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Wine Blast with Susie and Peter
65 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
Becoming a Master of Wine, Part 2
The chief examiner for the Master of Wine (MW) tasting exam is a terrifying figure guaranteed to strike fear and despair into the hearts of all aspiring MW students. So we ask him how to pass the exam. And it turns out he’s actually pretty nice, and meditates in his spare time. A lesson to us all… Beyond that, we hear short sharp blasts of top-quality advice and insight from two of the most recently crowned Masters of Wine: Jacky Blisson from Montreal and the first Italian MW, Gabriele Gorelli. We also get an insight into the trials, tribulations (and positive experiences) of former teetotaller now current MW student Sumi Sarma, who’s gearing up to do her big Stage 2 exams. Not only that but Mags Janjo speaks eloquently about being a prospective MW student, what winning the Golden Vines MW scholarship means to him, plus the key issue of diversity and inclusivity in wine. Somehow we also find time to touch on the questionable wisdom of Homer Simpson, mention Peter’s Mum and dwell briefly on the importance of home-made sausage rolls and ‘feeding the inner nerd’. We also get down on bended knee to implore you to vote for us in the People's Choice Podcast Awards. Thank you in advance… This is the final episode in Season Two. We’ll be storming back to start Season Three in September. Don’t go anywhere, you won’t want to miss it!
66 minutes | Jul 2, 2021
Bordeaux in 2021
Goats, amphorae, Whatsapp, wine aged in space, terroir, bats, non-fungible tokens and sexual confusion all crop up as we look beyond the Bordeaux stereotypes in a sponsored episode with the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB). Sharing their expert views with us on the latest goings-on in the region are Bordeaux-based writer and critic Jane Anson (author of Inside Bordeaux) and Yann Todeschini of Château Mangot in St Emilion. We discuss everything from sales to sustainability via soils, biodynamics, biodiversity (including why Châteaux Cheval Blanc and Lafite are ripping up vines to plant trees), orange wine, en primeur, the 2019 vs the 2020 vintage and experimental new grape varieties. And there are plenty of top tips along the way for wines and producers that challenge preconceptions.
59 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Becoming a Master of Wine, Part 1
What even IS a Master of Wine?! How do you become one? Which Jedi powers come with the title? Is it true the pass rate is under 10%? What’s the real cost, not just in financial but also time and emotional fallout? How diverse and inclusive is the MW body? Aren’t the days of ‘the expert’ numbered anyway?! It’s a biggie. So we’re doing this in two parts – this first one is about our own experiences of becoming Masters of Wine (MWs), and we don’t shy away from detailing the brutal lows as well as the giddying highs. We also share some of our tips and strategies for passing in double quick time (both of us won the Outstanding Student award in our respective years) and get the ‘establishment’ views from The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW). In Part 2 we’ll be hearing from a current MW student, a recently passed MW and that most mythical of beasts…a chief examiner. Buckle up.
46 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Our Story, Part 2
What's the difference between English sparkling wine and champagne? Why bother doing the Master of Wine qualification? What's the story behind Wine Blast, and why is podcasting so suited to wine? If we could be any wine, what would it be? What to do with a wine festival in lockdown? If we could share a glass of wine with anyone, who would that be? We answer all these questions and more in an interview conducted expertly by Natalie MacLean and originally featured on her Unreserved Wine Talk podcast (Ep 118: Dream Wine Careers with Susie Barrie and Peter Richards). This is the second part of this interview; Part 1 is the previous episode of Wine Blast (S2 E16). We also talk about how to film wine TV amidst a global pandemic, focusing on Peter's recent trip to Georgia. Oh, and there are passing mentions of Blue Nun, the King of the Netherlands, epic orange Frysland cheese, a neolithic picnic, the WineGB Awards, a MiG fighter jet, personalised portaloos...and the importance of bubbles.
56 minutes | May 28, 2021
Our Story, Part 1
Our story - as told (in slightly roundabout fashion) to Natalie MacLean on her Unreserved Wine Talk podcast. Beans are spilled...apologies issued...we reveal our career low points as well as what wine has done for our relationship (Susie skates on thin ice). Also why Peter makes a bad Santa and what we think of the fancy dress tendencies of your average French marathon runner. Among other things. So yes, this is a re-run of 'Having a Wine Blast with Susie Barrie and Peter Richards', Episode 117 of Natalie's Unreserved Wine Talk, from Feb 2021, in which she interviews us (and chooses a few embarrassing photos of ours to prod us with). As part of our intro, we announce the winner of our New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc competition from our last episode, sharing the funniest and best of myriad inspired entries, and say sorry for not putting out an episode lately... Part 2 to follow.
67 minutes | May 7, 2021
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is one of the wine world's most dramatic success stories. It went from zero to hero in the 1980s and 1990s, stunning the world with its uniquely extrovert character, and paving the way for an entire nation's wine fortunes to be revolutionised. Some people are a bit snobby about Kiwi Sauvignon - too easy, too obvious, too samey, they say. But the truth is that Sauvignon can be every bit as diverse, complex, age-worthy and fine as other great white grape varieties. In this episode we take a very DEEP dive into the subject, exploring in our longest episode to date what (and where) Sauvignon is, before moving onto its story in New Zealand - from virtual unknown to spearheading a wine revolution in New Zealand and now offering a range of styles that speak of regionality, winemaking diversity and (whisper it) fun. We chat to James Healy (formerly of Cloudy Bay and Dog Point, now ABEL in Nelson), research scientist Dr Wendy Parr, Yealands chief winemaker Natalie Christensen, and wine merchant and restaurateur Melanie Brown. We also taste our way through an array of Sauvignons, from low alcohol to blush, from classic to new wave styles, from the young to the old via the elegantly oaked. Salmon ceviche and monkfish with asparagus risotto are on our table and we talk about other dishes too. This is a sponsored episode in partnership with New Zealand Winegrowers, who are kindly offering a prize of 6 bottles of the Sauvignons we highlight in this episode to one lucky winner. You just have to tell us what your favourite accompaniment to Sauvignon is - food, music, occasion, person, etc - by Friday 14th May 2021.
44 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Wine can be a career?! (RE-RUN with bonus bits)
We wanted to revisit this (our second ever episode) partly to laugh at our presenting style back then, and also because it's so full of enthusiasm, helpful tips and, most importantly, tales of young people (especially young women) seizing opportunities and forging brilliant careers in wine. And the odd second career too. We're also slightly amazed at how much we managed to shoe-horn into an episode in the early days of the podcast, because we also rustled up some student classics - spicy sausage pasta plus the easiest home-made pizza EVER – and lined up a selection of value Aldi wines (spoiler: not all go down well but there is a BARGAIN to be had). Some of the wines may not be available any more but, hey, the basics still hold. Our Wine A-Z takes in biodynamics before Warren asks how to tell if a wine is corked. In our updated intro (yes, we did do SOME new work for this 'bonus' episode), we answer a question from listener Thom, who's keen to know whether he should tackle his WSET Diploma exam when he's got a 2-year-old snapping at his heels.
40 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
The Big English Wine Adventure
How do you fancy getting a name of your choosing on a wine label, benefitting a charity that’s close to your heart…and winning some delicious, unique English wine in the process?! That's exactly what's up for grabs in this episode, in which we discuss our Big English Wine Adventure, chat with superstar UK winemakers Liam Idzikowski (Danbury Ridge) and Emma Rice (Hattingley Valley), get excited about Essex Pinot and Hampshire Meunier...and throw around some wine puns on the theme of The Simpsons. Now THAT'S entertainment.We launched our Big English Wine Adventure back in 2016 – the year of Brexit, Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win, the Brazil Olympics, Boaty McBoat Face and the warmest year yet measured on earth. We wanted to do something fun and collaborative with English wine, something people could join in and be part of, not to mention raising money for a good cause.Over the course of three, historic vintages in the UK (2016, 2017 and 2018), we teamed up with Hampshire producer Hattingley Valley and brand new Essex wine estate Danbury Ridge, to produce three unique wines: two markedly different styles of Hampshire sparkling and one very fine barrel of Essex Pinot Noir. Now we need your help to find a charity to work with – as well as a name for our sparkling wines. Whoever submits the winning nomination will receive a beautifully presented and packaged full set of all three wines, worth around £100, plus a copy of our Essential Guide to English Wine. Deadline for nominations is midnight on Sunday 2nd May 2021. To nominate, or for more info, go to: https://susieandpeter.com/watch/english-wine-adventure/The wines are set for release in late 2021 and demand is expected to be high, given the nature of the wines and the extremely limited quantities available. As a result, pre-registration is now open, via the web page as above. Don’t miss out!
43 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Build a Wine Collection at Home
You like wine. But you don't have lots of space at home. So what's the best way to go about starting (or improving) your wine collection? Listener Steven from Belfast asked the question, which was our cue to spring into action, doling out handy tips and advice, even doing a mini stock-take of our own at-home collection (with eye-opening results...) We talk to Nathan Hill, chairman of wine club/merchant Honest Grapes and himself an avid amateur collector when starting out, and Alexander de Valle of Bacchus Concierge, an independent advisor on building wine collections, who makes a generous offer to our listeners. You can save yourself money and drink in style by following the advice in this episode - though fans of Marie Kondo might want to look elsewhere...
58 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
Sommeliers - What Next?!
Sommeliers. SO MANY QUESTIONS! What even IS a sommelier - or a Master Sommelier? What makes a great sommelier? How have sommeliers been affected by the pandemic, when hospitality has been devastated? What's all this about the lack of diversity among sommeliers? What of the very serious scandals that have played out in very public and traumatic fashion at the Court of Master Sommeliers-Americas lately?! Ultimately: what does the future hold for sommeliers, this proud and historic profession that has really been through the wringer of late? We ask these questions (and many more) of a star line-up of guests:Emily Wines MS, Chair of the Board of the Court of Master Sommeliers-AmericasAudrey Annoh-Antwi, sommelier and front of house at Lorne restaurant in London and Be Inclusive Hospitality ambassadorJason Wise, director of the Somm movies and founder of Somm TVAnd we get...some hard-hitting, thought-provoking and fascinating answers, which we discuss amongst ourselves while also recommending wines from Help4Hospitality AND offering you a fun prize giveaway. If sommeliers are all about hospitality - then this podcast is the same. Dedicated to the memory of two fine sommeliers, and fine friends: Terry Threlfall and Gerard Basset.
46 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
The Undeserved Hangover - Tackling Wine Intolerance
For some people, wine is a pain. Up to 10% of the population suffers adverse reactions from drinking wine - and often sulfites are blamed. But what if, in most cases, the exact opposite were true? That sulfites are actually the unfairly maligned hero of the piece, and there's another culprit to blame? More tantalisingly, what if proper action on this front could help many drinkers enjoy wine without having to worry about the side-effects?! We're taking a dive into the fascinating world of biogenic amines. These little-known chemicals naturally occur in our bodies and food and wine but, in excess, can cause the kind of issues we're used to ascribing to wine intolerance (headaches, migraines, rashes, flushing, palpitations, nausea etc). And what can keep their levels low in wine? That's right - sulfites. This episode was inspired by the recently published research of Sophie Parker-Thomson MW on the subject of biogenic amines and sulfur dioxide use. She says we need to talk about biogenic amines more, that the wine industry, 'should be very concerned about biogenic amines,' and it 'needs to act on this issue.' She identifies sulfur dioxide as, 'the fundamental tool' to ensure wine safety and calls for the creation of an entirely new category for wines that are low in biogenic amines. At the same time, she warns of the risks of low-sulfur or natural wines that can be dangerously high in biogenic amines. So could 'the undeserved hangover' soon be a thing of the past?
51 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
Canada, crisps and beyond with Natalie MacLean
What wine goes best with ketchup (or sweet chilli) crisps? What's 'ice cuvée fizz'? How to pair Netflix with wine? How good is Canadian wine, and which are the best ones to buy? Most importantly, how can you win prizes up to the value of CA$400 (or £260)?! It's all here, a small wine universe in a podcast. We're talking to globally renowned wine communicator and proud Canadian Natalie MacLean, who hosts the excellent Unreserved Wine Talk podcast (among MANY other things), and recommending a range of top Canadian wines. Natalie touches on many fascinating topics in our interview, from how she first fell in love with wine to her top wine tip, her advice for those looking to make wine a career, how women should aim high, dealing with an alcoholic father, how the pandemic has changed wine learning, podcasting highs and lows and food pairings. Not to mention ketchup crisps...which gives us an idea...
34 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
Spread the Love - with Majestic Wine
Time to spread the wine love! First up, we asked you lovely lot for stories about how and when you first fell in love with wine - so we not only have some brilliant stories to share but also have a WINNER taking away £125-worth of Balfour Winemakers' Collection wines. This is a sponsored episode in partnership with Majestic Wine, so we have some delicious recommendations from their range for you to get stuck into (and which also spread the love, eg to South Africa and California: wine regions that can really do with our support). As if that isn't enough delectability, we have a gorgeous recipe for miso beef with soy mustard sauce that's perfect for an indulgent treat. See?! We didn't even mention the word Valentine's...
57 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
A wine lover's guide to (relative) sobriety... What DO wine lovers do when we want time off the booze? What's the best lifestyle approach to minimise intake but maximise enjoyment? What are the best wine alternatives out there? Inspired by a question sent in by listener John, in this episode we look beyond wine and explore how to make the most of not drinking. We talk to Stuart Elkington, founder of Dry Drinker, who shares some great stories and insights, as well as to the makers of Chilean booze-free 'wine' brand Sinzero. On a personal note, we spill the beans on our own 'Happy Medium' (or FOTO) regime, the aim of which is to enjoy wine to the max while keeping the side effects to a minimum. We also recommend some great No & Low alternatives for wine lovers and even even take the drastic step of sharing our Intake Diary. (Deep breath...)
57 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Burgundy in 2021 Part 2
It's hard not to hang on every word of Mounir Saouma's. He's a Burgundy grower with a difference - someone who's not afraid to go against the grain and challenge the easy stereotypes. He doesn't mince his words, which makes for a provocative listen as we talk climate change, pricing (sample quote: 'It's a disaster!') and the 2019 vintage. He even manages to bring Churchill into the debate... Meanwhile, we do a swift tasting featuring everything from a cheap Spar Bourgogne Blanc to a £360 red, and recommend some affordable Burgundies too. Finally, we air some of your inspired views on why you both love and hate Burgundy. This is the second and concluding part (albeit a stand-alone episode) of our Burgundy in 2021 deep dive into the wine world's most iconic region.
47 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
Burgundy in 2021 Part 1
To kick off 2021, we dive right into the fascinating, frustrating, compelling wine world that is Burgundy. Iconic - certainly. Over-priced? Plausibly. At great risk from climate change? Undoubtedly. We explore these issues and more across two special episodes - and in this first part we quiz our fellow Master of Wine and renowned Burgundy expert, Jasper Morris, as well as buyer Rebecca Palmer from Corney & Barrow, agents for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (among other things). We give our summary on the 2019 vintage, which is currently going on sale, explore how to find good value, the new generation, alternatives to Burgundy and biodynamics, all in the time in takes to sink a fine bottle of Passetoutgrains. Or Chambertin.
44 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
Dreaming of a Wine Christmas
Is champagne a good match for fried chicken? (Or marmite?!) How do you make the perfect Christmas wreath...OUT OF CORKS? What are the best wines to enjoy during the festivities beyond the classics but including Pinot Noir? What seasonal clothing item of Peter's does Susie describe as, 'tasteless'? How to rustle up the most DELICIOUS sausage rolls at home, ideal for those pandemic-era outdoors meet-ups? These are surely the most pressing existential questions facing the human race right now, so we bravely dive in, revealing our WINE OF THE YEAR along the way. Thanks for listening - it's been a wild ride in 2020 and we look forward to being back (after a bit of a breather) in 2021. Stay safe, here's wishing you delicious festivities - and cheers!
44 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
So where does the humble glass bottle fit into the bigger picture of wine? Some are decrying its impact on the environment, citing the carbon footprint of smelting glass and shipping heavy, space-inefficient bottles around the planet. But glass has one of the highest recycling rates of any packaging and has served wine well for centuries, an inert container that has no interaction with its contents and allows wine to age and develop over time (or retain its fizz). As energy inputs include ever-more renewable sources, and shipping in bulk and light-weighting mean ever fewer carbon emissions per bottle, is it time to re-evaluate glass's place in the debate? We talk to British Glass technical director Dr Nick Kirk and Simon Lawson, GM Europe of Casella Family Brands, makers of one of the world's biggest wine brands, [yellow tail]. A partnership pod with British Glass.
40 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
Napa + wine on screen
A trip to *hic* Hollywood via Napa Valley as we chat to Matt Crafton, winemaker at the renowned Chateau Montelena, about serious stuff like making elegant wine in Napa, the wildfires, climate change, sustainability, his lockdown wines and...the film Bottle Shock. This enables us to segue neatly onto a rollicking ride through our (and your) favourite wine movies and wine moments on screen, from Sour Grapes to Sideways, Silence of the Lambs, Somm, The Secret of Santa Vittoria, The Sopranos and The Simpsons (and that's only the letter S). Plenty of wine material to inspire fun and delicious drinking over the holidays...
30 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
The Sam Neill EXCLUSIVE
'My day job is acting but my life is really wine and farming.' So says Sam Neill, world famous for his roles in screen hits like Jurassic Park, Peaky Blinders, Dead Calm and The Piano, but whose real passion is his Two Paddocks wine estate in Central Otago, New Zealand. We caught up with Sam while he was quarantining after arriving back in New Zealand from 5 months filming Jurassic Park 6 in the UK. We chat wine, dinosaurs, ukeleles, lockdown, animals named after celebrities (like Merryl Streep the chicken), the antichrist's taste in wine, Burgundy, Charlie Chaplin, the quest to make great great Pinot Noir, and what's REALLY in Sam's mug of 'tea'... ps Part of this interview originally appeared on screen as part of our Wine Festival Online (www.thewinefestival.co.uk) but if you'd like to 'see' our full (unedited) chat, head to our YouTube channel 'Susie and Peter on Wine.'
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