Episodes
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....
Published 05/07/21
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...
Published 04/30/21
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...
Published 04/23/21
You like wine. But you don't have lots of space at home. 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...
Published 04/09/21
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...
Published 03/26/21
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...
Published 03/12/21
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...
Published 02/26/21
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...
Published 02/12/21
A wine lover's guide to (relative) sobriety...
Published 01/29/21
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,...
Published 01/22/21
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...
Published 01/15/21
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? 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,...
Published 12/23/20
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 allows wine to age and develop over time (or retain its fizz). As energy inputs and shipping in bulk mean ever less carbon emissions...
Published 12/18/20
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...
Published 12/11/20
'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...
Published 12/04/20
The wild, fun wine ride continues after a first season full of intrigue, deliciousness and, erm, magnum Jenga. For those who don't know Wine Blast, welcome! We don't bite (unless very thirsty). The show is for everyone - we bring wine to life with a smile, chatting to intriguing people all around the world , sharing our recipes and recommendations, and chewing the wine cud in general. You are warmly invited to share a glass with us, have a laugh and hopefully go away just a bit more inspired...
Published 11/27/20
Where's best for wine travel? (Well - we can dream, can't we?!) The best value bold New World Chardonnays out there? Greek wine? Why no love for Merlot? How to deal with being considered pretentious when it comes to wine?? We answer your burning wine questions and pick our favourite highlights from the 30 episodes to date in this fun, momentous culmination to Season 1 of Wine Blast. And it has been a blast, THANK YOU everyone for listening, supporting, recommending, rating, reviewing and...
Published 11/18/20
We use our wine festival (formerly Wine Festival Winchester, this year Wine Festival Online) as a springboard to talk English wine, wine education, making a wine festival happen in lockdown, events in general and how normal people engage with wine. We chat to acclaimed English winemaker Emma Rice of Hattingley Valley, Erica Dent of Enjoy Discovering Wine and Tony, who has a great story to tell about his own personal Damascene conversion to wine. As Tony puts it so brilliantly, 'Things have...
Published 11/05/20
So what's the BEST red wine grape variety? Ever? We asked you - and you replied in your droves, more than a thousand of you sending in weird and wonderful suggestions from all over the world. Thank you! We've compiled the results, and the funny comments and goings-on, and you can hear the results in this fun episode. We name names so see if you get a mention! (Sorry if not...) We also find time to talk to legendary Yarra Valley producer Timo Mayer (who's clearly obsessed with Trollinger -...
Published 10/30/20
We've reached a tipping point in environmental terms. Not just in terms of biodiversity, climate change, pandemics and the like - but also in the media. Recent releases showcase this trend - from Kiss the Ground (Netflix) to Extinction: The Facts (BBC/David Attenborough) and The Food Programme's English Pastoral episode. All are powerful, terrifying, inspiring calls to action - and made us think about wine's place in all of this. Given we all share personal responsibility for this crisis,...
Published 10/16/20
So what's been happening to wine during lockdown? It's the BIG question on everyone's lips - and the answer is not what you might expect. We dive right into the debate, throwing about facts, figures and opinions as we go. It does seem as if people revert to the familiar in times of crisis - and we're not afraid to treat ourselves a bit either. With this in mind, we launch a Twitter hullabaloo then taste test the biggest of all wine brands (car crash? Maybe...) After all that excitement, we go...
Published 10/08/20
Chile is a wine scene stuck on fast forward. Many of the most exciting projects lately have been developed in the country's deep south, where the cooler conditions mean more elegant, refreshing wines (and respite from a decade-long drought). And these aren't projects for the faint-hearted: we visit a new vineyard on a remote island 1,200km south of Santiago - and another on the side of a smoking volcano. It's not just about terroir, either - southern Chile is home to indigenous Mapuche...
Published 09/22/20
There is FREE medal-winning wine to be won for UK-based wine lovers in this episode, which ties in with the virtual ceremony for the Wine GB Awards 2020. Tune in for more details! Also to hear Susie's views, in the wake of the trophy announcements for the Wine GB Awards 2020, on what, where and who are providing the real excitement in English and Welsh wine right now. There are also some up-to-date stats on English and Welsh wines to share. The concluding part to Judging Britain's Best Wines...
Published 09/09/20
As one of the best-selling wine writers of all time, with millions of sales to his name and global renown, Hugh Johnson OBE needs little introduction. For this exclusive interview, we head into the privacy of his London home for a rare no-holds-barred, funny, wide-ranging, moving, eye-opening chat. It’s intimate, controversial and thought-provoking. There are few things we don’t cover, and Hugh doesn’t pull his punches. Scoring wines out of 100 points is ‘dangerous’. Some fine wine has...
Published 09/01/20
How can wine lovers help Lebanon in its hour of need? Lebanese wine expert Michael Karam and Chateau Musar’s Marc Hochar talk us through the finer points, all the while educating us about Lebanon’s fascinating (and very, very long) history with wine and its current day challenges including the massive recent explosion in the port area of Beirut. We give a plug to some of the fundraising initiatives taking place around the world and recommend a line-up of delicious Lebanese wines.
Published 08/20/20