I’ll drink to that: my pick of the wine pod­casts

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast - Fiona Beck­ett

I’ve ar­rived pretty late to pod­casts, es­pe­cially when it comes to my spe­cial­ist sub­ject of wine, but many of my friends are fans. One was keen that we should col­lab­o­rate on one, so I re­alised I needed to get up to speed.

I’ve spent the past few weeks lis­ten­ing to them in any spare minute driv­ing, sit­ting on trains, do­ing the wash­ing-up – the great ad­van­tage the pod has over a blog be­ing that you can do some­thing else when you’re lis­ten­ing to them, as op­posed to star­ing at a screen.

They seem to fall into two main camps – ones that are ba­si­cally an in­ter­view with a wine­maker or other wine ex­pert, which are gen­er­ally quite geeky, and those that are more like a chat show with lots of noisy ban­ter be­tween the pre­sen­ters. Then there’s the odd one, like Levi Dal­ton’s I’ll Drink to That!, (known in the pod world as IDTT), the most pro­fes­sional wine pod­cast out there, which in­cludes in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tions such as an hour-long and well-re­searched pro­gramme on the alig­oté grape.

The Q&A ap­proach is most likely to ap­peal if you’re al­ready into wine, al­though Satur­day Kitchen’s ami­able pre­sen­ter Olly Smith’s

A Glass With … takes a broader ap­proach, chat­ting to celebs about their lives in gen­eral over their favourite wine. (Turns out Andi Oliver likes sherry, and Clare Bald­ing Meur­sault.)

Good ex­am­ples of the in­ter­view model are Her­itage Ra­dio’s In the Drink, which is fronted by som­me­lier Joe Cam­panale (though, like many other US pod­casts, you have to en­dure a lengthy com­mer­cial plug be­fore you get go­ing), and Lawrence Fran­cis’ UK­based In­ter­pret­ing Wine, which amaz­ingly man­ages to broad­cast on an al­most daily ba­sis (there’s a great ses­sion with the Wine Show’s Joe Fat­torini).

Of the noisy bantz model, which is prob­a­bly of more in­ter­est to less wine-ob­sessed lis­ten­ers, I like the no-holds-barred Nat­u­ral Dis­as­ters (again US) fronted by Bon Ap­pétit’s wine edi­tor Marissa Ross; and Ben Mc­Far­land, Sam Ca­porn and Tom Sand­ham’s It’s the Drink Talking, which cov­ers a full range of drinks and rates them as, er, “spit or swal­low”.

So, hav­ing caught the pod­cast bug, have I said “yes” to my pal (Master of Wine) Liam Steeven­son? As it hap­pens, I have. Our pod­cast is called Bâ­ton­nage, which refers to the process of stir­ring up the spent yeast cells in a wine to add tex­ture and flavour (stir­ring – ged­dit?) and it launches this month. Wish us luck!

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