483 episodes

A former sommelier interviews incredibly famous and knowledgeable wine personalities in his tiny apartment. He gets them to talk candidly about their lives and work, and then shares the conversations with you. To see all the back episodes from episode 1 in your feed, and to see new episodes sooner, it is important to SUBSCRIBE. It is free to subscribe.

Contact info-

Email leviopenswine@gmail.com

Instagram @leviopenswine

Twitter @drinktothatpod

Website illdrinktothatpod.com

I'll Drink to That! Wine Tal‪k‬ Levi Dalton

    • Food
    • 4.8 • 911 Ratings

A former sommelier interviews incredibly famous and knowledgeable wine personalities in his tiny apartment. He gets them to talk candidly about their lives and work, and then shares the conversations with you. To see all the back episodes from episode 1 in your feed, and to see new episodes sooner, it is important to SUBSCRIBE. It is free to subscribe.

Contact info-

Email leviopenswine@gmail.com

Instagram @leviopenswine

Twitter @drinktothatpod

Website illdrinktothatpod.com

    IDTT Wine 482: Lorenzo Accomasso and Barolo from the War Until Now

    IDTT Wine 482: Lorenzo Accomasso and Barolo from the War Until Now

    Lorenzo Accomasso is a vintner in the La Morra area of Italy's Piemonte region. He has been releasing Barolo and other wines under the Accomasso label for several decades.




    Lorenzo discusses the increased interest in Barolo and in the wines of the Piemonte that has occurred over the last couple of decades, as well as the increased planting of vineyards in La Morra. Lorenzo talks about helping his parents at the winery in the post-World War II years. He contrasts the current situation for the wines with the period of the 1960s, when people were leaving the countryside to find jobs in factories. He also recalls the difficult growing conditions of the 1970s, and the changes in attitude towards topics like green harvesting and fruit sorting that have occurred over time.




    Lorenzo is clear about his winemaking stance as a Traditional producer, and touches on some of the techniques that separate his winemaking from those who operate in a Modern style. He talks about the changes in popularity for Modern and Traditional wines from the Piemonte, and how those categories have been perceived in the market over time. He also touches on the difficulty of changing one's winemaking style once it has been set. Vineyard work is discussed, and Lorenzo makes a distinction between his different Barolo vineyards (Rocche, Rocchette, and Le Mie Vigne). He contrasts the different attributes of those vineyard sites.




    Vintage evaluations are given for many years, stretching back to the 1970s. Lorenzo gives his frank opinions of many vintages, and at times gives his thoughts on ageability as well. Then he discusses some of the difficulties he has experienced when making wines from the Dolcetto grape variety, in contrast to Nebbiolo.




    This is a rare opportunity to hear from a Piemonte vintner who lived through World War II, and with that in mind, this episode begins with a history of Italy and of the Piemonte in the later years of that war and after. That was a time when fighting between Fascists and Partisans took a huge human toll, with many deaths. The capsule history then transitions into a discussion of the changes the Piemonte experienced in the second half of the 20th century, as emigration and industrialization changed the environment for wine production. Italian cultural commentators Mario Soldati and Luigi Veronelli are also talked about, as are the changes in winemaking that increasingly began to take hold in the late 1970s and into the 2000s. Those changes gave rise to different winemaking camps in the Piemonte, which are discussed. Eventually the market for the Piemonte wines begins to change, and at the same time there arrives a belated realization that climate change has altered the realities for vine growing in the Piemonte.




    This episode also features commentary from:




    Martina Barosio, formerly of Scarpa

    Nicoletta Bocca, San Fereolo

    Beppe Colla (translated by Federica Colla), the ex-owner of Prunotto

    Luca Currado, Vietti

    Umberto Fracassi Ratti Mentone, Umberto Fracassi

    Angelo Gaja, Gaja

    Gaia Gaja, Gaja

    Maria Teresa Mascarello, Cantina Bartolo Mascarello

    Danilo Nada, Nada Fiorenzo

    Giacomo Oddero (translated by Isabella Oddero), Poderi Oddero

    Federico Scarzello, Scarzello

    Aldo Vaira (translated by Giuseppe Vaira), G.D. Vajra

    Aldo Vacca, Produttori del Barbaresco

    Michael Garner, co-author of Barolo: Tar and Roses

    Victor Hazan, author of Italian Wine




    Thank You to...

    Robert Lateiner and Gregory Dal Piaz for the use of the recording of Lorenzo Accomasso

    Carlotta Rinaldi and Giuseppe Vaira for their translation work

    Chris Thile for voiceover

    Bodhisattwa for the whistling of "Bella Ciao"

    • 1 hr 33 min
    IDTT Wine 481: Wine Before and After the Genocide

    IDTT Wine 481: Wine Before and After the Genocide

    Zorik Gharibian is the founder of the Zorah winery, in the Vayots Dzor region of southern Armenia.

    Zorik discusses the long history of wine production in Armenia, referencing evidence that wine was made in Armenia in the Copper Age (about 6,000 years ago). He talks about the grape remnants and clay storage jars that have been found from that time. And he discusses other wine related finds in Armenia, in both the pre-Christian era and later. Zorik then explains why a hundred year gap occured in the dry wine production of Armenia, and he talks about the situation for wine as he found it in Armenia in the late 1990s.

    Zorik explains his rationale for beginning his own winery in Armenia, and talks about the different winemaking regions of Armenia. He gives special emphasis to the area that he chose to base his production in, Vayots Dzor. He talks about the native grape family of that region, which is known as Areni, and his experiences with planting a new Areni vineyard. That is contrasted with his comments about a much older vineyard of Areni, which he also works with. Both vineyards are own-rooted, as phylloxera is not present in the region.

    Zorik also talks about the amphora clay containers that housed wine in Armenia in ancient times, and which he uses today as well. He gives his explanation for why he chose to mature his Areni wine in amphora - known as Karas in Armenia - as opposed to wooden barriques. And he relates details about his search to find amphora that were already existing in Armenia and which he could use, as well as to develop production of new amphora there today. He further gives a summary of the drinking habits of his surrounding region in Armenia, and an outlook on what it is like working in Armenia today.

    This episode also features commentary from:

    Katherine Moore, Union Square Wines

    Lee Campbell, Early Mountain Vineyards

    Conrad Reddick, Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

    • 56 min
    IDTT Wine 480: Kevin Zraly Was At the Top of the World and Then Lost Almost Everything

    IDTT Wine 480: Kevin Zraly Was At the Top of the World and Then Lost Almost Everything

    Kevin Zraly is the author of "Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course". He is also the co-author (with Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen) of the book "Red Wine: The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Essential Varieties and Styles". Kevin was for decades the Cellar Master of Windows on the World restaurant, located on the top floors of the North Tower of New York City's original World Trade Center.

    Kevin describes his entry into the world of restaurants as a college student, and how a series of seemingly chance events led him to study and teach about wine. He recalls trips to California, France, Italy, and Spain to visit wineries, and some of the standout moments in those adventures. Then Kevin talks about his short lived career as a wholesale wine salesman in New York City, and explains how that quickly developed into a job opportunity as the Cellar Master at the brand new Windows on the World restaurant in the late 1970s. His role at Windows brought him into contact with legendary restauranteur Joe Baum, whom Kevin talks about at length.

    Kevin talks about the philosophy behind the wine program at Windows on the World - from the selection to the pricing to the service style - and recalls a key trip to Bordeaux to source wines there with Alexis Lichine. He also explains how working at Windows led to his book deal, and to more and more teaching opportunities. Kevin became famous as a teacher and speaker about wine, and in this interview he discusses how he approaches speaking to a group about wine. He also recalls the origins of the New York Wine Experience, which he founded.

    The interview with Kevin goes from highs to lows, as Windows on the World is closed by a bombing in 1993, and then totally destroyed as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Kevin shares the pain he has felt as a result, and gives his rationale for why he might have survived while his co-workers perished. He also talks about how he has coped with the aftermath of those terrible events on a personal level, and some of the challenges that he has faced as a parent.

    This episode also features commentary from:

    Martin Sinkoff, Martin Sinkoff Associates

    • 1 hr 9 min
    IDTT Wine 479: Christopher Howell Doesn't Want It To Be About Him

    IDTT Wine 479: Christopher Howell Doesn't Want It To Be About Him

    Christopher Howell is the winemaker and General Manager of the Cain Vineyard and Winery in the Napa Valley of California.

    Christopher discusses his early wine tastings and home winemaking in the 1970s, and talks about some key relationships that helped form his interest in wine. He explains how he ended up pursuing an oenological and viticultural education in Montpellier, France, highlighting some notable people that he studied with, and how that school work then led to a stagiaire position at Château Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux. Christopher talks about a chance meeting that he had while working at Mouton, and something that was said to him that has stayed with him for the rest of his life. He also discusses other adventures in other wine cellars in France, notably at Château Rayas in the Rhône Valley.

    Christopher discusses his return to the United States, and a pivotal meeting with Helen Turley that then led to a job at Peter Michael in the late 1980s. He talks about characteristics of Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer that would contribute to their success in the wine world, and Christopher is frank about what he learned from them both. He further explains how the transition to working at the Cain Vineyard and Winery came about, where he has now been employed for the last thirty years.

    Christopher is open about his sometimes unconventional winemaking choices, and explains the thought processes behind some idiosyncratic decision making, as well. In particular concerning brettanomyces, reduction, and volatile acidity. He also discusses the evolution of the different wine offerings at Cain, and what he has learned from that progression. He shares a great deal of his philosophy on topics like farming, vineyard trellising, terroir expression, grape variety blending, and wine complexity. He also is frank in his discussion about what his career choices have really entailed.

    This episode also features commentary from the following people:

    Cathy Corison, Corison Winery

    Kelli White, author of "Napa Valley Then and Now"

    Ehren Jordan, Failla

    John Lockwood, Enfield Wine Co.

    Bernard Portet, founding winemaker at Clos Du Val

    • 2 hr 10 min
    IDTT Wine 478: Jason Lett Is Not At Peace

    IDTT Wine 478: Jason Lett Is Not At Peace

    Jason Lett is the co-owner of The Eyrie Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

    Jason discusses how his father, David Lett, helped transform the Willamette Valley into a growing region for Pinot Noir, acheiving worldwide acclaim for his efforts. Jason, who was born shortly after his father arrived in Oregon, retraces in this conversation the path that led his father there. He also talks about the character of his father, what he was trying to accomplish and why. Jason is clear about the state of winery, the wines, and his relationship with his father at the time of the transition to his own leadership at The Eyrie Vineyards.

    Jason explains realizations he has made working with other grape varieties besides Pinot Noir in Oregon, such as Chasselas and Trousseau. He also talks about how the farming at the family properties has changed since his father's day. And he discusses how his approach to certain wines is different from his father's practice.

    Jason is open about how trips to Burgundy and interactions with Burgundians have affected him and his work. He specifically talks about people like Gérard Potel, André Mussy, the Drouhin family, Michel Lafarge, Patrick Bize, and Romain Lignier. Some of Jason's comments about these people are further fleshed out in this episode by additional commentary spliced in from other interviews in the I'll Drink to That! archive.

    Climate change is also discussed in this episode, as Jason addresses how this reality might be approached in the vineyard. And he talks about how the region that his father made famous for Pinot Noir has itself changed over the decades since.

    This episode also features commentary from the following people:

    Mimi Casteel, Hope Well Wine

    Jacques Seysses, Domaine Dujac

    Dominique Lafon, Domaine Comtes Lafon

    Michel Lafarge, Domaine Michel Lafarge

    Christophe Roumier, Domaine Georges Roumier

    Becky Wasserman-Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co.

    Russell Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co.

    • 1 hr 52 min
    IDTT Wine 477: Mary Ewing-Mulligan Says Intro Books Don't Sell...More Than Several Million Copies

    IDTT Wine 477: Mary Ewing-Mulligan Says Intro Books Don't Sell...More Than Several Million Copies

    Mary Ewing-Mulligan is the President of International Wine Center, located in New York City, and a co-author of the "Wine For Dummies" books.

    Mary discusses her introduction to working with wine, employed by an Italian government agency responsible for promoting Italian wine. She explains the situation for Italian wines in the United States at the time, the 1970s, and how the Italian wines in the market went about competing with wines from other countries. She also contrasts that situation for Italian wine to the situation for Italian wine in the United States today, and points out what has changed. Mary then talks about her own experiences traveling to Italy, and her friendship with the Currado family of the Vietti winery in Italy's Piemonte.

    Mary goes on to explain a key decision in her own wine career, leaving a high paying job in public relations to take a more modestly paid position at a wine school. She talks about her struggles to pass the Master of Wine exam, and her eventual triumph as the first woman residing in North America to earn a Master of Wine title. She then discusses her introduction of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust curriculum to the United States.

    Mary's career takes another turn as she and her husband Ed McCarthy write the very successful "Wine For Dummies" book that led to a number of other wine books in the "Dummies" series being authored by the couple as well. She talks about how she and Ed went about writing the "Dummies" books, in terms of approach. And Mary grapples in this interview with being on the one hand the author of "Wine For Dummies," while on the other hand also being a Master of Wine. She explains how she feels about the pairing, and what her motivations were at each point in her career.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
911 Ratings

911 Ratings

HenkelPartyof6 ,

Excellent podcast

As a winemaker and wine lover I am thankful for that Levi makes this show. Every guest is different from the last, and his interviews are both informative and soulful.

drinkrhythm ,

Host is a pompous a**

Listen if you want to be lectured by someone who thinks they are holier than thou

meredithhu ,

Best of its kind

Spent a lot of time re listening to and taking notes on these podcasts esp those with vintners/authors with the extra time from the pandemic. Some episodes are just so precious (eg with those that had sadly passed away), informative, and inspirational that I haven’t found any other podcast/forum/anything that could hold a candle to. Thanks so much and keep going!

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