atlantic culinary scene, Paul discusses his diverse experiences and the joy of connecting with people from all walks of life through the love of wine. Tune in for a rich, entertaining, and enlightening podcast that fuses the worlds of music and wine. Don't miss out on this immersive experience where we uncork the stories behind celebrities turned vintners from a fellow whose first wine experience was aboard the Bad Company tour bus when classic rock was decades from becoming classic!

Duration:00:45:18

Episode #746 – NEW! The Definitive Book on Australian Wine!

11/4/2023
This week, Grape Encounters presents a “Down-Understanding of Australian Wines” like never before! Now, in our 15th year in the world of broadcasting, we continue to bring you stories, people, and adventures that revolve around one common theme – wine. But today, we're setting our sights on a world of wine that doesn’t get nearly the attention it richly deserves. Today, we’re taking a deep dive into Australian wine. Figuratively, that is. And we have a true superstar to guide us! Our guest for this week's show is Jane Lopes, the co-author of the brand-new Australian wine Bible, "How To Drink Australian." You may be asking yourself, why Australia, and why now? Well, wines from Down Under have never been more exciting, and celebrating the vibrant and extraordinary wine scene that's been fermenting there is long overdue. Exploring the World of Australian Wine with Jane Lopes Jane Lopes is a wine luminary, a sommelier extraordinaire, and a master storyteller in her own right. Born in California's most revered wine country, Napa Valley, Jane's journey into the world of wine began as she graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Renaissance literature. From the pages of literature to the exquisite notes of fine wines, Jane's path was set. Her career has taken her on a thrilling journey through some of the world's most prestigious gastronomic establishments, including legendary Eleven Madison Park in New York, where she contributed to achieving the restaurant's top ranking on the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best List. But that's not all; in 2018, Jane shattered the glass ceiling by becoming one of the few women globally to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam and the only woman from Australia. Her remarkable journey culminated in the publication of her first book, "Vignette: Stories of Life & Wine in 100 Bottles." In 2020, Jane and her husband, Jonathan Ross, ventured into the wine import business, bringing many of the finest Australian wines to the United States. Now, she's here with us to share her insights, experiences, and the excitement of Australian wine, all found in the pages of her latest collaboration, "How To Drink Australian." Unlocking the Mysteries of Australian Wine How To Drink Australian is no ordinary wine book. It's a captivating journey that takes you state by state, region by region, through the diverse and dynamic world of Australian wine. Each section offers a tantalizing glimpse into the evolution of wine in that region, the unique terroir, and the charismatic wine styles that have emerged. Jane and her husband, Jonathan, delve deep into the heart of each region, bringing you insider knowledge and insights. To aid you in your Australian wine adventures, "How To Drink Australian" includes a comprehensive glossary and a directory of the most influential producers in the region. These profiles offer further insight into the significance of these winemakers within their respective areas. Whether you're a seasoned sommelier, a budding wine enthusiast, or simply someone looking to embark on a vinous voyage, this book is your passport to understanding and savoring Australian wine in all its glory. It's a testament to the incredible diversity and quality that this region has to offer, and Jane Lopes and Jonathan Ross are your expert guides. Without further ado, it's time to tune in to Grape Encounters Radio Episode #736. Join David as he sits down with the remarkable Jane Lopes to discuss her extraordinary career, the fascinating world of Australian wine, and the insights you'll find in "How To Drink Australian."

Duration:00:44:17

Episode #745 – How Artificial Intelligence Almost Sank This Interview!

11/1/2023
Well, they say with artificial intelligence, you have to take the good with the bad, or is it the bad with the good? Well, whichever way it is, the guest who was supposed to be featured on this show headed for the hills when he heard a little bit about some of the latest AI innovations that are finding their way into journalism, photography, and even wine. Who would have thought that a 10-minute pre-interview prep talk would freak a guest out like it did? But the story about the story is probably a better story than the story! Ya follow? We're baffled, too! So, let's dive in! Welcome to a particularly quirky episode of Grape Encounters! Each week, Grape Encounters strives to present engaging content from a fresh and unique perspective that you likely won't find anywhere else. Well, this week, that’s one heck of an understatement. Today, David starts this episode with the answer to a question that’s been puzzling a few listeners. That mysterious clunking sound you've been hearing? It turns out it's all about ice – yes, ice! As David shares his fascinating experience of introducing ice to his Italian friends, he's hilariously earned the nickname "Ice Man." Just wait until you hear this story! But that's just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended). Earlier today, the guest we had scheduled on this week’s show made an unscheduled U-Turn toward the exit at the mere mention of the dreaded AI! Yup! Bolted for the door even before our cyborgs could fetch him a cup of instant coffee with artificial creamer! Why, you ask? Well, it's all about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and it turns out our guest had quite a reaction to it. David dives into the growing significance of AI in various fields, from art generation to text-to-video technology, and tells you the story behind this fellow’s colossal aversion to making it by faking it! Ethical dilemmas and AI's ability to manipulate photos and replicate human voices are crucial issues we must consider. It's a complex world out there, but David takes us on a journey to explore both the ethical conundrums and the exciting possibilities of AI in the broadcasting, podcasting, and even wine universe. You won't believe the advancements AI has made in research, planning, graphics, video, and audio production. From generating party menus with shopping lists and invitations to creating customized travel itineraries, AI is revolutionizing the way we experience wine, food, and travel. Imagine AI-assisted table settings and decoration ideas, cooking timer and reminder assistance, ingredient substitutions for dietary restrictions, and even AI-enhanced food photographs for your social media. With AI, you can have real-time food styling tips, restaurant recommendations, and so much more! While our guest's concerns about AI voice cloning are valid, we'll explore how AI can simplify your life and enhance your experiences in the world of wine, food, and travel. This is a topic that'll have you both intrigued and excited about the future. But the adventure doesn't stop there! Just around the corner, join David Wilson at the Palm Springs International Food and Wine Festival in November for an unforgettable experience. We promise you; it's going to be an event you won't want to miss. So, buckle up and get ready to learn, laugh, and unwind with like-minded wine enthusiasts right here on Grape Encounters Radio.

Duration:00:42:46

Episode #744 – Encore! An Hour With Natalie MacLean, Author of the Season’s Hottest Read, “Wine Witch on Fire…”

10/19/2023
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!

Duration:00:44:20

Episode #743 – How Two Horse Port Style Wine Became a Magic Potion

10/9/2023
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 stood 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 transfor- mation. 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 Turner: Bringing Old World to Paso Robles The heart and soul behind MM Organics, Jutta Turner, 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 Turner is more than the guardian of vineyards and orchards; she's a beacon of hope and transformation in her local community.

Duration:00:44:17

Episode #742 – European Expert Explains Why Olive Oil Turbocharges Your Wine Experiences

10/3/2023
If you're a wine enthusiast, chances are you're also an olive oil enthusiast—you just might not know it yet! In this week's episode of Grape Encounters Wine Radio, we're diving headfirst into the world of olive oil and its inseparable bond with wine. The more you integrate olive oil into your wine experience, the richer and more delightful your journey becomes. Join us as we explore the harmonious marriage of these two extraordinary liquids and prepare to elevate your wine adventures to new heights. Welcome to Grape Encounters Wine Radio, the show that has been captivating audiences for an incredible 15 years. We're not your typical wine podcast; we're your storytellers, your guides, and your companions on an extraordinary journey where wine is more than just a beverage—it's the spark that ignites tales of human connection, passion, and discovery. While other wine enthusiasts might meticulously analyze tasting notes and food pairings, we're here to take you on a different path—a road less traveled. Grape Encounters is about the encounters that have shaped the lives of individuals and communities, all thanks to wine's remarkable ability to bring people together. It's about unveiling the mysteries, sharing the adventures, and introducing you to the remarkable people whose lives have been forever changed by the world of wine. Inseparable Companions: Host David Wilson introduces us to the enchanting world of olive oil, highlighting its inseparable connection with wine. As we learn, where there's wine, there's always room for the liquid gold that is olive oil. I Found My Thrill, On Olive Hill: Our featured guest, Federico DiCarlo, takes us on a sensory journey through the olive groves of Atri, Italy. Federico, along with his father, is the heart and soul behind Olive Hill, a producer of some of the world's most exquisite olive oils. Syrup of the Gods: David can't help but gush about the divine quality of Federico's olive oil, comparing it to "the syrup of the gods." Prepare to be tempted by this liquid gold that David claims he can enjoy as much as wine. Global Olive Culture: Discover how olive oil and wine share more than just a connection; they share a global presence. Explore the diverse regions where olives and grapes thrive, from Italy to California and beyond. The Delicate Art of Olive Oil Production: Federico shares the secrets of olive oil production, including a surprising fact about the fragility of this precious liquid. Learn how just one drop of perfume can spoil 100 liters of oil, emphasizing the importance of meticulous care. Olive Oil in the Kitchen: David and Federico discuss the evolving use of olive oil in cooking, debunking the misconception that it makes everything taste like olives. Explore the myriad ways olive oil enhances flavors in various dishes, from salads to desserts. The Mediterranean Diet: Dive into the Mediterranean diet and its unique relationship with olive oil. Understand why it's a key ingredient for a healthy lifestyle and why you don't necessarily gain weight from enjoying these flavorful foods. So, whether you're a seasoned wine enthusiast or just beginning to explore the world of olives and wine, Episode #742 of Grape Encounters Wine Radio promises to be a delightful and informative journey that will deepen your appreciation for these extraordinary products. You won't want to miss it!

Duration:00:44:28

Episode #740 – Who’s Gonna Drink All This? Your Adult Children May be to Blame!

9/19/2023
While we’ve been busily worrying about the impact of global warming on the wine industry, it turns out that it is currently the least of the industry’s problems. Despite catastrophic fires in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Greece, Spain, France, Portugal, Sicily, the list goes on and on… you would think that devastation of such immense magnitude around the globe, would mean a shortage of wine or at least significantly higher prices. Shockingly, these worldwide infernos have not resulted in any significant wine shortages. Moreover, they have not led to a decrease in the quality of wines produced in affected countries. Quite the opposite. Despite the roller coaster ride that the planet has been on for the past several years, bringing unfathomable amounts of rain or drought that make Death Valley look like the Amazon, the quality of wine today, right now, is beyond exceptional. It may just be that the wine industry may have managed to dodge a barrage of bullets, but if you had to guess what the impact of climate change has been thus far, it’s safe to say that most guesses would be quite wrong. Sadly, the loss of property and life caused by these cataclysmic events is nearly impossible to fully comprehend, which makes the resilience of wine regions around the globe even more remarkable. In truth, the biggest story coming out of the wine world is a truly unimaginable catastrophe of a different kind. The big story is a wine glut that is so immense that massive tracts of land planted in wine grapes are being returned to their natural state or converted to crops more necessary to our survival. Vine removal on an almost incomprehensible scale is a very real possibility. But it gets worse. Many growers will be leaving fruit on the vines this harvest season because wine storage is maxed out from prior years, and there is very little demand for the older juice on hand. For some, it’s just better to walk away than to pile more potential losses on what already exists. In Australia, they are using Olympic swimming pools as a unit of measure to describe the wine glut down under. Australia currently has the equivalent of 859 Olympic swimming pools worth of wine in storage. This excess wine amounts to about 2.8 billion bottles. Australia may well be the hardest-hit wine-producing country in the world, and much of this is due to the enormous amount of wine they were selling to the Chinese just a few years ago. The Chinese appetite for wine was almost surreal when it hit its peak in 2017, but what many expected to be the new reality in Chinese beverage preferences is now contracting as quickly as it mushroomed. In six years, wine consumption in China has decreased by 50%, and Australia finds itself taking the biggest hit. So, there are lots of theories about who is to blame for the wine glut and significantly decreasing demand around the world. China’s role is certainly a significant factor where the Australians are concerned… and most certainly, European producers have also taken a big hit for the same reason. In America and many other countries however, the cause of the glut may actually be the fault of one or more persons with your last name. Much to almost everyone’s surprise, the explosive growth in wine sales that was a direct result of young consumers bringing an insatiable appetite for wine to the marketplace this past decade has turned out to be one of the most disappointing non-events in many decades. Yes, your children are, in large part, to blame for lackluster wine sales. In fact, they continue to head for the exits almost as quickly as they became enamored with fermented fruit! Kids these days are so unpredictable!

Duration:00:44:17

Episode #739 – Wine’s Ultimate FAKE NEWS Story Resurfaces! Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan; Hiding in Plain Sight!

9/12/2023
Wine's biggest con, Rudy Kurniawan, is back, unless his Facebook page is yet another counterfeit. Have we got a humdinger of a show for you this week! Today, we’re going to revisit the wine story that dominated headlines less than a decade ago until a sentence to federal prison stifled the story, and the only thing left to say was that “there’s nothing left to say.” After several years of incarceration and radio silence, the wine world’s biggest con appears to have resurfaced. Unfortunately, Rudy Kurniawan won’t be joining us in the studio or even via Zoom. That’s because he’s living in exile in Indonesia… or so he says on a very convincing Facebook page bearing his name[. But if Rudy’s name is on it, authenticity is anybody’s guess. Once the golden boy of wine, Rudy is equal parts genius, mystery, and illusion. In just a few short years, he went from virtual unknown to virtuoso until the clever con got sloppy. One day, celebrated, the next, incarcerated. His tumble from Pinot to Pruno was epic. However, once he was sentenced to federal prison, the presses, cameras, and microphones went silent. Nonetheless, it seemed only a matter of time before this world’s consummate counterfeiter would reemerge from the shadows and the sound of silence. Yes indeed! It's a brand-new chapter in the tale of Rudy Kurniawan. Yes indeed, the most notorious figure the wine world has ever known can easily be found on Facebook, where he now counts some of the wine industry's elite among his friends. But is this the real Rudy, or just another fake with his name on it? That is the question that Grape Encounters host David Wilson is hoping to answer. For those who haven't been keeping tabs on the wine world's most infamous criminal, let's catch you up. Rudy Kurniawan is a name that once sent shockwaves through the wine industry. A slight build, a gentle demeanor, and a penchant for fine wine might not be the typical traits of a criminal mastermind, but Rudy proved that appearances can indeed be deceiving. After serving over eight years in a U.S. federal prison, he was deported to his home country, Indonesia, in 2020. What's so intriguing about Rudy's story, you ask? Well, it all begins with his reemergence on Facebook, where he now boasts an impressive roster of friends from the wine world's upper echelons. But this isn't your typical social media comeback; it's shrouded in mystery. Is this Facebook page genuinely Rudy's, or is it yet another layer of the audacious deception that made him infamous? The comments on this page are as cryptic as ever, some potentially coming from the man himself and others taking on an offbeat, Austin Powers-inspired tone with an Asian twist. With thousands of followers and a growing sense of intrigue, Rudy's true whereabouts and intentions are as misleading as most of the wines in his once-legendary cellar. But Rudy's story isn't just about his mystique on social media; it's about his extraordinary palate. He possesses an uncanny ability to identify wines with astonishing precision, a skill that even the most seasoned sommeliers can't match. Imagine placing ten rare bottles in front of him, and he can reveal the winemaker, grape variety, origin, and vintage with near-perfect accuracy. And here's the astonishing twist that adds a layer of intrigue to this already captivating story: Rudy wasn't just a wine enthusiast; he was a master counterfeiter. In his Southern California kitchen, he meticulously crafted counterfeit wines that were nearly indistinguishable from their priceless counterparts. The wines in the bottles, the bottles themselves, and even the labels were so well done that even the most respected palates in the world found them to be incredibly convincing. It was a level of deception that left the wine world in disbelief. Now, it's time to reveal the man behind the enigma. Rudy Kurniawan, the audacious wine counterfeiter who turned the wine world upside down. Despite his audacious deceit,

Duration:00:44:17