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Wine Behind The Scenes

English, Cookery, Food, Drink, 1 season, 51 episodes, 1 day, 12 minutes
Do you love and enjoy wine? Are you fascinated by everything about wine? If so, you'll love this show. Every other week, join Laurel Simmons, who is just like you, passionate about wine and who has explored it with much enthusiasm, intention, and travels as you escape into and explore stories about wine -- the places, tastes, smells, sights, and the people who enjoy it. Learn with her, laugh with her, taste, and travel with her as you explore Wine Behind The Scenes together.
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My Podcasting Journey: Friends, Wine and Fun Around the World

Are you ready to hear what really goes on behind the scenes of your favourite podcasts?  Discover the surprising truths and unexpected lessons of podcasting. This is my 50th episode and I asked Judith Lewis, a long-time supporter, a frequent guest and my effervescent wing man when it comes to discussing wonky wine terms, to interview me. In this episode, you'll: Discover unique podcasting experiences and valuable lessons learned. Learn how to overcome the challenges of conducting engaging and insightful interviews. Uncover effective marketing strategies to elevate the success of a podcast and grow your audience. Explore the numerous benefits of attending conferences, gaining valuable insights and networking opportunities. Judith puts me on the hot seat and asks all kinds of questions... so turn up the volume and listen in as I share ideas, takeaways and lessons learned. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy!
5/15/202428 minutes, 1 second
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From Sommelier to Professor: How to Nurture People & Wine

Are you prepared for a journey with Peter Rod, a sommelier-turned-professor, as we uncork the enchantment of the wine world? Join us on Wine Behind the Scenes as we explore Peter's remarkable career—from his beginning in the Ottawa Valley to managing extraordinary wine programs. Discover the ins and outs of creating memorable dining and wining experiences, learning the art and science of being a senior manager in the hospitality industry, and the joys and challenges of passing that knowledge on to students who want to embrace the opportunities for themselves.   Tune in to learn more at @winebehindthescenes podcast with @laurelsimmmons. Listen now!"   Get ready for an episode filled with insights, advice, and a touch of romance. Let's raise a glass and toast to the adventures that await us with Peter on Wine Behind the Scenes. In this episode, Peter:  Shares how he transitioned from being a sommelier to a professor at Niagara College. Emphasizes the importance of passion and dedication in pursuing a career in the hospitality or wine industry. Highlights the need for soft skills, such as customer service and organizational skills, in addition to technical knowledge. Advises individuals to explore entrepreneurial opportunities within the industry and be open to creating their own path. Discusses the joy of selecting wines from his personal cellar.. Peter Rod, a seasoned sommelier turned professor, boasts a rich background spanning over 30 years in the hospitality and wine industry. His journey began in the late 80s, driven by a profound love for food and wine, leading him to excel in top restaurants and wine programs. Transitioning to academia in 2014, Peter now imparts his extensive knowledge at Niagara College, emphasizing passion, innovation, and customer service in beverage business management. Beyond teaching, Peter curates his own remarkable wine cellar housing over 600 bottles, each with its own narrative, adding flair to special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and quiet dinners at home. His discerning eye for wine selection ensures every sip is a celebration of life's moments. Connect with Peter Rod: and
5/1/202437 minutes, 31 seconds
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Bubble Trouble: Demystifying the World of Sparkling Wine with Lieven DeGeyndt

Are you ready to unravel the mysteries of sparkling wine and Champagne?  Join us on a captivating journey as we delve into the world of bubbles with Lieven DeGeyndt, a Master of Champagne. Discover sparkling wine's fascinating history, unique pairings, and hidden gems.  From the secrets of Champagne production to the art of food pairing, this Wine Behind the Scenes episode will leave you craving more. So grab a glass, sit back, and let's uncork the magic of sparkling wine together.  Cheers to a sparkling adventure! In this episode, you'll be able to:  Learn about the fascinating world of sparkling wine and Champagne with expert Lieven DeGeyndt  Discover the history and differences between Champagne and sparkling wine Understand the importance of acidity in Champagne when pairing with food Explore the variety of sparkling wines from different countries and small producers Find out how to properly store and enjoy leftover sparkling wine Lieven DeGeyndt is a passionate expert in sparkling wine and Champagne. As a certified Master of Champagne through the Wine Scholar Guild, he has delved deep into the intricacies of the Champagne region, studying its history, production methods, and unique characteristics. With a background in owning bars in Washington, DC, Lieven's love for Champagne and sparkling wine led him to establish the Sparkle-ist Club, a wine club dedicated to sharing sparkling wines' diverse and fascinating world with others. Through private tastings, education events, and virtual tastings, he aims to demystify sparkling wine, showcasing its versatility and ability to elevate everyday moments. With a keen eye for quality and a passion for storytelling, Lieven sources unique and standout sparkling wines worldwide, offering club members a curated selection beyond the familiar labels. Whether pairing Champagne with fried chicken or exploring the rich history of women in the champagne industry, Lieven's expertise and enthusiasm make him a valuable resource for anyone looking to discover the joys of sparkling wine. Connect with Lieven DeGeyndt  LinkedIn: Instagram: @thesparkleistclub Website: Email: [email protected]
4/17/202431 minutes, 6 seconds
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From Wine Server to PhD: Massive Leaps in Wine

Your favourite wine enthusiast's journey from pouring tips into wine purchases to earning a PhD isn't what you'd expect from a typical wine bar server. The surprising twists and turns in Jennifer Kelly's wine-making career will leave you eager to learn more about the untold possibilities in the wine industry.  I really love attending conferences with fellow wine academics because we get a sense of the research that's going on everywhere and like it's happening everywhere. - Jennifer Kelly In this episode, you will be able to: Learn how someone can go from having a part-time job at the LCBO to obtaining a PhD in wine science. Understand why passion is so important when it comes to making a career choice. Discover the enriching opportunities available for gaining hands-on experience in global wine-making. Learn why applied science studies in the academic world of wine-making can be so satisfying.  Jennifer Kelly is an accomplished wine enthusiast and seasoned researcher with a strong background in wine science and viticulture. Hailing from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Jennifer's journey began with small roles at a wine bar and the LCBO, which served as the catalyst for her profound interest in wine and its intricate processes. She gained experience in international harvest work which helped her understand and appreciate different winemaking cultures. Jennifer's academic pursuits culminated in the attainment of a PhD, specializing in the impact of yeast on sugar levels and flavors in wine. Now, she not only gets to continue her research in wine-making techniques but she also get to help and mentor local and international students.  Connect with Jennifer Kelly:  LinkedIn: Email: [email protected]
4/3/202431 minutes, 14 seconds
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Uncovering the Hidden World of Wine Spies with Agent Cru

Get ready for a peek behind the scenes of how one company offers a different wine every single day of the year to its customers. Join me as I chat with Agent Cru from Wine Spies, one of the masterminds behind Wine Spies' unique daily wine offerings.  Wine Spies stands as a trailblazer in the wine industry, boasting over 16 years of innovation and excellence. Discover how the agents of Wine Spies select wines from around the globe and hear about the challenges and joys of running a wine e-commerce platform.  In this episode you'll be able to learn about:  how Wine Spies has featured one new wine (and more!) every day for the last 16 years the inner workings of Wine Spies how wine tasting involves multiple variables making it a unique and fascinating experience As a partner in Wine Spies, Agent Cru injects joy and excitement into the wine scene. His  approach transforms wine tasting into an adventure, captivating enthusiasts with every sip, and turning enthusiasts into long-time customers.  Tune in now for an insider's look at the fascinating world of wine commerce and how Wine Spies presents a new bottle daily from around the world!  Contact Agent Cru here: Website: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: Youtube:  
3/20/202442 minutes, 2 seconds
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Caught in the Vines: Being a Serial Winemaker

Explore the secrets behind the art of winemaking and the dedication it requires to turn grapes into liquid gold. Join us as we unravel the stories and struggles of starting a new winery with Ron Giesbrecht, a true connoisseur of the vine. In this episode, you'll be able to: Learn about Ron's journey from winemaker to professor to starting a new winery Gain insights into the challenges and rewards of starting a new winery, including the importance of intentionality in winemaking Understand the complexities of the wine industry, including the regulatory and financial aspects of starting a winery Explore the different characteristics of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc wines Imagine being a winemaker for decades, teaching students how to make wine at Niagara College for nine years, retiring, and then starting a new winery.  It must be a passion, or perhaps that person is "caught in the vines." Ron shares his journey from being a winemaker and professor to starting a new winery called Wending Home. Despite the challenges and complexities of starting a winery, Ron's passion for winemaking and commitment to the industry drives him forward. Ron reflects on his time as a winery professor at Niagara College, emphasizing the importance of learning from students and the diverse experiences they bring. Teaching has been a rewarding experience for Ron, allowing him to share his knowledge and learn from others in return.  He highlights the significance of intentionality in winemaking, emphasizing the role of the winemaker in shaping the final product.  Also, Ron's love for Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc shines through as he discusses these grape varieties' unique characteristics and the artistry of crafting wines from them.    Contact Ron Giesbrecht here:  LinkedIn: Website:
3/6/202429 minutes, 16 seconds
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From Corporate to Cabernet: One Woman's Journey into Wine, Art, and Reinvention

What happens when a New York City resident packs it in and moves to sunny Tampa, Florida?  This journey from the bustling city to a new life in sunny Florida led to an unexpected wine, art, and self-publishing adventure. And it all started with a passion for creating memorable experiences through wine and art.  Joanna Barbolla is an accomplished wine, art and travel enthusiast. Her professional journey, from her corporate career to her current role as a self-published author of her new book "Divulge D'Vino", reflects her deep expertise and commitment to the world of art and wine.  Joanna has demonstrated her extensive knowledge and passion for the subject with a track record of organizing successful wine and art networking groups and running a popular wine blog. Her focus on discovering and promoting value wines contributes to her unique perspective and promises to offer valuable insights into the world of wine.  Want to find out how she did it and what surprising wine she's showcasing in her book? Stay tuned for the unexpected twists and turns in this inspiring story. I love talking about the book. I love talking about the wine. I love talking about my art and how I got myself to Florida. So it's very fun. It's entertaining, it's very social. - Joanna Barbolla In this episode, you will: Explore the rich history and flavours of wines with a modern twist. Uncover the unique characteristics and versatility of Cabernet Franc in the world of wine. Peek behind the curtain of the self-publishing world.  Learn how to immerse yourself in a sensory journey through abstract paintings inspired by wine and art. Contact Joanna Barbolla here:  Facebook: Instagram: LinkedIn: Twitter:
2/21/202424 minutes, 33 seconds
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Valentine's Day: the odd, the unexpected and the different

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of global Valentine's Day traditions, where love, wine, and culture intertwine unexpectedly. Join us as we uncover the surprising twist that adds a delightful flavour to this cherished celebration, leaving you with wonder and anticipation.  Are you ready to embark on a journey that will captivate your heart and expand your horizons?   Stay tuned for an unforgettable exploration of Valentine's Day traditions worldwide. No matter what kind of relationship you're in with your cat, your dog, your spouse, your lover, your spouse and your lover, no one at all, yourself, you should love yourself. You will always have yourself to love. So raise a glass and enjoy your Valentine's Day. - Judith Lewis In this episode, you will be able to: Explore diverse Valentine's Day traditions worldwide to discover unique cultural celebrations of love. Uncover the fascinating mass weddings in the Philippines, adding a special touch to Valentine's Day. Delve into the Japanese chocolate-giving tradition, a delightful and meaningful gesture of affection. Experience Argentina's Week of Sweetness, a heartwarming celebration filled with love and confectionery delights. Discover the significance of Welsh spoons and English wine blessing, adding a touch of charm to Valentine's Day celebrations. Judith Lewis is an experienced wine enthusiast and a seasoned traveller with a deep understanding of diverse cultural traditions. Her extensive global explorations have provided her with unique insights into various practices of love and wine worldwide, making her a knowledgeable and engaging guest for today's Valentine's Day traditions discussion. With a wealth of knowledge and a passion for uncovering the hidden stories behind global celebrations, Judith offers a refreshing perspective to exploring worldwide Valentine's Day practices. Contact Judith here:  Website: Website: X (New name for "Twitter"): Instagram: Email: [email protected]
2/7/202428 minutes, 11 seconds
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Wine Safari: Eat and drink in Chile!

Join us on a journey through the rich flavours of Chilean cuisine, from traditional barbecue to fresh seafood. As our expert guide, Fernando Diez, shares mouth-watering pairings of food and wine, you'll be left wondering what unexpected twist awaits in this culinary adventure. It's always about the people, especially if you're comfortable getting to know other cultures, getting to know other people, their customs, their traditions. There's a lot of magic and transformation that happens, which is why we call it transformational travel. - Fernando Diez In this episode, you will be able to: Discover the art of pairing Chilean cuisine with the perfect wine to elevate your dining experience. Explore Chilean barbecue's unique flavours and techniques and how it differs from other barbecue styles worldwide. Uncover the secrets of Chilean seafood dishes and learn how to recreate them at home with authentic flavours. Delve into Chilean wine production, uncovering hidden gems and affordable options for every wine enthusiast. Master the art of food and wine pairings in Chile, from traditional dishes to modern fusion cuisine. Immerse yourself in Chile's diverse activities and breathtaking landscapes, creating unforgettable experiences for your next adventure. Meet Fernando Diez, a travel expert from Santiago, Chile, with extensive knowledge and a profound passion for Chilean wine and cuisine. His expertise spans the diverse wine regions of Chile, including Elqui, Maipo, and beyond. With a talent for curating engaging travel experiences, from luxury accommodations to authentic vineyard stays, he offers valuable insights into Chile's culinary and oenological offerings. Through his close connections with local winemakers and families, he provides a firsthand understanding of the country's wine industry, making him an invaluable companion in exploring Chile's vibrant gastronomic landscape. Join us as we delve into the captivating world of Chilean wine and cuisine with Fernando as our esteemed guide. Contact Fernando Diez here:  Website: Instagram: Facebook: LinkedIn: Youtube:
1/24/202427 minutes, 29 seconds
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At the Forefront: Wine Country Women

Embark on a captivating journey of wine discovery with Michelle Mandro, whose passion for wine took an unexpected turn. From a casual enthusiast to a dedicated advocate for women in the industry, her story is a testament to the transformative power of mentorship and education.  Join us as we unravel the twists and turns of Michelle's enthralling journey, and stay tuned to uncover how her unwavering dedication has inspired a new generation of wine enthusiasts.   Hold on for the ride. I've had a pretty fantastic career. I've done things that a lot of people haven't done. And generally speaking, it's always been fun. My job has been fun. - Michelle Mandro In this episode, you will be able to: Explore the inspiring stories of women in the wine industry and their impact. Uncover the financial factors behind owning a winery and the strategies for success. Discover how Mother Nature shapes the wine industry and influences its unique flavours. Explore Wine Country Women's global influence and experiences in the wine world. Embrace the importance of wine education and mentorship for expanding your wine knowledge. Meet Michelle Mandro, the founder and president of Wine Country Women, who brings an infectious passion for wine and an extensive background in the industry. With her finger on the pulse of the wine world, her expertise shines through as she shares her experiences and insights. Her dedication to spotlighting the extraordinary women in wine country and advocating for their evolving roles is evident in her work, making her a valuable resource for wine enthusiasts looking to expand their knowledge and explore new pairings. Her wealth of knowledge and commitment to mentorship make her a compelling voice in the wine industry, inspiring others to delve deeper into the world of wine. Contact Michelle here:  Website: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook:
1/10/202434 minutes, 4 seconds
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Wine Adventures - Here, There and Everywhere!

Join my guest, Judith Lewis, and me in the latest Wine Behind the Scenes podcast episode as we discuss our upcoming travel plans to diverse wine regions worldwide. From the birthplace of wine in Georgia to the stunning landscapes of Chile and Argentina, we're sharing our exciting wine travel bucket list for the upcoming year.  When you go to the country where the wine is made, you end up appreciating the wine so much more because you can see where it's made, talk to the people who make it, and understand the whole process. (Judith Lewis) In this episode, you will be able to: Discover new and exciting wine travel destinations in 2024 and expand your wine exploration horizons. Uncover Georgian wines' rich history and unique terroir, unlocking a deeper appreciation for the region's winemaking traditions. Immerse yourself in the captivating Bulgarian wine industry and historical sites, gaining insights into the country's rich winemaking heritage. Explore the diverse Balkan wine regions and delve into their cultural significance, broadening your understanding of their wine diversity. Dive into the Czech Republic's wine culture and southern region, uncovering hidden gems and distinctive flavours to elevate your wine journey. Meet Judith Lewis, a favourite guest at Wine Behind the Scenes and also the co-host of our "Wonky Wine Term" segment. Judith is a digital marketing guru with a taste for pixels and pinot. When she's not decoding algorithms, she's decoding the subtle notes of a fine Shiraz. As a board member of the Academy of Chocolate, she knows the sweet spot between cocoa and click-through rates. With a palate sharper than her SEO skills, she judges international wine competitions—because analyzing data isn't thrilling enough. Between optimizing websites and sipping Cabernet Sauvignon, Judith's passport is as well-stamped as her LinkedIn endorsements. Rumour has it she once boosted a Malbec's social media presence just by staring at it. Some say she can predict website traffic like she predicts the next big vintage. So, if you spot someone at 30,000 feet, sipping wine, typing furiously on a laptop, and giggling at a marketing report, it's probably Judith—jet-setting, wine-tasting, and making SEO sexy, one algorithm at a time. Contact Judith here:  Website: Website: X (New name for "Twitter"): Instagram: Email: [email protected]
12/27/202325 minutes, 13 seconds
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Antonia Mantonakis: Insider Insights from The Wine Psychologist

Discover the secret behind creating a perception of rarity in the wine industry. Join us as "the wine psychologist" Antonia Mantonakis reveals the psychological tricks and marketing strategies that will leave your audience thirsting for more. But beware, the path to success may be more complex than it seems... Consumers' expectations and their interpretation and the perception that they might have from wine are so much more powerful than the actual sensation. - Antonia Mantonakis In this episode, you will be able to: Discover how perception shapes the enjoyment of wine and influences consumer preferences. Uncover the pivotal role of wine labels in shaping consumer perception and purchase decisions. Learn how scarcity can impact consumer behaviour and drive demand for your wine products. Explore the significance of colour in wine branding and its influence on consumer perception. Master the art of creating a perception of rarity in the competitive wine industry.   Antonia Mantonakis is a renowned wine psychologist with over 17 years of experience in the field. As a marketing professor at Brock's Goodman School of Business in Niagara, she specializes in understanding consumer behaviour and perception, particularly concerning wine branding and marketing strategies.  Her unique expertise is uncovering how consumers think, feel, and make purchasing decisions. Her research has delved into the fascinating world of pricing psychology, where she has discovered the profound impact that price perception can have on the brain's pleasure centers.  She has also explored the influence of wine labels, including images' role and winery names' effect on consumer perception. With her wealth of knowledge and insights, Antonia is a sought-after expert in the wine industry, helping wine producers enhance their branding and marketing strategies to create a perception of rarity and desirability in the market. Contact Antonia here:  Website: Instagram: TikTok: Facebook: X (New name for "Twitter"):
12/13/202333 minutes, 2 seconds
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A Winemaker Who Loves to Create Culinary Magic (and Great Wine)

If you're feeling frustrated and disappointed with lackluster vegetarian and vegan dishes that fail to excite your taste buds, then you are not alone! Despite your best efforts to experiment with different ingredients and recipes, you may find that the flavors are falling flat and leaving you unsatisfied. Instead of achieving the result of enhancing your dishes with creative wine pairings, you might be stuck in a cycle of bland and uninteresting meals that lack the depth and complexity you crave. In the world of instant gratification, what can be better than eating food and drinking wine and having that work exceptionally well together and being able to do it again and again in the same meal? - Keith Tyers Keith Tyers is not only a highly regarded winemaker at Closson Chase Vineyards in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada, but also a guest who always brings an exciting and fresh perspective to Wine Behind the Scenes. With a background in the restaurant industry, his approach to wine and food pairings is all about creating unique and memorable experiences. He believes that the wine should take the spotlight and the food should be tailored to complement and elevate its flavors.  Keith's passion for wine and food shines through in his conversations with host Laurel Simmons, and he is always ready to share his knowledge and expertise. Whether it's exploring new flavors or experimenting with vegetarian and vegan dishes, his creativity and enthusiasm make him a fantastic guest for anyone looking to enhance their culinary adventures with creative wine pairings. In this episode, you will be able to: Discover creative wine pairings that will elevate your vegetarian and vegan dishes to a whole new level of flavor. Learn how to create delicious and satisfying plant-based meals that perfectly complement the unique characteristics of different wines. Explore unconventional wine and food pairings to expand your palate and discover unexpected taste combinations that will surprise and delight your senses. Master the art of incorporating hazelnuts into your vegetarian and vegan dishes, unlocking a world of rich and nutty flavors that will take your cooking to new heights. Deepen your understanding of the concept of finesse in wine, and how it can enhance the depth and complexity of your vegetarian and vegan recipes. Unleash your creativity in the kitchen by experimenting with new flavors and techniques, guided by expert tips on wine and food pairings that will elevate your vegetarian and vegan cooking to a whole new level. Delight your taste buds with the perfect harmony of flavors and textures that come from pairing the right wine with your plant-based dishes. Contact Keith Tyers here:  Website: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook:  
11/29/202327 minutes, 55 seconds
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Judgement Days: The All Canadian Wine Championships with Bev and John Carnahan

Canada's wine industry has been steadily gaining recognition globally for producing high-quality wines that capture the essence of the country's unique terroir. The All Canadian Wine Championships, spearheaded by wine enthusiasts Bev and John Carnahan, play a pivotal role in showcasing the diversity and excellence of Canadian winemaking. This episode delves into the world of Canadian wine, exploring the significance of the All Canadian Wine Championships in promoting and celebrating the nation's burgeoning wine industry.  In this episode, you will be able to: Discover why the All Canadian Wine Championships is the ultimate test of Canadian winemaking excellence. Learn how winning awards can boost winemakers' credibility and sales - find out how a prestigious award can elevate their reputation and drive increased wine demand. Explore the unexpected growth of the Canadian wine industry in new regions - delve into the expansion of winemaking beyond traditional areas and the exciting possibilities it brings for Canadian wine enthusiasts. Dive into the rich history of the All Canadian Wine Championships - uncover the fascinating stories and milestones that have shaped this prestigious competition and its role in promoting Canadian wines. Bev and John Carnahan are the organizers of the All Canadian Wine Championships, the most esteemed wine competition in Canada. With Bev at the helm for the past two decades and with John at her side, they have successfully managed the event, overseeing the evaluation of hundreds of bottles each year. The competition accepts entries from wineries nationwide, including grape wines, fruit wines, ciders, and mead. The judging process follows the 100-point system, ensuring a fair and thorough assessment of each wine. The competition takes place over three days, with a panel of experienced judges carefully evaluating and scoring each entry. The All Canadian Wine Championships has gained recognition for its commitment to celebrating the diversity and quality of Canadian wines. By providing a platform for both established and emerging winemakers, Bev and John have played a pivotal role in showcasing the best of what the Canadian wine industry has to offer. Contact Bev & John:
11/15/202328 minutes, 14 seconds
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Upside Down and Inside Out: Wine and Food Pairings Re-imagined!

Nothing could be more monotonous than sticking to the same flavours and combinations, meal after meal. Keeping your palate interested and excited through varying wine and food pairings can lead to a much more enjoyable experience.  That’s where experimentation and personal preferences play a significant role. Exploring new territory and challenging the palate can lead to beautiful discoveries you wouldn't have stumbled upon otherwise. My guest, Allison Pearce, a trailblazer in wine and food pairing, strongly advocates for this notion of experimentation.   In this episode, you will be able to: Discover unconventional pairing wine and food strategies to elevate your next dinner party. Challenge traditional pairing norms and unlock new culinary experiences. Learn how to pair wines successfully with tricky ingredients like garlic or tomatoes. Find out how to cleverly use wines to complement missing flavours in your dishes. Understand how personal taste shapes your enjoyment of wine and why it should be embraced.  With a career beginning at Canada's grand Post Hotel in the late 90s, Allison quickly learned all about wine, being trained by a sommelier. She not only embraced the discipline but revolutionized it with her unique approach. Over time, her understanding of wine pairing has evolved, breaking traditional rules and norms. Armed with her knowledge, she started experimenting with unorthodox pairings that caught people's interest. A firm believer in flipping traditional pairings on their heads, she confidently pairs whites with red meats and vice versa. Her daring approach extends to matching wines to complement or contrast the food's flavour, challenging common misconceptions. She emphasizes that enjoying wine and food isn't confined to the classic pairings we're used to. Her innovative ideas extend to pairing wines with side dishes instead of the main course, a move unheard of in conventional circles. This avant-garde approach has become Allison's signature style, making her a food and wine pairing pioneer. Contact Allison:
11/1/202328 minutes, 33 seconds
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From Numbers to Vineyard Bliss: A Finance Pro's Journey into Winemaking

Breaking away from the corporate world to pursue a passion is a bold move that requires a leap of faith. It involves cultivating your interests and leveraging them into a sustainable income. In this case, we're talking about transitioning from a comfortable job in finance into the exciting and hands-on world of winemaking.  My guest for this week, Braydon Scully, was a financial whiz who defied expectations and found solace in the allure of winemaking. After a successful career in the fast-paced finance industry, he wanted something more tangible, more grounding.  In this episode, you will be able to: Discover the exhilarating journey of a career shift from finance to winemaking, all propelled by sheer passion. Uncover the unique facets and pressing challenges of winemaking in picturesque Prince Edward County. Decode the prestigious WSET Level 3 certification through a certificate holder's personal experience and insightful advice. Appreciate the intense labour and meticulous handwork required for cultivating the finest vineyards. Realize the untapped potential and superior quality of Canadian wines in a globally competitive industry. Growing up in a family that saw wine not as an indulgence but as a part of everyday life, it was inevitable that Braydon developed a taste for the grape. His love for wine matured over the years, culminating in a life-changing decision to abandon the corporate treadmill to reconnect with his love for physical work and creativity in winemaking.  Now, Braydon spends his days working magic with his hands in the vineyards of Prince Edward County, helping to infuse each bottle with passion and dedication. Contact Braydon:
10/18/202329 minutes, 2 seconds
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From Italy to Ontario: Diving into the World of Winemaking with Ugo Crecco

Ontario boasts a diverse climate that allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of grapes, from cool-climate grapes like Riesling and Chardonnay to hearty reds like Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The province's unique terroir and microclimates allow winemakers to create distinctive and elegant wines. Despite the promising conditions for winemaking in Ontario, winemakers face many challenges that can significantly impact their craft and success. Join us as Ugo Crecco shares the solution to achieving a deeper understanding of these challenges and their effects on the industry, allowing you to gain insight into winemaking in Ontario. In this episode, you will be able to: Uncover the realities of the taxing struggles and unique climatic hurdles Ontario wineries face. Discover the unique grape varieties cultivated at the Villa Romana Winery and their vital role in creating exclusive blends. Explore the intricate process behind the bottling and preservation of wine at Villa Romana Winery. Get a glimpse into the diverse events and activities hosted by Villa Romana Winery, from themed nights to historical reenactments. Acquaint yourself with the compelling duality of Ugo's passions: winemaking and fishing rod artisanship. Ugo is a seemingly retired finance professional whose true passion lies in crafting exceptional wines at his beloved Villa Romana Winery. Rooted in his family's winemaking heritage just outside of Rome, Italy, his journey into Ontario's wine country is a captivating tale of tenacity, overcoming challenges like the high tax environment and inflexible growing seasons. His enthusiasm for winemaking is palpable, vividly showing his unwavering dedication to his craft. He refuses to compromise on the excellence of his wines, which has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a laudable figure in the province's winemaking community. Each sip of his wine reflects his expertise and his profound love for the artistry of winemaking. Contact Ugo: Villa Romana Estate Winery: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Personal: Facebook: Instagram:
10/4/202330 minutes, 11 seconds
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For the Love of Australian Wine with Jane Lopes and Jonathan Ross

Who doesn't love a good backstory? And when it comes to wines and the people who enjoy it, these tales are often as enchanting as the wines themselves. This world is ripe with fascinating stories of discovery, passion, and growth, like those of our guests Jane Lopes and Jonathan Ross, who've journeyed from novices to Master Sommeliers.  In this episode, you will be able to: Dive into the mysterious world of the Australian wine industry. Discover the captivating process behind the creation of "How to Drink Australian." Explore the uniqueness that sets Australian wine and culture apart from the rest. Gain insights into the intriguing challenges and successes of producing a unique book. Get a sneak peek at the exciting future ventures awaiting the authors. As  Master Sommeliers, Jane and Jonathan have an impressive background and a deep-rooted affection for all things wine. Jane, with a degree in Renaissance literature, and Jonathan, initially interested in architecture and medicine, managed to cross paths in the fascinating world of wine. When they set foot in Australia, they were greeted by a wine industry vastly different from what they were accustomed to. Despite their backgrounds in hospitality and wine, they found themselves in a world that was as enriching as it was unknown. The duo decided to delve into the Australian wine industry, spending the next few years researching, learning, and writing about it. Their journey wasn't without its challenges, from handling the pressures of writing a book together to managing a business. Yet, their shared passion for wine and commitment to bringing Australian wine to the U.S. market kept them going. Today, their endeavours have resulted in a detailed guide to Australian wine and a thriving business that imports and sells Australian wine in the U.S. Their tale is a testament to their resilience and a reminder that sometimes stepping into the unknown can lead to the most rewarding experiences. Contact Jane Lopes: Contact Jonathan Ross:  
9/20/202331 minutes, 47 seconds
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Tanya Avramova: Wine in her blood

Bulgaria, a land of rich cultural history and breathtaking landscapes, holds a treasure cultivated for centuries: its winemaking heritage. Nestled between the Balkan Mountains and the Black Sea, Bulgaria boasts a long and storied tradition of producing exquisite wines. Rediscover the forgotten flavours of Bulgaria's winemaking history as Tanya Avramova, who as part owner of her family's winery, seeks to put her country on the map, facing the challenge of reviving native grape varieties in a market dominated by international favourites. In this episode, you will be able to: Learn about the ancient tradition and evolution of winemaking in Bulgaria, cultivating a deeper appreciation for its distinctive taste and quality. Discover the power of unity and cooperative efforts among Bulgarian winemakers, showcasing how they elevate their craft together. Embark on the journey of rediscovery and revitalization of Bulgaria's indigenous grape varieties, stimulating your palate with fresh, untapped flavours. Learn about the rising global interest in Bulgarian wines, positioning you to be ahead of this budding wine trend.  Born and raised in a region of Bulgaria steeped in the rich history of winemaking, Tanya embodies the essence of this time-honoured cultural tradition. As a testament to her heritage, she now works in her family winery - Bratanov Family Winery and Vineyards. Drawing from a unique fusion of academic knowledge acquired during her education in Plovdiv and the invaluable wisdom gained from the traditional winemaking practices of previous generations, Tanya and her family possess a blend of technical expertise and hands-on experience. This combination has proven instrumental in elevating Bulgarian winemaking onto the global stage. Tanya's passion for her craft knows no bounds. Her unwavering commitment to helping her family winery produce nothing but the finest wines is both admirable and contagious. Her dedication helps to drive the resurgence of Bulgarian winemaking and captivates the hearts of wine enthusiasts worldwide. Contact Tanya Bratanov Family Winery and Vineyards: Facebook:  Intagram: Personal: Linkedin:
9/6/202335 minutes, 39 seconds
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Unlocking the secrets of wine with Annemarie Morse

Beyond being a beverage, wine is an experience that encompasses history, culture, and flavours. For wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs, exploring the world of wine is a lifelong pursuit. In the second part of our podcast episode, we continue our conversation with Annemarie Morse, a seasoned sommelier, as she emphasizes the significance of tasting different wines. By delving into the exploration of various wine styles and regions, we can truly unlock the potential of our palates and deepen our understanding and appreciation.  In this episode, you will be able to: Dive into the fascinating world of wines, understanding their variety and significance in refining your palate. Absorb insights from a seasoned wine competition judge, gaining perspective on tailoring feedback to winemakers. Embark on an endless journey of learning amidst the evolving landscape of the wine industry. Embrace the rich traditions and culture behind winemaking, adding depth to your appreciation of this craft. Discover the art of pairing food and wine, influenced by cultural context and local customs. Annemarie is an extraordinary connoisseur in the realm of wine, where she effortlessly combines her passion for wine with her profound appreciation for the intricate tapestry of flavours, aromas, and history that each bottle represents. With an unwavering dedication to fostering a universal love for food, travel, history, and culture, her expertise transcends mere imbibing; it encompasses the art of savouring and understanding the multifaceted experience that wine offers. Renowned for her unparalleled ability to unravel the complexities of various wines, her articulate descriptions transport you to the vineyards, capturing the essence of each vintage in a symphony of words. With a vibrant palate and an encyclopedic memory, she has passionately explored and dissected countless bottles over the years, revealing the hidden nuances that make each one an extraordinary masterpiece. Her unwavering dedication to wine analysis has solidified her reputation as an unrivalled authority, inspiring others to develop a deeper understanding and admiration for this timeless elixir. Contact Annemarie Wine by Annemarie: Linkedin: Facebook:  
8/23/202324 minutes, 52 seconds
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From Grapes to Glass: The Challenges and Rewards of Making Wine

Winemaking is an art that intertwines science, nature, and craftsmanship. While wine enthusiasts savour the final product, few realize the myriad challenges winemakers face throughout the process. This week's episode explores winemakers' challenges, focusing on the expertise and experiences of renowned winemaker Mitchell McCurdy. His extensive knowledge and expertise in the field provide valuable insights into the obstacles faced by winemakers in their pursuit of crafting exceptional wines.  In this episode, you will be able to: Break down the complex process and challenges encountered in winemaking. Understand the different factors contributing to the cost of wine. Learn about the powerful influence of geography and weather in determining the character and quantity of wine. Sample a virtual tour of the diverse wine offerings at Marynissen Estates. Be introduced to the critical role of economic factors and perceived value in shaping wine prices. Mitchell is a highly regarded winemaker who made a name for himself at a young age. He quickly rose in his career and became a winemaker at Marynissen Estates in Ontario within just one year of starting there. His story in winemaking started at Cassaba Vineyards, where he gained a comprehensive understanding of the wine industry. Before graduating, he ventured to Quailsgate in British Columbia for a co-op position and completed three vintages in the cellar. However, it was at Meredith and Estates that he discovered his passion. Despite initial apprehension, he embraced the winemaker role with determination and his team's guidance. It was not only the opportunity to create exquisite wines that attracted him but also the ever-evolving nature of the industry, the delicate interplay between science and sensory analysis, and the excitement of nurturing wines from vine to bottle. His journey in the winemaking world reflects his deep passion and commitment to the craft.  Contact Mitchell Marynissen Estates Winery: Instagram:
8/9/202329 minutes, 38 seconds
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Taste Wine and Expand Your World - Part 1

Despite implementing traditional vineyard practices and adapting winemaking techniques, shifting climate patterns continue to challenge the stability of wine regions. Instead of the desired result of a reliable and consistent wine industry, wine enthusiasts are experiencing the unpredictability of climate change, leading to uncertainty and disappointment in their pursuit of fine wines. Our guest for this week, Annemarie Morse, discusses the impact of climate change on wine regions and the emergence of new wine industries in unexpected countries. Discover how these unique climates are reshaping the global wine landscape from Costa Rica to Sweden. But what does this mean for traditional wine regions? Tune in to find out!  In this episode, you will be able to: Embark on a journey through the boutique vineyards and charming wineries of the Finger Lakes region. Acknowledge the importance of an expansive palate in enriching your wine-tasting journey. Explore the world's wine regions as Annemarie discusses what she finds fascinating about the places she has visited. Explore the interplay between climate change and wine-making, highlighting the emerging wine nations. With a seasoned palate and as an avid learner, Annemarie Morse brings a wealth of experience to the table. She has travelled to renowned wine regions across the Europe, and as a resident of upper New York state, delights in visiting vineyards in that area. Annemarie offers valuable insights into the changing landscape of the global wine industry, highlighting the challenges and opportunities ahead for vineyards worldwide. Contact Annemarie Wine by Annemarie: Linkedin: Facebook: New boost
7/27/202327 minutes, 52 seconds
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Travel and wine - a match made in Hungary! With Csilla Janosi

Are you someone who loves wine and would like to discover the world of Hungarian wine?  Then join us as Csilla Janosi reveals her passion for making wine and dedication to showing wine travellers how much there is to learn and love about wine and tourism in Hungary. Hungary has a centuries-old wine-making tradition and now, in the modern era, has 22 distinct wine regions. Csilla shares how she manages a wine tourism company and her winery. It’s a lot of work, but she is more than up to it!  As her story unfolds, discover the pivotal event that changed her path. Curious to know what it was? Keep listening to find out. In this episode, you will be able to: Discover Csilla's passion for nurturing wine and wine tourism in Hungary. Unearth the secrets of Hungary's vibrant wine culture, including its 22 diverse wine regions and unique grape varieties. Gain insight into the challenges faced while managing a wine tourism business and a winery simultaneously. Understand the role of wine regulations in Hungary that lead to the birth of rare, limited-edition wines. Explore the world of Csilla's winery and how it is part of the local community and culture. Csilla Janosi is a wine lover and entrepreneur who has turned her love for Hungarian wine into a successful wine tourism business. With a profound passion for wine and over 25 years of experience in the tourism industry, Csilla has honed her expertise in showcasing the captivating world of Hungarian wines to enthusiasts and tourists alike. Csilla's hands-on involvement in winemaking and her commitment to continuous learning and professional development sets her apart. To expand her expertise in the field, she pursued formal wine education and earned her WSET Level 2 certification. Csilla's passion for Hungarian wine extends beyond the boundaries of her winery. She has embraced the role of a knowledgeable guide, enthusiastically sharing her expertise and promoting the country's rich wine culture through her wine tourism business. Her genuine love for wine and warm personality make her a sought-after industry expert, renowned for her engaging and informative approach. Contact Csilla Wine A'More Travel: Instagram LinkedIn:
7/5/202326 minutes, 43 seconds
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Mari Robinson: From Dom Perignon to Philanthropy

Mari's first sip of Dom Perignon ignited a passion for wines that has taken her to incredible places around the globe. Despite her busy job as a director at the University of Texas in the health sector and her other leadership positions, she stays devoted to volunteering at the Wine and Food Foundation to provide support and assistance to people in the hospitality industry. Let's join Mari as she passionately speaks about her cellar, her wine collection, and her volunteer work with the Food and Wine Foundation and their charitable activities for the hospitality industry. We also get a look at the Texas wine industry. Plus, Mari takes us along on her adventures to amazing wine-tasting spots in the world.   What you will learn from this episode: Learn about the Wine and Food Foundation – their mission and how they help people working in the hospitality industry. Learn about the clear-the-cellar event and make your own, plus learn one way to track your wine inventory. Discover countries and places to explore, savor, and delight in outstanding wines. Hear about the Texas wine industry and the various grape varietals that comprise their exceptional wine selection. Mari Robinson, JD, is the Director of Telehealth with the University of Texas Medical Branch and in that role, she is assisting with the roll out of the Virtual Health Network, a project to link all UT systems medical campuses to allow for the shared provision of telemedicine throughout the state.  She is also the Director of the Medical Technology Resource & Education Center (MTREC), which provides training and support in the area of medical technology. Prior to joining UTMB, she was Executive Director for the Texas Medical Board, and oversaw the agency responsible for regulating the practice of medicine in the state.  In addition to the above, she presently serves as the Chair of the HHSC eHealth Advisory Committee, as well as a board member of the Advisory Board of the Texas Broadband Development Office.  She was also recently named the Convener of the workgroup to establish ISO standards for telehealth.  In her personal time, Mari is very active in the Austin community serving as the President of The League of Women Voters Austin Area, President-elect of Wine & Food Foundation, and as a board member for Pop-Up Birthday. Connect with Mari Robinson: Website: Email: [email protected] Topics Covered: 01:45 - Recalling that interesting story of how Mari met Laurel 03:14 - Dom Perignon: the bottle that started it all in Mary's wine journey 04:27 - How many bottles can her cellar accommodate? 05:13 - Using a website to track her wine collection: [plus the clear-the-cellar party she does every year] 08:13 - Volunteering and philanthropy [what goes behind all these charitable activities in the Food and Wine Foundation] 10:26 - Touching on minimum wage issues, security, and safe working conditions for people in the hospitality industry 13:02 - Discussing solutions provided by people directly from the hospitality industry itself 15:54 - The model philosophy for the hospitality industry that should be in place 16:33 - Action steps in place to help the hospitality industry 17:33 - What the Texan wine industry has to offer and the different grape varietals that they grow 22:08 - Amazing countries and places she visited for the love of wine 23:44 - Interesting thing that happens that are unique to a particular place she visited and some of the challenges they face 27:56 - Exciting wine events to look forward to in Texas Quotes from Mari Robinson: “I remember on my 21st birthday, the person that I was dating at the time bought me a bottle of Dom Perignon.” “I have a very eclectic sort of taste.” “Once a year, every year we have to reconcile the cellar.” “We pull all the things at the end of their drinking window (20, 30 bottles) and we invite all our friends over and say, bring a dish. It's the Clear the Cellar party.” “Very few people have the bandwidth to go and buy six different bottles of Chateauneuf-du-Pape so you can understand what the distinction is.” “People who have been in wine a long time love to talk to people about wine.” “The idea is to try to give back to the folks in the wine and food community and support non-profit philanthropic efforts in those two areas.” “We want the people who are doing those things and bringing all that lovely experience to us to also be happy and healthy and whole.” “We raised well over $50,000 to help go into the fund to help support those folks who were in that hospitality community during the time that COVID was such a struggle.” “We have Texas wineries everywhere. There are hundreds of wineries.” “The grapes that we're seeing get a lot of production are Tempranillo. “ “I've actually had a Hawaiian wine. I went to the winery on Hawaii and I sat there and had a discussion with them about how you do this.” “In Portugal, they're one of the only places that I know of in the Douro anyway, that have what are called field blends. They don't know what their grapes are.” “We've got a full Texas wine event in April and we have our huge auction in November. So we'd love to have folks visit.” New boost
6/28/202329 minutes, 38 seconds
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Jessica Goncalves: wine, ocean, and mountains

If you're looking for an incredible spot to add to your wine tasting itinerary, this gorgeous island is absolutely one to consider. Plus, with a conversational wine expert tour guide to aid you in selecting the ideal wine to complement your culinary journey, you can't go wrong.  Let’s join Jessica now in exploring the picturesque little island where she lives and learn something about Madeira's wine industry. What you will learn from this episode: Discover the island of Madeira and what it offers to locals and tourists alike apart from their excellent wines. Gain insight into the topography, geography and all the wonderful details of this picturesque island, ideal for wine tasting and culinary explorations, as well as land and water adventures. Find out why paying attention to wine aromas is a good way to start tasting wines to understand and appreciate them. Learn about the best tips to make the most out of your visit to this charming little island. Discover the best Madeira wine varieties that goes perfectly well with any savory and traditional Madeiran meat and fish cuisine. Jessica Goncalves  is a 28-year-old Madeiran, born and raised on the island. She studied tourism and adventure tourism in Portugal in the cities of Coimbra and Lisbon. At the moment she's working at Quinta do Barbusano on Madeira as a tour guide where she learned a lot about wine. She enjoys meeting people and showing them her beautiful vineyards and having them taste the wine they make. Connect with Jessica Goncalves: [email protected] Topics Covered: 01:58 - Where Jessica and Laurel's paths first crossed and the two season's this beautiful place has 03:30 - Living in this beautiful island since forever [interesting wine courses she studied and places she went to for studies] 04:21 - What made her choose her field of study 05:48 - The motivation that drove her to work in a winery and the way it has helped her progress and expand her understanding of wine and the business. 07:19 - Having fun while learning and doing her job 09:08 - The beautiful thing with sharing stories, experiences, and wisdom with visitors. 09:42 - Farm animals allowed to stay in the vineyard and ways they ward off fungus and other diseases 10:43 - The challenges of cultivating organic grapes 11:18 - How she learned to taste wine and appreciating and identifying the aroma 13:01 - Evoking stories and experiences 14:16 - Barrels used for the fermentation process 14:27 - What she finds satisfying working in the wine industry 14:42 - Where you can find this beautiful winery found in this awesome island 16:17 - Exciting activities you can do in Madeira and sharing best tips so you can make the most of your visit there 19:30 - What to love about their beaches [plus traditional Madeiran food you can try and the perfect ] 22:04 - How Madeiran wines have become exceptional through the years 23:43 - Other stunning islands around Madeira that are worth exploring [and how to get there] Quotes from Jessica Goncalves: “We are more close to Morocco than Portugal.” “I studied tourism, in general,  in Coimbra for three years. And then in Lisbon I took a degree in adventure tourism.” “The sheep, they only eat the leaves. They eat the grapes as well if we let them.” “At the beginning, I just opened the wine and I was like smelling the wine for more than 10 minutes.” “Now it's kind of normal for me to go and smell the wine and try to find new things.” “We have mostly stainless steel fermentation uh, but we use a French oak as well.” “If you take care about the shoes that you're using, the clothes and everything, the timing as well that you are doing that hikes, you'll be totally fine.” “You need to go out and explore and talk to Madeiran people to see what the island is.” “You always need a jacket and your swimsuit.” “Bolo do caco. That's traditional Madeira bread.” “Now you can find very good wines, table wines in Madeira.” “We are very close to Porto Santo, but Porto Santo, the weather, the soil, it's very, very different.”  
6/14/202327 minutes, 30 seconds
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Wanky wine terms must die!

Wine has a unique way of bringing people together and creating lasting memories, but it can also be intimidating, especially when it comes to deciphering the often cryptic language used to describe the different types of wines. The wine world is full of insider terms that can make understanding the nuances of a bottle of wine feel like an impossible task.  It's time for this trend to be put aside. They don't actually add anything to the conversation about wine, and they only serve to alienate those who don't understand them. In this episode with Judith Lewis, let's have a good laugh at all these wanky wine terms while decoding their meaning and understanding why they should be avoided. In doing so, we'll make the process of understanding and appreciating wine easier and more accessible for everyone. Join us as we debunk the jargon and discuss why it's important for everyone to enjoy wine without the stresses of learning complicated wine terms. What you will learn from these episodes: Find out what some of these wanky wine terms are to get a glimpse of the insider's wine lingo. Learn about what these terms mean so you avoid using them so as not to intimidate people about wine. Discover how using ridiculous wine terms only exclude instead of include most people. Learn how to be an effective wine communicator that people can relate to so they understand what they're consuming and that helps boost sales. Judith Lewis is a renowned international speaker, writer, trainer, blogger and digital media consultant specialising in applying strategic understanding of digital technologies to help businesses innovate and optimise their effectiveness within the new, networked communications environment.  Deploying her skills across a number of sectors, Judith learned about wine making quite late, and is working on digitisation of the wine sector.  Judith is also an accomplished international chocolate judge and wine judge. She blogs about chocolate.  Connect with Judith Lewis: Web: Web: Twitter: @JudithLewis @DeCabbit @MostlyAboutChoc LinkedIn: Instagram: @ThisFoodieTravels @Decabbit @MostlyAboutChoc Email: [email protected] Topics Covered: 01:55 - Using words that people can relate to instead of alienating them 04:13 - Talking about ridiculous wine terms and what they  mean 05:56 - What makes smell one of the most important things in wine tasting 08:45 - Hear these funny phrases about wine 11:23 - Another amusing term for you to know 12:55 - What negative connotations using these exclusive wine terms bring 15:03 - More wine descriptors that exclude more than include people 16:11 - A wine term that is just as confusing as the meaning they attached to it 19:31 - Weird names that they would associate to grandmother's closet 20:50 - Using these words that are completely out of meaning 22:31 - The confusion in assigning a 'flavor' word to a 'sensation' word 23:37 - Helping in terms of consumer education for a large number of wine drinkers with terms they can relate to and not just for a select few 25:27 - Marketing and communicating wine that makes it more relatable and accessible for most people Quotes from Judith Lewis: “Some wanky wine terms are really exclusionary, they're used deliberately to exclude people and make them feel like they don't understand.” “Closed means you really can't smell much.” “I, as a voluptuous woman, a full bodied woman would then assume that it was a full bodied wine. But again, what, how do we define a full-bodied wine?” “In the descriptors, when you're going through how sweet something is, luscious is defined as the top-end of sweetness. But that's only because that's what WSET has said.” “I just wanna lick a bit of your skirt, lady. Do you mind? Somebody said it was voluptuous, so I wanna taste voluptuous.” “As a child, I actually did lick rocks.” “Minerality: a lack of being beaten over the side of the head with a piece of fruit wrapped round a lovely small flower.” “It's one of those words that people throw around when they're really not sure what they're tasting.” “The only thing a wine education gives you is the ability to choose for a group of people, something that is in the middle of everybody's likes.” “I think people get mixed up because they think everything about wine is taste.”
5/31/202328 minutes, 31 seconds
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Bulgarian wine: over 4,000 years of history

Not many know that Bulgarian wine has a rich and storied history that dates back more than four thousand years. As one of the oldest wine-producing countries in Europe, Bulgaria has a winemaking tradition that is tied to its geography, culture and climate. As the wine industry developed over the centuries, adapting to both the political and economic changes of the times so has its quality, thus producing one of the most exceptional wines in the world. Bulgarian wine has an immense variety to offer which are often enjoyed with a range of dishes. Let's explore Bulgarian wine together with Emil Koralov and Ivaylo Katerski, and make it your next exciting wine experience destination! What you will learn from this episode: Rediscover the history behind the top-notch wines Bulgaria produces now. How to experience the superb taste of Bulgaria's indigenous grape and wine varieties. Explore the unique and exhilarating wine experiences and adventures available for a perfect wine experience. Discover the top Bulgarian vineyards, wineries and wine bars to visit and uncover the finest selection of their wines. Know why Bulgarian wine has become a must-have for connoisseurs around the world, and make it your next exciting wine experience destination. Emil Koralov is the founder and ideologist of the first Bulgarian wine magazine Bacchus in 1999. Ten years later in 2009 he founded DiVino - a website and wine magazine. He is the founder and main organizer of DiVino.Taste – the most significant Bulgarian wine event, as well as of other important wine events. In 2020 he became a co-founder of the Bulgarian Association of Wine Professionals. From autumn 2022 he opened his own wine bar with a selection of only Bulgarian wines with more than 300 labels. He is a wine connoisseur, expert and an experienced taster with a straight-out sense for the overall quality of wines. Connect with Emil Koralov: Instagram: @emilkoralov email:  [email protected] email: [email protected]  Ivaylo Katerski was born in 1980 in Sofia, married with 2 kids. His passion for quality wine and interesting wine destinations dates back for many years. In 2014 he started a project for wine and culinary tourism, called VIA VINO. For 9 years he had been creating and organizing private tours and exclusive wine and culinary experiences in charming wineries and regions. He received a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines Certified. He is also a licensed guide and has been a member of the Association of Bulgarian Tour Guides since 2015. In addition, he is a Co-founder and Chairman of the Bulgarian Association of Wine Professionals, associate member of the Bulgarian Association of Independent Winegrowers, and recommended in the leading German tourist guide DUMONT for Bulgaria. Connect with Ivaylo Katerski: Website: Email: [email protected] Topics Covered: 02:49 - An interest in wine sparked by events and people 04:11 - From publishing to winemaking 06:48 - From producing bulk wine to making exceptional quality wine 07:45 - The finest selection of Bulgarian wine in Emil's wine bar 09:05 - Choosing the perfect experience and adventure for wine tours 11:05 - Knowing Bulgaria's geographical area 12:05 - Where you can explore the beautiful Bulgarian vineyards and wineries 14:34 - Discovering English as Bulgarian people's second language [and welcoming guests both from the local and international scene] 17:03 - Insights gleaned from the pandemic and looking ahead to a brighter future for the wine industry 18:39 - A wine bar worth visiting in Sofia 19:49 - Sharing about Bulgarian grape varieties 20:49 - Describing the characteristics of a Mavrud wine variety 23:40 - Wine being more than a beverage 24:44 - Interesting reasons to visit and experience Bulgarian wines Quotes from Emil Koralov and Ivaylo Katerski: "During communism, wine was a disaster. It was mostly focused on the quantity, not on the quality." "One friend of mine bought a former Bulgarian communist winery." "The first ten years of my wine life were in Bacchus Magazine." "The most important thing that we are doing is the DiVino Taste. This is the main event for Bulgarian wines." "In Bulgaria, we have no more than 120 wineries." "We have a rule: only three different labels from one winery." "It's not about about big or small wineries. It's about quality." "Things are very dynamic in Bulgaria and things are changing very, very quickly. " "More and more wineries open the doors for visitors." "Mavrud is the flagship variety of Bulgaria. " "Wine is  a passion and wine is travel, wine is friendship. " "Evidence is that wine has been produced for more than 4,000 years in our country and territory."
5/17/202327 minutes, 59 seconds
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Carolina Muñoz: A Life and Art in Progress

Carolina Muñoz is a traveler, an artist, and a winemaker. She has lived in many countries, experienced many cultures, and applied her creativity to many disciplines. From photography to singing, her artistic inclinations have taken her around the world, but it wasn't until she found her place in Portugal that she found her true passion in the wine industry.  Let’s join Carolina as she shares her stories of adjusting to a new life and language, her creative pursuits, and her job as she helps people around the globe to enjoy and experience the perfect bottle of wine. What you will learn from this episode: Gain knowledge of the various tastes and flavors of wines to help clients in selecting the best one for their taste and food combinations. Uncover immersive techniques to pick up a new language quickly and how to adjust to day-to-day life in a foreign country. Find out how art and winemaking intertwine and unleash that creativity within. Learn about courses that broaden your understanding of wine. Carolina Muñoz Ospina was born in Colombia in a city called Medellín, where she grew up in a family surrounded by art. Her father sings and her mom used to do everything while listening to music. She spent her childhood singing with her sister and cousins on her mother's side and also dabbles in drawing. She also focused on photography, then worked as a professor of arts and photography performing some photography exhibitions and some other art-related activities for a while.  She married a brilliant engineer who turned out to be extremely passionate about the arts and especially music as well, which is why they had an instant connection after their meeting. In 2014 they lived for 4 years in Brazil for her husband’s doctorate where their first son was also born. After that, they returned to Colombia where their second child was born.  In 2019, while on a trip through Europe, they fell in love with Portugal, and found a way to move to Portugal at the end of 2020. The cultural shock was immediate but led to interesting discoveries including how important wine is in the social fabric of this country. Carolina always loved wine, but the only access she had were wines from Chile and Argentina. Since Colombia is not a wine producer, her knowledge about wines was non-existent and possibilities of changing that were very remote. Portugal presented her with a plethora of wine choices beyond what she could have imagined, so she delved deeper into this world of wine and pursued a course of study. She studied wine tourism and wine marketing, where she learned more than 200 types of grapes, various methods of winemaking, and all the different terroir. It made her realize that good wine is like a good work of art… lots of variables perfectly combined to make a masterpiece. It was the connection between her two passions. Now, she lives in a wine-producing region of Portugal (Alentejo) with a very long history of winemaking, learning every day, getting to know many different people from different backgrounds, and sharing a little of her passion and the little knowledge she has acquired. Connect with Carolina Muñoz: Email: [email protected]  Web side (of photography):  Instagram:                 Facebook: Topics Covered: 02:13 - Residing in a place deeply rooted in history of war and wine 03:46 - What brought Carolina to Portugal 07:51 - Studying and learning wine tourism and wine marketing 09:46 - Being fluent in three languages, including English, Spanish, and Portuguese [how she got to learn English and Portuguese] 15:17 - Gifted with a beautiful, mesmerizing singing voice that could pass for opera 16:01 - Living and breathing art: comparing wine making to art 18:38 - Learning the skill of knowing the taste and flavor of each variety of wines 23:00 - Explaining her role in the customers' wine-buying journey 24:42 - Food choices to go best with full-bodied red wines  27:43 - What it was like relocating from one country to another 29:31 - Capturing stunning images with her photography skills Quotes from Carolina Muñoz: “I was born in Colombia in Medellin.” “We fell in love, crazy in love with Portugal.” “We found a very beautiful place, full of stories, full of history, full of beaches, full of castles that we don't have in Colombia.”  “I always loved wine, but Colombia doesn't have wine.  We don't have seasons.” “The access that I have to wine is very limited.” “I study wine tourism and wine marketing.” “It's a very nice job because I like to meet people from around the world.” “The only logical way is to get involved and get used to the sound of the language.” “The first thing I did is to watch every news that you have at hand because they have a very neutral accent.” “The way the Portuguese people pronounce the same words from Brazil is completely different.” “Winemaking is some kind of art. You come up with some ingredients, some stuff, and you put it together in a magic formula to come up with something amazing.” “Each experience makes you adapt to the new culture, the new people, the new language, and is a process of creativity.” “You have  to modify yourself, then you become an art piece.” “The art is always going to be in my life.” “It's more like a thing, the connection with the other, something more social.” “I just capture moments and I collect them.”
5/3/202332 minutes, 53 seconds
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Tom and Janet say "Jabulani"

We have all heard of the romantic notion of vineyards and wineries, but what many of us don't know is the dedication, enthusiasm, and passion that go into the making of the bottle of wine we enjoy. From the farmers, who tend the vines and make sure the grapes are of the highest quality, to the winemakers who craft the wine, each and every step of the process requires an incredible amount of skill and dedication. In this episode, join Tom and Janet as they uncover the dedication and determination required to formulate the perfect bottle of wine. Find out about the challenges and struggles faced by the people behind the scenes, as well as the joy and satisfaction they get from doing what they love. Together, we'll explore the hard work and dedication that goes into making the perfect wine. What you will learn from this episode: Learn how to overcome struggles of having to contend with fluctuating temperatures and global warming Find out helpful ways to fight off frost-bite and fungus attacks in order not to mess up with the harvest. Discover additional revenue-generating means to keep the wine business running as well as ideas for charitable events. Hear of ideas and technology used by different wineries to make the best wines. Discover how this couple and the people in the winery are finding joy and contentment in their work, despite the hard work and dedication it requires. Hear about creative ways to do organic farming as well as fending off bugs and pests out to destroy the vines. Jabulani is a Zulu word meaning “Rejoice”, “the Spirit or Place of Happiness”. Jabulani is the home and business of Tom and Janet Moul. They bought the land in 2006 and broke ground for their home which eventually served as the original winery building. The first 600 vines were planted in 2007 and the first harvest was 2010. They opened the doors to the small winery in June of 2011. Back then, they had six products, five barrel tables and a small retail shop. Today, the farm has over 11,000 vines and over 20 products; a larger winery building (6000 sq ft) has been added to accommodate for the bigger harvest, a larger retail shop, an outdoor tasting patio (seats 160) and a summer event space (seats 120). The vineyard has 8 varietals; all cold climate grapes. A testament to the quality of the grapes and Tom’s wine making ability is their 23 awards; both national and international.  He has been making wine since he was 14 years old, in Southern Africa. Connect with Tom and Janet Muol: Website: Faceboolk: Instagram: Twitter: Topics Covered: 02:35 - Where to find Jabulani Winery 03:22 - Tom's interesting country of origin and where he first learned to make wine 04:02 - Getting into Canada, becoming a winemaker at the same time owning a winery [and the funny story how the two met] 08:42 - An amazing story of how the first planting of the grape vines took place 09:20 - Designing the house and building a winery with it [starting small but growing each year] 10:50 - Struggles and challenges of growing and cultivating the vines  15:33 - A narrative of hardwork and passion not merely of romantic imaginations 16:24 - What Tom considers a rewarding experience of being a winemaker and winery owner 18:18 - Events ideas that add up to wine business income [and creative ways to add in the fun and enjoyment] 20:29 - Charitable initiative drives 21:36 - How you can come and visit Jabulani Winery 22:44 - Having a bottling line and letting people to also join in the fun [plus their units of production in a year] 23:55 - A winery and  a home  24:30 - Revisiting South Africa and the the places they want to go next 26:33 - Breaking language barriers with wine [having fun visiting and learning from other wineries] 29:15 - Combatting problems with insects and bugs Quotes from Tom and Janet Muol: “Our winery's in Richmond, basically in the inside the city limits of Ottawa, which is the capital of Canada.” “We call it Siberia sometimes.” “I was born in southern Africa in a tiny little country, which used to be a British colony called Southern Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe eventually.” “I started making wine when I was a teenager, 14 years old.” “I always like to joke with people and say, one of the most silly things I ever did in my life was to do farming in Canada cause it's too cold to farm here.” “It turns out there's a thing called cold climate grapes, which have been cross-bred with Vitus Vinifera and Vitus Riparia, which actually grow really well here, and they make remarkably good wine.” “A firm called Ernst and Young actually came and actually wanted me to come and consult with the aerospace and defense industry.” “So when she first met me, basically she hated me. So I married her just to take a shortcut.” “When we found this land, I said, honey, you gotta come see this.” “In 2007, once we had bought the place and started building the house in the spring of that time, we started planting. “ “We put in our first 600. With a bucket, a shovel, and not even a hose.” “Our first harvest was in 2010 and it was small but it allowed us to open our doors in 2011. “ “I think our record in one day was something like 3000 vines.” “It takes lots of beer to make wine.” “We didn't realize that having a winery in Ottawa would actually be so popular.” “This up and down with the temperatures right now is very difficult.” “I fill a tractor with an atomizer sprayer and go up and down the barn from three o'clock until six o'clock in the morning.”  “So if you wanted to be an organic farmer, you make sure your neighbor to the west of you has soya. And the neighbor to the east of you has roses.”
4/19/202333 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ana Reis: Passionately Portuguese (Part 2)

With someone as passionate about wine as if they breathe it, it's no wonder you can sense their desire to learn more. Even though it might be difficult, one would go to great lengths to become more knowledgeable and skilled about wine and winemaking. Ana Reis personifies that. The great love she has for her craft, along with her energetic and fun nature, will ensure success for her.  Let's join Ana as she teaches and entertains us with her funny Portuguese wine names and fun stories about wine and the people involved. Let us marvel at her passion and dedication to her work. What you will learn from this episode: Find out about Portuguese wines with funny names, and their local grape varieties. Learn about what it takes to take a WSET course, the levels involved, and what those mean as you go from one level to the next. Discover Portuguese food and wine pairings that will leave you satiated, satisfied and enjoy a great experience. Ana Reis has been in the hospitality business practically all her life, worked only in Porto, Portugal - but in quite a few hotels. Portugal has an amazing wine culture and history and she’s trying to learn it… sip by sip. She’s looking forward to telling her story! She was born and raised in Porto, Portugal. She’s 30 years old and has been in the hospitality business almost since birth, believe it not!   Her mother had a small catering and events company and from a very young age she started helping her and developing her love for this difficult but rewarding career.    She studied hospitality management and worked in a lot of well-known hotels in Porto like Sheraton, Intercontinental and Yeatman.    Ana started by waiting tables, switched to bartending and after some years, discovered her love for wine and took the WSET level 2 and now she’s on her way to get the WSET level 3.    Portugal has some of the oldest and most amazing wine regions in the world, so it's not hard not to be fascinated by this subject... just like Ana is.  Connect with Ana Reis:  LinkedIn: Instagram: Topics Covered: 02:31 - What does WSET stand for [and the levels associated with it]? 07:25 - Funny Portuguese wine names 11:09 - How expensive is it to name a grape variety? 12:09 - How 'random grapes' [Kaput] are made into wine 13:12 - What made her pursue WSET level 3 13:55 - Ana's important reminder  14:26 - How the hospitality business afforded her to travel the world without going out of her city 17:03 - A culture, life, and hard work that is inside a bottle of wine 18:33 - Loving food pairings [a to-die-for wine that goes best with rare steak] 21:29 - Talking about the 'green wine' that people often refer to 23:19 - The beauty of the Portuguese language Quotes from Ana Reis: "WSET stands for Wine and Spirit Education Trust." "So it's just the first crush of the grapes, the red skin grapes. We get a little bit of color, and that's the rose." "It's addicting because you learn about the history and there's so much of the world history around wine." "You start thinking about it, you start studying and you just want to go, want to get more and more information." "Since Portuguese, such an old wine country, the old people used to name grapes whatever it came to their mind." "There's a red grape called, which means in English, "strangle a dog."  "Malvasia Corada is the name of a grape and she's embarrassed for some reason." "I need to learn more about wine because you just realize how much there is to know." "I've traveled the world without getting out of my city because I meet people from all over the place." "Something like someone's whole life is inside that bottle, like a little piece of their whole life is there and a lot of hours." "Portuguese cuisine is very rich, very flavorful."
4/5/202325 minutes, 9 seconds
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Don't Buy and Sell, Buy and Cellar!

Exploring the world of wine can be a fun and exciting journey. From discovering the different varieties, to learning about the production process, to finding the perfect bottle for your palate, the possibilities are endless. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or a novice explorer, the thrill of discovering new wines and tasting them is sure to be a memorable experience. Let's take a listen at this episode as Curtis Stephenson shares how he and his partners started a wine business that brings in world class wines from all over the world providing an avenue for anyone on the lookout for finding, tasting, enjoying, and experiencing wines that will help you get the most out of your wine-tasting adventures. What you will learn from this episode: Find out how wine agencies work and how do you stand out from competition from among the many around. Discover how they've managed to ride it out through the pandemic despite opening a wine business at the beginning of the first COVID lockdown. Learn how they source their wines and choose producers all over the world and pick the best and the great ones. Understand the role of wine agencies in the importation of wines and how the LCBO does its part in making sure of the quality of wines and adherence to standards. Find out the important considerations when importing wines from anywhere in the world. Hear of initiatives of representing small wineries around the globe and providing them avenues to introduce their wines to a big Canadian market, especially Ontario. Find out what differentiates the Buyers+Cellars tasting bar from the rest of the wine bars in Ottawa. After more than 20 years in the hospitality sector, Curtis Stephenson embodies the exceptional customer service and professionalism that drive fine dining and enhance guest experiences. He has used his knowledge and skills to develop the next generation of service professionals and in 2016 he helped open one of Canada’s top new restaurants. Curtis brings a passion to his role at Buyers+Cellars and is excited to take his Ottawa tasting room guests on an unforgettable journey through the world of wine. Connect with Curtis Stephenson: Website: Topics Covered: 03:53 - Getting to know Curtis and what paved the way for his introduction to the wine industry 11:34 - Opening a wine business just when first lockdowns started because of COVID and surviving the whole challenge 15:35 - Understanding the role of wine agencies and the process of importing wines where the LCBO is concerned 17:47 - Can we buy in bulk orders from the Ottawa tasting room? 20:03 - Where and how do they source their wines? 25:38 - Looking forward to travelling to these two beautiful countries which have excellent wines in the world 27:35 - What inspires Curtis everyday? 29:38 - The best thing about the Tasting Room 31:07 - How wine lets you connect to your very self Quotes from Curtis Stephenson: “We always had wine in our household and I was introduced to wine at a very young age.” “It was very common to actually expose your children at a very young age to a little bit of wine, because that's just what you did in Europe.” “I started out just as many, many people do in the restaurant industry by starting as a dishwasher.” “Going through school I was very into art history and philosophy and that was my benchmark. And then realized, probably not going to get a real good career in that.” “I really just loved the romantic nature of fine dining.” “It was all about fine wines and I knew nothing like I was 20 years old and just cutting my teeth on just hospitality in general.” “I was just at the beginning level. I knew that I loved it. I was exposed to it at a young age, but I didn't know enough.” “And that changed my life from then on because after that point, it was everything wine.” “Wine is so subjective, of course, as you know, and I love the technical aspects of wine.” “I just really fell in love with finding things for someone else that they would love.” “If you think you know everything, that's when you have to be really humble because you never know everything.” “We wanted to do things differently. Go to areas in the world that are just underrepresented that make amazing wines, things we never see in the L C B O or SAQ if you are in Quebec.” “We really had to navigate through those first three months and two years with a lot of like deft hands and getting outside the box.” “There's very little known when it comes to the process of importing wine for a private wine agency.” “We're always looking for that next great winery so that we can have a lot for our customers here, both in the tasting room and for our restaurants as well.” “What we try to do, we try to take a step back and look at the market as a whole here in Ontario.” “We love to get small wine makers that are family-owned, definitely organic and sometimes natural as well.” “Now, when you have that many winemakers in one spot, of course you have to be very astute of what you're doing because there's no way you can taste all of them. Otherwise you're coming home in a body bag.” “We're looking for those Goldilocks kind of territories when it comes to price point, uniqueness and drinkability.” “I love to challenge and I never want to bring in guests and just to, just to do the basics.” “Wine for me is something that's way more romantic than anything else when it comes to spirits and anything like that.”  
3/22/202335 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ana Reis: Passionately Portuguese (Part 1)

You are sure to have a great conversation when you feel the passion of the person in front of you. That's Ana Reis for you, sharing the fun, excitement, and enjoyment that wine has brought to her life and what comes with it and the people she encounters every day in the career she has  chosen and loves dearly. Listen in now as Ana shares fascinating facts about the beautiful city she lives in, the country she loves so much, and the wine industry she is so passionate about and finding so much fun in. And it's not complete without her sharing about Porto wines and their amazing history and what makes it, and all other Portuguese wines the best in the world. What you'll learn from this episode: Find out what fire opening a bottle of port wine is and how it's done properly to preserve the wine's taste and have the best experience of the wine. Hear about the different kinds of Port wines and the best food pairings you can have. Understand the temperature at which Port wines are best served. Ana Reis has been in the hospitality business practically all her life, worked only in Porto, Portugal - but in quite a few hotels. Portugal has an amazing wine culture and history and she’s trying to learn it… sip by sip. She’s looking forward to telling her story! She was born and raised in Porto, Portugal. She’s 30 years old and has been in the hospitality business almost since birth, believe it not!   Her mother had a small catering and events company and from a very young age she started helping her and developing her love for this difficult but rewarding career.    She studied hospitality management and worked in a lot of well-known hotels in Porto like Sheraton, Intercontinental and Yeatman.    Ana started by waiting tables, switched to bartending and after some years, discovered her love for wine and took the WSET level 2 and now she’s on her way to get the WSET level 3.    Portugal has some of the oldest and most amazing wine regions in the world, so it's not hard not to be fascinated by this subject... just like Ana is.    Connect with Ana Reis:  LinkedIn: Instagram: Topics Covered: 03:28 - Sharing fascinating facts about herself, the city she lives in, and the country she loves dearly 06:57 - Ana's fun and enjoyable moment of meeting Laurel  07:44 - The story behind the fire opening a bottle of port wine and what makes it a fortified wine 13:23 - Different kinds of Port wines and the food pairings that best go with it [what it takes to declare it a vintage] 17:53 - Fascinating things to hear about vintage wines and how it's done -- fire opening a bottle of port wine [and why do it that way] 20:42 - The Physics behind fire opening a bottle of port wine 21:45 - How to best serve Port wine [ the best temperature that goes with it plus the food pairings you can have] Quotes from Ana Reis: “Portugal is almost 1,000 years old.” “Porto is the best destination in the world for the 5th year in a row according to the NY Times.”   “So I started going behind a bar which was super illegal at the time because I was serving alcohol when I was12 years old.” “I started waiting tables then went on to bartending and then I got stung by the wine bug.” “We were doing a memorable ritual, which consists of fire opening a bottle of wine and doing some chocolate truffles.” “Port is basically a fortified wine.” “People would used to think I was so funny because I already thought I was a  grown woman.” “I started waiting tables then went on to bartending and then I got stung by the wine bug.” “The fire opening a bottle of wine is quite a show, of course, but it does serve a very important purpose.” “Last year I think it was authorized for Tawny to be, uh, 50 years old.” “If you have two farms next to each other, there is a possibility that one of the Rubys from that farm is the vintage and the other one is not.” “You just put some extremely hot, like hell hot tongues around the neck of the bottle for like 30 seconds to a minute.”
3/8/202325 minutes, 47 seconds
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Akis Papadopoulos: From University to Head Winemaker in One Step

As you grow grapes and achieve your desired outcome, you get to test your patience as well. Risk is involved, and those brave enough to take that risk succeed. Take a look at Akis Papadopoulos' foray into winemaking. At first, he didn't think winemaking was for him. At the back of his mind, he wanted to give it a try so that's exactly what he did. Then he started studying in France and honing his knowledge in the wine industry, specifically winemaking. Having gained experience and knowledge abroad, he returned to Greece to become a winemaker. Even though things were never easy, he rose above them, and now he can only look back with a smile on his face. The wines he produces have won numerous awards and the world gets to taste and enjoy them. What you will learn from this episode: Find out how one can produce quality wine even from those not among your country's indigenous varieties. Hear about different grape varieties [both local and international] that Art Wine Estate cultivates and which produce high quality wines. Know the important factors that go into the winemaking process. Discover ways to plant and grow vines that can withstand global climate change. Learn about the key virtue that will help you attain desired results in the winemaking business. Akis Papadopoulos is a second-generation winemaker. His initial introduction to winemaking came from watching his father Yannis, a civil engineer by profession, making his own wine. He soon realized that winemaking is both an art and a science and decided to equip himself with the academic tools and knowledge to support his natural love for wine. To that end he first studied at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece and after acquiring his diploma in Chemistry he moved to France to attend Faculté d’Oenologie, the prestigious University in Bordeaux. While staying in Bordeaux he gained valuable experience working in Chateaux like Haut-Bergey and Grand Mouëys. After graduating from the University of Bordeaux he returned to Greece to take over the winemaking process at the “Wine Art” Estate. Being “Wine Art” Estate’s head winemaker since 2010 his wines have been awarded more than 250 medals and received high scores from the most important international wine magazines. Connect with Akis Papadopoulos: Website: Facebook: Topics Covered: 00:54 - How his journey in the wine industry started, and where his education took him to 02:45 - Living the magic of Bordeaux and not being bothered by the language barrier 04:39 - Going back to Greece and becoming the winemaker 06:36 - One particular job closest to his heart that he would choose among the many aspects of winemaking 08:00 - Producing quality wines from other vine varieties apart from Greece's indigenous kinds 09:46 - Cultivating non-native grape varieties at the start and now focusing on the indigenous kind 14:21 - Factors that contribute to making the wine [plus the type of soil that Art Wine Estate grow their vines on] 15:55 - Planting vines with a globally challenged climate 19:00 - Art Wine Estate's estimated annual wine production and where do they sell it to 22:49 - Producing award-receiving wines [and sharing which distinction comes close to his heart] 24:47 - Talking about his daughter, who's likely to follow in his footsteps, and the number of women winemakers in Greece 27:00 - Sharing about Drama region's temperature and weather conditions, and the effects of climate change on the grapes 28:36 - What he loves to do apart from making wine Quotes from Aki Papadopoulos: “At the time that I was finishing high school, the winery was already established.” “Once I finished my studies in Thessaloniki, I went to Bordeaux for two years.” “I was able to also to gain in terms of working experience, as I have done two harvests at two different chateaus in Bordeaux.” “When I came back and took over winemaking in 2009, 2010 actually, it was kind of a heavy burden.” “At the same time, I was very motivated and intrigued by the responsibility of being the one making the wines at the estate.” “There's no room for mistakes.” “I'm mostly involved in making wine and the marketing part as well, which is very intriguing for me to promote the wines to people not only in Greece, but also abroad.” “Over the last, let's say three decades, there was a huge progress done in terms of quality of Greek wines.” “Over the last 20 years, we made a turn and we've now been focusing on indigenous Greek varieties.” “We have added more and more indigenous varieties to our portfolio like Malagousia, which is quite floral but quite complex at the same time.” “The grapes need a minimum of 10 years in order to show you a glimpse of their potential.” “We have a vineyard that was planted last year at 1,100 meters above sea level.” “When we first started harvesting 30 years ago, we started around early September while the last, let's say five years, the harvest begins in early August, which is a month prior to what it used to be.” “Our total production is 400,000 bottles a year of red, white, and rose wines.” “Our wines have received more than 300 awards over the last 25 years.”  
2/22/202329 minutes, 36 seconds
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Joy and laughter at a winery with Konstantina Goula

It's fun to work when you enjoy what you do and are passionate about it. No matter your struggles and challenges, you will find joy, happiness, and meaning in everything surrounding you. It also rubs off on those around you. It's no wonder this family-owned winery radiates that kind of feeling. Because of her passion for wine and winemaking, Konstantina Goula left everything to study wine and winemaking to gain more profound knowledge. That is how dedicated she is to making wine a business. Additionally, she seeks to position Greek wines on the international market. It's a tough job, for sure. The way she does it, it seems like she's having fun. Indeed, that is staying true to that happy spirit she personifies and spreads throughout the rest of the winery, including with the guests who visit. What you'll learn from this episode: Learn about how wine permeates so much of everyday life that it becomes a part of the culture, customs, and tradition. Find out about wine masters courses available abroad to have a more profound knowledge of wine. Overcoming language barriers when studying wine courses abroad. Understand the dynamics of a family-owned winery and how to balance the professional and personal relationships involved. Learn to keep that vibe of wine connecting people and creating memories that people love to return to. Konstantina Goula accidentally discovered the fascinating world of tasting. Believing in the power of extroversion and wanting to contribute to the promotion of Greek wines on the international market, she decided a few months later to change her professional orientation and combine her passion for wine with her love for hospitality and work in Wine Tourism. The decision to leave everything behind and pursue her dream led her to France, the capital of wine where she studied and lived for the next 3 years. Many unique experiences followed and many moves to different regions that always aimed to develop her knowledge of wine. In 2017, she graduated from the Department of Wine Tourism, completing a professional Master of Business Administration in wine and communication at the Institut Supérieur du Vin in Montpellier. Part of the curriculum she attended includes; Tasting, Winemaking, Viticulture, Wine Tourism & History of Wine, Marketing and Communication, Public Relations and Wine Sales. For two years she worked in the Events and Wine Tourism Department at famous wineries in Burgundy and Provence and had the opportunity to discover the secrets of different wine-growing regions. But mostly, she realized that this elusive world of art and wine belonged to the same spectrum of expression of emotions. In her 3 years of wine wandering, she travelled a lot, visited endless vineyards and cellars of the last century, tasted the finest wines, discovered the delicious world of gastronomy and toured various wine routes. When they asked her what brought her to France, she explained that just as many follow their loved ones to other places, so she decided to follow her own love, which is none other than wine. However, throughout this wine search wherever she was, she was always drawn back like a magnet to her place. The family winery "Ktima ta'Apostoli", in the village of her carefree childhood, was her own cultural heritage waiting for her to take over and continue it. In September 2019, feeling that a cycle was closing, she decided to dare to return to a time when all her friends and acquaintances chose to leave Greece during the crisis. A crisis that troubled her too. Many people told her to go back and that it was reckless, but they told her the same when she left because she left behind an already successful career path. But they are one of those beautiful indiscretions that do not obey logic but have the power to change lives. Connect with Konstantina Goula: Website: Topics Covered: 02:44 - The beautiful City in Greece where Konstantina lives 04:06 - How wine and everything about it became a part of her life [ plus sharing how she left everything to follow a career path in winemaking] 07:24 - Talking about studying and taking her master's in France and the challenges of learning it bilingually [English and French] 09:02 - How she prepared for the challenges ahead concerning her master's education in France [ and how she would find English translation for her French Wine class] 11:32 - What it takes to finish her master's course in France 13:20 - Sharing about the thesis she wrote and what it centers on [and how wine becomes an iconic part of everyday life] 15:40 - Seeing bigger demand for wine and taking the initiative to position Greek wines in the international market 17:01 - From France to working in her family-owned winery 19:04 - Balancing family and professional relationships when working in a family-owned winery 22:25 - Upcoming developments, plans, priorities, and exciting events happening for Konstantina's family-owned winery 25:05 - Finding joy and fun in what she does 26:29 - The laughter and happiness that fills the winery Quotes from Konstantina Goula: "Wine is about connecting people, and that's why winemaking is a very, very important part when you have a winery. But sharing all this with the people and having them visit you is the most amazing feeling because they are part of your world." "My degree, the bachelor that I had, was about English language and foreign languages. And my master's was about wine tourism and wine marketing. So my master's was bilingual, but mainly it was in French. And I had a very, very hard time because everything was in another language, not my mother tongue. " "When there is a will, there is a way." "I needed deeper and more profound knowledge of winemaking and wine marketing. So I took the decision that for a year I'm going to stop working and I'm going to study." "The internship really helped me right away to put all the theoretical parts into practice. And then it really helped me to find a job. In France, there were so many job vacancies in wine tourism and events organizations." "Asking and being very patient really helped me to finish my master's and then focus on work." "We have wine as part of everyday life. Wine as part of exceptional situations, wine as part of people coming together. And this is actually people creating memories by sharing wine. " "Wine was also part of tradition, of culture, of customs throughout the centuries. And it's historically proven that in ancient Greece and other civilizations, it was one of the most iconic parts of everyday life." "And I believe that because of the whole development of different techniques on winemaking, it's very important to preserve all these traditions and bring them to the modern era." "I was always afraid that I wouldn't be able to balance the personal relationship that you have with your family and the professional limits that you need to set when you work on a professional project." "What is very positive is that my dad, who is in charge with me, is very open-minded. In the beginning, he reacts because change can be very triggering. But at the end of the day, he agreed with the changes I proposed." "However, I understand that he [my dad] has the experience, I respect that, and we decided to take the change step by step."
2/8/202329 minutes, 17 seconds
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From coconut water to wine (Part 2)

As a result of studying winemaking in Europe, Aniruddha Rajagopalan has traveled around the world, experiencing different cultures and learning different languages. Along the way, he built friendships and a network of passionate wine enthusiasts. Passion and hard work are behind the best wines he tasted and enjoyed. After working for both big and small wineries, his experiences showed him that wine-making is nothing like what is romanticized in movies - he got a real understanding of what the actual work is like in wineries. Nevertheless, he also enjoyed himself and had a good time. During this episode, we follow Ani as he travels the world, gets back to India and works at a winery that produces one of the best wines in the world, and finally, lives in Ottawa, Canada. What you will learn from this episode: Understand that winemaking is not all that romantic idea of how the movies would let us fantasize about it [it's all about hard work and dedication] Learn about India's winery located in one of India's historic sites and considered a UNESCO heritage [plus what made their wines one of the best in the world which have won awards from prestigious international bodies] Find out the Indian grape varieties they grow and the geographical location they are situated in and where they export their award-winning wines. Know about his travels that allowed him work and fun and what drew him to Canada and start afresh as a winemaker. Aniruddha Rajagopalan was born in India. He earned a degree in Microbiology at St. Joseph College in Bangalore, India. As the opportunity opened up for him, he went to study and finish MSc in Viticulture and Oenology at Montpellier, France and Geisenheim, Germany. He is proficient in both French and German languages. His work experiences include: Project trainee at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, IISc/ in Bangalore, India, a cellarhand at Weingut Schloss Reinhartshausen and Wein und Sekthaus Schlossbergh in Eltville-Erbach and in Bingen, Germany, respectively. He was also once a cellarhand this time at Spring Creek Vintners Ltd. in Marlborough, New Zealand. Before coming to Canada, his last post was at KRSMA Estates Pvt. Ltd in Karnataka, India, as winemaker. And currently, he is now a consulting winemaker at Fernwood Estates, Bainsville, ON; at the same time a tasting room staff at Buyers and Cellars Tasting Room, Ottawa, ON and a viticultural specialist at Databaum, Basel, Switzerland. Connect with Aniruddha Rajagopalan: Instagram: LinkedIn: Email: [email protected] Topics Covered: 01:42 - An Experience he considers completely different, nothing he'd imagined after finishing his master's degree 05:08 - The hard work behind the winemaking in a large winery and the friendships made with people across the globe 07:09 - Finally heading back for India this time, after having been to a couple of countries and applying what he's learned from his studies and experiences working as a harvester and winemaker 08:47 - Describing the winery in India where he works, its geographical location, and weather conditions 09:48 - What grape variety do they grow in KRSMA Estates in India? [plus a detailed description of the vineyard's soil type, the temperature it is subjected to, and how it affects the grape's flavor and taste and also the wine] 14:17 - Where do Indian wineries export to? 15:00 - What brought him to Ottawa, Canada and not to any of the countries he had traveled to? 18:59 - How he ended up working in the wine bar at the same time being a winemaker 21:42 - Enjoying what he's doing now, experiencing all the aspects of the wine industry 22:44 - What he loves about Canada that surprised him Quotes from Aniruddha Rajagopalan: “I'd gone from working in a winery that did about, let's say, 500 tons of grapes a year to another winery that did 50 tons of grapes a year, and now to a winery that did 10,000 tons of grapes a year. And, it was completely different.” “We were just constantly cycling through eight presses and filling them, pressing them, emptying them, cleaning them. Then they get filled again, then pressed again, emptied and cleaned. And this winery worked 24 hours and we worked 12 hour shifts.” “It's exactly as you said where you'd gone from being this very idealistic student with lofty ideas of how wine is made with ideas that could fill a million romantic novels about wine making into something that was completely the opposite. It was the antithesis of everything that you would understood and thought of wine making about, and that was a bit of a shock.” “I knew that viticulture in India is very different because we don't have winters or we don't have very harsh winters.” “Winters are very mild, and so there's no dormancy, and so you need to do your viticulture slightly differently.” “We were taught, and now we know that grape wines can handle temperatures of up to 50, 52 degrees before they die.” “Along with the concentration of the fruity characters, you also had the concentration of the tannins.” “The winery where I worked was seven hours' drive from Bangalore where my wife worked so it was starting to become a little bit unsustainable.” “We started looking at places, at countries where you might find the vineyards to be closer to the cities so we could both pursue our careers and still be together.” “Canada turned out to be one of those countries which we both liked. And so we decided we'd move to Canada.” “We agreed that I'd work as a part-time consulting winemaker (at a winery near Alexandria).” “On the one hand I can make wine and I understand the production aspect of it. And on the other hand, I get to sell it and see it served and talk about wines and how they taste, how they're made, and basically the marketing side of it.” “There are certain aspects of life here that are unusual for someone coming from India. One being very positive is that I have never seen people who are so happy for so much of the time.”          
1/25/202326 minutes, 29 seconds
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From coconut water to wine (Part 1)

Tinkering with coconut water and life in the laboratory was not what Aniruddha Rajagopalan was meant to do. Instead, he became a winemaker. The funny thing is, he had no exposure to wine growing up. The alcoholic beverages that he knew were popular in India were spirits and beer. Indian people consume far less wine each year than you might think, plus Indian culture discourages drinking alcohol. As unusual as it may be, meet an Indian winemaker. In this episode, Ani talks about how he was fortunate to study winemaking abroad in Europe as well as learn foreign languages. As a result, he was able to travel on various adventures across the globe and discover all the essential aspects of winemaking. What you will learn from this episode: Find out about India's young wine industry including an interesting fact about people's consumption of alcoholic beverages. Learn about how he became a winemaker by first tinkering with coconut water in the lab. Discover and understand the real work that goes behind winemaking. Know how to become a well-rounded winemaker and also be adept at marketing, finance, and the selling aspects of it. Get to understand the importance of decision-making and the organizational matters that go with winemaking, especially that of a small winery. Learn how to scout for educational opportunities about winemaking in prestigious schools around the globe and travel for work and leisure. Find out the best ways to learn foreign languages like French and German. Aniruddha Rajagopalan was born in India. He earned a degree in Microbiology at St. Joseph College in Bangalore, India. As the opportunity opened up for him, he went to study and finish MSc in Viticulture and Oenology at Montpellier, France, and Geisenheim, Germany. He is proficient in both French and German languages. His work experiences include: Project trainee at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, IISc/ in Bangalore, India, a cellarhand at Weingut Schloss Reinhartshausen and Wein und Sekthaus Schlossbergh in Eltville-Erbach and in Bingen, Germany, respectively. He was also once a cellarhand this time at Spring Creek Vintners Ltd. in Marlborough, New Zealand. Before coming to Canada, his last post was at KRSMA Estates Pvt. Ltd in Karnataka, India, as winemaker. And currently, he is now a consulting winemaker at Fernwood Estates, Bainsville, ON; at the same time a tasting room staff at Buyers and Cellars Tasting Room, Ottawa, ON, and a viticultural specialist at Databaum, Basel, Switzerland. Connect with Aniruddha Rajagopalan: Instagram: LinkedIn: Email: [email protected] Topics Covered: 04:09 - Sharing about his birthplace and where he is originally from 05:23 - India's staple alcoholic beverages 06:04 - When did the first winery in India was put up, and Indian people's average consumption 07:15 - Becoming a winemaker, even with no exposure to wine in his childhood and early adult life 12:29 - Taking the chance to go to Europe for a Vinifera Euromasters education 13:55 - Being well-versed in foreign languages [how he managed to learn six languages, especially French and German] 16:34 - One good thing about studying in Europe regarding winemaking and what it was about it that shocked him [the hard work involved behind winemaking] 22:54 - More realizations about winemaking while on the job with a small winery 23:59 - Becoming a winemaker for the first time [having control over how the wine was made and dealing with all the other important aspects of winemaking] 26:55 - Why every bit of decision matter in a small winery Quotes from Aniruddha Rajagopalan: “Spirits and beer are the most popular alcoholic beverages in India.“ “The early eighties was when the first winery was established in India.” “I remember reading a statistic about 15 years ago which said the average per capita consumption of wine in India was one teaspoon's worth (per year).” “What I was doing in my research work there at the Center for Sustainable Technologies was trying to ferment coconut water.” “I started reading books about wine, about wine making, to see how much of those ideas I could employ in fermenting coconut water.” “The good thing about the program I studied in Europe was that the holidays between the first year and the second year kind of coincided with the European harvest. So you could spend your holiday working the harvest.” “My idea of how wine was made was completely different from what it turned out to be.” “I thought it would all just be press a button here, press a button there, and then the wine gets made and there you go. Bob's your Uncle . Then that first harvest kind of opened my eyes to it. The first day at the winery, I spent half an hour just like wrapping up hoses to make them neat and circular.” “There's so much organizational stuff that you have to keep your eye on and keep thinking about.” “I came to absolutely despise beautiful days because I knew that on the days where the weather was very good, the harvester would be running full time and you'd get truck upon truck upon truck and we'd sometimes we'd work 14, 15 hours days.” “On the days when it rained, it was six hours, and then they'd say, well, the harvester can't go anymore. So it was done for the day. I would love those raining days.” “The first time that I got to be a winemaker, so to speak, where I thought about how I wanted to do it, how I wanted it to turn out and things like that. And that was great fun.” “Working in this very, very small winery gave me a little bit of perspective about how an establishments of that size, every decision you take matters a great deal because you're making only 4,000 liters of wine.” “You can't really afford to mess up a thousand liters of wine, because that's a quarter of a year's production.”          
1/11/202329 minutes, 14 seconds
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Top 10 Wine Experiences for 2022

We are all looking forward to what the new year has in store for us. However, now is a good time to reflect on what we have accomplished during this year. What makes the wine industry worthwhile is the people, passion, and experiences that come with the pleasure of tasting, drinking, and enjoying wine. Laurel Simmons rounds up her top 10 best experiences on today's Wine Behind the Scenes episode. Here are those that made it to the list: #10: Wine in Costa Rica #9: Crete #8: I4C – the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Conference #7: Bulgaria #6: Athens and the surrounding area #5: The unnamed grape #4: Aristotle and the vineyard #3: Being a wine judge #2: Off-road and yelling at Gladys #1: The WBTS podcast Come along with Laurel as she explores wine and vineyard destinations that promise tasting, drinking, dining, meeting people, travel, and experiences worth remembering and visiting. You'll get enchanted by the beauty of the places, fascinated by the stories of meeting and connecting with people, and captivated by the history coming alive for you. Also, find out what makes it an amazing year and one of the best ever for Laurel. Connect with Laurel Simmons: Website:
12/28/202222 minutes, 51 seconds
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The Vines, the Greek and the English girl (Part 2)

Passion plays an important role in the success of a winemaking business. Continuous education, further study, and research contribute to consistent innovation. Growing your business is a great opportunity for you to grow as a business owner as well. As new wineries sprout, you need to stay relevant by continually evolving. That said, doing other businesses related to winemaking can also be considered. In this episode, Anne Kokotos discusses the ways she followed in developing her business - taking further studies, travelling, and meeting amazing people in the wine industry at events she attended all over the world. This keeps her well-informed about wine, winemaking, and the entire wine business. What you will learn from this episode: Learn about the courses to take for basic knowledge and how far you'd go for research and studies to widen your knowledge. Discover potential side businesses from winemaking. Find out wine marketing strategies that involve teaching children about winemaking Hear how Greeks continue the age-old tradition of making wine a part of their culture and diet. Learn how to build a beautiful home and family life while managing a successful winemaking business. Anne Kokotos was born in London in 1951. She grew up between a London boarding school in Surrey and her country house in Suffolk. In 1972 she came to Greece for a summer job – she's still there! She got married in 1975 to George Kokotos (civil engineer), and they bought some land in Stamata, Attiki, in 1979, and moved into their house with their baby daughter. In 1980 they planted their vineyard – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Chardonnay. The year after, 1981, they produced their first wine from the local Savatiano grape – bought in from local vineyards. In 1983, they picked their first crop of C.S., and their son was born, too. And they have moved on from there, planting more vineyards and now producing 12 different labels from varieties Savatiano, Roditis, Asyrtiko, Malagouzia, Agiorgitiko Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Gewurtztraminer. Their daughter now lives on the property with her husband and 2 children. Their son lives in London, where he is a partner in a company that imports Greek wines and delicatessen, mostly from small organic producers. Connect with Anne Kokotos: Website: Topics Covered: 02:41 - Courses she took that were useful for the wine business and how far she traveled for her research 04:41 - Expanding her knowledge about wine due to discoveries of new grape varieties and offshoots of new wineries 06:28 - Already living a fulfilled life that she can't imagine doing anything other than winemaking 07:30 - Organizing activities and events for children that ties back to winemaking and marketing the wines 10:07 - Greek wine laws and how wine is a part of Greek culture and diet 12:05 - Making biscuits and sweets as a byproduct of wine 13:05 - Practicing sustainable living and becoming a grape seed supplier of beauty products and possibilities of more side businesses Quotes from Anne Kokotos: "I did go to France for a couple of years running at that time, to the Institute of Masters of Wine, which is based in England." "I met all sorts of people with whom I stayed in contact for years, from sommeliers to other producers, to oenologists from all over Europe." "Only by tasting the wines can you build up the memory and the knowledge." "I did taste at the International Wine Competition. Three or four years in London, which was again a great experience because you get to taste with other people who are very experienced and tasting wines from all over the world." "If I hadn't taken that flight 50 years ago, who knows?" "It's so much in the culture, in the diet that Greek children grew up, you know, with a knowledge of wine just sipping occasionally." "From two years ago, we take the stalk, the skins, and the seeds, which have all been composted by now, and we spread it on the fields as an organic fertilizer." "In Greece, we make those wonderful dolmades, which are stuffed grape leaves."                    
12/14/202218 minutes, 20 seconds
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The Vines, the Greek and the English girl (Part 1)

Getting on that flight to Greece many summers ago changed Anne Kokotos' life. Along with meeting a Greek husband, she fell in love with Greece. Soon, she began learning the language, which led to a life spent in vineyards, winemaking, and running her own business. Despite not knowing much about winemaking at the start, she and her husband have kept it going with much passion and dedication to grow it to what it is today. Anne tells the story of how she made her way to Greece, stayed and found her place, married a Greek, and raised a family while building a successful wine business. What you will learn from this episode: Find out what made Anne go to Greece decades ago and never uproot herself since. Discover what drove Anne and her husband to get into the winery business despite it being hard work and demanding much of one's time. Hear of beautiful memories created within and around the vineyard and winemaking. Get a peek into the culture and tradition of Greek families, including little children, where vineyard and winemaking are concerned. Learn interesting facts and surprising discoveries surrounding the centuries-old wine industry. Know the challenges of winemakers and farmers in the wine industry and the passion displayed, struggles notwithstanding. Find out creative ways of learning a foreign language, like Greek. Anne Kokotos was born in London in 1951. She grew up between London boarding school in Surrey and her country house in Suffolk. In 1972 she came to Greece for a summer job – she's still there! She got married in 1975 to George Kokotos (civil engineer), and they bought some land in Stamata, Attiki, in 1979, and moved into their house with their baby daughter. In 1980 they planted their vineyard – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Chardonnay. The year after, 1981, they produced their first wine from the local Savatiano grape – bought in from local vineyards. About the same year, in 1983, they picked their first crop of C.S., and their son was born, too. And they have moved on from there, planting more vineyards and now producing 12 different labels from varieties Savatiano, Roditis, Asyrtiko, Malagouzia, Agiorgitiko Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and Gewurtztraminer. Their daughter now lives on the property with her husband and 2 children. Their son lives in London, where he is a partner in a company that imports Greek wines and delicatessen, mostly from small organic producers. Connect with Anne Kokotos: Website: Topics Covered: 02:18 - Making a home life side by side with her family's business in the vineyard for decades now 02:44 - A transplanted English girl in Greece 03:03 - Falling in love with Greece many summers ago and never looking back since [what completely drew her in] 04:16 - Sharing the vineyard's geographical location and the weather conditions 05:22 - What inspired her to start a winery despite it requiring a lot of work 07:12 - Taking professional advice and furthering education as they continued on after their first crop [plus sharing her husband's beautiful memories of the vineyards being a part of his life early on in childhood] 10:43 - Continuous new wine variety discoveries despite Greek's wine industry in existence for thousands of years 11:19 - Speaking fluent Greek despite facing difficulty learning it 13:20 - From a side hustle to a full-scaled business [running a winery is an all-year-round full-time job] 17:01 - Melding the different roles of wife, mother, and entrepreneur [ building winery business alongside a family and home life ] 18:44 - Relating a devastating phenomenon that she considered one of the most challenging times for the vineyard Quotes from Anne Kokotos: "I came out to Greece in 1972 when I was 21." "A friend of a friend rang me up and said, how would you like to spend the summer on a Greek island?" "We're at an altitude of 420 meters, and we get snow more or less every year." "We leapt into winemaking without thinking at all." "The municipality we live in is called Dionysus (the god of wine)." "George turned me one day and said, why don't we plant a vineyard? And I said, why not?" "We've taken professional advice because we had no idea what we were doing." "In 1980, when we were starting out, some of the Greek varieties, which are extraordinarily popular nowadays within Greece, people didn't know them." "We're in a country where they've been making and drinking wine for thousands of years, yet we're still discovering new grape varieties." "Every time I go to the Greek wine fair, which happens every year in the spring, there are not only new wineries but new wine varieties that I'd never heard of." "One of the difficulties with Greek, of course, is that it's a different alphabet. So you can't just look at a word and pronounce it." “We planted our vineyard in 1980 and made our first wine in 1981, not by some miracle from our own vineyard, but by buying grapes from the neighbors." "In 1981, we had a guaranteed market for our wine just sending it to our own hotel." "From 92 onwards, we started winning prizes abroad." "When you own a winery, you hardly ever take a holiday." "Now we have our grandchildren growing up here... They can give you a tour of the vineyard, probably better than I can." "Every day is different; every season is different. So there's no routine about it." "The most disappointing thing ever was in 2016 when our entire crop was destroyed by hail."          
11/30/202222 minutes, 24 seconds
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The sommelier from the other side of the volcano

Most of us overlook our sense of smell, but not for those in the wine industry. Learning what something tastes and smells like takes a great deal of practice. And that is something of importance to sommeliers. Grape varieties vary widely from region to region and country to country, so it pays to practice and train a lot. And this is where work and fun come together. The more you learn about your craft, the better you are at what you do. As Jose Obregon’s case illustrates, furthering his education and studies took him to different resorts and countries in the world. How fun would it be to work and experience life at the same time? You can taste and enjoy different wines and explore other countries' cultures and traditions while expanding your knowledge. For Jose, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work to be a sommelier. However, when you help create an enjoyable experience for guests and see that in their faces, that makes it more rewarding. Let's join Jose as he shares with us what his journey was like, initially working in his father's restaurant all the way to making a name for himself as a sommelier in his own country, Costa Rica and exploring other resorts and countries to hone a craft he is passionate about. What you'll learn from this episode: Find out the educational and travel opportunities tied to being a part of the wine industry Discover how being a sommelier is not so much about selling wine but about selling beautiful experiences and memories. Learn how being a sommelier opens up endless opportunities to learn and improve your craft. Know about practices and processes for growing grapes and producing natural wine without pesticides. Hear exciting and fun stories carved out of a life lived enjoying wine. Jose Obregon dreamt of becoming a chef, and coming from a family who owned a farm and a restaurant, he got his training there and went to work with other restaurants. And finally, he got his chance to work at one of the biggest resorts in Costa Rica, where he met his mentor, who introduced him to the world of wine. And from there, he learned everything from food and which wine goes with what food. His career as a sommelier started soaring from there and continues as he furthers his education and plans to take a master's degree anytime soon. At this time, he lives in La Fortuna, Alajuela, Costa Rica with his wife and two-year-old son. He works as head sommelier at Nayara Resorts. Connect with Jose Obregon: Facebook: LinkedIn:   Topics Covered: 01:54 - Sharing an interesting description of where he works, how he got started there, educational and travel opportunities that come with his job 04:03 - His journey into the world of wine and the beautiful memories created by enjoying wine 10:59 - Exploring a different but exciting world of wine in another country 15:22 - What the training looks like to prepare for wine blind tasting 22:42 - The clients' open mindedness that comes when getting into the resort's wine bar 26:25 - Wine, for you to enjoy and not to get drunk 28:35 - Looking back at his life, is there something he wants to change? Quotes from Jose Obregon: "I don't sell wine; I sell experiences or create memories." "You can find the same variety from different countries, and it [the wine] tastes different." "When you are in a wine bar, you must be open-minded, trying different stuff because if you tried once years ago and it wasn't good, that doesn't mean all the same kind of variety tastes the same." "People in Costa Rica they're starting to learn and also start to understand what wine is for; it's not to get drunk. It's to enjoy it, having a nice dinner with nice company."
11/16/202232 minutes, 19 seconds
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Building a winery in a non-wine location - following a calling

It’s interesting to note that in the process of making wine, grape vines planted within a meter distance of each other taste differently. Which means winemaking can be as fascinating as growing grapevines. This week is the story about the origin of a place, Prince Edward County and how it came out to be what it is now, telling a unique story, land found nowhere else in the world. The story of one of its wineries, Closson Chase wouldn’t be complete without mentioning its topography, soil structure, climate pattern, weather conditions, and passionate people who care about it; all of which combine into one captivating tale of mother nature's beauty captured in a bottle poured into a glass to be shared, loved, and enjoyed by everyone. What you will learn from this episode: Find out about winemakers' struggles and challenges and how they overcome them and learned to manage expectations; and know their responsibility for business sustainability and the environment. Understand the different seasons, climate changes, weather conditions, soil structure and the problem they bring to the vines and what solution is the best. Become aware of the different factors contributing to a wine’s taste and outcome and appreciate the process and the unique story it tells that comes with producing it Learn about the valuable lessons of what it takes to be a winemaker Recognize nature’s role in growing and harvesting grapes and ensuring to approach each process with a humble attitude. Hear of significant considerations to think about in becoming a winemaker fulfilling a goal of producing wine enjoyed and loved by many around the world. Until the 1990s Prince Edward County was best known as an important fruit and vegetable-growing region. Closson Chase was just one bold idea when a group of intrepid wine industry pioneers rediscovered the region. After two years spent analyzing County soils, celebrated winemaker Deborah Paskus settled on a plot of land at the intersection of Closson and Chase Roads in Hillier Township. She fell in love with an old dairy farm owned by early Prince Edward County settlers, the Clossons. The site, approximately five kilometres inshore from Lake Ontario, had a perfect six-degree southern slope, good drainage, and gravelly calcareous soil on a limestone base—ideal for cool climate chardonnay and the perfect location for her dream vineyard. In 1998, Deborah and partners started to build a winery to craft world-class wines. The first vines were planted just one year later in 1999. From then on, Closson Chase has been at the forefront of the Prince Edward County wine industry, producing award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In 2015 Keith Tyers took the lead as Head Winemaker, moving the winery in a new and exciting direction with a focus on careful cultivation of the land. Firmly believing the crucial work is done in the vineyard to produce exceptional wine, Keith has carried on the traditions of high-density planting, careful canopy management, and low yields. It is Keith’s philosophy that quality fruit will create the purest expression of place. Connect with Keith Tyers: Website: Email: [email protected]   Topics Covered: 01:04 - Consistently living up to the goal of producing wine people love and appreciate and which help them replicate a beautiful experience 04:35 - Understanding the Prince Edward County topography and soil type giving rise to the uniquely excellent wines produced in each area 09:22 - Producing more costly wine at Closson Chase [and the interesting story behind it] 14:22 - The challenges a winemaker faces and the three weather climates that impact the grape vines 21:21 - What you should know about grafted vines and the wines being produced from them 24:09 - Factors that go into winemaking and how they affect the outcome of the wine 27:23 - Keith shares valuables lessons for one to consider when contemplating getting a full-time career in the wine industry 32:41 - What you should understand about being a winemaker [and the greatest source of one's gratification] Quotes from Keith Tyers: “I think sustainability is key for everything that we do in respecting the land, the people, the place, and the business.” - Keith Tyers “When you start to manipulate the environment, you start to tell a different story.” - Keith Tyers “When you're involved with the land as much as you are in grape growing, you can't help but have a connection to the place. And you feel it when stuff is not going the way it should, you feel it when things are going right. It’s about trusting your instinct.” - Keith Tyers “Even when you do make a mistake, owning your mistakes and learning from your mistakes is the biggest thing and knowing that the gratification for what you've done comes with a smile on somebody's face when they open up the wine.” - Keith Tyers  
11/2/202232 minutes, 27 seconds
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From sommelier to winemaker - following a calling

If you were told you could never be an expert, and you are never enough, how would that make you feel? Instead of feeling disheartened, our podcast guest this week, Keith Tyers, felt challenged. Despite being told he can't do anything, he rose above it. And all that doubt? He proved them wrong. Let’s join him in this episode as he shares his journey into his deep fascination with food and wine, from being a sommelier to becoming a quality winemaker producing wines people all over the world love and enjoy. What you will learn from this episode: Realize how wine is one natural product that gives one a memory recall of a fantastic time and place in your life that you want to be replicated. Learn how becoming a sommelier and winemaker gives you leverage in your wine business. Hear about systems and processes to be put in place and an innovative mind to go with it in growing grapes and producing quality wines Keith Tyers grew up in Kingston, Ontario where he developed a keen interest in wine and food. A move to Toronto further fueled his passion for wine and led him to take the International Sommelier Guild program at Humber College. After a few years in the big city restaurant scene, Keith decided he wanted to be closer to home and enjoy a quieter lifestyle. His journey brought him to Closson Road in Prince Edward County, where he settled with his wife Cassandra to raise their young family. Soon after his arrival in the County, Keith began his winemaking career as a vineyard hand at Closson Chase in 2003. This quickly led to a position as Assistant Winemaker, where he worked under Head Winemaker Deborah Paskus until 2009. Keith stepped away from Closson Chase for a few years to grow his winemaking knowledge. He embraced the opportunity to work alongside Ron Sparanzini at Oak Heights Winery in Warkworth, while also consulting for other grape growers in Prince Edward County. With a desire to return home and work among friends, Keith rejoined the team at Closson Chase in 2012 and was promoted to Head Winemaker in 2015. His time working in the fields led to a deep understanding of the soils and climates that make up the Closson Chase estate vineyards, and this understanding has allowed him to create wines that truly reflect a sense of place. Keith has continued the Closson Chase tradition of excellence in Chardonnay while also following his passion for producing exceptional Pinot Noir. His philosophy is to capture what Mother Nature grows in a bottle, creating the best possible expression of terroir. Connect with Keith Tyers: Website: Email: [email protected] Topics Covered: 01:35 - Vividly describing the place he lives in and the vineyard that he tends to 02:54 - Sharing his journey to becoming a winemaker [how an opportunity presented itself at the same time overcoming a challenge that makes everything a part of his success story] 11:25 - Being a sommelier and winemaker and how it has leveraged his business 17:57 - Interesting thought about what winemaking at Closson Chase all boils down to Quotes from Keith Tyers: “The one thing that I truly embrace is wines that tell you a story of a place.” “The vineyard and the winemaking is definitely what calls me home. Although it is hard work. I don't consider it; I do enjoy it every day, even on the days that I don't want to be here. But I think that's the reason why we do it is because it's just part of who we are, and how much we love it. And it's just our expression of the time, the energy, effort and the love that goes into making great wine.” “It was truly an innovative time on how to grow things. I think first and foremost, we needed to grow grapes. And then we needed to learn how to make wine. And by reversing it, [ becoming a sommelier first ] I think it helped me become a better winemaker.”    
10/19/202219 minutes, 46 seconds
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The accidental Wine Princess

Can you imagine being 17 years old, standing on a stage in your hometown, and being named a Wine Princess? And not having a clue what you're doing? That's the experience of today's guest, Sabine Wagner, who was not only a Wine Princess for two years but ultimately became her town's Wine Queen. From there, Sabine never looked back. She found her calling and realized that the wine business was where she wanted to build her career. So build it she did - from getting a Bachelor of Science degree in International Wine Business to a Master's degree in International Wine Marketing. She interned in Italy and the US and ultimately ended up working in Germany. She had lots of adventures along the way - including learning English in the school of real life in the United States. Find out how Sabine did it... here at Wine Behind the Scenes. What you will learn from this episode: Find out how wine and culture relate together and how they celebrate these two in Germany. Learn about a course that delves more into marketing and sales, including international wine selling aspects of the wine business. Discover the various jobs and exciting opportunities that await you in the wine industry suited to your passion and inclinations. Be awed and get inspired at how you can have a one-of-a-kind experience in wine tasting, meeting wonderful people, traveling to gorgeous places, and getting a feel of each place and country's culture. Hear about the perspective of selling wine not with its price but with stories. Our guest Sabine Wagner was born in Mainz, Germany. Currently, she is the Key Account Manager at Remy & Kohlhaas GmbH Eltville, Germany . She used to be a Product Manager at Grands Chais de France Mainz, Germany. She spent one of the highlights of her professional experiences in marketing, sales, and export at Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen, Pfalz, Deutschland. Her university degrees include a BSc in International Wine Business specializing in Marketing, Sales, and Viniculture at Hochschule Geisenheim University, Geisenheim, Germany. And also she has an M Arts in International Wine Marketing at Hochschule Burgenland, Eisenstadt, Austria. A host of other course-related internships and language courses experiences were spent in the US, Italy, England, China, and Japan. And she's also held honorary titles as the Wine Princess and Wine Queen in Germany's regional and national arena.   Connect with Sabine Wagner: Email: [email protected] Instagram: LinkedIn:   Topics Covered: 01:32 - Which lovely city is she residing in Germany? 02:52 - How her career in the wine industry started [accidentally becoming the wine princess of her hometown and ultimately the queen] 03:48 - Celebrating wine and culture in Germany [choosing wine princesses and a queen from among the wine regions in Germany] 07:07 - Studying international wine business [what the whole course covers] 08:54 - Big international markets for Italian and German wines 10:35 - What her job entailed after getting a degree in international wine selling [internships, work exposures, and experiences] 14:03 - Having a good command of the English language 16:10 - Jobs she took in between internships 16:35 - Describing her role working as a product manager 17:47 - Talking about the marketing and sales part of the wine business [ wine design, flavor profile, pricing, creating different portfolios of wine suited to one's choice and preference] 21:18 - Painting a romantic view of the wine business 23:46 - What she would tell now, her younger self then, being the wine queen once upon a time 25:15 - Valuable thoughts[challenges and wins] on her stepping stone to the career she loves 26:08 - Amazing work opportunities and great experiences you can have in the wine industry 29:52 - One great thing she loves about her work in the wine business 30:31 - Selling wine based on stories [winemakers philosophies] 31:23 - A career many aspire to be in Quotes from Sabine Wagner: "I more or less by accident became a Wine Princess of my hometown." "There are 16 German wine growing regions, and each of those has a Wine Queen." "I think my English was pretty good when I went to the States, but I remember the first two or three days when I was talking to local people, I was like, oh my gosh, do I even, can I even speak English?" "I was responsible for the German wine portfolio, and we did everything from product development to labels." "The important question is, who is my customer? Where do I want to sell it? What does the customer want?" "I do remember that day when I was standing on the stage becoming the Wine Princess. And I was standing there, and I was so nervous, and I was like, what the hell am I doing here? Like, why am I doing that?" "There are so many different aspects and so many different opportunities for jobs in the wine business."                
10/5/202233 minutes, 52 seconds
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A match made in Africa: white wine and an 11-year old

Can you imagine being only 11 years old and already know that you want to have a career in the wine industry? That's the experience that Danielle Coetsee had as she watched her uncle work in the vineyard and the winery.  And when she got older and applied to university as an engineering student, she realized that she was making a mistake - wine was still calling her. So Danielle took the big step of pulling her engineering application back and going for what she wanted to do, which was learning how to make wine. Now, as a wine-maker who specializes in white wine and who has also been responsible for sparkling wine production, Danielle is looking forward to many years of creating wine that delights consumers at Boschendal Winery in South Africa. Listen in as Danielle talks about her favourite parts of being a wine-maker and just how all-encompassing working in the wine industry can be... here at Wine Behind the Scenes.   What you will learn from this episode: Learn about the fundamental elements that make up the wine industry, the ethics, good practices, and the system you should account for so you continuously foster a trust relationship with your clients, customers, and all stakeholders in the wine industry. Find out the most rewarding experience of being a wine-maker that inspires you always to hold the highest quality standard in wine production. Discover how infusing art into the science of winemaking makes all the difference in the taste of wine and the character, personality, and style of a particular vineyard and winery. Hear about travel opportunities you can have being a wine-maker and brand ambassador at the same time. Know how female representation makes waves in the industry and what valuable contribution they bring to the wine space.   For a lucky few, there is a definitive moment when the world quietly slips away, and all that remains is an inspired instant between you and the wine that leaves you awestruck. For others, it's a special memory that confirms your love for wine. For Danielle Coetsee, White Wine Winemaker at Boschendal, it was a combination of both. At just 11 years old, Danielle's uncle inspired her to be a wine-maker with his tales of studying winemaking and viticulture from Elsenburg. Yet, it was not until Danielle's first harvest and tasting through some particularly memorable wines that a deeper love for winemaking blossomed: "Reaping the reward after months of hard work is a profound moment for any wine-maker. I've also been majorly influenced by some incredible wines I've had the privilege of trying, including a 2010 Château de Myrat Sauternes Grand Cru, a 2007 Costers del Siurana Priorat Miserere, a 2013 AA Badenhorst White Blend, and of course, the 2008 Boschendal Jean Le Long".  While studying viticulture and oenology at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, Danielle had her first encounter with the camaraderie and openness that exists within the wine world. This spirit of community and willingness to share knowledge motivated her to continue with her vocation. Before Boschendal, Danielle was the wine-maker and farm manager at a boutique winery for several years, and it was during this formative time that Danielle cemented her approach to winemaking. "It may sound super cliché, but it still rings true - you need good grapes to make good wine. You can make bad wine from good grapes, but you cannot make good wine from bad grapes," she explains. Beyond that, she believes that meticulous attention to detail and a "kick-ass palate" are cornerstones to sound winemaking.  Get in touch with Danielle Coetsee: Email: [email protected] Instagram: Topics Covered: 01:59 - Describing the beautiful place she lives in South Africa 04:31 - An exciting story of what piqued her interest in wine and winemaking, when and how it started 08:53 - A university in South Africa that gives training and qualifications to become a wine-maker 09:41 - Talking about female representation and what contribution they bring to the wine industry 12:07 - What her career path in the wine industry was like after earning her degree in winemaking 15:23 - Getting through all the three different areas of winemaking and now focusing on the white wine winemaking 17:04 - Foundational elements of the wine industry and the critical system around it that accounts for the trust relationship 20:07 - What she considers the most rewarding part of being a wine-maker 22:07 - How is winemaking a blend between Science and Art? 24:22 - Travel opportunities brought about by her work as a wine-maker and brand ambassador 26:48 - One thing that draws her most to winemaking and how she sees herself staying long-term in the wine industry 28:42 - What awaits you at the Boschendal vineyard and winery other than the wine you can enjoy 30:07 - Looking forward to talking about blending wine in a future episode   Quotes from Daniell Coetsee: "My initial first selection for university was engineering because that's the appropriate kind of adult decision to make, but I just couldn't." "I became interested in wine-making before I was even legally allowed to drink wine. So I didn't drink wine at that stage. I was 11 years old." "When I found I had a permanent position I was just over the moon." "We want people to know that and feel comfortable with the fact that what they're having in their glass is produced well and in the right manner and that they can trust what information is given to them." "When it's harvest time, and you're going in on a Sunday afternoon. And it's quiet, and you get into the winery and a lot of the wines fermenting, and you get those fermentation smells, and you're checking the fermentations. They just look amazing and show all these aromatics; I think when it goes from juice to wine stage, it is a very special moment in between." "A moment that I most enjoy is when you are with a group of people, either doing a tasting or seeing people taste the wines, and you see that enjoyment. And I think nothing really compares to that." "I think at the end of the day, your kind of internal compass always points true north. And I think that is, and will probably always be winemaking." "There's never a dull moment. It's always exciting. There's always something happening."  
9/21/202232 minutes
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Beer and wine and The Drunken Grape®!

Today's guest, Rob Statham, is as funny as he is articulate about wine, beer, and why he's doing what he's doing. Rob loves to share his knowledge and make whatever event he's hosting – be it live or virtual – fun, educational, and interesting. Our conversation ranged from how you put on virtual wine tastings (which Rob believes must be an engaging and entertaining experience) to the latest offerings of Retsina from Greece. Then there was beer, Trappist ale, the power of California wineries... the list of topics goes on and on. And you really do have to hear Rob compare moving a case of wine around the world to moving a hip of beef. It made me laugh! Rob also explains what he does on his YouTube channel, which is really cool - but you'll have to listen to find out what's going on... here at Wine Behind the Scenes. What you will learn from this episode: Learn how to deal with territorial shipment barriers of wine and beer products. Find out how to put up virtual wine and beer tasting parties with people from different places or countries. Know how to structure your wine and beer tasting parties [that goes with fixing the food courses to match with wine and beer] and create a successful tasting event. Hear of ways to keep wine and beer tasting events fun and exciting and the presentation freewheeling and flowing. Discover how to make wine and beer tasting parties truly an experience worth celebrating, filled with fun, laughter, joyful and fascinating conversations on varied subjects of business, arts, culture, people, places, and history, among other things. Find about certifications and education you can obtain to become more in-depth and knowledgeable about the wine and beer world. Rob Statham got his start in the world of wine and beer from his late father's advice some 11 years ago while having dinner at his house. He grew up with him making wine and beer, and he was quite well-versed on the subject as a home winemaker and brewer who read a lot about the subject. He was at a crossroads after he left an IT business due to a shady partner and was seeking to study project management. It was his father who convinced him to pursue the world of wine, spirits, and beer instead. From there, he took courses, got certified in wine and beer, which is rare to have both, and branched out to build his own events and marketing business, The Drunken Grape® ( Get in touch with Rob Statham: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: YouTube Channel (The Happy Hour with The Drunken Grape®): or Topics Covered: 02:03 - Transitioning from the world of wine to the world of beer 05:37 - Whom he caters to when it comes to his wine and beer virtual tasting business 08:01 - How he manages logistics for a virtual wine, or beer tasting for the same product with people coming from different places 10:31 - Dealing with provincial and interterritorial barriers to shipping wine and beer products 13:14 - Fixing the right food to match the wine or beer 16:00 - Thinking of your business in one word 16:23 - How people associate with wine, beer, and spirits even in ancient times 18:48 - Talking a bit of History about Greek winemaking 21:38 - Rob on him getting passionate every day about what he's doing 22:14 - What Rob means with 'the wine world being an endless field' 24:38 - Credentials under Rob's belt and the certifications and education you can get to hone your skills in the wine and beer space 29:16 - Beer education in relation to winemaking 31:29 - How he came out with a 'The Drunken Grape' YouTube channel 33:54 - Interesting topics tackled inside 'The Drunken Grape' YouTube channel 35:46 - A backstory of how he got the name 'The Drunken Grape' Quotes from Rob Statham: "So you've got cut, compliment and contrast, and then you have balance." "You start with an intro drink, get them in the mood of drinking, you talk about the spirit and the joy of wine and beer, the fun facts of history. Then you really get the fun stories about the wineries, the breweries, or the distilleries." "Food is a much easier product to shift around than alcohol. Alcohol is right up there with firearms." "The presentation has to be freewheeling and flowing. That has to be fun. You do not want rigidity in that, but you want rigidity in the structure." "Describe your business in one word. Most people fumble that, but in ours, it's really quite simple. It's joy." "You're tasting a part of history. You're tasting antiquity moved into the modern age."    
9/7/202238 minutes, 11 seconds
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Mount Olympus is calling!

Mount Olympus? The Aegean Sea? History and culture going back thousands and thousands of years? Wine that's fit for the gods? That's what we're talking about in my conversation with Alexandra Anthidou, who is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Association of Northern Greek Winemakers. Alexandra has what many would see as a dream job - she gets to travel to over 30 wineries in her region of Northern Greece, she travels to many countries representing her association, she works with winemakers and world-class chefs to create mouth-watering meals and tasting events that would make travelling to Greece worthwhile just for an event alone! It's obvious that Alexandra has great respect for the vine, the grape, and the wine-making process - find out more about her day, her month and her journey here at Wine Behind the Scenes. What you will learn from this episode: Discover exciting and fun-filled wine-related events and activities you can organize for any occasion and celebration. Learn how to create a delectable food menu with wine tasting. Find out why each bottle of wine differs from another and what experience it speaks of every time you taste it. Know about the exciting events, fun-filled activities, travels, occasions, and celebrations that can fill your everyday schedule to promote the wine and a place's culture. Hear fascinating stories of gorgeous Greek places, great and beautiful wineries, grape varieties, and cherished experiences with wine. Alexandra Anthidou was born (1965) in Thessaloniki, the 2nd largest city in Greece, located in Macedonia, in Northern Greece. It's a beautiful seaside town, full of history (2.330 years old), overlooking Mountain Olympus. She was always active, creative, and dreamy, passionate about everything she was involved. And she's never changed! In the wine industry, she had been working indirectly since 1987 but directly since 2001 when she got a job in the association "Winemakers of Northern Greece" as director of marketing and communication. Her job is to constantly invent new ways to promote wine, mainly as a product of culture and through a series of different actions, like wine exhibitions, thematic wine tastings, wine and dine events, educational seminars, wine tourism projects, articles, and interviews. She is also a free launcher food and wine writer. She is fascinated by the wine industry and she believes that wine is a living organism that evolves. One of her favorite things to do, and part of her job (fortunately), is to visit wineries. Even if she has visited the same winery many times, each time is special, each time has something different to give her. And definitely, the wine is different. Because if it is aged, it grows, if it is fresh, well, each vintage is different. Her other favorite hobby is the food and wine pairing game. Each pairing is a window to the universe of flavors, taste, and pleasure. She also very much likes to travel (travels include wine tourism, if possible), swim (all year long), cook, and enjoy parties or dinners with family and friends. To make the long story short, she is a happy mother of two grown daughters and honored to consider herself a wine lady and a life lover. Get in touch with Alexandra Anthidou: Email Ad: [email protected] [email protected] Website (Winemakers of North Greece): Topics Covered: 01:15 - Which beautiful Greek city does she live in? 02:11 - Sharing interesting facts about the city, beautiful people, and the remarkable wineries surrounding the city where she lives 03:12 - Talking about her involvement and affiliation with the Greek wine industry 06:01 - Always welcoming every day with great pleasure 06:443 - Interesting subject she talks about: great wineries and places, grape vineyards, and exciting activities to do 07:50 - Look at how her month-long schedule is filled with exciting and amazing events and activities 10:10 - Coming up with creative ideas to organize events for any occasion and celebrations 12:12 - How come the Greek wine industry is still in its infancy stage despite its 7,000 years of history? 14:55 - Coming up with a great food menu that goes with the best wine 17:18 - The challenge with organizing events and fixing the food menu to match the right wine 18:35 - Going back to the time she started to get involved with the wine industry 19:47 - The first thing she learns about wine 20:52 - How come each bottle of wine is different from the others, and all else in the wine world 22:05 - Amazing facts about wine, its characteristics, and the experience with it 23:44 - What she would tell someone wanting to follow her path 24:21 - Talking to Alexandra of years ago, when she just started 25:07 - The importance of enjoying the journey Quotes from Alexandra Anthidou: "My job is to create, to invent new ways to promote wine, not as a product, but as a product of culture." "Every day is a new challenge, the beginning of a new challenge for me. And that's why I have never been bored." "One day I woke up, I said, okay, we have to invent a special day for our special grape variety." "We know that we have a wine history of about 7,000 years. " "They were talking about wine with great respect. That was my very first feeling that I had for wine, the respect."              
8/24/202227 minutes, 37 seconds
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Part 2: Chocolate love, with thanks to my mom

Judith Lewis is about as passionate as you can get about wine and food. (Listen to Part One if you want to hear how Judith's mom forced her to taste everything and why she's grateful for it.) Judith loves wine AND chocolate, and she is an international judge of both products. She gives us some insight into how you can improve your taste and smell of, you guessed it! Chocolate and wine. After listening to this interview, you might find yourself rushing out to buy that special bar of chocolate or that great bottle of wine. All we ask that you do is to savour it. Get your taste buds ready, pop open your sense of humour, and let's listen to Part 2 of my interview with Judith Lewis. What you'll learn from this episode: Learn how to have an in-depth ability to judge the smell and taste of wine and chocolate. Find out how wine is interconnected with the chocolate world. Discover the world of artisanal chocolate and why it's worth your money. Know about an excellent principle to live by when getting involved with wine and chocolates. Hear about tips and techniques on starting your journey to becoming so well-versed in the taste and smell of wine and chocolates. Judith Lewis is a renowned international speaker, writer, trainer, blogger, and digital media consultant specialising in applying strategic understanding of digital technologies to help businesses innovate and optimise their effectiveness within the new, networked communications environment. She has over 25 years of experience, predating Google in her entry into the market, and now runs her own consultancy. Judith also blogs about chocolate, has contributed to a book on web development and writes about best practices for Search Engine Optimization.. Deploying her skills across a number of sectors, Judith learned about winemaking quite late and how now joined an organization to assist in the digitisation of the wine sector. Furthering the use of various emerging and established technologies within vineyards, Judith is also working with everything from blockchain to Raspberry Pi to digitise the wine sector, including utilising big data and algorithms. Judith works with companies large and small and is passionate about enabling businesses to take control of their digital elements by understanding them better. And best of all, Judith continues to grow her knowledge and experience in wine by following her nose (thanks, Mom!) and by tasting wine around the world. Get in touch with Judith Lewis: Website: Twitter: Instagram: Email add: [email protected] Topics Covered: 00:43 - How passion drives everything you do in life 03:54 - What it takes to be a judge in competitions for wine and chocolate [a super taster and smeller] 06:45 - Being a part of the grand jury of the Academy of Chocolates that is committed to advancing the cause of artisanal chocolates 10:41 - Why we need to always smell things before putting them into our mouth 12:42 - Here's what you can do when you want to really get involved with wine and chocolate tasting 15:02 - What she would have done differently and told herself 20 years ago Quotes from Judith Lewis: "You can make some fantastic pairings of wine and chocolate." "When you start eating things, eat a little bit thoughtfully; it's very taxing at first, but eat thoughtfully." “I pay attention to smell and taste because I was forced to eat so many things as a child. I'm not down on my mom. I think it was a fantastic thing that she did to me.” "Chocolate opened up a large world for me and gave me some of the techniques that I needed in order to become a better taster and a better judge and exposed me to the judging process." "Don't just swallow food without chewing or swallow your wine without giving it a chance just to coat your mouth and let yourself experience it."  
8/10/202217 minutes, 24 seconds
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Nadia Dubeau: wine, mushrooms, and real estate

Nadia Dubeau is going places. She's worked in the wine industry in one way or another for over 15 years and is determined that nothing will stop her. Nadia has travelled the world. She has studied winery and viticulture practices at college in Niagara, Ontario, and has successfully completed Master's level viticulture courses in ITALIAN in Italy. Nadia dreams big, and she's found a great job where she reps for Oyster Bay winery out of New Zealand. That gives her the freedom to do what she wants when she wants - as long as she gets the job done. How many people do you know would want to do that? Find out what Nadia's journey has been and where she's headed here at Wine Behind the Scenes. What you will learn from this episode: Learn about the tips for getting started as a wine rep and know your way around the wine industry. Find ways to become the best wine rep you can be and the perks of working as one. Hear about valuable thoughts on getting WSET certification. Know and understand LCBO's role as a wine regulatory body [one of the strictest in the world]. Hear about what other interests and exciting possibilities await you beyond the wine industry but that would still tie you back into it. Get familiar with the rules of each region where grapes are grown, and wines are made. Nadia's wine background stems from an entrepreneurial spirit - her first taste of the wine industry was running her own tiny wine agency, focusing on selling Prince Edward County wines to the Toronto and Muskoka markets. She wanted to develop her knowledge and dove right into her WSET studies, followed by a few years in Niagara College's Wine & Vit program. This was interrupted by a year studying viticulture in Italy, where she attended a university in Piacenza, working on Masters-level viticulture courses. Since then, she has worked both in the production side of the wine industry in Niagara and Prince Edward County, in sales, and as a sommelier at some of the best restaurants in Toronto, Niagara, and Muskoka. Her interests include wine, of course, personal finance, mycology, cooking, real estate, and she loves hanging out on the dock with her cat, Giorgio. Get in touch with Nadia Dubeau: Email: [email protected]. Topics Covered: 01:12 - The perfect place she's in right now 01:43 - A backtrack as to how she got started in the world of wine 04:46 - Looking forward to the possibility of traveling to New Zealand and Australia 04:22 - How is it like working as a wine rep in a company at the same time in LCBO, one of the strictest wine regulatory bodies in the world 06:32 - What her specific assignment in LCBO is and the territory she covers 08:27 - Basic things you can do to get started as a wine rep and what you can do more to be the best wine rep you can be 10:00 - Sharing her thoughts on getting a WSET 11:31 - The most difficult region to learn when it comes to Appalachians, terms, and language 13:08 - Relating her learning and travel experience in Italy 14:17 - The rules you've got to learn in every region 15:39 - Nadia's interests outside of wine that's worthwhile and which still connect to the world of wine 17:06 - The best things about being a wine rep and the exciting possibilities that await with the kind of work she does and all the other interests she has 19:17 - One crazy thing she did in her twenties and what she would advise herself back then for that decision she made Quotes from Nadia Dubeau: "I wanted to start my own business... so I started a small wine agency, and I started selling products from a few small wineries out of Prince Edward County." "I did a minor in Italian when I was in university doing my bachelor's, but I hadn't spoken Italian for a while. When I got to Italy, I discovered that half of my courses were Master's level Italian language science-based viticulture courses." "Actually, the LCBO is one of these strictest, if not these strictest, regulatory bodies in the world." "So many people are willing to help. If you find somebody that's a winery rep, say, "Hey, I'm really interested in getting to this field. Could you give me some advice, or I'd love to come out on the road with you one day. What do you feel about that?" They probably would be willing to take you with them."  
7/27/202222 minutes, 42 seconds
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Jennifer Wilhelm: from terrified server to author

  It's hard to believe that when Jenn Wilhelm started her journey in the wine industry that she was a terrified young woman who couldn't pronounce the names of grapes, let alone the places where the grapes were grown and the wine was made. Yet here she is now, enjoying an unbelievably rich life. Jenn was a member of the first graduating class of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers - and at a time when very few women were in the field. She managed restaurants and learned every aspect of the food service industry. She became a full-time instructor and managed wine and hospitality programs at Niagara College. She was mentored by passionately committed people, including pioneering women in the Niagara wine industry, without whom, as Jenn says, "The industry would not exist as we know it today." And to give back and commemorate those women, she's now writing a book about them. Can't wait to read it, Jenn!!! Listen to the joy and passion in Jenn's voice - she's doing what she loves to do in a part of a world she's in love with. And she's sharing that joy and passion here at Wine Behind the Scenes. What you will learn from this episode: Find out the most important thing about the wine industry that you have to work on, first and foremost. Hear of one fundamental connection to the wine that makes the whole idea of winemaking and buying wine an enjoyable experience. Know about the book that recounts stories of women who made a very significant contribution to the flourishing industry that wine is now. Learn how relationship-building is key to one's success in the wine business Find out the core characteristics you must carry with you to make it in the wine industry and in all others that you want to excel in. Hear stories of struggles and triumphs, as well as passion, love, and dedication that will help you navigate the world of wine and the people who are passionately involved in it. Jennifer Wilhelm has worked in hospitality and event management for 30 years. She is a certified Sommelier by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). She holds credentials from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in both wine and spirits, credentials from Prud'homme Beer, and a diploma in Hospitality Management. She joined Niagara College in 2006 as an instructor, was Wine Program Coordinator from 2009 to 2014, developed and taught classes in the wine, beer, spirits, culinary, and hospitality programs. She is a past board member and instructor for the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, international wine judge, and VQA panelist. Jenn has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including Ontario Wine Educator of the Year through the VQA Promoters Awards, 40 Under 40 Business Achievement Award, and in 2014 was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Award for her contributions to the Ontario wine industry. She is currently completing a book about the women who shaped the foundation of the Ontario wine industry, a compilation of memoires, tributes, and yet untold behind-the-scenes stories of these influential women and their contributions. She believes it crucial that the significant impact these extraordinary women have had on the industry itself and as mentors to generations of those of us working in the industry today is documented and appreciated. When she doesn't have her nose in a glass of wine or a book, Jenn's happy place is the garden. Her early restaurant experience introduced her to Ontario's passionate and dedicated farmers. Understanding how and where both grapes and food are grown has always been important to Jenn. If she isn't growing it herself, you will hear her enthusiastically promoting local organic farmers. Most recently, she took that love of growing to another level and traded her traditional classroom for a unique farm and field experience at Mingle Hill Organic Farm. In her newly created role as Experience Facilitator, she creates and leads one-of-a-kind interactive workshops, and corporate retreats for folks looking to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Get in touch with Jennifer Wilhelm: Website: Instagram: Email add: [email protected] Topics Covered: 01:49 - Taking it all back to Niagara College, where everything started for Jenn and where she and Laurel met 04:31 - How building solid relationships with people creates a domino effect 07:06 - Becoming one among the first graduating class of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers [ after that terrifying and intimidating experience ] 09:38 - Her strength and the critical factor in building her reputation and credibility in the industry 12:32 - Not just about the wine; it's about the people and the connections you make 14:14 - Finding the time to get connected with past students and colleagues 15:04 - A book she authored that speaks of appreciation and gratitude towards the women who started it all and made wine a flourishing industry that it is now 21:02 - More reasons to look forward to Jenn's book 22:40 - Talking to the Jenn of 30 years ago [ advice she would give herself then] 24:03 - Would she have thought then to end up where she is now? 26:47 - Focusing not just on a bottle of wine; but also on the passion, love, and dedication that goes into winemaking Quotes from Jennifer Wilhelm: "I was quite intimidated by the fact that I hadn't traveled. I didn't have money, so I didn't have a wine cellar." "The truth is that in my early twenties, wine terrified me. It absolutely terrified me." "We said we'll work for wine. And we did." "The more we worked together and the more we tasted, the more we learned and the more passionate we became." "We now in the industry have so much experience, but back then, in the seventies, and early eighties, selling Ontario wine and even using the words premium Ontario wine in the same sentence was unheard of." "We are all more than our career and our profession that people see." "There's so much passion and love and dedication in each wine bottle."
7/27/202229 minutes, 36 seconds
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Part 1: Everything I taste in wine I have Mom to thank

    Judith Lewis is about as passionate as you can get about wine and food. Doesn't smell right? Don't eat it or drink it (thanks, Mom). Digitize the world of wine? Judith's passionate about it. Helping wineries handle climate change? – Judith's working on it. Looking to taste wines in Majorca, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Greece, and other European countries? – you might bump into her in those wineries. Going to conferences on communication, SEO, wine, and travel? – Judith's there. Plus… she's an international judge for wine AND chocolate. Get your taste buds ready, pop open your sense of humour, and let's listen to Part 1 of my interview with Judith Lewis. Get in touch with Judith Lewis: Website: Website: Twitter: Instagram: Email add: [email protected] What you'll learn from this episode: Discover one secret to earning a fortune in winemaking. Find out the one thing that gets you fulfilled and keeps you going in life and with what you do. Learn how to genuinely connect and build lasting relationships with people you share the same passion for. Hear about the challenges in producing wine -- from farming to growing the grapes and making it available to people, and managing expectations. Learn how to have a really good sense and memory of taste and smell Judith Lewis is a renowned international speaker, writer, trainer, blogger, and digital media consultant specialising in applying strategic understanding of digital technologies to help businesses innovate and optimise their effectiveness within the new, networked communications environment. She has over 25 years of experience, predating Google in her entry into the market, and now runs her own consultancy. Judith also blogs about chocolate, has contributed to a book on web development and writes about best practices for Search Engine Optimization.. Deploying her skills across a number of sectors, Judith learned about winemaking quite late and how now joined an organization to assist in the digitisation of the wine sector. Furthering the use of various emerging and established technologies within vineyards, Judith is also working with everything from blockchain to Raspberry Pi to digitise the wine sector, including utilising big data and algorithms. Judith works with companies large and small and is passionate about enabling businesses to take control of their digital elements by understanding them better. And best of all, Judith continues to grow her knowledge and experience in wine by following her nose (thanks, Mom!) and by tasting wine around the world. Topics covered: 01:31 - Which exciting part of the world she's in right now 01:54 - A passion-filled life that led her to many places, the love of her life, and the interesting world of wine and chocolates 06:48 - Integrating her tech expertise into her passion for taste, smell, and senses 08:56 - Talking about the challenges involving wine -- farming grapes that produce wine 10:12 - Growing your network and building connections over a shared passion for wine 12:21 - Where genuine connections happen 15:15 - Making a huge difference in people's lives by sharing something you're passionate about 16:39 - What stood out for her in all the fantastic stories that brought out a different kind of experience 21:50 - The connection between passion and wine Quotes from Judith Lewis: "Our mission is to digitize the world of wine." "I'm passionate about taste and smell and sense." "Share your passion with people and then stay in touch about your shared passion." "Ask smart questions that show a desire to understand and know more about what you're drinking or eating. "      
7/27/202223 minutes, 25 seconds
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Wine Behind The Scenes [Introduction]

Do you love wine, food, travel and fascinating stories? Then you're in the right place.  Welcome to the Wine Behind The Scenes Podcast where you can escape into stories about wine, and the passion and people behind it.  Join me Laurel Simmons! Do you love wine? Are you curious about what's behind a particular wine, or the people involved in getting that wine to you? I have been passionate about wine all my adult life. I love wine. And I love the life I'm creating for myself. That's why I'm launching this podcast called Wine Behind The Scenes.  This is a place where we can escape into stories about wine, passionate people - a place where we'll have fun, where we'll learn, and where we can share our joy about wine and the journeys attached to it. I'll be talking with people who are fascinated by wine, and who have made a conscious decision to focus their lives around the world of wine. I'll be weaving in stories about the magnificent places where wine is made. The business of wine, the history of wine, the art and science of wine, the grapes, the vineyards, the people who make the wine, and of course, the people who drink the wine.  Then there's everything else that can go with wine, especially the food. You can spend hours figuring out what food goes with what wine, or you can cross your fingers and hope that what you've thrown together works. And either way, it can be wonderful. You could end up with a classic pairing, or an OMG moment that takes you by surprise, and that you want to repeat over and over.  There are great stories everywhere when it comes to food and wine. And people can be absolutely obsessed with strange and wonderful pairings. Food and Wine don't just exist by themselves. If you're like me and so many other people, wine is part of the celebrations of our lives. We eat and drink during special times and during ordinary times. We have fun, we laugh, and we enjoy life with friends and family.  As we do that, we create memories and stories that we love to share and be remembered for many, many years. This podcast will uncover many of those stories. The people in this podcast are people who build their lives with intent. They don't sit on the sidelines and watch life go by. These people are passionate about what they're doing and why they're doing it. Just like I am. Because after many years of working in high tech, I decided that enough was enough. And I was going to explore my own passion with enthusiasm and with intention.  So what did I do? I applied and was accepted to a full time college program where I studied all the intricacies of winemaking. I spent countless hours in the winery, making wine, studying soil, pruning vines and working at tasting bars. It was a life- changing experience and above all immense fun that I topped it off by spending time in Florence, Italy, where I learned how to really taste and evaluate wine at a professional level. Adding to the fun is all the travel I do to places far away and near where wine is made and wineries can be explored.    Listen in as I get to talk to wonderful winemakers and drink fabulous wines. Join us in our fun conversations with chefs and sommeliers as we dive into what you can do with food and wine. Come with us as we hold those conversations in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Chile, and many other countries where I have spent countless hours gazing at vineyards, chateaus, oceans, mountains, and farms. Sometimes, we will be in my own backyard here in Niagara, Ontario, Canada.    So these are some of the conversations you'll be listening to. And all of them will be filled with passion and joy, stories from people who are directly in the wine industry, such as winemakers, farmers, and sommeliers. There will be other stories from people who interact with one in their business lives all the time. From those who make corks, to those who create the labels for wine bottles, stories from professional chefs, and those not-so-professional chefs who absolutely love to pair dishes with wine.    There will be stories that will make you laugh, stories that will do nothing but entertain you, and stories that will make you think. And perhaps even stories that will inspire you and help you make decisions about something you could do in your life. After all, who wouldn't love to wake up every day, knowing that they're doing what they absolutely love to do and knowing that they would do nothing else.    That's what many of my guests are about the passion, the pride, and the continuing joy of being in the world that they choose to be in.  Through this podcast, I hope you'll hear and feel that passion and joy, too. So, please join me as we escape into and explore stories about wine, the world around it, and the people who enjoy it.  Learn with me, laugh with me, taste with me and travel with me as we explore Wine Behind The Scenes.   Connect with Laurel Simmons: Website:
6/17/20225 minutes, 59 seconds