Why are fruit wines becoming more popular and how do they differ from grape-based wines? What is Pét-Nat-style wine and which ones should you try? What are wines from Slovenia like, and which foods pair best with them?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with wine writer and educator, Nikki Goddard.
You can find the wines we discussed here.
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- Why are fruit wines becoming more popular?
- Which incredible fruit wines should you try?
- Why do these newer styles of wine attract lovers of other artisanal beverages?
- What is Pét-Nat-style wine?
- How does Nikki put a unique spin on colour descriptors for wines?
- What’s it like to taste Kabaj Sivi Pinot?
- Which foods pair especially well with Kabaj Sivi Pinot?
- What do you need to know about Subject To Change “This is Not Wine”?
- How did Questions of Taste influence Nikki’s wine career?
- Why does Nikki love her RBT decanter?
- Why does Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery hold special meaning for Nikki?
- What unique way did Nikki permanently commemorate her love of wine?
- Why does Nikki prefer Napa Cabernets from the 80s and 90s?
- What was it like for Nikki to meet Jancis Robinson?
- What are Nikki’s top tips for getting comfortable with wine?
- Nikki gave us an excellent overview of why are fruit wines becoming more popular and how they differ from grape-based wines. She’s made me thirsty to seek these out more often.
- I also thought she did a great job explaining the Pét-Nat-style bubbly and why it’s so trendy these days. Adding that to my list as well.
- And finally, she sparked my interest in Slovenian wines. Even though I have tried several, and liked them immensely, I’m looking forward to drinking more of them and experimenting with food pairings.
Start The Conversation: Click Below to Share These Wine Tips
The natural wine movement is so collaborative and it’s such a community, I think, a lot more than you see in mainstream wine with bigger brands. - Nikki Goddard Click to tweet
If you’re drinking other categories of beverages, and you see people making wine with the same kind of intention and flavour profile of the beer that you like, I think that’s a much better way to bring people into the category. - Nikki Goddard Click to tweet
Here in Canada, our four major wine-producing regions produce wines from grapes, but all the rest produce wines from other fruit. - Natalie MacLean Click to tweet
I usually drink fruit wines without food just because they’re so fun and I want them to be the star of the show. - Nikki Goddard Click to tweet
I do not drink a lot of Napa Cab but when I do I like it to be from the 80s or 90s. - Nikki Goddard Click to tweet
When you’re starting out it’s good to have one place or one person that you trust to make recommendations. - Nikki Goddard Click to tweet
About Nikki Goddard
Nikki Goddard is a Bay Area wine writer and educator. With over 14 years of wine industry experience, Nikki has written for a wide range of companies and publications including JancisRobinson.com, Vivino, Delectable, Wine Folly, SommSelect, The Spruce Eats, Dry Farm Wines, Liquor.com, Foley Family Wines, Edible East Bay, Beverage Industry News, and more. She is certified through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust at the Diploma level and has taught courses for levels 2 and 3. Nikki worked for several years as a wine buyer and previously co-owned The Barrel Room, a wine bar in San Francisco.
Nikki fell in love with wine while studying Textiles and Apparel at Cornell University. Beguiled by the wines of the Finger Lakes and realizing that she had a greater affinity for the laid-back, epicurean lifestyle of an oenophile than for the cut-throat fashion industry, she decided to make wine her life’s career. The more Nikki shared her passion for wine with her friends, the more she became aware of a serious lack of approachable, engaging discussion around the subject—resulting in a lot of intimidation around what should be one of life’s greatest pleasures. To make wine more accessible and fun for all, she has committed herself to bridging the gap between knowledge and enjoyment.
- Connect with Nikki Goddard
- Nikki Goddard’s Article for JancisRobinson.com | Fermentation without limitation
- Barry C. Smith’s Book | Questions of Taste: The Philosophy of Wine
- My Books:
- Unreserved Wine Talk | Episode 140: Good Wine Faults, DRC, Misleading Wine Experts with Nikki Goddard
- Unreserved Wine Talk | Episode 72: Orange Wines are Trending with Winemaker Ann Sperling
- My new class The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner And How To Fix Them Forever
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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 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.
Nikki Goddard 0:00
Then you say, Oh, well, people are making wine with the same kind of intention and flavour profile of the beer that I like. Then I think that’s a much better way to bring people into the category.
Natalie MacLean 0:10
That’s true. My partner Miles, he usually gets a craft beer. I gave him a glass of orange wine; he really liked it. And I was smelling the beer and the orange wine and they had similarities. You’ve got two wines that you want to taste with us.
Nikki Goddard 0:24
Yeah. The two wines that I have actually tie into topics we were just discussing. The first wine is a Sivi Pinot, which is Pinot Grigio from Kabaj, Goriška Brda, in Slovenia, the winery that I’ve stayed at both times I was there and they have fantastic food as well that they pair with the wines. It’s an orange wine, beautiful colour. The other one is a fruit wine. This is not wine; it is a blend of apples and Pinot Noir from Subject to Change winery here in California.
Natalie MacLean 1:01
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 141. Why are fruit wines becoming more popular? And how do they differ from grape based wines? What is a Pet Nat style of wine and which ones should you try? And what are wines from Slovenia like and which foods pair best with them? You’re going to get all of those answers plus more wine tips in the second part of our chat with Nikki Goddard, a wine writer and educator based in Oakland, California. You don’t need to have listened to Part One from last week first, but I hope you’ll go back if you missed it after you finish this one. In the show notes you’ll find a full transcript of our conversation, links to both of my books, how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class and where you can find me on Zoom, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live video every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at nataliemcclean.com/141.
Now on a personal note before we dive into the show. I’ve listened to audiobooks for years as I prefer it to reading a physical book. But I’ve always felt guilty, like I really wasn’t reading. Like what is that? Audio book shame? However, I’ve just heard or as I heard, I did not read about this, that audio books stimulate the brain equally with that of reading physical books. Yay! And for me, audiobooks have some advantages over those physical relics. The intimacy and emotion of the human voice, often the author’s, that lights up the theatre of my mind. And while we’re on this subject, I’ll mention that my first book, Red, White and Drunk All Over is available as an audiobook from Audible, iTunes and Apple books. My second book, Unquenchable isn’t yet, but I think the book will speak to you if you drink enough wine. Okay, on with the show.
Natalie MacLean 4:00
Now you also write about fruit wines, or you’ve written a really great article for Jancis Robinson on fruit wines and those would be wines that are made from fruit other than grapes; like you mentioned apples and pears. So why are fruit wines gaining in popularity do you think?
Nikki Goddard 4:16
So the focus of my article was actually blended fruit with grapes. So wine grapes and other fruit that are co-fermented (co-fermenting involves two or more grapes, or other ingredients, being fermented together at the same time.). Yeah, so they’re, they’re not all co-ferment; that was one of the things that I struggled with when I was reading this article because there’s not one cohesive term that covers the whole category, because a lot of the terms that people are using refer to production methods that don’t fit every wine that’s made like this. And you can’t even really say wine, it’s not wine.
So I started seeing this category appear about three years ago, and I thought it was kind of like a one off. I think the first one I tried was from Art and Science in Oregon and it was Grüner Veltliner grapes and apples. It was just unlike anything I’d ever tasted before; it was so cool. Oh, I want to find more of these. And then I didn’t see any. And just like the early part of this year, I started seeing them everywhere. And there’s a big natural wine scene here in the Bay Area. And some of the winemakers that I really like, were starting to release these co ferments.
And so I thought this is interesting like, Where’s this coming from? And I dug into it. And I realised like, Okay, this is like a pretty new thing. Like, most of the time, when you see like a new wine trend, like Pet Nat or Piquette, you look back, and you’re like, oh, that seems new. But it’s not. They’ve been doing it for 1000s of years. But it doesn’t seem like anyone was really doing these on a commercial level until about 10 years ago. And it hasn’t really become like more common until the last three years and really the last one year.
And so I was writing an article for a different publication about trends in wine, and I started researching the fruit wines for that. And the more I researched it, the more I was like, I think there is a story here. So I started talking to producers and what I found out was that the inspiration for this was across the board, like very kind of like an optimistic and hopeful attitude where everyone had different reasons, but they’re all making these wines to kind of make lemonade out of lemons. So we had a winemaker in the Loire Valley who lost a lot of his crop to frost and hail and so he supplemented his grapes with apples and pears,
Natalie MacLean 6:38
Because they’re more hardy and resistant to frost and disease, thicker skins than grapes?
Nikki Goddard 6:42
Yeah. And then in California, it turns out, they’re also more resistant to smoke taint. So we had winemakers who lost a lot of their crop, and they decided to use other types of fruit to supplement what little grapes they did have. Then there were some other producers who were doing it out of a spirit of collaboration with their friends, like, Hey, I’m making wine, my friend is making cider; let’s get together and see what we can come up with.
Which I think it’s just a really cool thing about the natural wine movement, that it is so collaborative, and it’s such a community, I think, a lot more than you see in mainstream wine with bigger brands. And then there was Steve Matthiasson in Napa and his wife, Jill, they grow a lot of other fruit on their property. And they have these really special heirloom peaches that they normally sell to restaurants. And because restaurants were closed during COVID, they actually already were making like a sauterne style peach sweet wine; and they decided to co- ferment peaches and Chardonnay and they made this incredible dry wine.
Like when I read about it, I was like, oh, it sounds pretty good. And then I taste it. And I was like, wow, this is, like it’s serious wine. So these are all dry. And they range from kind of like fun and juicy to really complex and possibly ageworthy, but nobody really knows yet. And they’re just like so likeable, like I’ve been bringing them for all my friends, and I haven’t met anyone who didn’t love them and ask where they can find more.
It’s such a cool thing, because all of these people took challenging situations and turn it into something really positive. And now they’re selling out like within days of getting released every time. People are trying to produce more of it. There’s also a really great kind of crossover beverage I think we talk a lot about like, in the wine industry, we asked Oh, like wines, like Barefoot that you buy at the supermarket, like are those good gateway wines for people to get into more serious wines? And I don’t think they are.
I think that if you’re drinking Barefoot, you’re probably not going to make the jump to really high end wines or natural wines. But I think if you’re drinking beer, or you’re drinking cider, and you just haven’t really gotten into wine, but then your favourite cider maker does a blend of cider and grapes then you might say, Oh, well, maybe I want to check out like the other wines that winemaker makes. So I think that in order for something to be a gateway, I think it’s more about like the philosophy behind how it’s made. I think if you’re drinking mass produced wine, you’re not going to be that interested in like an artisanal, handmade small batch wine. But if you’re drinking other categories of beverages, and then you say, Oh, well, people are making wine with the same kind of intention and flavour profile of the beer that I like. Then I think that’s a much better way to bring people into the category.
Natalie MacLean 9:39
That’s true. But my partner Miles, he usually gets a beer, a craft beer. I gave him a glass of orange wine; he really liked it. And to me, I was smelling the beer and the orange wine and they had similarities. You know, I agree with you in terms of the crossover aspect, but all of this talk is making me thirsty. I’m drinking water here; but you’ve got two wines. that you want to taste with us today. I would love to see what they are and why you chose them.
Nikki Goddard 10:05
The two wines that I have actually tie into topics we were just discussing. The first wine is a Sivi Pinot, which is Pinot Grigio from Kabaj, in Goriška Brda, in Slovenia, the winery that I’ve stayed at both times I was there and they have fantastic food as well that they pair with the wines. It’s an orange wine, beautiful colour. The other one is a fruit wine. This is not wine; it is a blend of apples and Pinot Noir from Subject to Change winery here in California. And it’s done in a Pet Nat style.
Natalie MacLean 10:46
Interesting. So that’s Pétillant Naturel (Pet Nat for short) or naturally sparkling wine for French. And it’s kind of just again, for those who might not be familiar with these, if I understand correctly, just a very high general level. They’re bottling it while the first fermentation is still taking place, as opposed to just the second fermentation as they do in Champagne.
Nikki Goddard 11:07
Yeah, and now the pressure in the bottle creates the carbonation; an ancient style that even predates Champagne.
Natalie MacLean 11:15
Yep. All right. So which one would you like to taste first for us?
Nikki Goddard 11:19
We’ll start with the Kabaj
Natalie MacLean 11:22
Great. Love to hear what you think of it. Just loving that colour.
Nikki Goddard 11:26
Yeah, this colour is beautiful. I’m just eyeing this vase on my counter that matches it perfectly.
Natalie MacLean 11:32
It’s great. Well the window light from behind you has got little shafts of amber light coming through the glass. It’s beautiful.
Nikki Goddard 11:39
We call this colour Goldfish.
Natalie MacLean 11:41
Oh goldfish. That’s neat.
Nikki Goddard 11:42
I like to think of more fun colours than the usual ruby amber. I’m a colour person
Natalie MacLean 11:49
Yes, you are, having studied textiles. Yes, that’s right colour is one of your key passions. You know, I always admire what the Rosé folks in Provence did. They have almost like more than a lipstick wheel. Like just goes from ballet slipper, onion skin, all of this; like it’s just it’s pretty cool. But so what does that one tastes like for you, Nikki?
Nikki Goddard 12:10
This one definitely has some oxidative qualities. They age these wines for a long time before they’re released. They are definitely going for that style. There’s a lot of like, nutty kind of almost caramelized character even though it’s not sweet at all. It’s really savoury, it’s got kind of saltiness, sort of like cassava tomato olive brine, which is one of my favourite things to taste in wine. I love wine that tastes like green olives.
Natalie MacLean 12:33
Ah, you definitely are tolerant taster. I can’t eat olives. Wow, it’s definitely palate driven for sure. Yeah, I have to hold my breath when I walk in the grocery store; when I’m like walking beside olives. It’s like, it’s so weird. It’s so weird.
Nikki Goddard 12:49
Bananas, but just the peels; I can eat bananas if the peel is nowhere near me.
Natalie MacLean 12:55
That’s great. So what would you pair that wine with
Nikki Goddard 12:59
Something kind of party, but not like heavy meat. Like polenta maybe would be really nice. Or like prosciutto and melon. Definitely something that is savoury but with a little bit of brightness as well, because this is like a pretty intense orange wine. I would say like, this is not an orange wine for beginners. I don’t know the exact amount of skin contact that it gets, but it’s longer than most. It’s pretty robust. So yeah, I would want to make sure that I had something pretty hardy with it, but not something super heavy, because then that would just weigh everything down.
Natalie MacLean 13:36
Right, the weights would be off. Cool. So how about the fruit wine or the co-fermented fruit wine. Pinot and you know apples. That’s an interesting combination.
Nikki Goddard 13:47
This one is an interesting colour. It’s like strawberry jam.
Nikki Goddard 13:51
It’s very opaque. This is clearly unfiltered. It’s actually pretty unusual for wine this colour; I can’t see anything through it.
Natalie MacLean 13:59
Hmm. Are there little floaty bits in there?
Nikki Goddard 14:03
I can’t see any but I had this bottle a few days ago. And I think there was a lot at the end of it.
Natalie MacLean 14:08
Okay, yeah. Well here in Canada our four major wine producing regions produce wines from grapes, but all the rest produce wines from other fruits. So I’m definitely going to see what they’re up to there. I wonder if there’s any co-ferments
Nikki Goddard 14:22
There are some producers in Canada who were doing co-ferments.
Natalie MacLean 14:26
Do you know any of them off by name?
Nikki Goddard 14:29
There’s a list at the end of my article; I think Revel might have been the biggest one in Ontario. Actually, I don’t know if it’s my power of suggestion, but that nose is tasting like strawberry jam too.
Natalie MacLean 14:41
Yes. Does it taste sweet or is it still dry?
Nikki Goddard 14:44
You know sometimes when a wine is really fruity, it has like the perception of sweetness, but it’s not actually sweet. This definitely has that. It’s got like a sour cherry jam and like rose petal notes but not quite like super fresh fruit. It’s more like stewed, like a compote, like rhubarb
Natalie MacLean 15:01
That sounds good. That sounds nice for summer. Might even serve it a little chilled.
Nikki Goddard 15:06
Yeah, you would definitely chill this.
Natalie MacLean 15:08
Yeah, okay, good. And what would you serve it with? Like what food pairings might work with that one?
Nikki Goddard 15:13
I think I usually drink fruit wines without food just because they’re so fun and I kind of want them to be the star of the show. And I’m often drinking them like, outside with friends, but this would be a pool party wine. Like fruit salad, I think would be really, I mean, it’s a little on the nose but I think that something so like, bright and lively and refreshing needs to be paired with something equally refreshing.
Natalie MacLean 15:39
Yeah, that sounds good. You have two other things there to show us. One is a favourite wine book. So maybe you can let us know what that one is.
Nikki Goddard 15:47
So the book I mentioned earlier, Questions of Taste
Natalie MacLean 15:48
Questions of Taste, about the philosophy of wine and they have to argue both sides of each question both sides.
Nikki Goddard 15:56
So I read this really, like I said, really early in my wine career. And it really, I don’t think I realised it at the time, but it’s really when I look back, it’s informed the way I think about and talk about and write about wine. You know, I’m often writing kind of more like, basic educational pieces. But what I really love to write about is like, digging into the more theoretical side of wine. Why do we like what we like? Why do we think the way we think about it? And I think that this book was really what made me realise that I could even be asking these questions. And I’ve actually been meaning to reread it because it was so long ago that I read it and I would love to kind of revisit some of the opinions that I had at the time. It’s very intellectual and stimulating and it really just makes me think about wine in a different way than any other book I’ve ever read.
Natalie MacLean 16:44
That’s great. I’m gonna definitely have to get that one. And then you have a favourite gadget so to speak, what is your favourite wine tool or whatever.
Nikki Goddard 16:53
I’m not much of a gadget person. I’m a very old school analogue person. So I don’t really love all the technology that’s trying to like, I was actually I was researching for an article recently, I had to look up different types of decanters. And there was one that was like an electronic decanter that like you put it on like a little stand and it decants the wine somehow in like five minutes, but it also like, plays music and like, it was like an iPod for wine. I don’t, it just seemed like so over the top. And it’s like, okay, you could get something for like $20 instead of $300 that does the same thing in 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes; is it really worth it. But I just love this decanter. Because first of all, I really like the way it looks, which is important to me. It does have a little aerating thing, but it’s just little holes on the side. So it’s not anything high tech, which I like; it just kind of gives the wine a little extra air as you’re pouring it. But you know, it doesn’t make the Slurpee noise or anything. It also looks really cool when it’s going into the bottle. And it has a strainer here, which is great because I’m clumsy and I break corks a lot. You break the cork and you’re just like, oh, whatever I’ll just strain it out. It saves a lot of worry.
Natalie MacLean 18:08
And where did you get that decanter? Do you remember the brand?
Nikki Goddard 18:10
The brand is RBT; its on the internet (https://www.rabbitwine.com/products/glass-decanter-wood-base).
Natalie MacLean 18:15
I want to share some photos that you have shared with me. I love this one, it’s so much fun. Tell us what’s happening here.
Nikki Goddard 18:26
That was early COVID. My boyfriend and I were staying at his parents house in Sebastopol. That’s his mom, Susan and his cousin Alexandria, who was staying with us for a while. And we were really determined to make the best of the pandemic and trying to cheer ourselves up by having dress up nights and festive dinners. And one day we were getting ready for dinner and someone spilled a bunch of champagne. And everyone was upset for a minute. And I said you guys, we don’t want to cry over spilt champagne. Let’s grab some straws and don’t let this go to waste.
Natalie MacLean 19:05
What good spirit! Alright, and this is your boyfriend?
Nikki Goddard 19:09
Yes, that’s Emmett.
Natalie MacLean 19:11
And you like to cook together? That’s quite a spread.
Nikki Goddard 19:15
That is like the foundation of our relationship. He’s the first partner I’ve ever actually liked to cook with. Because we work very well together in the kitchen. It’s like, choreographed almost. So I absolutely love hosting Thanksgiving. I think I’ve done it seven out of the last 10 years. And this is the first Thanksgiving we hosted together in his parents house and I am generally not an organised person, but I’m also a very all or nothing person. So when I decide I need to be organised about something it’s pretty extreme. So I have like a whole Google Drive folder on my phone of Thanksgiving spreadsheets, and I have
Natalie MacLean 19:53
Nikki Goddard 19:55
Spreadsheets and recipes and shopping lists that are like organised by section of the grocery store. And every year I print out all the recipes and we tape them up to the wall and it’s like a battle station and we figure out the exact timing. And this was us pulling it off pretty much on time for the first time together.
Natalie MacLean 20:15
Looks beautiful, the spread. Wow. And here you are. Look at that cutie as well, who’s with you? You call it a pandemic puppy?
Nikki Goddard 20:23
Yes. Yeah, there are a lot of them cute.
Natalie MacLean 20:26
Oh, my goodness, just the eyes. Holy smokes. What is his name?
Nikki Goddard 20:31
His name is Oscar. He is an Aussie doodle. He’s half poodle and half Australian shepherd. And he just turned one last month.
Natalie MacLean 20:38
Sweet. He does wine tastings with you.
Nikki Goddard 20:40
Natalie MacLean 20:42
Does he like the Pet nats?
Nikki Goddard 20:43
We think that he likes white Zinfandel. We’ve decided that that’s his personality.
Natalie MacLean 20:49
That’s great. So here you are in Germany
Nikki Goddard 20:53
Upstate New York.
Natalie MacLean 20:55
Oh, it’s upstate New York. Sorry. I’m thinking of another Konstantin. Anyway, upstate New York. So tell us why this winery has particular meaning for you.
Nikki Goddard 21:05
So Dr. Konstantin Frank was this really amazing figure in the wine industry. He was an immigrant from Ukraine in the 1950s. I can’t remember exactly what he was doing. But he had some very high profile, advanced degree type job in the wine industry. And he moved to New York to try and improve his family’s financial situation. And noticed that the climate in the Finger Lakes was really similar to the climate back home. And at the time, nobody there was growing Vinifera grapes, which are the European grapes that we see in pretty much all the wines that we drink. Most people were growing either Native American varieties are hybrids of French and American varieties.
And so he was one of those, kind of like mad genius figures that you hear about in the wine industry where they’re like, they’re always saying, like, oh, like, I think we can do this. And everyone’s like, You’re crazy. And then of course, they try it. And it works. And everyone was like, Oh, my God, you’re a genius. So he was trying for years. He moved up to upstate New York and got a job as like a janitor at a grape research station, because he was just trying to get in the door. And he just kept like hounding everyone for years. And then finally he convinced someone to let them plant some Riesling. And they said, Okay, if it lasts the winter, then I’m gonna let you keep doing this. And of course it did.
And now the Finger Lakes is one of the best regions in the world for Riesling. So Dr. Frank is very special to me, because I discovered my love for wine while I was studying in that region. And I think that because I didn’t go to school to study wine, it happened by accident. I think if I hadn’t gone to school in that area, I think I would have eventually discovered wine, but my career probably would have taken a different path.
Natalie MacLean 22:54
Wow. Yeah. Because Cornell is in Ithaca. And so how far is that from the Finger Lakes region?
Nikki Goddard 23:01
It’s in the Finger Lakes region.
Natalie MacLean 23:03
Oh, it’s in the Finger Lakes region. Okay. Clearly, I haven’t been there yet. I’m thinking I’m in Germany. So yeah, well, cool story. Now, is this Austria?
Nikki Goddard 23:13
It is Austria.
Natalie MacLean 23:14
I shouldn’t guess. I should just let you tell me. Where in Austria are you here?
Nikki Goddard 23:20
Somewhere along the Wachau Valley. I don’t remember exactly where that was. That was on a press trip in 2019. Which was a really cool experience.
Natalie MacLean 23:34
Yeah. Awesome. And here?
Nikki Goddard 23:36
Napa. That’s maybe the third and last time as an adult that I’ve ridden a bike.
Natalie MacLean 23:44
Why was it the last time?
Nikki Goddard 23:47
I mean, it’s not the last, it’s just the last so far.
Natalie MacLean 23:49
Oh, okay, I thought there was a big accident or something. Like, are you scarred?
Nikki Goddard 23:52
When they say it’s just like riding a bike about something that doesn’t really make me feel confident because I have forgotten multiple times how to ride a bike. So it’s not a good thing to hear that.
Natalie MacLean 24:07
Especially after you’ve been sampling. So yeah, makes it a little bit more challenging to the reflexes. This is a beautiful photo. Where are you here?
Nikki Goddard 24:14
That is Friuli, the part of Italy that is right near Slovenia. We were driving and saw this field of sunflowers and well, how can we not have a photo shoot here? Perfect for Instagram. That photo is square because it was on Instagram.
Natalie MacLean 24:31
This is fun. Where are you here?
Nikki Goddard 24:34
Yeah, so I said when I do something, I do it 100%. So yeah, that’s me relaxing 100%. That was up in I think Mendocino County. That’s Greg. He’s our pet unicorn.
Natalie MacLean 24:50
I guess he travels with you, a little bit far from the water though. Oh, this is your arm.
Nikki Goddard 24:56
This is my arm. Wow. That is you can see the real thing. Have to get the angle. There you go. Yeah, that is a wine map of France. I never thought I would get a tattoo until my late 20s. And then I decided that I wanted a wine tattoo. But I didn’t want a wine tattoo that anybody else had. Every one in the wine industry who has a tattoo has grapes or a corkscrew. And it’s like, if I’m going to get something on my body forever, I want it to be really original. So it took me about a year to come up with that. And then I waited another year to make sure that I really wanted it. And I have no regrets.
It’s incredibly useful. Whenever I’m drinking wine with friends, and we’re drinking wine from France. They’ll say, Oh, where is this from? Its right here! My dad always told me like, oh, if you get a tattoo, you’re never going to get hired at a job. And I’ve been in job interviews where the interviewer notices the tattoo and then calls in the CEO of the company and says, you have to see this. I got the job. So
Natalie MacLean 25:57
It’s great, absolutely, that’s unique. Like it. Oh, right. Dunn Vineyards. That is a cult Napa Cabernet. Where are you here?
Nikki Goddard 26:06
That is at a restaurant called Vione in San Francisco. But we brought the bottle from home that was a gift from a very generous friend.
Natalie MacLean 26:14
Nikki Goddard 26:15
I do not drink a lot of Napa Cab. But when I do, I like it to be from the 80s or 90s. I think that the style of winemaking then was more in line with my palate. And also, I just love the flavours of really aged wine. So that was a really special bottle.
Natalie MacLean 26:33
And this was the Rare Wine company; Historics Madeira?
Nikki Goddard 26:39
Yeah, Madeira. I really love this particular style of Madeira called Sercial and it’s the driest style of Madeira, which is a fortified wine. It’s kind of similar to Sherry. And I have had several incidents in restaurants where I’ve ordered a glass of Sercial and been given something else. And I said, I don’t think this is Sercial. And they said, Oh, no, it is. And they make up all these excuses for why it is the thing that it isn’t. And this was a couple of days after I’d had that experience for the first time. And I’d been given a different style of Madeira and they didn’t want to admit to me, but finally they were like okay, yeah, it was what you said it was, so I was like, really frustrated. And then a few days later, we were at a different restaurant. And I saw that they had Sercial. And of course I ordered it and I was very, very happy to receive the correct wine.
Natalie MacLean 27:30
That’s great. Speaking of colour and textiles, this is an article you wrote, but you did these illustrations didn’t you? Beautiful. I just love your sense of colour and the whimsicalness of these things
Nikki Goddard 27:42
Thanks. They’re really fun to do. You know, when I was a kid, I used to do art every day and I don’t really do it very much anymore. So I love when I get asked to write an article that I also get to illustrate, because it’s a good excuse to get a little visual creativity in my life.
Natalie MacLean 27:54
Was this East Bay Edible ? You say Edible East Bay? Okay. There you are with one of your heroines Jancis Robinson
Nikki Goddard 28:03
It was probably the most starstruck I’ve ever been. Jancis was very much an inspiration for me in the beginning of my wine career and has remained that way throughout. So it was just such an honour to get to meet her and hear her speak and then later be published by her.
Natalie MacLean 28:15
Where are you here?
Nikki Goddard 28:19
That is at the San Francisco wine school. She came in, did a seminar on the new edition of the World Atlas of Wine.
Natalie MacLean 28:30
Okay, terrific. And this is a fruit wine I think.
Nikki Goddard 28:33
Fruit wine, yes
Natalie MacLean 28:35
I think that is the last one I have here. Oh, no. We have a fun one at the end. What is this?
Nikki Goddard 28:42
That is karaoke in Palm Springs. Karaoke is pretty much my favourite thing to do other than drink wine. Everyone who comes over to hang out at my house knows that if we have enough wine, it’s probably going to turn into a karaoke night
Natalie MacLean 28:56
That’s great. Love it. Well, Nikki, this has been fabulous. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention, as we wrap up?
Nikki Goddard 29:07
Yeah, I guess I just want to say like, you know, like I was talking earlier about being intimidated by wine. But you know, if anyone takes anything away from my writing and what I have to say about wine, it’s that wine really should be fun. And if you’re intimidated by it, experience it as much as you can and try and find ways to explore in a comfortable setting, find a wine bar or wine shop that you trust, get to know the person who’s selling you wine. And if you give them feedback on what you’ve enjoyed, that they’ve recommended for you, then they’re going to be able to do a much better job of recommending something to you next time.
So it’s really good to have one place, at least while you’re kind of starting out. It’s good to have one place or one person that you trust to make recommendations. And don’t be afraid of being wrong. I actually I love being wrong because it’s an opportunity to learn something new. So that might come from like, getting a fact wrong. Or it might come from me saying, Oh, I hate Viognier, I’ve never liked a wine made from Viognier and then someone gives me a Viognier that’s delicious. And I’m like, Okay, cool. Like, there’s some good Viognier out there. I get it. You know, it’s always an opportunity to learn and to grow.
Natalie MacLean 30:22
Yeah, great attitude really. Well done. And where can we find you online Nikki?
Nikki Goddard 30:28
You can find me on Instagram at “instinctivedrinking:.
Natalie MacLean 30:32
Okay, great. Nice handle “instinctivedrinking”. All right. Well, thank you so much, Nikki. I’m so appreciative of the time you spent here chatting with us. Just a great conversation, lots of great stories and tips. So thank you so much. I look forward to chatting with you again in the future. Take care. Bye for now.
Natalie MacLean 30:57
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed our second chat with Nikki Goddard. Here are my top takeaways.
Number one, Nikki gave us an excellent overview on why fruit wines are becoming so popular now and how they differ from grape based wines. She’s made me really thirsty to seek out these wines more often
Two: I also thought she did a great job explaining the Pet Nat style of bubbly, and why it’s so trendy. I’m adding those to my list as well.
And three; She sparked my interest in Slovenian wines. And even though I’ve tried several of them and liked them immensely, I’m looking forward to drinking more of them and experimenting with some different food pairings.
In the show notes, you’ll find a full transcript of our conversation, how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class, links to both of my books, and where you can find me on Zoom, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live video every Wednesday at 7pm; that’s all in the show notes at Nataliemaclean.com/141.
You won’t want to miss next week when we chat about luxury wine marketing and which wines really are worth the splurge with Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung co hosts of the XChateau Wine podcast that features insights, analysis and perspectives on news and trends in the wine industry beyond wine making. They join us from their homes in San Francisco.
In the meantime, go back and take a listen. I chat about orange and natural wines with Ann Sperling, I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
Ann Sperling 32:41
I think that’s really what I’d like to see happen with orange wines is lots of small batches and lots of engagement at a really foodie level, like right there with your plate of whatever, you know, your local fresh vegetables and locally raised meats and things like that. And to really start thinking about wine makers as farmers and as people that are making their meals more interesting.
Natalie MacLean 33:01
Absolutely. And you refer to yourself as a wine grower.
Ann Sperling 33:06
Exactly, yeah. But in the engagement with consumer, I think that we have some barriers to that with a big organisation like the LCBO distributing our wines and making it more distant from the consumers. I am sure it’s more convenient for everyone but at the same time, I think we want to engage and realise that our wine and our food are coming from our local agriculture.
Natalie MacLean 33:40
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who’d be interested in the tips and wines that Nikki shared. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week. Perhaps a fruit wine or a Pet Nat bubbly.
Natalie MacLean 34:06
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