Grape Radio is a small group of American wine lovers who put together, and broadcast online at www.graperadio.com, interviews with various characters in the world of wine. One recent interview was with the fascinating Alice Feiring, New York champion of natural wine and runner up in the Geoffrey Roberts Awards 2010.
Last month the Grape Radio team interviewed me, with them on the west coast of the US and me in the Languedoc, and the resulting 43 minutes have just been made available on their website. The sound quality at my end leaves something to be desired. I sound oddly muffled and, to me, oddly humourless. This may have something to do with how disconcerting it is to be interviewed by four faceless people you have never met who are nine hours' time difference away and who mostly sound rather similar - except for Rusty, whose voice was, reassuringly, rather rusty too.
Topics covered, from memory, included the effect of the internet (which we loosely and inaccurately described as 'social media') on wine and wine criticism; the difference between the US and Europe in terms of how wine is bought and sold; wine prices; up-and-coming wines. When asked to recommend something specific, I had a rabbit in the headlights moment and then talked at some length about an apple-based 'icewine' made in Quebec that I had just come across and which is currently being imported into the UK by Top Selection. It is difficult to pick out its name from what I say, so here is my tasting note:
Dom Leduc-Piedimonte, Cidre de Glace 2006 Québec 16.5 Drink 2008-10
Tarte tatin juice and rich caramel nose. Very much apples rather than grapes. Then the slightly 'green' acidity of an ice wine. I think I'd prefer it slightly younger?
£16 per 125 cl glass, Bar Boulud, London
By coincidence, someone has just drawn my attention to the fact that the entire Ken Hom Lecture delivered jointly by Nick and me a year ago at Oxford Brookes, the British centre of higher education arguably most devoted to matters gastronomic, is available here
. It goes on, and on - Nick first and then me respectively addressing the evolution of restauration and the wine market in the UK. Our friend, chef and food writer Ken Hom is seen below introducing us.
As so often, the questions at the end are arguably much livelier than our talks - well, my address, anyway. You can hear, for example, Sophie Grigson asking a particularly pertinent question about the place of top-quality beer in British life.
I think the Oxford tape lasts even longer than the Grape Radio one, well over an hour. Perfect for insomniacs everywhere.