Travel the Wine World with Kevin Brauch

Sep11th

Introduction

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Kevin Brauch, a Gemini Award Winner, TV producer and host of hit series The Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America, SuperStar Chef Challenge, FOOD F!&#T. Kevin is one of the liveliest guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and he has so many stories to share, from his time with the late, great Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, to sabering Champagne in France and wine faux pas in South Africa. Enjoy!

 

Highlights

  • What has Kevin learned about sparkling wines?
  • How does Kevin sabre a sparkling wine bottle?
  • What is Kevin’s favourite thing about Spanish Cava?
  • How did Kevin learn about sabring?
  • Has Kevin visited Cava country?
  • How did Kevin’s visit to Stellenbosch, South Africa go?
  • What makes Kevin a good teacher?
  • How do the names of varietals impact wine choices?
  • Why was the Thirsty Traveler was so well-received in the show’s travels?
  • What was responsible for Kevin’s journey from beer first to wine first?
  • How did Kevin meet Anthony Bourdain?
  • Why do the best chefs intertwine family and the kitchen?
  • What is Kevin’s favourite wine gadget?
  • What advice would Kevin give to his 30-year-old self?
  • Why does Kevin think we’re not making the right food shows?
  • What is Kevin’s best tip for getting to know more about wine?
  • Why is terroir such an important philosophy to Kevin?

 

About Kevin Brauch

Kevin Brauch is a 6-time Canadian Gemini Award Nominee and Gemini Award Winner. Kevin’s broadcasting career began in earnest, after graduation from Ryerson (B.A.A. Radio & Television), as on-air personality, ’Revvin’ Kevin’ at CFNY – FM102.1. Television was the next obvious step and took him to TVOntario as producer, writer and host of the kids, tweens and teens 4 hour, live, after school block of programming: TVOKids. The live block of programming allowed Brauch to create two award-winning shows for tweens: Off The Hook (OTH) and, the ‘Get off the couch and do something!” Series, STUFF.

From there, a three-year stint on HGTV’s Canadian Gardening Television, a failed one-year ‘convergence’ project at CBC Toronto and then onwards to the solidification of Brauch’s career spent at Food Network, Food Network Canada, Discovery, SKY Travel (The Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America, SuperStar Chef Challenge, FOOD F!&#T). Discovery/HDTV also played a home in Brauch’s career; hosting & v/o the light-science docu-series Mega World.

 

Resources

 

Wine Reviews

 

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Thirsty for more?

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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 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 & Takeaways

Welcome to episode 41!

In today’s episode we’re chatting with Kevin Brauch, a Gemini Award Winner, who has worked as a producer for TVOntario. He then went on to HGTV’s Canadian Gardening Television, and then the Food Network as host of hit series The Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America, SuperStar Chef Challenge, FOOD F!&#T.

Kevin is one of the liviest guests I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and he has so many stories to share, from his time with the late, great Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, to sabering Champagne in Champagne.

I’ll put links to Kevin’s website, social media handles, the gadget he recommends and the wines we taste together at nataliemaclean.com/41.

I’m gearing up to relaunch my course Get Wine Smart this fall. I’m so excited about this, and I know you’re going to love it! So stay tuned for more details on that.

In the meantime, would you like a free copy of my Ultimate Food & Wine Pairing Guide? It’s a colourful template covering the major food matches for red, white, rose and dessert wines. It’s visually very appealing and I know you’ll get tons of use from it. Just tell one person about this podcast and email me at natalie@nataliemaclean.com and I’ll send it to you.

Before we dive in, I’d like to share a spotlight on a member of our podcast community with you. Carolyn Wolfie from Halifax, Nova Scotia, works in a liquor store there. She refers to episode 39 with Bloomberg Wine Columnist Elin McCoy and our chat about scoring wines and other topics. Go back and have a listen if you missed it.

Carolyn posted this on her Facebook page quote, “I so enjoyed the stories and learning about Walmart and Starbucks getting involved with wine. We don’t rate wine by numbers here in Nova Scotia. I find that just being honest with customers and telling them which wines are always selling out in the store lets them know which ones they might also enjoy.”

Carolyn, I agree that Elin’s insight into understanding how wine scores help and hurt consumers was insightful. I know you’re going to love this chat with Kevin. On with the show!

 

You can also watch the video interview with Kevin that includes bonus content and behind-the-scenes questions and answers that weren’t included in this podcast.

 

Well, there you have it! Here are my takeaways from this terrific discussion with Kevin:

  1. I love Kevin’s stories about sabering champagne, and looking for the bottle’s weak points as though you’re in a street fight: go for the knees.
  2. He has some great alternatives to Champagne that are tasty but much more affordable, especially Spanish Cava.
  3. When in Rome… or South Africa, do as South Africans do, or at least, as they drink. Drink the local wine when you travel as it’s a unique opportunity to do so and often pairs well with local cuisine. Another great story to illustrate an important point.
  4. I admire the way Kevin is honest and humble about his own wine knowledge when he talks about pronouncing grape or varietal names, and how that can be a source of intimidation, especially when ordering in a restaurant. Yet he can get technical with the best of them.
  5. I enjoyed his stories about the late Tony Bourdain, the author of the phenomenally successful book Kitchen Confidential as well as several food travel television shows. Many of us miss Tony.
  6. I enjoyed how Kevin compared beer and wine, their similarities and differences.

Kevin’s website, social media handles, the waiter’s corkscrew he recommends and the wines we taste together at nataliemaclean.com/41. I’ve also posted a link to the video version of this interview so you can watch him sabre that Champagne. He’s a showman.

What was your favourite tip or quote from this episode? Share that with me on Twitter or Facebook and tag me @nataliemaclean, on Instagram I’m @nataliemacleanwine.

If you liked this episode, please tell a friend about it, especially one who’s interested in how to sabre a wine, or at least watch how it’s done. My podcast is easy to find, whether you search Google on its name Unreserved Wine Talk, or on my name.

Finally, if you want to take your ability to pair wine and food to the next level, join me in a free online video class at nataliemaclean.com/class.

I can’t wait to share more wine stories with you.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to this one. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps while you’re drinking a wine that was made close to where you live or where you’re travelling!

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