We’ve been absolutely blown away by the I’ll Drink to That! podcast this year. Throughout 2017, one incredible interview after another has emerged for us to listen to.
As 2017 draws to a close, we’ve compiled a list of our very favorite episodes of the last 12 months. There were so many highlights that whittling the list down to just ten was extremely difficult. The list below is our best effort in capturing an exciting year for I'll Drink To That!
IDTT 404 Ehren Jordan
This conversation covers an amazing amount of ground: here is someone who had dinner each week at Noël Verset’s home in Cornas, who pruned pre-Prohibition vines for Turley, and who helped pioneer the Sonoma Coast for Syrah. His own winery has also helped spawn a whole other generation of top California winemaking talent -- Tegan Passalacqua, Hardy Wallace, and John Lockwood all having worked for Ehren. The stories that Ehren has to share about all of these topics (and more!) are truly amazing.
IDTT 405 Frédéric Mugnier
Those who know Frédéric Mugnier know that he generally prefers to let his wines do the talking, so this interview is all the more amazing for how much of his philosophy of wine Frédéric feels comfortable divulging. There are amazing details in here. If you want to better understand one of the absolute best producers in Chambolle, this interview is a must.
IDTT 416 100% Whole Cluster
Whole cluster use (or its absence) is a fundamental topic to understand if you want to grasp the nuances of Pinot Noir or Syrah based wines, as well as a large number of others. Erin Scala leads a tour of the discussion, weaving together interviews with top winemakers to get perspective. If you want to get a feel for what whole cluster is and does, this is a terrific resource.
IDTT 422 Christian Moueix
Christian Moueix is most well-known for having run Château Pétrus for almost 40 years, but his experience with wine properties in Bordeaux and in California is much more broad than that, and he shares incredible moments from his past in this interview. Learn about when he slept in the vineyard with the rattlesnakes, battled frost with nighttime helicopter flights, threw the green harvest into the local river to avoid detection, and much, much more. This is a truly wonderful chance to hear from a wine legend as he shares his history.
IDTT 430 Becky Wasserman-Hone
Towards the beginning of this interview Becky Wasserman-Hone speaks about meeting T.S. Eliot, and towards the end she talks about Clothilde Lafarge starting to work with her father and grandfather in Volnay. In between those two time periods, the region of Burgundy changed profoundly, and Becky witnessed the transformation firsthand, having moved to Burgundy in the late 1960s. This is an incredible opportunity to hear from Becky about the people and the vineyards of Burgundy.
IDTT 431 Victor Hazan
Victor Hazan wrote one of the seminal books on Italian wine in the 1980s and he was writing a second book on the subject when he decided that Italian wine was no longer for him. He explains what led him to change his mind in this interview, and reveals that he foresaw the problems associated with “modern wine” even as they were just beginning to emerge.
IDTT 433 Peter Liem
Peter Liem has been an acknowledged authority on Champagne for several years already, but his new book cements his reputation as the most knowledgeable writer we have on the topic. This interview is an incredible window onto Peter’s thinking about Champagne and will have you considering the wines and region very differently. A must-listen for Champagne fans.
IDTT 434 Lodovico Antinori
Lodovico Antinori’s candor in this episode - as he discusses topics like the founding and then the later sale of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia – is truly amazing. Lodovico is completely open about both his successes and his challenges in this interview, and at the same time provides a front row seat on the emergence of Super Tuscan wines. This is a great opportunity to hear from someone who has played a big role in what has happened in Bolgheri and the Maremma.
IDTT 438 Dominique Lafon
A tour de force interview with Burgundy vintner Dominique Lafon, this episode has a mind-bending level of insight for Burgundy fans. If you like Burgundy and want to understand it better, you have to listen to this.
IDTT 439 Jean Gonon
Domaine Gonon has ascended into the top ranks of Rhône producers over the last few years, but interviews with Jean Gonon are pretty hard to find. Not any longer. This is a superb conversation with one of the region’s best.
The podcast is rapidly approaching its 500th episode and Levi Dalton and Erin Scala continue to impress us with what they have been able to do on I’ll Drink to That! Go to http://illdrinktothatpod.com for more information about the show and to find other favorite episodes from 2017 and beyond. New in 2017, you can also check out I'll Drink To That! on Spotify.
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