Best of The Podcast…So Far

The Road to Wine Expert launched in July of 2019. The interviews from Season 1 were part of a virtual summit I hosted in 2017.

During the summit, I reached out to people who I admired in the wine industry to understand their career paths. I wanted to know how they got their start and understand what steps they took to become an author, writer, podcaster and influencer.

If you’re new to the Road to Wine Expert, here are episodes you should listen to.

Top Episodes According to Listeners

Below is a list of the most popular episodes of Season 1. According the Transistor.fm (the amazing service I use to distribute the podcast), these episodes have the most downloads at the time of this posting.

I love this list because it shows a range of people who are on the podcast, and it gives you an idea of what type of interviews you can expect.

Steve De Long

Steve De Long Headshot Road to Wine Expert

In Episode 19, I sit down with Steve De Long who had an early influence on my wine career. I used Steve’s Wine Tasting Notebook to start documenting my wine journey long before I learned the Systematic Approach to Tasting or the Deductive Tasting Method.

While working in the wine shop, I started to encounter his wine maps and his impressive Periodic Table of Wine (better known as the Wine Grape Varietal Table).

Steve’s wine journey is a fun one, and it almost had to be because it started over a few pints.

 Elliott Clark

Elliott Clark - Road to Wine Expert - Podcast - Summit - Featured Image

In lucky number Episode 13, I got to interview Elliott Clark. Elliott’s better know as @apartmentbartender on Instagram.

Elliott is inspiring, thoughtful and an all-around great human. If you’ve ever wanted to chase your passion and quick your 9-to-5, this interview is a must-listen. And do as Elliott says, not as I did.

George Taber

George Taber - Road to Wine Expert - Podcast - Summit - Featured Image

George Taber is not only an established wine writer, but he is the author of The Judgement of Paris. George was the only reporter on the scene for the famous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976.

During episode 17, I learn how George’s four paragraph piece in Time Magazine turned him into a wine writer and changed the wine world forever.

Elizabeth Schneider

Elizabeth Schneider - Road to Wine Expert - Podcast - Summit - Featured Image

Elizabeth Schneider is the host of the amazing podcast, Wine for Normal People. You’ve likely heard of her long before you stumbled across the Road to Wine Expert.

Elizabeth is a rockstar at making wine accessible and easily understood. In Episode 11, I was thrilled to learn her wine journey and how early experience became a catalyst for her mission.

Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir

Nikki Huganir and Erica Blumenthal - Road to Wine Expert - Podcast - Summit - Featured Image

In the final installment of Season 1, I shared my interview with co-founders of Yes Way Rosé in Episode 20. Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir took an inside joke and turned into a wine brand that’s impossible to miss.

Learn how they captured a movement and created a brand with both luck and confidence.

Who’s missing from this list?

Don’t see your favorite episode of the podcast on this list? Write in a comment and let us know your favorite episode so far.

Nikki Huganir and Erica Blumenthal – Yes Way Rosé

Nikki and Erica created Yes Way Rosé, a lifestyle brand that has skyrocketed with success. Looking at their journey in the past two years, that even seems like a bit of an understatement. They now have wine of the same name that can be found virtually everywhere. Nikki and Erica are living proof that “wine experts” come from all walks of life.

One of my favorite parts of their story is that they weren’t looking to create wine, but rather interested in sharing wine and having fun.

Success is a combination of factors including great ideas, luck, timing and execution. For Nikki and Erica, everything came together in the perfect pink-colored storm.

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Road To Wine Expert $1000 Books and Resources Giveaway

Road To Wine Expert $1000 Books and Resources Giveaway

We did it! Thanks to your support we hit 1,000 downloads in Season 1.

As promised, I’m going to deliver. So here goes nothing…

To get you started on your own journey of wine expertise, I’m giving away $1,000 worth of wine books and resources.

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Steve De Long

Steve De Long is a great guide to have by your side in the wine world. After all, it can be scary, overwhelming and complicated place.

If you’re on any journey, it’s important to know where you are going. Better yet, you’ll want to have a map to help you stay the course.

Steve can help you do exactly that. He makes some of the finest wine maps in the industry today.

Funny thing though, I didn’t meet Steve because of his wine maps initially. I met him because of his Wine Tasting Notebook. This was before I learned about the Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine from WSET and Deductive Tasting from the Court of Master Sommeliers. In the early days, I used Steve’s book to track my first tasting notes in the wine world.

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Randy Smith

Randy Smith is better known as The Wine Write across the internet. He focuses his blog on winemaker, wineries and other people based in the Central Coast.

Beyond telling great stories about the wine industry, Randy does something admirable which is niche down into a very specific region. With the wine world being so large, I think many people struggle with where to begin. This is something I talked about with Chappy Cottrell during on our podcast episode.

If you’re like Randy, then choosing a region to discover is going to help you understand wine much better than picking bottles at random. The next time you taste a wine you like, I’d recommend that you ask yourself questions about what you’re drinking.

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George Taber

If you do not know George Taber, he is the author of the Judgement of Paris and is the only reporter to cover the 1976 Paris tasting. In this epic head-to-head battle, Napa Valley Chardonnay and Cabernet went up against White Burgundy and Red Bordeaux.

California came out on top, sending shockwaves throughout the wine world.

I was fortunate enough to sit down with George two years ago on the 41st anniversary of the Paris tasting.

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Richard Hemming

Richard Hemming is a fantastic wine writer. He is also a pretty fantastic wine musician. What is a wine musician? I’m glad you asked.

After going down the Richard Hemming rabbit hole, you’ll find yourself listening to his fabulous Wine Grape Variety Song. He wrote that while studying for his MW, and it clearly paid off.

Richard is now a Master of Wine, he write for Jancis Robinson and has a personal blog that’s worth following if you enjoy his sensibility, charm and humor like I do.

A great person, a great story, a great time. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Richard.

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Richard Betts

Richard Betts has a laundry list of achievements and accolades. He makes wine: An Approach to Relaxation and My Essential Wine. He makes spirits: Sombra Mescal and Astral Tequila. He passed the MS Exam on his first attempt, the ninth ever to do so.

My favorite project Richard has ever done is the Scratch and Sniff Guide to Wine. This book was cornerstone to my wine education, and, I dare say, it got me my first wine job. It’s simple, elegant and genius.

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Elliott Clark

If you’re passionate about cocktails, wine and booze in general, it’s impossible not to get inspired by Elliott Clark. His Instagram feed is a cultivation of deliciously handcrafted cocktails made in…you guessed it…his apartment.

Even though his drinks look beautiful and his photos are stunning, it’s his unpretentious attitude and belief that anyone can make better cocktails at home that aid Elliott in inspiring others.

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