Dom Perignon, Chateau Montelena and Wine for Your Zodiac Sign



What’s it like to experience a piece of Dom Pérignon history? Has the legendary California Chardonnay Chateau Montelena 1973 Chardonnay held up in the years since the Judgement of Paris? How can you pair wine with your Zodiac sign?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with wine writer, Gina Birch and broadcaster Julie Glenn, hosts of the Grape Minds podcast.

You can find the wines we discussed here.


Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video

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?

Want to know when we go live?

Add this to your calendar:




  • What makes Spain a great destination for wine lovers?
  • How did Julie finally become a Lambrusco fan?
  • Has the legendary Chateau Montelena 1973 Chardonnay held up in the years since the Judgement of Paris?
  • What can you learn through comparative tastings?
  • What was it like to experience the history of Dom Pérignon through St. Hilaire Abbey in Limoux?
  • How can you pair wine with your zodiac sign?
  • Which controversial Grape Minds interview almost didn’t make it to air?
  • How has cancer affected Julie’s experience with wine?
  • What are my favourite Pinot Noirs?
  • Why does Julie believe consolidation of the wine industry is bad for wine?
  • How can you pair your favourite childhood foods with wine?
  • What are Gina and Julie’s go-to wine books?
  • Which of Gina and Julie’s favourite wine gadgets should you try?
  • How long should you save “special” wines?


Key Takeaways

  • I loved Gina’s story about experiencing a piece of Dom Pérignon history. That’s the magical connection between wine and place.
  • I’m impressed that the legendary California Chardonnay Chateau Montelena 1973 Chardonnay held up in the years since the Judgement of Paris.
  • I enjoyed Julie pairing wine with your Zodiac sign. It’s uncanny that she picked Pinot Noir for Libras even before we met. As you know, it’s my go-to vino.

Start The Conversation: Click Below to Share These Wine Tips


About Gina Birch and Julie Glenn

Gina Birch grew up in Florida, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public relations from Troy University, in Alabama. Her first job was in radio news, which eventually led her to Fort Myers, Florida, where she hosted a top-rated morning show for almost 15 years. She also started writing about food, wine, spirits and travel for USA Today, the Napa Register and the Fort Myers News-Press.

Julie Glenn earned her Master’s degree in communication from the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy and is fluent in Italian. She also has an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from the University of Missouri. She began her broadcasting career as a reporter/anchor/producer for both CBS and NBC affiliates. Before becoming the News Director at WGCU, the NPR affiliate for southwest Florida, Julie was the regular wine columnist for the Naples Daily News.

Gina and Julie had been friends for years and together they created Grape Minds, a wine podcast that’s also broadcasted on NPR. They talk about the people, culture, and history behind the wines, as well as wine travel and food pairings. They’ve also interviewed some of the best-known people in the wine world and as they note, have only destroyed one soundboard while tasting in the studio.



Tag Me on Social

Tag me on social media if you enjoyed the episode:


Thirsty for more?

  • Sign up for my free online wine video class where I’ll walk you through The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner (and how to fix them forever!)
  • 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, and other country-specific Amazon sites;, and other country-specific iTunes sites; and



Julie Glenn 0:00
Different signs have certain personality traits. And I feel like grapes kind of have certain personality traits to just like people, their personalities can be changed or diverted or solidified or made more negative or more positive based on the surroundings, their individual terroir as a human. And I think grapes are kind of the same way. They have a basic internal structure that can then be changed by how it’s grown, what its conditions are and how its unified. So I’ve always kind of liked these core bone marrow correlations between a great and a personality type in the zodiac and I just always found it fun and challenging to pair them as far as how they behave, and like what their personalities are.

Unknown Speaker 0:49
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? That’s the blend here on the unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie Maclean. And each week,

Natalie MacLean 1:10
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

Natalie MacLean 1:25
let’s get started. Welcome to Episode 157. What’s it like to experience a piece of dome perineal history? Has the legendary California Chardonnay Chateau Montelena 1973 held up in the years since the judgement of Paris in 1976? And how can you pair wine with your zodiac sign? You’ll get those answers and more wine tips in part two of our chat with Gina Burch and Julie Glen, who hosts the grape minds podcast on NPR radio. If you missed the first part last week, no worries, you can still listen to this one now. But go back and take a listen to part one afterwards because it was lots of fun. Now on a personal note, before we dive into the show, I’m continuing to recommend my favourite wine gadgets, especially if you’re shopping for wine lovers on your holiday list. This week, I’m highlighting one of the best ways to preserve open wine. It’s a simple plastic stopper that’s made from 100% recyclable materials called repour. You just remove the foil seal and insert it into your open bottle as you work work. One report will keep one 750 mil bottle of wine fresh for up to two months or until it’s empty. And you can use it in between glasses. According to Dr. Tom Lutz, who invented report and who has a PhD in physical chemistry. There’s a packet inside the stopper with the active ingredient iron that’s FDA approved and similar to what you’d find inside a package of beef jerky. This reacts with and absorbs the oxygen inside the bottle to create iron oxide which is harmless and stays trapped inside the stopper. There are no byproducts from this reaction and nothing enters the line. Report continuously removes the oxygen from the air above the wine as well as from the oxygen dissolved in the wine itself until there is no free oxygen left in the bottle keeping the wine fresh oxygen ages everything like an apple that’s cut into and slowly turns brown. It can be a friend to wine briefly, as in when you decant a wine that needs to smooth out. But it eventually turns wine into vinegar if left open long enough. Dr. Lutz told me that the report is more effective than a spray of inert gases such as Aragon carbon dioxide and nitrogen like those in private preserve that flushes out the oxygen from the empty air in the bottle. But report also removes the dissolved oxygen in the water itself which is where most of the oxidative damage occurs. Because the oxygen is removed and air is 21% oxygen, the air is not replaced with anything and a small vacuum is created in its absence. As repour removes the oxygen it also depletes the active ingredient which is why it’s used for stopper isn’t unlimited. You can use it on sparkling wines as it removes oxygen only not the carbon dioxide that creates the bubbles. However, because the pressure from the co2 inside the bottle can cause report a pop out. Dr. Lots doesn’t recommend it. He’s working on a fixture that will securely hold a report in place. So it can be used on these bottles as well. report can be used on larger bottles like this 1.5 millilitre magnums, which are the equivalent of two regular 750 mil bottles. The total amount of oxygen report can remove is 1500 mils. So he suggests using a new report on the second half of the Magnum bottle. Personally, I love this gadget because I am so picky about drinking fresh wine. And I wish more restaurants would use it on their open bottles. At home, it allows me to open different bottles so I can have a peanut one night and a serraj. The next actually who’s kidding whom here, I can have one Pino one night and a different point the next night. It also means I don’t feel obligated to finish a really expensive wine, because it’ll still be fresh when I go back to it even a week later. You can order these online from a number of retailers. I purchased mine from Massey, and BC. And no, this is not a paid endorsement. I’ll suggest some more useful gadgets in upcoming episodes for your holiday shopping. In the show notes, you’ll find a link to where you can buy the report gadget. The full transcript of our conversation, a link to Julie and Gina’s podcast and website and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. And where you can find a live stream of the video version of this conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie Maclean comm forward slash 157. Okay, on with the show.

Natalie MacLean 6:34
Julie, your love is in Italy. But is there any other memorable wine region that comes to mind that you visited?

Julie Glenn 6:41
I really found Spain to be interesting. down around Barcelona, we went to I still don’t know how to pronounce it by then there’s Frisian, a, you know, the copper producer there. Yes, that was wild. We went on a tram through their cellars, which is like a two mile wide. All the walls are covered in bottles. They’re all just sitting there. And you can see every once in a while one of them is blown up because of the secondary fermentation blows the bottom of the bottle out. So I come up with those one off and we’re driving by it was interesting to see this spectrum of what they create. I mean, the bottom of the barrel, which is what we see for like five bucks a bottle all the time. But then they have some higher end ones that I’ve never seen anywhere. But they’re that are surprisingly good.

Natalie MacLean 7:27
Oh well, did they have a crew system or anything like that? Or just they’re sort of higher end tier.

Julie Glenn 7:33
They have their different tiers for sales, but I don’t know. I don’t remember it’s been a while but I don’t know if they have actual different tiers, but they do have different labels for different things. They had a cigar of us, which I thought was super cool back when I had a wine shop a million years ago with a big like, pure melting thing on a

Natalie MacLean 7:51
beautiful bottle. Oh, it’s doubly priced. Yeah,

Julie Glenn 7:55
yeah. reasonably priced. Not bad. Better with orange juice or peach nectar. But still it’s there. serves a purpose.

Natalie MacLean 8:04
Speaking of badly Lambrusco you had a story about Lambrusco are discovering it.

Julie Glenn 8:09
Yeah, well you know, I had kind of dismissed it for so long. And then you go live in the land where they make it and then Parma it makes sense because it really goes I mean power obviously Prosciutto di Parma Parmigiano Reggiano all the different like high salt, fatty things that they make there that are the best in the world. Why would you not have a sparkling dry red one to go with it? I mean, they have the prosecco for the whites, but then I kind of had always dismissed it and then I got a bottle of Lambrusco there and it was a dry Lambrusco. They’re not sweet over there. Although that’s all I ever had here in the United States was always sweet Lambrusco, which is gross. I’ll just say it’s gross. It’s not good. Not suggested would not recommend. But over there. I got about a limbers course it was cheap, you know. And I had a glass I’m by myself, me and my dog. He’s not partaking. So I had a glass and I was like, This is so great. I love it, but I’m done. How do I preserve this? So I call a friend from my class. I was like, What do I do to preserve a bottle Lambrusco? This cork is not going back and you know, little mushroom corks? He goes, just throw it away. That’s right. Just put it in your fridge, cook with it later or throw it away. That’s it. Right. Right.

Natalie MacLean 9:20
And does it taste pretty grapey pretty sort of purpley blueberry ish, or

Julie Glenn 9:25
maybe the sparkling Shiraz that happened for a while from it’s not as big as that at all. It’s much more lean. And that very fruit forward. Definitely not sweet, but it’s very refreshing. And it’s perfect when you have like fatty pursuit or things like that. So I thought it was really good. It’s just almost impossible to find here because there’s no market for it.

Natalie MacLean 9:45
Right, right. Yeah, it’s treated still as a novelty. There’s always a trend piecing limbers go, it’s coming back. I don’t know if it ever was here. But anyway.

Julie Glenn 9:53
Yeah, it was here and it’s sweet version. Maybe, right? Yes.

Natalie MacLean 9:57
Gina, you were at Chateau Mon. Elena in Napa, and what did you see or do there?

Gina Birch 10:05
This is one of my favourite aesthetic looking chateaus. I mean, it’s so beautiful the grounds the gardens and the history there of that wine. And I have a friend who used to be in the hospitality industry here in southwest Florida, George Blinken see and he had moved out to Chateau Montelena to work. And there were several of us. I joined some people from the hospitality industry. And we went just messing around drinking around Napa, you know, and trying and calling on all of our friends for special tours and tastings. And he took us around into the cellar. And we went and he said, I’m going to show you something and we all got really excited. And he pulled out a bottle of 1973 Chardonnay, there was a Magnum, you know, from the judgement of Paris. This is the the wine that put California on the map. And it was like, he brought it out and we were all like putting our hands on it like was the baby Jesus. Oh, let me feel the feeling. And then he would let us hold it like the baby Jesus, you know, and I’m just like, someone needs to get this away from me. I know I’m gonna drop it and it’s gonna be like, Oh, it’s gonna be one of those moments where you broke the last bottle of this famous wine I

Natalie MacLean 11:13
the wine as you said, and for those who may not know the 1976 judgement Paris, organised by Steven Spurrier, wine critic recently passed away Rest in peace, but over in Paris, pitted California and French wines and a blind tasting using French critics to judge who is the best. And that was one of them that triumphed from California. The other was stag sleep I think in the red category, right? Yeah. Okay, cool. So you’re holding this bottle? Was it the last one or I guess it wouldn’t be very many left.

Gina Birch 11:43
You probably not. It sounds better for me to say it was the last one that’s just more dramatic.

Unknown Speaker 11:47
I like your sense of drama. Yeah, they

Gina Birch 11:48
have a lot stashed here in their in their museum or something too.

Julie Glenn 11:53
So on the anniversary of that a few years ago Naples wonder why festival. One of the things that they had added were these luncheons prior to the festival itself. And they had the primary people from the judgement of Paris. I can’t remember everybody’s name, but they were there. And we all tasted through the Chateau Montelena Chardonnays from 73, on through uptown, not every single one of them, but like every few years, and we looked at the difference in the colour of the one. And that was a really cool experience. It’s one of the add ons to the winter wind festival thing that they’ve started, because people want it to last forever when they get here. But that was a cool one. That was awesome.

Natalie MacLean 12:35
It was the 73 still holding together had to kind of stand it

Julie Glenn 12:39
up. It was still saying some of the ones in the middle like in the 80s were just not doing so great. Like one or two one might have been flawed in a certain way. But we weren’t sure. I’m not gonna say no more than them. But it seemed like it was there something wrong with it. The rest of them are all great. And the colour difference was just really cool to see. Yeah, they say no side. I love those comparative tastings.

Natalie MacLean 13:04
Yes. That’s how we learned the best. I mean, it’s only side by side people think you have some magical ability. Sometimes as a wine taster. It’s those differences only jumped out at you when you’ve got a side by side comparison makes it a whole lot easier. Tina, you are also in Lemieux and touring the St. Hilaire Abbey, where Don Perrin young spent some time before going up to champagne. So what was that like?

Gina Birch 13:27
Yeah, you know, it was really interesting, because it was my first time to that region of France, and learning about Lulu and the sparkling wines that they make there and how they make in this specific grapes. And we went to this Abbey and I thought we were going to be tasting wine in the Abbey. Well, no, it’s an abbey. They’re not serving wine. So it was a little bit disappointed. But we went into one of the caves and it was dark and it was like a little bit wet. And the guy who was telling us about the story of Dom Perignon, he goes, he spent time here and he said he was in knotty monk. He was like, a naughty monk.

Unknown Speaker 14:02
How was he naughty?

Gina Birch 14:03
No, no, he wouldn’t tell us I couldn’t find out.

Unknown Speaker 14:06
Was there a nunnery close by just Yeah, right that?

Gina Birch 14:09
I should. I should have asked Julie. So she could dig into that for me a little more. But then, you know, we know the story. Dom went up to champagne and the climate was different. And he was trying to base a replicate what he had tasted in the moon. And that’s how champagne was, you know, come about that’s one story. But we were there. And we were like patting the walls. And like, you know, like, Oh, this is where it all happened. And there’s stuff coming. There’s water coming. Should we like taste it? What if it’s really champagne, you know, we just are sparkling wine. It was just Yeah, right? It was fun. We’re just you know, having one of those moments where you touch a part of history and you’re there and not many people get to do that. It was really exciting for me as a sparkling wine and champagne lover.

Natalie MacLean 14:49
Yeah, that is part of the magic of travel and just drinking wine. I always think of Maya in the movie Sideways. How many hands have touched that wine and some of them are dead now. and things that have changed the history that those grapes vines wine has seen. But yeah, as definitely part of the magic of it. Alright, so let’s get to the zodiac. I don’t want to miss that. Julie, this is your specialty. But I know you both talk about this on the great minds podcast. So Julie, tell me what drew you to astrology, I guess how did this all start?

Julie Glenn 15:24
I just always liked astrology because I’ve always liked that. I’m a Leo. So I’ve always been like into that. And I just always kind of feel like different signs have certain personality traits. And I feel like grapes kind of have certain personality traits too. And just like people, their personalities can be changed or diverted or solidified or made more negative or more positive based on the surroundings, their individual terroir as a human. And I think grapes are kind of the same way they have a basic like, internal structure that can then be changed by how it’s grown, what its conditions are and how its unified. So I’ve always kind of like these little core bone marrow correlations between a great personality type and the zodiac. And I just always found it fun and challenging to kind of pare them as far as how they behave, and like what their personalities are, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to like the great that kind of correlates with your own personality or with your own sign. For example, I don’t like migrate, but it just works for the sign because of what it is. I mean, I don’t dislike the grape I mean, I’ll drink it, but it’s not my favourite for sure. But it’s funny because my husband is an Aquarius and I am a Leo So Leo is very much like cab not because of the whole king of the jungle but then because it’s like King great but because both Leo’s and cabs do better when with others. As a Leo, I like to have my people around me I don’t like being on my own. I like feedback. I like to get people’s take on things function better, and mostly as do with their crew with their squad their people. And I think cab while it can do well on its own at 100% cab, that can be okay. But it’s almost always better, a little bit of somebody else in there with a bit of a low a little bit of cab from a little bit of something to soften it up a little serraj Love Sahra with some cab, but I just feel like as a great, that’s kind of how it behaves. I mean, thanks. It’s all things to all people that 100% It’s like Iraq, and Leos have a huge ego like me, like I think I can do anything and I mean, I do. I’ll be honest, I’m learning more and more about my ego. But then my husband is an Aquarius, and Jean is an Aquarius, too. And they are the inpatient ones. They are the first out of the gate and when it comes to this circle of the Zodiac, so they are Gabbay which is our wonderful Beaujolais great, that is my favourite go to if I’m going to go get a bottle of wine at a store. I’m going to the Beaujolais section, and I’m getting a crew Beaujolais and I love them because they’re flighty. They’re dreamers. They dream big, and they really get you out of your headspace, Gina and my other great friend Michelle and my husband, I seem to surround myself by either Aquarians or Libras. So it’s kind of unusual interest. Okay, that is,

Gina Birch 18:21
yeah, aren’t you a Libra? Natalie.

Natalie MacLean 18:23
I am a Libra. So I want to know, I actually want to know my entire destiny. But for tonight, what should I be drinking?

Julie Glenn 18:31
Well, I paired Libra with Pinot Noir because Pinot Noir is my favourite whole is beautiful, delicate and delicious and levers can be a little delicate. They have to be balanced. And if they’re out of balance, then they’re

Unknown Speaker 18:44
whacked. Just

Julie Glenn 18:47
there’s some Libras that I totally love and then suddenly rose I just go to the other side of the street to get away from her car, sometimes their piano. Oh God now. polarising or something annoys leavers like pretty things. They like sparkly things. They like things to be shiny and beautiful. And just Yeah, I love the blank. Yes, they are just that way and Pinot Noir kind of is that way it kind of particular they like things to be the way they want them. And they want things to be balanced and they have to be balanced without a balance is just no bueno. It can be a floral effusive beautiful perfumey wine when the grape is made into the wine but as a great if you just have straight Connemara grape juice. It’s still really pretty in floral and it’s a very sweet horse because none of the sugar has been turned out well yet. It’s delicious.

Natalie MacLean 19:35
I love this. Honestly, the way you’ve described Leo Aquarius and Libra it makes sense. It doesn’t feel just like a stick or something. It actually really makes a lot of sense. And you folks don’t know this but anyone who listens to my lives on Facebook or this podcast going back Pino is my go to. That’s all I drink is Pinot Noir. So it was the wine in my stars. It was my destiny.

Julie Glenn 20:00
I marinated on this for a lot of years. I really did too. It’s taken me a long time to just drill down into I mean obvious is Capricorn is totally Nebbiolo like so why is that? Because Capricorns don’t change. They are who they are. They’re traditional. They are hard workers. They cannot be deviated from whatever and then viola is never going to be deviant and you try and it’s going to be a mess. Remember when they tried to overwater it set up production? Back in the day? It was disgusting. You can’t do that. The Capricorns are the same way you can’t dilute them. They’re very linear and headstrong. They are interesting beings.

Natalie MacLean 20:40
Wow. Does any sign get white zinfandel or anything weird?

Julie Glenn 20:45
Well, Sagittarius is infantile, because Sagittarius is like the partier. And sometimes Zinfandel goes through. It’s like disco phase like leisure suit. And that was the wizened period for Zinfandel. Yeah, it’s fun. I just love doing it. That was

Natalie MacLean 21:03
great. And any other predictions or signs or anything to keep in mind as a Libra? Should I do? Can’t no, I guess I don’t have to do can’t pee. No, I know that. But any other wine tips for Libra or any other signs.

Julie Glenn 21:17
I started doing the white grapes, which is much harder because as you know why it can be very different from producer to producer to place to place. But my favouritest of the whites has been assigning so Tiko

Unknown Speaker 21:29
to cancer. Ah, okay, because we think

Julie Glenn 21:33
about a cancer. And I understand cancer because I’m on the cusp. So they’re super emotional. They are very guarded. And if you think about ser Tiko, they’re the home bodies to they don’t really like to travel on for the most part, some do. But cancers kind of like their little space. And as partiko likes it space, you don’t see it growing anywhere but century. And the way that they grow it there’s with the little nest where they take the vine into like a little protectiveness, and the grapes are grown on the inside to protect it from the wind and stuff. You know, that’s how cancers are had that little shell out there always protecting themselves. And that’s kind of my favourite as far as like, it can be very intense and acidic. But it’s balanced. And it’s fantastic. And cancers at their best, are just intense, wonderful human beings that are just so good. Then conversely, on the red side, cancer is a Seraph because it’s also like a little belly blanket. Sometimes they’re the caring people that take care of you and love you. And they’re the people who run to when you really need somebody. So that’s just like,

Natalie MacLean 22:35
it’s great. I love that. Do you know you were talking back to NPR? So I can imagine you to your friends. You want to do something together? You both had Broadcast history. So I guess it just made sense to do a podcast. But you’ve got this NPR extension, which is great for the podcast. Tell me about Dave Powell the interview with Dave PAL and why you were reluctant to actually air it on NPR?

Gina Birch 23:01
Well, you know, David Powell is made history in Barroso as with torbreck I mean, just a pioneering winemaker and does some amazing things. He left there and he formed Powell and son with his son. I think he may have been here for the Naples winter Wine Festival in July and I went to a wine shop and met him tasted through his I mean his just this beautiful ganache and Surahs and all kinds of great wines that he has, and he were not cheap either. No, they’re not. They’re pricey.

Julie Glenn 23:33
It was a $200 ganache. Wow, holy smokes, hit it on the shelf you’re walking by, but it was good. And it was worth it.

Gina Birch 23:40
So he starts talking and he’s got a really thick Ozzie axe, and I’m not even going to try to do it. And as we’re talking, he’s getting animated. And he’s talking about the story. And then he just stopped dropping the F bomb, F and this and this f and that and F and rode in Ben, he’s got this thick accent and we’re just following him if we. So it was hard to understand what we could understand the F bombs and we got back to the studio, like what are we going to do with this? You know, we had just started our podcast like is this okay for NPR? Well, it’s a podcast. So it’s not really in those parameters. Yet. That’s such a thick accent. We just kept trying to imitate him and trying to listen and understand it was just so we just had so much fun with it. I think we ended up airing part of it and just left it and said, We’re not going to beat anything. We’re just going to see where the cards fall. You know, after this one it was

Natalie MacLean 24:27
Did anyone pick up on it? Or is his accent just so, so strong?

Julie Glenn 24:31
Nobody said anything.

Gina Birch 24:32
And it almost sounded like it was natural. Like it should be he should be saying that. I didn’t get any feedback. So if we just just

Unknown Speaker 24:41
he was making wine from grapes. Yes. I remember actually.

Julie Glenn 24:44
flats and grapes. Yeah.

Natalie MacLean 24:48
All the colourful people you guys have met. It just sounds amazing. So, Julie, on your podcast, you have also shared openly about having cancer and I’m very sorry to hear hear that? How has that affected the way you taste wine or what you drink? I’m very curious. I’ve actually, you know, read about health depression, because I’ve suffered from depression can take your smell away. And that terrifies me. And of course, during COVID People lost their sense of smell. But how has cancer affected your taste or smell of wine?

Julie Glenn 25:20
Smell has always been on. I’ve always had a really sensitive nose. I mean, I can smell a corked wine from across the room. Oh, wow. Like I’m just very overly sensitive this way. Yes, but the problem has been, the chemo didn’t really do anything. So they took me off of it. But they put me on an immuno therapy drug called Avastin, which it’s impossible for your body to grow new blood vessels. But that has impacted my tongue, which I always had a geographic tongue to begin with, which looks like what it sounds like geographic and with, think about a topographical map. It gets inflamed. Whenever I eat fruit that has been ripened off the plant, there’s some kind of a fermentation that happens when the sugar ripens, and a fruit that’s not on the plant, particularly with pineapples, the acidity that’s created, I think it’s a malic acid of some sort, but it really fires it up. So that treatment just kind of made that a little bit worse. Like I’m much more sensitive that way. But my tastes wet for a while it’s getting back to normal it studied now, but it went towards where all I could taste was acid. Remember Gina? I mean, a taste of the acidity and the alcohol.

Gina Birch 26:30
Right, so Lambrusco stuff suddenly tasted pretty good. Nice and sweet and fruity.

Julie Glenn 26:38
No, but it it was an interesting journey. And it was frustrating, but also because it’s brain cancer. I really didn’t want headaches, so it was okay because I didn’t really want to drink a lot of wine at all. Sure. But my go to when I come home after a busy day, and I’m stressed is the Dolan vermouth. Blonk from France, which is just a white vermouth, but not super dry. It’s the kind of in between one between the red and that upon ice or the squeezed orange is perfection to me.

Unknown Speaker 27:12
I love that sounds good. Yeah. Oh, but yeah, so

Julie Glenn 27:15
as far as wine, I’ve gone more towards whites as a result of all the taste situation. But I also live in Florida and I was kind of heading that direction anyway, because it’s 5000 degrees here every single day. Yeah, having an MRI Tony here is like, although that is my boyfriend del forno, Maroney every time I see it at a tasting like that’s my boyfriend right there. Down in the middle of the summer,

Gina Birch 27:40
so she will push people out of our weight at a tasting to get to that I’ve seen it I’ve been pushed Yeah. Lasers in on that and just goes for it.

Unknown Speaker 27:51
I can imagine like that with certainty. No, so yeah,

Gina Birch 27:54
yeah, yeah.

Natalie MacLean 27:58
Oh, usually, you know, I’m pretty promiscuous. So I always say the one somebody else bought for me, but I’m loving right now like crema from Russian River. So some of the lacryma is as long as they’re from cool climates, I think most of them are, but this Russian River one it’s of course more expensive than the others because I’ve just destined to like expensive wines, but I’ve been loving that. And then we make a lot of great pinos here in Niagara and BC. So Blue Mountain and BC. here in Niagara there’s a closure den, some that you haven’t heard of, but they’re fabulous. I do love pianos that are sort of nervy edgy, kind of like people on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Like you just don’t know Is this gonna stay together in the class? But I find that quivering sort of intensity very attractive in the wind and the people so

Julie Glenn 28:52
yeah, it is really groovy. Yeah, I

Gina Birch 28:55
was gonna say the same thing

Natalie MacLean 28:57
as balancing teetering, but just just on the edge.

Julie Glenn 29:02
Gina, do you remember the name of the we did interview a Canadian winemaker not long ago.

Gina Birch 29:07
Yeah. From Okanogan.

Julie Glenn 29:08
That was good wine, wasn’t it?

Gina Birch 29:10
Oh my gosh. We have so good called the Rieslings and the Gilbert’s demeanors. From there were just some of the best I

Unknown Speaker 29:16
did you say it was?

Julie Glenn 29:18
Martins lane.

Unknown Speaker 29:19
Oh, okay. Martins lane. Yeah. Great, wider logging Valley. Okay, there you go.

Julie Glenn 29:25
He was awesome. It was Shainman Shane man is the guy and he was really a great interview. And the winds were incredible. But as crazy subject of Pinot Noir, sorry to drag us backwards. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to try this one yet. But it was one of wine festival genio remember we went through the tasting room. And we got to try Carlo Mondavi. These rain Pinot Noir he in. So we’re from the coast Sinhala. Yeah,

Natalie MacLean 29:52
I’ll have to go. Okay, I’m going to find how to get that wine on a mission now.

Julie Glenn 29:59
Yeah, it’s Quite good.

Unknown Speaker 30:01
Thank you for that. Alright, let’s go into the rapid fire. Oh boy. Unless you want to stay till late tonight.

Gina Birch 30:08
I guess we got to get moving, huh? No, it’s okay. This has been fabulous. So I need to switch from coffee to wine at some point. Yes, I

Unknown Speaker 30:15
know I got this mug but you don’t know what’s in it? Well hi neither. That’s true. So he’s you remember a favourite childhood food that you would now take and pair with wine?

Gina Birch 30:27
Oh, pizza all day long. I mean, that never goes out. You know? I think you’re thinking like peanut butter banana sandwich or bologna and in chips or something. You know, I’m sure I would pair champagne or sparkling wine with all of it. You know, anything that’s salty and fatty or has a little bit of fruit too. It’s just, I think champagnes universal. It just goes with everything. You know, it is it wants to blank or brew.

Julie Glenn 30:51
That’ll work. Julie, do you have a favourite childhood food that you would pair with wine? I was a weird kid. So my favourite thing in all of my childhood was a Scargo. There was a place in a city called Stevenson’s apple orchard. And every special occasion that’s where we went for dinner because I wanted to have a Scargo every time and I still everybody else’s. Otherwise they’ve done little Debbie’s and Diet Coke, like everybody else didn’t yet use.

Unknown Speaker 31:14
But Debbie’s remind me a little snack cakes. Oh, okay. Kind of like Jonah. Like hostess but

Julie Glenn 31:21
cheaper. Oh,

Gina Birch 31:22
so with that, maybe as in with the Swiss Miss.

Julie Glenn 31:26
I don’t know. Yeah, probably definitely is in with the peanut butter things. A little wafer things?

Natalie MacLean 31:31
Yeah. Okay, cool. What are your favourite wine books? Do you have a wine book that you love? I think Julie’s got one there. I have one too. Excellent. Oh, Karen McNeil,

Julie Glenn 31:43
is it? No, this is Jancis Robinson. Oh, Jancis. Robinson.

Natalie MacLean 31:46
I was thinking the colours are similar. This is the new one. Oh, the Oxford Companion to wine. Yeah. And then here. It’s great.

Julie Glenn 31:53
Is the old one. Which decorated by my daughter. Ah, don’t take stare together because I wrote this fine.

Unknown Speaker 32:02
It’s well loved. Yes. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Great resource.

Gina Birch 32:07
That’s one of my favourite, but I knew she was gonna pull that one out. So I had to do something different with my Bible. Yeah. And one of mine that I love right now or that I love is this

Natalie MacLean 32:17
two rubber trim? Yeah. Why moon and stars, the Southern French winemaker who makes so many good wines. So is that a memoir?

Gina Birch 32:25
It is a bit, you know, the beginning. It goes into a lot of his history with rugby, and a lot of the teams and people which I just kind of went, Yeah, I gotta go past that. But when you get into his story of how he got into winemaking and his philosophy of taking care of the earth, and it really is like a little bit of a hippie vibe. You know, the sun and the moon and the stars and his passion for the food and the wine. I mean, I just when I was reading some of it, I’m like, I’m feeling that same thing. And I just was kind of moving it was it was a had just some passion to it more than just about his rugby career in him. But it was a little bit of a love story of wine as well, and agriculture and everything that goes into making a bottle. So I enjoyed reading that one.

Julie Glenn 33:05
I see why you love him so much. It’s not just because he’s cute.

Gina Birch 33:08
He’s very handsome.

Julie Glenn 33:09
He is very into him so many times

Gina Birch 33:11
that We’re BFFs now.

Natalie MacLean 33:13
Have you interviewed him on grapevines?

Gina Birch 33:16
We have not, but I’ve interviewed him a couple of times. We should probably try to work that out. I know he would do it. He’s making some new orange wines now. And he’s doing some different things, you know, so he’s doing something different. So

Natalie MacLean 33:29
fantastic. Yeah. Just think about too. He sounds really I’ve met him once. But yeah, he has those other angles to his life, the rugby and the other things going on. And do you have a favourite wine gadget either of you?

Gina Birch 33:43
Well, you know, I love the Corvin Oh, yes,

Unknown Speaker 33:46
to preserve wine.

Gina Birch 33:48
Yeah. And it helps like if I’m trying to figure out sometimes if I’m tasting wine for a story, and I don’t really want to open the bottle, I want to save it. I’ll just get out a little bit and swirl it so I can actually do some tasting notes. And so that helps me professionally. But this is a new little thing I got it’s the champagne topper. And you see on there, it’s breathless. I love these guys. Now I never have enough champagne left. But if you wanted to move it or just keep the bubbles in, keep it fresh while you’re drinking it. Breathless is a sparkling wine out of Sonoma. And it’s formed by three sisters who made this in honour of their mother for all the moments that she left them breathless growing up and how the mother died of some lung disease that really does take your breath away. It leaves you breathless. So they have all these great touching stories about the love of sisters and family and mom and just living life making every breath count and I just I love that and I love the stopper that it’s gold and that’s my new favourite gadget.

Natalie MacLean 34:51
I love those stoppers too. They are very practical for champagne because of course you’re not going to get that mushroom cork back in the bottle. It’s not going anywhere near it, but those stoppers. So specialised champagne stoppers are really great. Julie, do you have any favourite wine gadgets?

Julie Glenn 35:07
No, just the way a corkscrew. When somebody gives me those wing corkscrews, I’m just like,

Unknown Speaker 35:13
Yeah, I don’t like those either. They’re harmless gadget person

Julie Glenn 35:16
really so much, right? I never had those ERATION things that people did where you put it to a thing. I just hate that sound turns off the whole thing for me.

Unknown Speaker 35:27
So gadgets, you don’t like

Julie Glenn 35:29
one thing that I was introduced to Jean and I did a whole tasting thing with retail with their wine glasses that are very great specific. And I really never thought it could be possible that it would be that much of a difference from glass to glass. And he had us put the same wine in four different glasses, and it tasted like four different wines. So that was really cool. So glassware is the gadget that I could get into.

Natalie MacLean 35:53
Yes, I agree with you that it’s a great one. Well, this has been amazing. So is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention? Maybe what you’re having for dinner tonight or your plans,

Gina Birch 36:06
you don’t like to tell people to get in there, if they’ve got wines that are in the bottom of their closet or under their bed are things that they’ve been saving, get in there and open those because I have had things in the back of my wine cellar cellar I call the seller but it’s just a big fridge. I just like to be bougie and say I’ve got a wine cellar in the house. And I forget about them. And I’ve got a 97 video call to Bono that I was on a zoom call with the winemaker. And he’s like, Yeah, you need to open that, you know, 97 was a great year. But it’s not, you know, look at what you’re wearing now. So you need to get that baby and open it. So it’s those things that you save for a special occasion. Every day is a special occasion, open the wine and enjoy it and have some friends over and don’t let it sit until it gets vinegar and you’ve got to dump it because that is heartbreaking when you have to do that. That’s true. Great advice. Any parting words of wisdom, Julie?

Julie Glenn 37:01
Try everything. All I would say is just try every darn thing and get into the Italian whites because they are so good.

Natalie MacLean 37:08
Yes. Yeah, you’ve been treating me with that plus that you know, you mentioned so I have my shopping list or my hunting list after we’re done here. Where Can folks reach you online? Great.

Gina Birch 37:21
Right. We’re also have a Facebook and an Instagram called just regular grape minds. And it’s pretty simple, pretty straightforward. And we each have our own Gina birch and Julie. Glen, we each have our own Instagram pages as well. Perfect. All right. Well,

Natalie MacLean 37:38
thank you, Gina. Julie, this has been such a great conversation. I loved it. I can’t wait to we can do this in person someday. Yeah, for a glass or you come on our show with us. Yeah. So

Julie Glenn 37:50
first of all, for sure.

Natalie MacLean 37:52
I would love to it’s beautiful part of the world and what time of year approximately does it January? January. Good time to go.

Gina Birch 37:59
Good time for you to get away and come to Florida. That’s beautiful here then. Yeah,

Natalie MacLean 38:04
absolutely. Definitely putting that on my list. And yeah, we got to stay in touch. We have many things to do together. Yes. Perfect. So thank you both so much for this. Really, really appreciate it. Alright, so bye for now and to be continued. Cheers you’re having to. Okay, thank you. Bye bye. Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed our chat with Gina and Julie. Here are my takeaways. Number one, I love Gina’s story about experiencing a piece of Dawn perineal history. And I think that’s the magical connection between wine and place. To I’m so impressed that the legendary California Chardonnay, Shanta Mata Lena 1973 held up all those years later, even after the judgement of Paris. And three, I enjoy Julie pairing wine with your zodiac sign. It’s uncanny that she picked Pinot Noir for Libras even before we met. As you know, that’s my go to vino. In the shownotes you’ll find a link to where you can buy the report gadget. The full transcript of our conversation, a link to Julie and Gina’s podcast and website and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. And where you can find a live stream of the video version of this conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie forward slash 157. You won’t want to miss next week when I chat with Mallory O’Meara, author of The just published book, girly drinks, a world history of women and alcohol. Amira questions when and why drinking and making drinks became a gendered act. And in so doing unveils an entire Untold History of the women is still drinkers and brewers who have played a vital role in the creation and consumption of alcohol from the dawn of time through to today. In the meantime, if you missed Episode 94, go back and take a listen. I chat with Dragon’s Den, Arlene Dickinson, who talks about wine women in business. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.

Arlene Dickinson 40:22
Finds evolve with time just like stories change and go bigger with time. There really is no end to the wine story. That’s what I love about it. Every time I open a bottle of my wine, it’s 2010 blend. And when I open it now, I think it’s changing so much. It’s growing and it’s maturing and it’s fantastic. Just like a good story right. Excellent. Wow way to tie them together.

Natalie MacLean 40:45
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who be interested in the lines and trends we discussed. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week. Perhaps a line that pairs with your sign

Unknown Speaker 41:14
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 Natalie Maclean comm forward slash subscribe, maybe here next week. Cheers.