The world of wine doesn't have to be intimidating. Wine-afficionado Sam Benrubi invites you on a weekly wine journey with The Grape Nation. No snobbery here, just a palatable trip through the world's vineyards, their keepers, journalists, authors, importers and more. Try some great wine with Sam and his guests and get tips for enjoying the best wines from the weekly "Wine List" and "Wine Sip." The Grape Nation...We Bring Wine to the People.
Justin Pichetrungsi, Anajak
Stacked, jacked and whacked with every award, including a James Beard, Food and Wine’s Best Chef, LA Times Best Restaurant of the Year, and a NY Times America’s Best Restaurants, Justin Pichetrungsi is the second-generation owner of Anajak Thai in California. More importantly, he is preserving the legacy of his family’s 40-year-old restaurant along with transforming it. After 10 years at Disney as an Art Director and Imagineer, working on Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar, he left to join his family restaurant when his father became ill in 2019. Justin’s innovation and love of natural wine have made Anajak one of the great food and wine destinations in America.
Ray Isle hails from “Deep in the Heart of Texas”, and is the son of an English professor, and he probably pissed his dad off after leaving academia to pursue wine writing. He is the Executive Wine Editor for “Food and Wine” and the Wine and Spirits Editor for “Travel and Leisure”. He has been on the beat for over two decades covering wine, spirits, and cocktails. Ray is a journalist, sought-after speaker, and now author. His brand-new book, “The World in a Wine Glass: The Insider’s Guide to Artisanal, Sustainable, Extraordinary Wines to Drink Now”, is an extensive and personal tome on the great natural wines and their makers from around the world.
Isabelle Legeron, Raw Wine
Isabelle Legeron needs no introduction to The Grape Nation audience. She is a Master of Wine, author, founder of Raw Wine, and the Raw Wine Fairs, a wine consultant, and she oversees the Raw Wine Club. She is a true advocate of organic farming practices and proper living wines. Raw Wine is coming to NYC Nov. 12 & 13, Toronto Nov. 15th, Montreal Nov. 18th & 19th and Berlin Dec. 3rd. Isabelle has four Raw Wine Fairs scheduled through June 2024, including Tokyo and Copenhagen.
Chiara Pepe is a third-generation winemaker in Abruzzo Italy. Her grandfather’s grandfather made home wine in the basement dating back to the late 1800’s, eventually becoming Emidio Pepe in 1964, one of the most highly regarded and sought-after wines in the world. Chiara, along with her mom and sister run the winery with Chiara overseeing the land, vines, grapes, and cellar. She farms biodynamically with no intervention in the cellar and is a magician with Trebbiano and Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo. She is in NYC to pour at the Karakterre and other events.
Champagne runs through Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon’s veins. A native of Reims, in Champagne, he received his degree in viticulture and oenology from the University of Montpellier. He joined the Louis Roederer Champagne House in 1989 working in Tasmania and the Anderson Valley before returning to France, eventually overseeing all vineyard and winery operations. Jean Baptiste is the Chef du Cave and EVP of Champagne at Louis Roederer. He is one of Champagne’s most pioneering winemakers with his holistic approach to the vines and wines.
Daniel Johnnes and Raj Vaidya
Daniel Johnnes is a true wine hero. He spent four decades in wine and hospitality with Daniel Boulud and Drew Nieporent at New York’s finest restaurants. A true Francophile, Daniel has shared and promoted his love of French wine to all of us. He has received two awards from the French Government and is also James Beard Award winner. At The Grape Nation, we like to say “We Bring Wine to the People”. Well, Daniel Johnnes has become the greatest example of that by way of his wine fetes or festivals, La Paulee, La Fete du Champagne, La Tablee, his Pressoir Wine Experiences, and as an importer.
Jersey born, Bombay raised, Raj Vaidya’s love of Burgundy, Champagne and Rhone wines eventually brought him together with Daniel Johnnes. Raj is a highly accomplished Sommelier and Director of Operations for Pressoir. Before Pressoir, Raj worked at the finest wine restaurants in the country including the Ryland Inn, Cru, Gary Danko, and ran the wine program for a dozen years with Daniel Boulud. Raj and Daniel are gearing up for La Fete du Champagne Oct. 25-28th in NYC, Nov. 3rd and 4th in Houston.
Great audio, great guests, but the host cannot stop interrupting his guests. Seems like he knows his stuff, but it also seems like he’s more interested in proving that, than allowing his guests to answer the question.
Let the guests talk!
This podcast drives me crazy. Great guests, but constant interruptions by the host make it almost impossible to listen to with any sense of appreciation. The Russell Bevan interview was a classic example. What a great guest, but I kept shouting. “Shut Up” at the host as he had to keep inserting himself into the discourse. The audio for the host was horrible, as well. Had to keep turning the sound up to hear him, while Mr. Bevan was loud and clear. PLEASE let your guests talk. Thank you.
These podcasts are not to be missed. The best insights on wine you will get on a podcast. Sam is the best. Don’t miss an episode