GuildSomm Podcast

In our latest podcast, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe broaches the complexities of pairing wine with cheese, as it’s often assumed that the two are easily matched, in an interview with Bronwen and Francis Percival. Bronwen selected four cheeses and tasked Chris and Francis with choosing pairings that they thought would elevate the eating experience. Tune in to find out who was victorious in the pairing competition!

Bronwen Percival is the technical director for Neal’s Yard Dairy in the UK and co-authored "Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese" with her husband, Francis. She oversees the quality, consistency, and integrity of all the cheeses sold by the famed UK dairy, which was founded in 1979 and works with more than 40 cheesemakers from Britain and Ireland.

Francis Percival is the food editor for "The World of Fine Wine" magazineIn addition to his writing, Francis is a judge in the magazine’s World’s Best Wine Awards and teaches about cheese at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: GSI_Podcast_5-13-2024_Wine_and_Cheese_Percival.mp3
Category:Wine -- posted at: 3:55pm PDT

In our latest blind tasting episode, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Braithe Tidwell and Sam Bortugno of Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. They talk about their experiences with blind tasting and how they employ blind tasting skills in their current roles.

Braithe Tidwell is the corporate beverage director for the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group in New Orleans. Braithe was the first full-time sommelier at Brennan's Restaurant after its 2015 reopening under new ownership, then became the wine director before transitioning to her current role with the broader restaurant group.

Sam Bortugno is the wine director for Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans. He is an Advanced Sommelier through the CMS-A and is currently working his way through the Master Sommelier examination process. Sam has spent 18 years in the restaurant industry, transitioning into wine and spirits after initially training as a chef.

After their tasting conversations, Braithe and Sam taste the same white wine together. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

Direct download: GSI_Podcast_4-23-2024_Tasting_Tidwell_Bortugno.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 5:05am PDT

In our latest podcast, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with the wine writer and educator Karen MacNeil about the state of wine education today. They cover trends, strategies, innovative approaches, the future of wine education, certifications, and much more.

Karen MacNeil is a wine writer and educator who is best known for her award-winning book, The Wine Bible, now in its third edition. Karen is an instructor at Stanford University's Continuing Studies program and the creator of the Culinary Institute of America's Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies. She leads events and tastings for companies and individual groups around the world. Karen's digital newsletter, Wine Speed, offers fast, authoritative information on wine.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: GSI_Podcast_4-8-2024_Wine_Education_Karen_MacNeil.mp3
Category:Wine -- posted at: 5:30am PDT

In our latest blind tasting episode, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Cokie Ponikvar and Omar Lima. They discuss the importance of blind tasting, the challenges they've faced in their tasting journeys, and how they apply blind tasting skills.

Cokie Ponikvar runs the wine education platform @cokiesworldofwine, which has 299,000 followers on Instagram. She began her wine career while studying at the University of Toronto and working as a sommelier at the Four Seasons Hotel. Today, her approachable wine videos have over 52 million views. Cokie is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas.

Omar Lima is a sommelier at Sushi Note Omakase in Beverly Hills. Previously, he worked at several other Los Angeles restaurants, including Augustine Wine Bar, the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, and Spago Beverly Hills. Omar is a Certified Sommelier through the CMS-A and a Certified Sake Advisor through the Sake School of America, and he has the WSET Level 2 Award in Wine.

After their tasting conversations, Cokie and Omar taste the same red wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: GSI_Podcast_3-26-2024_Tasting_Ponikvar_Lima_V2.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

In our latest podcast, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Dr. P.J. Alaimo, a professor of chemistry and the chemistry department chair at Seattle University. Chris and P.J. dive deep into wine chemistry, discussing the chemical components of wine and why different wines taste, feel, and look the way they do. They also provide some great exercises and tips for anyone looking to improve their tasting skills.

P.J. Alaimo studied chemistry and philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, then earned his doctorate in organic chemistry at UC Berkeley. Prior to his studies, he cooked in fine dining restaurants. Since 2004, he has been a chemistry professor at Seattle University, where he teaches organic chemistry as well as a popular class on the science of food and cooking. P.J. also consults with numerous Seattle restaurants.

Listen in to expand your understanding of wine chemistry! If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Wine_Chemistry_with_P.J._Alaimo.mp3
Category:Wine Science -- posted at: 1:56pm PDT

In our latest blind tasting episode, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Marissa Kipp and MS Tyler Alden. They discuss their blind tasting journeys, the challenges they've faced while honing their tasting abilities, and the role of alcohol in blind tasting.

Marissa Kipp is a sommelier at the retail shop Cru & Domaine in Portland, Oregon. She also works as a consultant, with a focus on hospitality and beverage education. Marissa is an Advanced Sommelier and holds the WSET Diploma. Tyler Alden is the director of food and beverage at Barking Frog and Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington. He has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and became a Master Sommelier in 2022. He is also a Certified Cicerone.

After their tasting conversations, Marissa and Tyler taste the same red wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Marissa_Kipp_and_Tyler_Alden.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 10:08am PDT

In our latest podcast, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe interviews Taylor Parsons of Whole Cluster Hospitality and MS Gareth Ferreira of Core by Clare Smyth. They discuss what constitutes good service, how service has changed over recent decades, and the logistics of running restaurants and wine programs that place a high value on service. 

Taylor Parsons has worked as a sommelier and beverage director for a range of celebrated Los Angeles establishments, including République, Campanile Restaurant, Spago Beverly Hills, and the Mozza Restaurant Group. He is a co-founder and partner of Whole Cluster Hospitality, a restaurant investment and development firm with two restaurants, Dunsmoor and Bar Chelou.

Gareth Ferreira is the beverage director at London's three-Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth, where he has worked since the restaurant's opening in 2017. Previously, he was part of the opening team at 67 Pall Mall and worked at hotels around the world. He holds a diploma in tourism and became the first-ever South African Master Sommelier in 2021.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: The_Evolution_of_Wine_Service.mp3
Category:Wine Business -- posted at: 1:29pm PDT

In our first blind tasting episode of 2024, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Clara Klein and Jeremy Schwartz, lead sommeliers with the Frasca Hospitality Group in Colorado. They talk about the role of blind tasting in their work and studies, then tackle the complex topic of minerality in wine.

Clara is the lead sommelier at Denver’s Sunday Vinyl, which she helped open in 2019 after working at Frasca Food and Wine and Tavernetta. Prior to these roles with the Frasca Hospitality Group, Clara worked at The Little Nell in Aspen and Mourad in San Francisco. She has also worked harvest in Italy and California. Jeremy is part of the team at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, where he has worked for 17 years. He transitioned to the wine industry from the medical field and worked most front-of-house positions at Frasca before stepping into the lead sommelier role. Jeremy is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas.

After their tasting conversations, Clara and Jeremy taste the same wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Clara_Klein_and_Jeremy_Schwartz.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 1:13pm PDT

In the latest GuildSomm podcast, host MS Christopher Tanghe interviews Kelli A. White, director of education for the Wine Center at Meadowood in Napa Valley, author of Napa Valley, Then & Now, and accomplished wine writer. Kelli discusses the history of Napa Valley, its regions, trends, and much more.

Prior to her role at Meadowood, Kelli was the senior staff writer here at GuildSomm, where she wrote articles and expert guides on a wide range of topics and received two Roederer Awards for her work. Her writing has also appeared in World of Fine Wine, Robb Report, Sommelier Journal, Le Pan, and Vinous. Before venturing into writing and education, Kelli was a sommelier at New York City’s Veritas and PRESS in St. Helena. Her acclaimed book, Napa Valley, Then & Now, was originally released in 2015; a reprint was recently issued. Head to GuildSomm.com for links to Kelli’s writing and to learn more about Napa Valley, Then & Now.

Listen in for a deep-dive on Napa Valley and great insights into the region. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Napa_Valley_with_Kelli_White.mp3
Category:Regional Podcasts -- posted at: 2:54pm PDT