The Best of I'll Drink to That! Ten Highlights from 2018

Posted by Joe Salamone

The IDTT episodes from this year have delighted us: we'd say that the best of 2018 are also among the best in the entire seven year history of the show.

Earlier this year The New York Times' Wine Critic, Eric Asimov, called the I'll Drink to That! wine podcast: "one of wine's great treasures."

Photo courtesy of Cole Wilson

It's been amazing to watch Levi and Erin continue to land interviews with incredible guests throughout the year. Here are some of our personal favorites from this year in I'll Drink to That!

IDTT 440: Aldo Vacca

A candidate for one of the best IDTT episodes ever, this a tremendous overview of the vineyards in Barbaresco and the history of Piemonte winemaking more generally. You may know the Produttori del Barbaresco wines well, or you may be just getting into the wines of the Piemonte: either way you will gain an incredible amount of knowledge from this interview.

IDTT 444 Enrico Pozzesi Remembers Giulio Gambelli

A good example of the kind of insight that we wouldn't have available to us without I'll Drink to That! This was a personal reminiscence about one of the essential figures in the history of Tuscan wine: the low key and humble Giulio Gambelli, without whom wines like Soldera Brunello di Montalcino and Montevertine "Le Pergole Torte" would not exist as we know them. Gambelli, who died in 2012, was recalled here both as a master taster and as a good friend.

IDTT 445 Dominique Tourneix of DIAM

If H.G. Wells had narrated a fabulous journey through a wine cork, it might sound remarkably like this interview, where Dominique Tourneix dives into the nature of that little piece of bark that covers our most precious wines. All sorts of surprises emerged from what he had to say.

IDTT 451 Aligoté

Erin Scala's Whole Cluster episode was one of our favorites of 2017, and she returns to the list this year with a tour de force exploration of the Aligoté grape, based on interviews recorded in Burgundy. This isn't only a great primer on a little known and good value grape variety, it is also a lyrical trip through the cellars of Burgundy.

IDTT 452 Louis-Benoit Desvignes

This discussion shattered all kinds of misconceptions about Beaujolais, a region that has become incredibly popular with consumers of the crus, but which is still under appreciated for its nuances at the vineyard level. Louis-Benoit gives a firsthand account of his experiences working in Morgon, and shares all kinds of helpful details.

IDTT 453 Esther Mobley

Esther Mobley has quickly garnered attention for the high quality of her writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, becoming one of the most followed wine writers of her generation. She was remarkably frank and open in this interview discussing her work and what she is trying to achieve.

IDTT 454 Maggie Harrison

This wasn't just one of our favorite episodes of the year- it also seems to have been a favorite for many of you. Several months after this episode first appeared, people still mention it to us regularly. Maggie Harrison's personal story of going from waitress to Sine Qua Non has a power to it, but we think the particular draw of this interview is in the description of her winemaking ideals.

IDTT 455 Jean-Pierre de Smet

What a treasure chest of an episode! Jean-Pierre de Smet reminisced about 40 years of winemaking in Burgundy in great detail. Jean-Pierre's close friendships with key Burgundy vigneron, and his founding of the acclaimed Domaine de L'Arlot label, led to all sorts of interesting observations. Plus, there was the surprise reveal of where Jean-Pierre is working today.

IDTT 456 Ehren Jordan

Ehren Jordan's earlier appearance on I'll Drink to That!, in episode 404, made our top ten list of 2017. It was clear from that interview that Ehren could tell a good story. This time around Ehren discusses his projects in Oregon, and the insights he is able to bring to bear by comparing his experiences working in California with what he is seeing today in Oregon are very revealing of both places.

IDTT 458 Luis Seabra

We are huge fans of the wines that Luis Seabra is making right now - so much so that I named one of them our Wine of the Year for 2018. But information out there about Luis has been rather limited, so we were extremely happy to hear this incredible two-hour interview with him, which is packed with observations about the Douro Valley, as well as amazing insights into his winemaking choices.

As 2018 comes to a close, we are happy to report that I'll Drink to That! is available for listening in more places than ever, as the show can now be found on Spotify, and Pandora (mobile users only), as well as Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Google Podcasts for Android, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.

I'll Drink to That! continues to release episodes that we enjoy as much as the wines. Cheers!

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer

Crush Wine & Spirits