Learning about wine is as intimidating as it gets.
Wine education is painted as a jargon-rich and highly-technical space, dominated by professionals, sommeliers, and people with deep pockets to drink their way to a wine vocabulary. At least, that is the assumption. For a beverage so widely enjoyed, we believe learning about what the bottle in front of you contains should definitely have fewer barriers to entry. We live in a digital age where, thankfully, technology is taking those barriers down.
Wine websites, forums and apps make intel available at just the touch of a button, but for people who prefer a more passive form of information absorption, wine podcasts are where it’s at.
Podcasts often deliver content in a more dynamic manner. They’re easier to absorb than video or text, as you can plug in, play, and multitask as you tune in. Wine experts have long realised the power of podcasts to disseminate and discuss information to a wider audience. As a listener, the added bonus is that there’s no need to buy a bottle of wine for you to gain their intelligence (except maybe a pair of headphones).
Without further drivel, lets delve into some of the best wine podcasts out there.
The name says it all. This podcast is by Elizabeth Schneider, a wine industry professional and sommelier who wants to make information on the subject as accessible to the layman as possible. This award-winning podcast dives into issues such as lesser-known wine regions, politics surrounding wine and the like in such simple terms that any and everyone will find value in Schnieder’s programmes, from amateurs to the seasoned drinker.
Wine expert Lauren Francis has a podcast that really gets into the gritty details for those pursuing an education in wine. Episodes feature guests who come on the show to flesh out wines with the host, and though the schpiel leans technical, anyone with a basic handle on wine can follow along with ease. Interpreting Wine also has some engaging series you can follow, including one on sustainable wine production and another on sherry.
Former sommelier Levi Dalton interviews a slew of wine industry honchos about every topic imaginable. This is a podcast for those intrigued with the world of wine beyond just how the liquid in your glass tastes. From historic wine families to the shortfalls of sustainable winemaking, I’ll Drink To That is a podcast that has us echoing the same.
The wine industry is a very, very white one, given its lengthy European history. However, a whole school of Black and POC winemakers are reclaiming attention from the mainstream with their talents, and The Color of Wine highlights that. Every episode interviews a POC wine expert, with enlightening conversations about their journeys and how they got there.
Wine is an art and an extremely prolific business. The Real Business of Wine takes strides to cover the latter, untangling the dollars and the sense of the wine business for the everyman. Begun as an initiative by wine experts Robert Joseph and Polly Hammond, the podcast offers food for thought about the financial future of wine.
Renowned wine critic James Suckling takes the microphone with his namesake podcast. Every episode charts conversations with titans of the industry and his own tasting team as Suckling traves to taste wines — it’s his full-time job after all. Be ready to get jealous.
Husband-wife and sommelier duo Susie and Peter are certified Masters of Wine, and their podcast project is an effort to help the wine world stay connected in a closed-off world. Subjects include having other critics and wine pros on board for digital fireside chats, and lighthearted takes on wine pairings, varietals and more.