Looking for the best wine podcasts? The quest for wine knowledge has led me to explore new places and all formats – and I’ve really gotten in to podcasts in the last year. Here’s my top picks.
I initially wrote off podcasts, thinking, they can’t really be a thing, can they? But they are and they can and personal radio is picking up a lot of traction, especially in the wine industry.
On the search for thirsty listening, I’ve learnt a few things:
- Most wine podcasts are American. This makes sense as they are one of the biggest wine producers in the world with tasty vinos out of the likes of California and it’s king region, Napa Valley. They’re also excellent content creators which makes for a great listen, read or watch. But in several of the podcasts I listened to, I found myself listening to our mates across the pond drinking wine that I can’t buy and talking about areas I have no idea about (yet). Despite that, I found a couple of real winners worth adding to the list.
- The worst wine podcasts (in any location) are of people drinking wine and chatting shit. There’s nothing worse than listening to people drink wine that I don’t know how to locate and hear them get slowly pissed while I’m left knowing nothing more about wine and with a distinct lack of buzz.
- But the best wine podcasts (and food or general experience podcasts) are the stories, both of wine itself, the people and how it fits in to our worlds. That’s where the winning combo sits for me.
Based on this I’ve searched high and low, listened for hours, sometimes minutes or seconds if I’m not drawn in, and I’ve put together my list of best wine podcasts:
1. Unreserved wine talk by Natalie MacLean
Natalie has been part of the wine world for years so she knows what shes talking about when it comes to wine. But the difference with Natalie is that she also knows how to make it engaging. which automatically makes her part of my list.
I like her approach – she makes it clear from the outset that she is not a booze hound as she can’t drink a lot, has seen alcoholism first hand and says to this that you don’t abuse what you love. So she’s here purely to appreciate and share stories, facts, and fun around wine (in moderation).
Her podcast episodes vary from an interview with a doctor about the pros and pitfalls of drinking wine (a personal favourite), natural and organic wines as well as wine crime.
There’s something so lovely and endearing about her and she’s not intimidating at all. PLUS she actually acknowledges that part of the fun of wine is not just the taste and smell but the buzz you get when you drink it. Lush!
This guy is a machine. Lawrence Francis is often pumping out an episode every week from places all over the world so you’re never stuck for new material. The vast and growing backlog means you’ve got endless content to choose from and can learn about wines from Hungary to Austria, New Zealand to India. You can also learn about key influences on wine like climate change, elements of terroir as well as origin stories of brilliant wine makers from around the world. Plus he brings you the inside scoop from some of the biggest wine events globally.
OK so here’s where you see my loyalty as a Brit begin to seep through in to my content.Josh’s six part series takes a tour across the UK, meeting England’s both most established and newest wine makers.
The wine scene has grown gradually in the UK but with wine makers employing new production techniques and using the weather in their favour, this comes as as a highly recommended listen if you’re after something different to the usual regions that dominate the field.
Out of the US, Ian Osborn brings us one on one interviews with somms, winemakers, writers and masters.
His guests are not limited to America and also feature some bad ass women from the wine world which I’m absolutely about including wine writer, Christina Rasmussen, Laura Milne, a wine consultant, writer and event organiser, as well as Queen of wine, Madeline Puckette – founder of the world’s leading online wine publication, Wine Folly. If that isn’t inspo for you, then do tell me what is!
5. Wild card: Has wine gone bad? Guardian long read
Not strictly a wine podcast but a podcast episode about wine, the industry and the natural wine obsession that has the industry split down the middle.
This 38 minute break down is brilliant way to get a beginners lesson on natural wine and the historical background to the wine world’s newest trend.
Plus it’s an English reader and you know, despite me choosing sunnier climes of Oz, that I need the familiar dulcet tones of home every now and then.
I should caveat that all of these are available on Spotify as that’s what I have easy access to. Have you given any of these a try? Have a listen, I’m sure you’ll learn something new like I did.
Are there any other wine podcasts I should be listening to? As always, I’m open ears.
Want to hear more about women in wine? Here’s a list of brilliant winemakers, sommeliers, writers and bloggers.