California’s Diverse Regions and Wines with Chuck Cramer, Host of On the Road with Mr CA Wine

Jan11th

Introduction

Are you curious about California wine, especially the differences between the various regions? What big trends have changed the California wines you drink for the past 5 years? What would surprise you most about the Napa wine region?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Chuck Cramer, host of On The Road With Mr CA Wine.

You can find the wines we discussed here.

 

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Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.

I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.

I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?

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Highlights

  • What was it like for Chuck to do stand-up comedy for the first time in London?
  • How does California’s Terlato Wines gain access to small European markets that can’t ship directly from California?
  • Why does Chuck love changing people’s minds when it comes to Chardonnay?
  • Why Chuck did start his podcast, On The Road With Mr CA Wine?
  • How did Chuck integrate a signature California vibe into his podcast?
  • What’s behind the huge value and opportunity created by having a podcast?
  • What do you need to know about the California wine industry?
  • Which California wine regions should you be aware of?
  • Which California wine trends have emerged over the last 5-10 years?

Key Takeaways

  • California has an incredible number of wine regions that exhibit a diverse range of climates and soils.
  • Several big trends, such as more regional specificity and lower alcohol wines among others, have changed the California wines we drink over the past 5 years.
  • Although the Napa wine region is renowned, it represents only 4% of all California wine produced. Now that’s great brand marketing and quality.

 

Start The Conversation: Click Below to Share These Wine Tips

 

About Chuck Cramer

Chuck Cramer is a 4th generation Los Angeleno, living in London for the past 22 years. In addition to hosting a wine podcast dedicated to CA wine, On The Road With Mr CA Wine, Chuck is the director of European sales & marketing for Terlato Wines, managing a gorgeous portfolio of CA wines across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He’s also the proud dad of two beautiful women, plays tennis four times a week and bleeds Dodger Blue!

 

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  • You’ll find my books here, including Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass.
  • The new audio edition of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass is now available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and other country-specific Amazon sites; iTunes.ca, iTunes.com and other country-specific iTunes sites; Audible.ca and Audible.com.

 

Transcript

Chuck Cramer 0:00
You have Napa, Sonoma just north of San Francisco but an hour and a half drive. And then you have Paso Robles, which is Central Coast which sits halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. And then you have Temecula which is inland from San Diego and Los Angeles. So you know South Coast, Southern California. Napa only produces 4% of the wines coming out of California. Lodi is a workhorse 22%. Paso Robles, they keep talking about how Paso Robles is emerging. Well, I think Paso Robles is here. They make great wine.

Natalie MacLean 0:40
Do you have a thirst to learn about wine? Do you love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places, and amusingly awkward social situations? Well, that’s the blend here on the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie Maclean. And each week, I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started.

Welcome to Episode 215. Are you curious about California wine, especially the differences between the various regions? What big trends have changed the California wines you drink from five years ago? And what would surprise you most about the Napa wine region? You’ll hear those tips and stories in our chat with Chuck Cramer, host of the podcast On The Road with Mr. CA Wine.

Now a quick update on my upcoming memoir Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much. As I’ve been travelling on this publishing journey, I’ve also been watching the TV show Younger. This seven season series glamorizes the publishing industry the way Sex in the City glamorized writing a newspaper column. In both, the lead characters’ have a passion for writing that absolutely thrills me. Editors fight for books they believe in. Authors struggle to get the right word on the page. The shows also share the ridiculous notion that freelance writers, authors and publishing company staff could ever afford the dazzling haut couture fashions that were based on meagre salaries and advances. A lot of people entering publishing today have the financial support of their parents or a spouse, otherwise living in the big cities would be unaffordable. Personally, I’ve already spent my advanced seven times over hiring editors to strengthen my book and lawyers to review it. Still, I love the heady excitement about books in Younger, which seems to recall the good old days of publishing.

Here’s a review from Ryan Moore, a beta reader from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. “This memoir is excellent. I read it in two marathon sessions over two days. I was absolutely drawn into the story. She not only explains the wine industry in a way you can understand, but she shows you what she’s been through professionally and personally. It’s readable and relatable. I was rooting for her the entire time. I’m so glad she overcame all the adversity she was facing and landed in a better place”. Thank you, Brian. I’ve posted a link to a blog post called Diary of a Book Launch in the shownotes at NatalieMacLean.com/215. This is where I share more behind the scenes stories about the journey of taking this memoir from idea to publication. If you want a more intimate insider seat beside me on this journey, please let me know you’d like to become a beta reader and get a sneak peek at the manuscript. Email me at [email protected] Okay, on with the show.

Natalie MacLean 4:09
Jack Kramer is from Los Angeles but he is now living in London, England for the past 22 years. He’s the director of European Sales and Marketing for the Chicago based Terlato Wines. He’s also the host of he On The Road with Mr CA Wine, a podcast dedicated to California wines. He plays tennis four times a week, which makes me tired just seeing that hearing it, but he says he bleeds Dodger blue for his favourite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, so he remains loyal. It’s so good to have you here with us. Chuck. Welcome.

Chuck Cramer 4:44
Thank you, Natalie. Thanks for having me on your podcast, Unreserved Wine Talk. I am super excited to be here.

Natalie MacLean 4:50
All right. Perfect. And I’m looking forward to being on yours eventually or in a few weeks time. So let’s dive in. Before we get to your wine career though, Chuck, tell me about your experience with stand up comedy. I’m absolutely fascinated with that. What did you do? Where did you go? Or where were you performing?

Chuck Cramer 5:07
Well, I can’t believe you brought that up. Anyways, I had an itch to scratch. You know growing up in LA you know when I was at USC, I was about 18 years old. And I had been going to the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip or the Ice House in Pasadena for years. And I just love good stand up. And about 10 years ago, I was chatting with a buddy of mine here at London, who’s a compatriot of various comedy clubs. And I just told him about you know this is like a bucket list for me. Would I ever do it? I don’t know. And all of a sudden, he just gets me up on stage.

Natalie MacLean

Really? One night you are at a club he calls you up?

Chuck Cramer

Well, he gave me a couple of weeks to prepare some material. I had a buddy help me but I did about seven times. And it was a lot of fun. Like I said, I had an itch to scratch. And it just got better with you know every time I went up on stage. And I thought you know by the end, I thought I was doing okay. Had a decent routine. And it was a lot of fun. I’m glad I did it.

Natalie MacLean 5:59
So you’re refining the same routine each time you got up on stage?

Chuck Cramer 6:03
No. It was you know I didn’t go through workshops. It was just throwing myself up on stage. So the first time the first gig was at a Comedy Store in Sutton here in Surrey. And it was the first time I got up in front of 120 people. And I remember walking up on stage holding a bottle of Crona. And I was holding it so tight – I was so nervous – I thought it was going to shatter my hands. But I made it through. I think it’s like you know each time was like 8 – 10 minutes. So you know we’re not talking you know Robin Williams you know 50 minute sets. This was  8 – 10 minutes and off. But it was great. Would I do it again? Maybe but you know what, I did it and I could say I did it. It was fun.

Natalie MacLean 6:40
Oh, that’s fantastic. So what joke landed the best or what story landed the best with your audience?

Chuck Cramer 6:47
Well it was you know self deprecating. You know making fun of myself and American living here in London. But I do have one of my favourite jokes if you want to hear it.

Natalie MacLean

Yes, we do.

Chuck Cramer

Okay, one of my favourite jokes is a guy goes in for a checkup. OK. He sees his doctor for his annual checkup. Doctor says come back in one week for the results. So the guy comes back in one week for his results. And he says, Hey, Doc, he goes, how you doing? What’s going on with the results? And the doctor responds looks at his patient says, well I got some good news and bad news. And he goes well, doctor, give me the good news. And he goes, well you have 24 hours to live. And he goes oh my God what’s the bad news? He goes, I tried calling you yesterday.

Natalie MacLean 7:27
I liked that. That’s good. Why didn’t you stick with comedy? That’s pretty good.

Chuck Cramer 7:32
Why didn’t I stick with comedy? You know, what if I’d gotten in this you know when I was young man. I wasn’t even thinking about it back then. But I think you have to do this, you know, by the time you build a career.  I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts. And it takes 10 years to really make it if you’re going to make it. You know, it’s too late. But you know, when I was 18, I was just having fun going to my buddy’s Comedy Stores in LA. And like I said about 10 years ago, I just said to myself I want to do this. And I did it. So yeah end of story. I’m glad I didn’t quit my day job.

Natalie MacLean 8:05
At least you know how to inject humour perhaps in your day job. Before we get to that, tell us about a few of your more memorable wine moments. You mentioned something briefly about storing wine in Romania.

Chuck Cramer 8:17
Yeah, we do. So my role is to set up distribution across UK, Europe, Middle East. And then once distribution setup with each distributor or importer, then I support them on the ground. I help them sell wine. We have a very good relationship with our distributor in Romania. Alma Tim, George Chendi, the owner. Great guy, a lot of fun. I mean, this is a guy you want to go and have a beer with. Anyways, what we use. We use a portion of his warehouse to store wine. We use that warehouse to get distribution in the smaller like countries where they can afford to ship. Doesn’t make sense for them financially to ship from California. So we carry some stock of our wines, like The Federalist, in Romania, and then we have distributors in Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Bulgaria, etc. come pick up their wine in Romania and bring it back into their country. So that gives us just greater penetration across Europe. I mean it allows us to get into smaller markets where we couldn’t necessarily be. So it’s worked out well. But it’s you know, like I said, we got a great partner in Romania so it’s yeah it’s a good nice win for us nice setup for Terlato.

Natalie MacLean 9:23
And did anything ever unusual happen about storing the wine? Did you ever have any issues or anything like that with it?

Chuck Cramer 9:29
Issues? No, not really. It’s you know what. Well I will say – and this is quite relevant to today because you know the war in Ukraine with the port of Odessa blocked –  you have now more goods say cereals, basic goods coming in now through the port of Constantia so it’s creating delays at port say getting our wines from the port into the warehouse there in Romania. So you know global shipping is a nightmare at the moment. And you know the war in Ukraine obviously is affecting you know our business a little bit in Romania, but we’ll work through it.

Natalie MacLean 10:03
Absolutely. Yeah, everything’s in upheaval these days. But yes, still the wine will get through eventually. So tell us about your experience in introducing people to Chardonnay, perhaps one particular person who didn’t like Chardonnay. Because of course there was a backlash. ABC anything but Chardonnay. But what happened? How did you turn the person around?

Chuck Cramer 10:22
Yeah, you know, the whole movement drives me crazy. So I do a lot of like yourself, you know, I do a lot of trade events. Trade tastings, wine dinners, whether it’s Smith & Wollensky, a steakhouse here in London, or somewhere in Copenhagen. And especially when you get in front of the consumers, you know.

I sell a lot of red wine. The white wines that we do have most of its Chardonnay. So when we serve, say, our Federalist Chardonnay or Sanford Chardonnay you know you’ll see a face every time and say “well, I hate Chardonnay”. I don’t like turning well, why. And I’m not a shrink, but you got to try and drill down right? To figure out why they don’t like Chardonnay. Maybe their first experience of Chardonnay was some like cheap, $3 bottle of Chardonnay that just put them off for life.

Natalie MacLean

Very scaring, early experience.

Chuck Cramer

Exactly. My whole thing is just get outside your comfort zone, try something different. So then I would say eight out of 10 times you know – not just my Chardonnay, but something else something that’s decent – all of a sudden their reaction goes from I hate Chardonnay to well I like this one. Well, then you should just you know open your mind a little bit more and you know experiment a little bit more. And you could try, you like unoaked wines; you like oaky wines; you like over the top oaky wines, like a big ole Rombauer. And find out what they like and then just try and give them something they like so they want that second glass. So the ABC thing that kills me because I think you got to keep your mind open.

Natalie MacLean 11:43
Absolutely. And Chardonnay can be so many things to so many people. I mean, they call it the winemakers wine because the winemaker can truly do with it what he or she wants to do. I mean, we have a big festival in Niagara called the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration, IC4, and it’s all about Chardonnays from cool climate which are very different in expression from warm climates. But you know whether there’s oak treatment, as you mentioned, or all kinds of things. I mean, the variety of styles of Chardonnay is almost mind boggling. It’s one of the most versatile white wines on the planet, I think.

Chuck Cramer 12:16
Exactly. I agree. Chardonnay, you can grow anywhere in California.

Natalie MacLean 12:20
Yes, yes. That’s the benchmark.

Chuck Cramer 12:23
Yeah. And you got all different types of styles. So before you say you don’t like something, maybe try it again.

Natalie MacLean 12:29
Exactly. Discover those early scarring experiences, not necessarily from childhood, because hopefully you weren’t drinking Chardonnay as a kid. But yeah, get rid of your biases. Alright. Let’s go to your podcasts. So when and why did you start your podcast On The Road With Mr CA Wine, which is fun title.

Chuck Cramer 12:49
I’m having a lot of fun with it, Natalie. So episode one, season one launched 2020. I had to go back and do a little research before I came on with you. And you know what? This place live in in the UK. For two years, it was really hard. We’re in a series of lock downs here, where you know you just felt like you’re an under house arrest. Bars weren’t open. Pubs weren’t open. You know what it was like. Nobody could play tennis, tennis clubs are closed. And so I never stopped working. What little business was out there. You couldn’t travel. You know, I was still trying to work. And then I thought well what can I do differently? What can I do that’s new to challenge myself. And I had been listening to a couple of podcasts. And you know, you have a fantastic podcast and there’s wine podcasts out there. I didn’t see one that was dedicated to just to California

Natalie MacLean

You’re right.

Chuck Cramer

So it’s quite niche. And I thought, well let’s have some fun with this and see where it goes. So, you know, it’s all about. In the beginning and it still is all about building the profile for the wines that I work with with Terlato. But then I love California. I’m fourth generation Los Angelino. I love my home state. I love California. And I thought well why don’t I just give this a shot and just talk about California wine and just interview different people in the trade whether it’s in California, Europe, or the United Kingdom.

Natalie MacLean 14:12
Right. And so you do interviews. It does have that cool California vibe. Like with the audio, is it like in a convertible or you actually recording it out in a convertible with the tunes?

Chuck Cramer 14:23
Yeah, exactly. Well the music helps. I have this great background music this like surf beat music. I just paid say 50 bucks for the rights to this, you know, one, two. And it works out well because I want people if you can’t go to California. You’re right, it’s an audio podcast, but I want them to come on the road with me. I want them to feel as though they’re hopping into a convertible Mustang and driving up Pacific Coast Highway or 101 and you have this cool like surf beat music in the background.

If you think of California. The Beach Boys are from California. I mean the Eagles are not a surf band but California. You got the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And then when I was thinking about this when I was in college at USC, a buddy of mine, Matt Barsick, I’m still in touch with. We used to drive up to North Hollywood to the old Palomino club. No longer there. But we must have seen The Ventures play about six times. And so like as a kid growing up you know you listen to Hawaii Five-O you know The Ventures. And so I think I got that with this, too. But it took a lot of research to get it, to find out the right tune for the field that I wanted for the podcast.

Natalie MacLean 15:31
You seem to have hit on it. And in addition, you often give out restaurant recommendations. And it does feel like a road trip you know apart from the interviews with California winemakers and other personalities. So I think that that’s really working well for you. Yeah, absolutely. Now, what surprised people about the podcast? What was the reaction to it initially?

Chuck Cramer 15:53
Well, I think the fact that I just did it you know. I have family members who just thought you know this is Chuck. He plays tennis. He loves the vacation on the beach somewhere. He sells wine. Maybe did a little bit of stand up. And I think it just surprised a lot of people by doing something different.

I mean, this week is coming up I think episode. Well, I’ve done like 114 episodes or more. You might have experienced setting up. It was a steep learning curve for me. Editing, Sound Mixing. And at first, I just felt like my brain was being like just you know put through a vice and but I got through it, and I got better at it. I think just doing it surprised a lot of people. It surprised a lot of people in the trade, but it helps our distributors. You know, in the beginning, I was just talking about our wines, Terlato wines. But then I thought well if I keep doing this one, I’m gonna run out of material, too. I want to reach a broader market. And you know what, occasionally it leads to listings. And I’ve actually had a few people call me up and asked me if they want to be on the podcast. So as long as we can talk about California wine, sure let’s do it.

Natalie MacLean 16:59
Like restaurant owners, that type of thing in terms of who wants to be?

Chuck Cramer 17:03
Yeah, restaurant owners, sommeliers.  And actually, a couple of winemakers reach out. You know winemakers especially who want maybe distribution outside of the US. So yeah, I’m more than happy to talk about their wines, promote their wines. I can’t physically help sell it because I’ve got a day job you know. I would say like you I mean it’s just it’s just open doors. And I’m talking to people. I mean, I’m talking to people I would never had a chance to speak to. And I think this is what surprised me the most, you know, so getting to chat with new people. It’s great.

Natalie MacLean 17:35
It is. It’s like a calling card that just as you say opens doors. It’s allowed me to approach people I never would have without the podcasts. Even I think it would be a tougher ask even just writing an article. But there’s something about podcasts. I mean, they are trendy but people realize the power of the medium. I think it’s so intimate. People can do it while they’re multitasking on something else. And they just realize there’s a reach. And then there’s your backlog. People will go back discover you this week and then listen back if they like it to right back to the beginning. So whereas, you know, videos say or audio content on social media seems to disappear you know if you don’t catch it that first day when it’s posted. So I find there’s a huge value in podcasts.

Chuck Cramer

Yeah, exactly.

Natalie MacLean

Yeah. So tell us more about California wine in general. How many wineries are there? How much do they produce? I mean just maybe some basic stats.

Chuck Cramer 18:27
I mean, look it. There’s over 4500 wineries. Look at most of the wine that’s produced in California is enjoyed back home domestic market. I mean you know we brought into Europe say EMEA, Europe and Middle East. I can no longer I now have to say UK in addition to Europe, because of Brexit, you know, UK is no longer part of the European Union. So you know there’s about say 1.6 million cases of wine from California coming into Europe.  I think you know the UK probably drinks are important you know 40 to 45% of that. So it’s a nice, healthy market.

And I think it’s, you know, you have like I said, we could drink everything we produce, I think it’s just, you know, working with and finding those winery owners who really want to share their wines with consumers outside of the US. Canada is a big market for us. Europe, Asia. It’s fun, and it’s more than just window dressing. Sure, it’s nice to get your wines listed in some Michelin star restaurant, but once you get them over here and you start seeing the product and getting distribution, it just expands. But this isn’t a 2, 5 or 10 year project. The late Jim Clendenen, unfortunately he just passed last year, but he spent over 30 years building up his business ABC, Au Bon Climat,  in the UK market. And his wines are everywhere now. So that’s a great legacy. But you can dive in and you know you got to be patient to be successful if you’re going to export.

Natalie MacLean 19:56
Yeah, and that’s just smart business. I mean I went to interview Aubert de Villaine from Domaine Romanée-Conti and there are probably 10 buyers for every single bottle he produces one of the world’s best Burgundy’s. But he doesn’t just sell to who wants it. He makes sure there’s allocation from four different countries because it’s his legacy. He wants the wine enjoyed globally. But also, you never want to literally put all your eggs in one basket like one country. Like you want to diversify and make sure you’re building new markets so that you always, you know if something God forbid happens like Ukraine, you’re not dependent on that market. You’ve got a variety of markets already developed. So just makes good sense, business sense at least.

Chuck Cramer

Yes, it does.

Natalie MacLean

So what’s changed in the last five years in California that you’ve noticed? What trends are emerging? What’s happening with California wines?

Chuck Cramer 20:51
Well, I would say one you know diversity. Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, everybody just talking about Napa, Sonoma. I think regionality you know Paso, Santa Lucia Highlands. I mean, we’ve been you know grow wine in Temecula and in Los Angeles. So I would say regionality diversity has changed. And I would say,.

Natalie MacLean 21:11
Before you go on, situate us where Paso Robles is, Temecula in relation to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Where are these regions?

Chuck Cramer 21:20
Okay. So you have well, you have Napa, Sonoma, just north of San Francisco but an hour and a half drive. And then you have Paso Robles, which is Central Coast, which sits halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco right there off Highway 101. And then you have Temecula which is inland from San Diego and Los Angeles so you know, South Coast, Southern California. So I would say you know regionality and you know we grow wine .Napa is great but Napa only produces 4% of the wines coming out of California. And Lodi is a workhorse 22%. Paso Robles, they keep talking about how Paso Robles is emerging. Well, I think Paso Robles is here. They make great wine.

Natalie MacLean 22:01
What percentage do they produce? Do you know roughly?

Chuck Cramer 22:04
Good question. I know Napa is about four. Sonoma is about seven. My guess Paso probably like in that you know 10 – 12% range. That’s my guess. But don’t hold me to it.

Natalie MacLean 22:15
That sounds reasonable. Yeah.

Chuck Cramer 22:17
And then I think the other thing too is what I noticed is. Well you know selling wine in the US is still points led. I think winemakers. I mean I’m not saying all winemakers have done this. But I think more and more winemakers now especially since Parker’s taken a backseat, more and more winemakers instead of chasing those points, they’re making wines that they want to make. That the vineyard is going to give them. You know 10 years ago, you’re looking at those Wine Enthusiast scores. They’re judging say Pinot Noir and it’s like well what’s the difference between a Pinot and a Cab at that point if you’re going to oak that Pinot for 18 months. Just doesn’t make sense.

Natalie MacLean 22:49
And you’re referring to Robert Parker, the famous US critic who retired.  He’s no longer active, although his Wine Advocate publication goes on. And he’s certainly still a brand name. But you’re right, I think he holds much less way these days with wine buyers and the scores and that sort of thing. So so what else has changed? Regionality like more focus on new regions, diverse regions, less emphasis on scores.  Anything else in terms of California wine?

Chuck Cramer 23:15
Yeah, I would say well there’s definitely challenges. I would say you know drought. You know water and so big change a lot less of water. You’ve seen a reservoirs drop. You’re seeing lakes drop. Water levels drop. And so is our California winery owners of these vineyards are they going to be capped at in terms of how much you know they could water those vineyards? Does that mean production is going to be less? So you know we need rain. We need a lot of rain. So I think that’s changed a lot. I think it’s forced winemakers’ hands to change in terms of well you know global warming, less water. Global warming as it gets hotter. So you need to plant now more heat resistant grape varieties you know for that region. Is Pinot going to survive you know say high up in Napa. So there’s a lot of consequences, after effects that less water, a global warming have had an impact on the California wine industry. I think California wine industry is going to you know persevere. There’s a lot of smart people in California. You just have to adapt. Less rain leads to more fires.

Natalie MacLean

Yeah, the wildfires.

Chuck Cramer

It’s a vicious cycle right now. We need to get out of it.

Natalie MacLean 24:26
Well, yeah, I do believe though in the smarts of California. You’ve got Silicon Valley there. You’ve got all this tech and smarts and Stanford and then there’s the UC Davis, the University of Davis famous oenology program. I’m sure they’ll come up with something, my God. I hope so.

Natalie MacLean 24:47
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Chuck. Here are my takeaways. Number one, California has an incredible number of wine regions that exhibit a diverse range of climates and soils and therefore styles of wine. Two, several big trends such as more regional specificity and lower alcohol wines among others have changed the California wines we drink today versus five years ago. And three, although the Napa wine region is renowned, it represents only 4% of all California wine produced. Now that is great brand marketing and quality.

In the shownotes, you’ll find my email contact, a full transcript of my conversation with Chuck, links to his website and podcast, and where you can find the live stream video version of these conversations on Facebook and YouTube Live every Wednesday at 7pm. You’ll also find a link to my free Ultimate Guide to Food and Wine Pairing. That’s all in the show notes at NatalieMacLean.com/215.

Email me if you have a sip, tip, question, or would like to be a beta reader of my new memoir at [email protected] If you missed episode 162 go back and take a listen. I chat about Sherry, reo, Cava, and other Spanish wine gems with Interpreting Wines’ Lawrence Francis. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.

Lawrence Francis 26:13
Sherry is one of the most complex wines out there. Sauterne is always going to have this amazing length and intensity. But Sherry, in the right hands, you can almost just turn it up. There’s so many different colours and different flavours to pick from it. I think they’re on the right track. And talking about how well it goes with foods. Food is a wonderful way to hook people and to get them to want to know more about the wine.

Natalie MacLean 26:40
That’s a great way into wine itself but also categories of wine that have maybe suffered from misconceptions. Like Sherry has often been pegged as the Oxford Don University professor wine behind the books or Granny’s wine or whatever. But it is complex. It’s nutty, it’s wonderful. The range of styles from sweet to dry.

Natalie MacLean 27:06
If you liked this episode, please email or tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who’d be interested in the wines, tips and stories we shared. You won’t want to miss next week when we continue our chat with Chuck Cramer. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps a California wine from a lesser known region.

Natalie MacLean 27:35
You don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at NatalieMacLean.com/subscribe. Meet me here next week. Cheers.

 

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