An Easy Way To Learn About Wine: Podcasts

at the Wine Rack

with Christopher reckord

Thursday, February 01, 2018

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Not a week goes by without someone commenting to me that they would like to learn more about wine. The methods for doing so have not changed for decades as there are hundreds of books, wine-tasting courses, and in the Internet age there are many websites offering everything from online courses, blogs, articles, commentary, tasting notes and wine reviews. I did a Google search for “learning about wine”, and up popped about 3,890,000 results. There is another digital option, however: subscribing to podcasts on wine.

What are Podcasts?

A podcast is an online show, audio or video that is broadcasted over the Internet and is broken up into parts or episodes that will automatically download to your smartphone or other audio device if you subscribe to it. While podcasts have been around for over 10 years, in 2012 Apple upgraded its operating system for its iOS devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad) and included a stand-alone app dedicated to podcasts. This made it extremely easy to search for and subscribe to podcasts on any subject matter. I currently subscribe to just over 50 podcasts on a wide range of topics including information technology, wine, personal development, entrepreneurship, business, cybersecurity, history, science, marketing, exponential thinking, fitness and health. I listen to them during my early morning run/walk sessions, my daily commutes; my car has become a university!

My Current Top 5 Wine Podcasts

With high-quality audio/video recording equipment readily available at relatively low prices, anyone with an interest in creating a podcast seems to be doing it; many however are not that good. I prefer great-quality interviews with very knowledgeable subject matter experts. Here are my top 5 suggestions for wine lovers:

1. Grape Radio — This was one of the very first wine podcasts out there, and I was listening from almost inception, perhaps attracted because of their slogan: “enthusiasm for wine gets personal”. It is great for both consumers and professionals. It is the only podcast to win a James Beard Award for broadcast journalism. It is a discussion/interview type of how conducted by a few wine-loving businessmen.

2. Wine for Normal People — This podcast is conducted by a husband-and-wife team. Voted one of Imbibe Magazine's “10 Great Podcasts for Imbibers” sommelier Elizabeth Schneider calls her show “the podcast for people who like wine but not the snobbery that goes with it” and that truly sums it up — ( Imbibe Magazine, “10 Great Podcasts for Imbibers” Summer 2013). Easy-going, simple and fun.

3. Guild of Sommeliers Wine Podcast — One of my favourites, this podcast is produced by GuildSomm, which is a non-profit American membership organisation dedicated to helping sommeliers learn about and grow their careers. It is hosted by Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth and he covers wine tastings, pairings, regions and restaurant service all from the perspective of the sommeliers. While it is mainly for professionals, advanced wine enthusiasts will also enjoy it.

4. Wine Enthusiast Podcast — This podcast is produced by Wine Enthusiast magazine. It offers a range of discussions and interviews mainly in non-studio settings (which sometimes gets a bit distracting). The guests and topics for the show are varied, and include coverage of beer, cocktails and general entertaining. This is mainly for consumers.

5. I'll Drink to That! — Hosted by former sommelier and wine editor for Eater New York Levi Dalton who interviews wine personalities including beverage directors, winemakers, sommeliers, ambassadors and writers about their lives and work. I think most wine enthusiasts will enjoy.

The Tools I Use to Listen

The main ways to listen to the shows are either from the producers' websites or via mobile devices. On Apple devices, I stick with the Apple podcast app. On android devices I use the Stitcher app. If you are NOT able to sit in a class for 3 to 4 hours, you can log on to iTunes or Stitcher and search for 'wine'. You will be surprised to find many podcasts on the topic, and the best thing is that they are free.

Happy listening towards more informed sipping!

Christopher Reckord — Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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